Taking these out of the box the first impressions are a little under-whelming. Simply packaged with a net draw-string carry bag, the headphones have a classic over-the-ear, uncomplicated look. On closer inspection this black pair (they also come in navy blue or bone white) has a striking touch of copper revealed when I extended the headband. This small design detail elevated the overall appearance and they suddenly felt a lot more stylish.
Setting up is incredibly easy. I was up and running without needing to refer to instructions with all the controls exactly where you would hope to find them. An on/off and Bluetooth setup on one ear and a really easy-to-navigate volume/pause/skip panel on the other. As I started to enjoy them I found the uncomplicated structure was actually a real benefit. When using them in a work environment I tend to be taking them on and off a lot throughout the day. With the soft leather memory foam ear cups and a broad headband they stay comfortable and the inevitable interruptions by colleagues were less annoying than usual with them being so easy to handle.
With the price point being towards the lower end for over the ear ANC (active noise-cancelling) headphones, the sound is impressive. It may not hit the heights of some of it’s pricier counterparts but for my two main uses…within the office environment and on flights, the sound is clean and noise pollution is minimal. Even at the highest volume levels the distortion isn't a problem.
The product comes with its own BackBeat app so you can custom your audio experience with balance and bright EQ presets. You can also pair the headphones with two devices at a time. The pairing button can also give a couple of additional EQ curve options and allows you to answer your phone, and even contacts Siri, when held.
- Strong, solid structure that's easy to handle.
- Good price point (around $239).
- Impressive battery life. 22 hours of playback and over 60 hours of ANC.
- Extra cable for wired option.
- Quick to charge.
- Slightly bulky appearance.
- Does not fold down too compactly (still 45mm deep in their flattest position).
- Basic looking carry bag.
The Final Verdict
As a first pair of over-the-ear noise cancelling headphones that are easy to set up and satisfying to use, these are a great option. For those of us that aren't too precious with how we handle our tech, these should still last well beyond their 2 year manufacturer's warranty. Whilst there might be higher priced products with a superior sound range out there, these stack up well against similarly priced opposition.