Top critical review
Decent low-end headphones, but not without their caveats
Reviewed in the United States on July 2, 2020
Although this product claims a noise reduction feature, after reading the specs on the box and in the manual, I can’t see how it can be “Active” noise cancellation (especially given their price).
True ANC requires not only drivers, but also a tiny microphone in each enclosure. These monitor external sounds and cancel them by modifying music sound waves, placing them 180 degrees out of phase with the associated external noise. Hence, the term “Active Cancellation”.
All that geek speak said, my assumption is that these probably use some sort of passive noise reduction.
On to performance, which I tested using several different types of devices as sound sources:
- For most genres of music, the “ANC” switch must always be on, as when turned off the sound becomes totally flat and extremely muddy. This is true using them with either a Bluetooth or wired connection. An unfortunate side-effect of this is, if you forget to turn this switch off when finished listening, there is no time-out for automatic shut-off and the battery continues to drain.
- Speaking of the wired connection, unfortunately it doesn’t work if the battery is drained. That’s the usual reason a wired connection is added to most Bluetooth headphones in the first place, so you can continue to use them if the battery becomes depleted.
- When operating in Bluetooth mode, I immediately noticed that the maximum volume was very low. When wired, I’d estimate they’re about 4 times louder than when connected via BT, a huge difference. This is regrettably ironic, since obviously the majority of BT headphone owners have purchased them in order to “cut the cord”.
- Battery life is long, especially with a wired connection, but from totally drained recharging them to 100% takes quite a long while compared to other BT headphones I own.
There are some nice features, all of them physical:
- They fold and slip into a supplied beefy drawstring bag, making them convenient for travel.
- Adjustment straps are reinforced with metal, the usual spot for breakage on models which use only plastic in those areas.
- Enclosure padding is soft and comfortable. I just wish I could say the same about the top head strap, which is just a minimal rubber strip.
I haven’t tested their phone call functions, since I’ve no intention of using them for that purpose.
Although these are low-end headphones, most people will probably find them acceptable for casual use, as long as you can live with the caveats I’ve pointed out.