Category Archives: Headphone

Beats Studio Wireless Headphones Review 


The Beats Studio Wireless Headphones are the flagship headphone from Beats and Apple. 

Key Features 

– Beats Acoustic Engine uses precision sound to deliver music the way artists want it to be heard.

– Rechargeable battery lasts 12 hours whilst connected through Bluetooth and up to 20 hours when plugged into your device.

– Adaptive Noise Cancelling blocks out the world in two modes.

– Battery fuel gauge lets you know how much power is left.

– Available in 8 colours. 

– Mic and controls built into ear cup gives you solid playback control, plus crystal-clear hands-free calling on your iPhone.

– Folds to a compact size and then fits in hard case which is included. 

Available from Amazon UK.

Video Review 

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Even E1 – In Ear Headphones Review – The headphone with a hearing test built in for the bespoke sound EQ


Even E1 in ear headphones review. Welcome to my review of the unique Even E1 in ear headphones. The headphones perform a short hearing test to create a bespoke EarPrint sound EQ just for your ears. 
Key Features 

– EarPrint Technology – quick and easy hearing test that tunes music to fit your hearing, so you never skip a beat or miss a note again. Stored on your device, you can enjoy music from any source – any time. 
– Beautifully Made and Comfortable Enough to Wear All Day, Anytime. 
– Interchangeable earphone tips for a perfect fit; Two-toned cables to easily differentiate left from right; Tangle-resistant, lightweight nylon cords.
– 10mm dynamic drivers and a unique acoustic shell design
– Headphone Jack: 3.5mm
– Impedance: 32 Ohms
– Microphone
– Battery: Lithium Ion
– 12 hours continuous play
– Weight: 22g
– Frequency Range: 20-20,000 Hz
– Total Harmonic Distortion: <3%
– Sound Pressure Level: 110+/-2db
– Controls: Volume, Play, Pause, Call Controls
– Remote: Inline

Video Review 

Main Review 

When you first turn in the headphones, a voice assistant takes you through a hearing test to create your own EarPrint. This bespoke sound EQ can be turned in or off. It also means the module needs charging but this does provide over 10 hours usage. The EarPrint EQ created for my ears provided more bass, clear vocals and midrange. The difference was dramatic but it was noticeable. 

Conclusion 

The Even E1 are a unique pair of headphones. The bespoke sound EQ will ensure you get the best sound for your ears. Available from Selfridges.

Aukey Bluetooth Wireless Headphones – £25 budget – My Review

Aukey Bluetooth Wireless Headphones review. Just under £25 and a pair of wireless headphones. So just how good are these. Well let’s take a look at the key features.

Key Features 

– Comfortable, noise-isolating in-ear headphones with APT-X technology. 3 EQ sound settings. – Magnetically clip together for convenient and secure carry around your neck.
– Bluetooth 4.1, two devices simultaneous connections
– Built in remote for managing audio playback & calls, volume controls, multi-function button, and built-in 6th generation cVc noise-cancelling microphone
– Comfortable ear-tips (in three sizes) provide a smooth seal for your ears, isolating you from external noise
– Package Contents: AUKEY EP-B40 Magnetic Wireless Earbuds, Micro-USB Cable, Three Pairs of Ear-Tips, Three Pairs of In-Ear Ear-hooks, Carrying Pouch, User Manual, 24-Month Warranty Card
– BT 4.1, A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP, aptX
– Charging Time: 1.5 hours
– Up to 8 hours playback
– Battery Type: Li-Polymer (2 x 60mAh)
– Operating Range: Up to 10m / 33ft
– Weight: 13g

Video Review 

Main Review 

£25, yes £25 for these headphones. Surely they won’t sound good. Well actually they punch above their price easily and have a reasonable bass punch, with clear mids and vocals. With the included ear clips these also become ideal for using while moving around. Personally, I was happy wearing them without ear clips.  These are really enjoyable to use. They are not the ultimate in audio quality but definitely as good as many headphones costing twice as much.

They also feature an EQ Switch gives you a choice of three sound signatures- treble, bass, and vocals. So if you want to listen to a podcast the vocal mode is ideal.

As these are bluetooth Headphones you don’t need to worry about a headphone jack. So whether you have an Echo Dot, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Android Phone or Tablet, a Samsung S8, HTC U11, LG G6  or if you’re really unlucky a Windows Phone, these will work just fine.
For iOS users, these also have a Siri Wakeup option.  All you have to do is short press both volume buttons + & – while the earphone is in the standby mode, and siri is activated when a prompt tone is heard. Cool.

Conclusion 

One of the best budget Bluetooth headphones available.

Useful Links

Aukey Bluetooth headphones latest pricing on Amazon

Audio Technica ATH-DSR9BT – Review – Best Bluetooth Headphone of 2017

Audio Technica ATH-DSR9BT Review. £499 of world class technology providing hi-res bluetooth and USB Audio sound. These are pure digital headphones meaning there is no headphone jack. Actually there isn’t a DAC either.

The ATH-DSR9BT feature an exclusive “Pure Digital Drive” system keeps audio signal completely digital from source to driver for exceptionally pure sound. This is a first. A Dnote chipset controls driver amplitude directly with digital signals – no DAC converter required.

The Key Features / Specification

– Features Qualcomm aptX HD, aptX, AAC and SBC codecs, enabling wireless transmission with a resolution up to 24-bit/48kHz.
– 45mm True Motion Driver, with 4-core twisted OFC-7N voice coil and diaphragm with diamond-like carbon coating.
– Mic and volume/control switch are built into the earcup for convenient control of smartphones and other Bluetooth wireless devices / NFC touch pairing.
– Save up to “eight” Bluetooth wireless devices paired.
– LED indicators display pairing, charging status, battery level, and the codec currently in use.
– Heat-reactive soft foam earpads and an easily adjustable leather headband provide a comfortable fit with outstanding sound isolation
– Internal battery provides approximately 15 hours of continuous use (1000 hours on standby) on a full charge
– Includes a 2.0 m (6.6′) USB cable, for charging and Hi-Res Audio playback, and hard carrying case
Frequency Response – 5 to 45,000 Hz / Sensitivity – 97 ohms / Impedance – 38 ohms / Weight – 310g
– Microphone -condenser/Sensitivity -44 dB (1V/Pa a 1 kHz)/Frequency Response 50 – 4,000Hz /omnidirectional
– Input Jack: Micro USB Type B
– Communication System: Bluetooth Version 4.2 / Bluetooth Specification Power Class 2
– Maximum Communication Range: Line of sight – approx. 10 m (33′) / Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP

As you can see from the key features and specifications noted above, these ATH-DSR9BT are certainly something special and in terms of absolute sound quality are the best so far in 2017. However, I personally did not like them, so check out my review below to find out the incredible highs and disappointing lows.

The headphones were tested using an iPhone 7 Plus (bluetooth AAC), LG G6 (APT-X HD, USB Audio using USB Audio Player Pro & Tidal), MacBook Pro (USB Audio and APT-X).

The Audio Review

Useful Links

More information on the Audio Technica DSR9BT Headphone and latest deals on Amazon UK
More information and the latest deals on Audio Technica headphones on Amazon UK.
Audio Technica ATH-DSR9BT – First Impressions and Unboxing

Audio Technica ATH-DSR9BT – 24bit Hi-Res Bluetooth & USB Headphones – First Impressions


Audio Technica ATH-DSR9BT First Impressions and Unboxing. The ATH-DSR9BT are over-ear wireless headphones that feature a lot of crazy bluetooth technology to deliver 24bit hi resolution sound. Plus they connect via USB for a true digital connection. No headphone jack required! Actually there isn’t a headphone jack. These are true digital headphones through and through.

So as an example with my Mac or PC they connect via a USB cable with a huge frequency range as shown below. With my LG G6 they can also connect via the USB connection or via Bluetooth APT-X HD (24bit/96) Hi Resolution bluetooth.

The Key Features / Specification

– The ATH-DSR9BT feature an exclusive “Pure Digital Drive” system keeps audio signal completely digital from source to driver for exceptionally pure sound. This is a first.

– Dnote chipset controls driver amplitude directly with digital signals – no D/A converter required.

– Features Qualcomm aptX HD, aptX, AAC and SBC codecs, enabling wireless transmission with a resolution up to 24-bit/48kHz.

– 45mm True Motion Driver, with 4-core twisted OFC-7N voice coil and diaphragm with diamond-like carbon coating.

– Mic and volume/control switch are built into the earcup for convenient control of smartphones and other Bluetooth wireless devices / NFC touch pairing.

– Save up to “eight” Bluetooth wireless devices paired.

– LED indicators display pairing, charging status, battery level, and the codec currently in use.

– Heat-reactive soft foam earpads and an easily adjustable leather headband provide a comfortable fit with outstanding sound isolation

– Internal battery provides approximately 15 hours of continuous use (1000 hours on standby) on a full charge

– Includes a 2.0 m (6.6′) USB cable, for charging and Hi-Res Audio playback, and hard carrying case

Frequency Response – 5 to 45,000 Hz / Sensitivity – 97 ohms / Impedance – 38 ohms / Weight – 310g

– Microphone -condenser/Sensitivity -44 dB (1V/Pa a 1 kHz)/Frequency Response 50 – 4,000Hz /omnidirectional

– Input Jack: Micro USB Type B

– Communication System: Bluetooth Version 4.2 / Bluetooth Specification Power Class 2

– Maximum Communication Range: Line of sight – approx. 10 m (33′) / Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP

First Impressions and Unboxing

As you can see from the key features and specifications noted above, these ATH-DSR9BT are certainly something special and I can’t wait to spend more time with these and share my findings both negative and positive. And there are both.

Useful Links

More information on the Audio Technica DSR9BT Headphone and latest deals on Amazon UK
More information and the latest deals on Audio Technica headphones on Amazon UK.

Moshi releases its new Vortex Air Bluetooth Headphones 


Moshi Vortex Air Bluetooth headphones retail for £110. 

With these headphones you can enjoy and share your favourite tunes with Moshi’s Vortex Air wireless earbuds. Compatible with both iOS and Android devices, these high quality earphones give you 8 hours of playtime so you can listen to tracks and answer calls throughout the day, all on a single charge.

 Vortex Air also lets you share good times with a friend thanks to Moshi’s DJ4two™ feature which streams music to a second Moshi headset. Utilising the same drivers and proprietary RigidBody™ steel housing as Vortex, Vortex Air retains the beloved sonic signature of its wired counterpart featuring deep articulate bass without distortion.

 The details:-

· The drive units consist of high-definition Neodymium drivers housed in sintered steel alloy to minimise cavity-induced colouration.

· This design not only vastly improves low frequency extension, but also renders silky smooth highs.

· Vortex Air comes with 3 different sizes of hybrid-injection silicone ear tips as well as a set of memory foam ear tips that can effectively block out external noise while providing hours of comfortable listening.

· Also included is a convenient magnetic clip to secure Vortex Air in place.

Key specification – 

– Sensitivity 100 +/- 3db
– Impedance 18ohm
– Passive noise isolation up to 23db
– 3 Button in Line remote
– Bluetooth 4.1
– Profiles HSP v1.2, HFP v1.6, A2DP v1.3, AVRCP v1.5
– Paired up to 8 devices
– Microphone MEMS
– Microphone sensitivity-39dBV/PA @ 1kHz
– Battery 100mAh
– Talk Time/Music up to 8 hours @ 50% volume
– 100 hours standby time
– 2 hours to charge using micro USB port

Moshi’ products also include a larger range of headphones, the Arcus multi function backpack, Moshi Spatia which is a wireless airplay sound system that looks rather stylish and a range of USB C cables and adapters. 

More info & stockist details – Moshi

Moshi products on Amazon UK

Sennheiser Momentum In Ear Headphones – Review

Key Specifications

– Custom machined stainless steel acoustic pipes for more accurate sound
– High quality dynamic speaker system and enhanced attenuation of ambient noise
– Personalised fit directly into the ear canals
– Available in two variants with a three button in-line remote with an integrated mic optimised for either – Apple iOS or Samsung Galaxy smart devices
– Convenient high carrying case included
– Wearing Style Ear canal
– Transducer Principle Dynamic
– Frequency Response 15 – 22,000 Hz
– Impedance 18 Ohm
– Sound Pressure Level (SPL) 118 dB
– Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) < 0.5%
– Cable Length 1.3 m 1.3 m
– Mic Pick-up Pattern Omni-directional
– In the Box – Ear-adapter set (XS, S, M, L) / Premium carrying case

Video Review

Useful Links

Latest pricing & more info on Sennheiser Momentum In Ear Headphones

Optoma NuForce NE800M In Ear Headphones – review

Key Specifications

– Frequency response 10Hz – 40kHz
– Sensitivity 113dB+/-3dB
– Cable length 1.37 M
– Driver unit 8.6mm
– Impedance 16 Ohms
– Maximum input sound level 120dB S.P.L
– Connections input 3.5mm (4-pole stereo)
– Connections output 8.6mm driver Titanium coated diaphragm
– Weight 18g
In the Box – Carry case, 3x pairs of single silicone earbuds (sizes S, M, L), 2x pairs of Comply™ earbuds (sizes M, L)

Video Review

Useful Links

More info & latest pricing on the NuForce NE800M In Ear Headphones

Audeze iSine 20 – In Ear Planar Magnetic headphones – Review of the £599 Hi-Tech Magic

The Audeze iSine 20 are a world first in ear planar magnetic headphones. Audeze has loads of patents on these headphones too. There are also the world’s first headphone to include a lightning cable with an in built 24 bit DAC/Amp for iOS users, apart from the included standard 3.5mm cable.

The iSINE 20 features key specifications –

– Planar magnetic drivers for better dynamics and frequency response
– Premium materials for style and durability
– Sleek contemporary design by DesignWorksUSA a BMW group company
– Ear hooks and Earlocks for long listening comfortability
– Fluxor magnetic arrays
– Uniforce diaphragms
– 1.5m audio cable, 1/8” stereo plug input to 2-pin plug output
– 1.5m Cipher cable, Lightning plug input to 2-pin plug output
– Style In-ear, universal fit
– Transducer type Planar magnetic, semi-open
– Magnetic structure Fluxor
– Magnet type High-grade neodymium
– Diaphragm type Ultra-thin Uniforce
– Transducer size 30mm
– Maximum power handling 3W
– Maximum SPL >120dB
– Frequency response 10Hz – 50kHz
– THD <0.1% @ 100dB
– Impedance 24 ohms
– Cable type non-microphonic
– Dimension 31mm x 35mm
– Weight 20g without cable

The new iSINE Series barely weighs 20 grams, contains Audeze exclusive patented technology including power enhancing Fluxor Magnets that nearly double the magnetic driving force on the large, ultra-thin diaphragms with patented Uniforce voice-coil technology that delivers the most accurate in-ear headphones experience ever. The distortion (THD) is less the 0.1% overall even at high volumes, an amazing achievement for in-ear headphone designs.

For iOS users, there is the world’s first 24-bit Lightning cable for higher-resolution sound. Audeze’s award-winning CIPHER Lightning cable specially optimized for the iSINE Series, delivers 24-bit digital audio from iPhone/iPad/IPod to the headphones. The CIPHER cable contains a high-quality inline amplifier, digital-to-analog converter, and DSP. With the powerful DSP capabilities of the Cipher cable, the iSINE headphones deliver a vivid, almost like-you’re-there experience. Customize the sound in real-time with the Audeze iOS App. It features two presets and a 10-band equalizer that changes EQ in real time. Refine the bass levels and tamp down the highs on peaky recordings you still love to hear. The two EQ presets travel with the cable when switching devices.

So now sit back, enjoy my unboxing and then full review of these beast of a headphone.

Useful Links

More info & latest pricing on the Audeze iSine 10 and Audeze iSine 20

Audeze iSine 20 – World’s 1st In-Ear Planar Magnetic Headphones – First Impressions – If Aliens made Headphones

The Audeze iSine 20 are a world first in ear planar magnetic headphones. Audeze has loads of patents on these headphones too. There are also the world’s first headphone to include a lightning cable with an in built 24 bit DAC/Amp for iOS users, apart from the included standard 3.5mm cable.

The iSINE 20 features key specifications –

– Planar magnetic drivers for better dynamics and frequency response
– Premium materials for style and durability
– Sleek contemporary design by DesignWorksUSA a BMW group company
– Ear hooks and Earlocks for long listening comfortability
– Fluxor magnetic arrays
– Uniforce diaphragms
– 1.5m audio cable, 1/8” stereo plug input to 2-pin plug output
– 1.5m Cipher cable, Lightning plug input to 2-pin plug output
– Style In-ear, universal fit
– Transducer type Planar magnetic, semi-open
– Magnetic structure Fluxor
– Magnet type High-grade neodymium
– Diaphragm type Ultra-thin Uniforce
– Transducer size 30mm
– Maximum power handling 3W
– Maximum SPL >120dB
– Frequency response 10Hz – 50kHz
– THD <0.1% @ 100dB
– Impedance 24 ohms
– Cable type non-microphonic
– Dimension 31mm x 35mm
– Weight 20g without cable

The new iSINE Series barely weighs 20 grams, contains Audeze exclusive patented technology including power enhancing Fluxor Magnets that nearly double the magnetic driving force on the large, ultra-thin diaphragms with patented Uniforce voice-coil technology that delivers the most accurate in-ear headphones experience ever. The distortion (THD) is less the 0.1% overall even at high volumes, an amazing achievement for in-ear headphone designs.

For iOS users, there is the world’s first 24-bit Lightning cable for higher-resolution sound. Audeze’s award-winning CIPHER Lightning cable specially optimized for the iSINE Series, delivers 24-bit digital audio from iPhone/iPad/IPod to the headphones. The CIPHER cable contains a high-quality inline amplifier, digital-to-analog converter, and DSP. With the powerful DSP capabilities of the Cipher cable, the iSINE headphones deliver a vivid, almost like-you’re-there experience. Customize the sound in real-time with the Audeze iOS App. It features two presets and a 10-band equalizer that changes EQ in real time. Refine the bass levels and tamp down the highs on peaky recordings you still love to hear. The two EQ presets travel with the cable when switching devices.

I will be providing my review in due course but in the meantime, enjoy my first impressions of these extraordinary looking headphones. They are like nothing you have seen before.

Useful Links

More info & latest pricing on the Audeze iSine 10 and Audeze iSine 20

AirPods vs BeatsX – My Final Verdict

AirPods vs BeatsX – Which headphone is my favourite?

I have now had and used both of these headphones for a while. Both contain Apple’s W1 chip that allows for a seamless connection. Once paired it is connected via iCloud to all your other Apple devices too.The faultless bluetooth connection continues over a vast distance.

These two headphones are vastly different to each other. The BeatsX have more sound isolation and consequently greater bass and depth. They can last 8 hours on a charge. The AirPods allow you to wear them for 5 hours and then the case will recharge them to get up to 24 hours usage in total, by using the case. Both headphones have a 5 or 10 mins quick charge option.

In terms of fit, the BeatsX fit inside your ear canal, whereas the AirPods sit in the ear, but they are not ear canals. For some strange reason, the BeatsX fall out unless whereas the AirPods never fell out. In terms of comfort the BeatsX takes the trump card.

If I had to choose a single pair, it would be the AirPods. I like the fact I can carry on a conversation and hear what someone is saying. I also like the wire free design which do not fall out.

What would be great is if Apple brought out the over the ear Beats headphone with the W1 chip. That would be ideal!

BeatsX Wireless Headphone Review

AirPods review

Useful Links

Latest info and pricing on AirPods
Latest pricing and more info on the BeatsX

Groov-e Rhythm Bluetooth headphones + mic review – Wired or Wireless Headphones

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Welcome to my review of the Groov-e Rhythm Bluetooth headphones with mic, that can be used in either wired or wireless mode. The headphone retails for around £29. 

The Key Features / Specifications

– 40mm drivers
– 10 hours wireless playback
– built in mic for hands free calling
– adjustable headband
– soft earpads
– removable 3.5mm audio cable 1.2m included
– micro usb cable included
– bluetooth chipset CSR 8635 v4.0
– bluetooth profiles – HSP, HFP, A2DP, AVRCP
– charging time 2-3 hours
– standby time 300 hours
– 32 ohm, frequency 20Hz – 20K Hz
– 110db sensitivity

Video Review

Conclusion

A budget priced headphone that outperforms it price, lightweight and comfortable.

Useful Links

Groov-e Bluetooth latest pricing on Amazon

Astell&Kern XB10 – Hi Resolution Bluetooth Adapter – Review – Ideal for iOS, android & more

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Astell&Kern XB10 is a Premium Bluetooth Receiver/High Definition Adapter. Put simply it turns any pair of headphones, or speaker, into a wireless design, but retains, and even boosts the sound quality. The Austell&Kern XB10 retails for £149.

Astell&Kern are a specialist audio manufacturer. Astell&Kern believe in the power of music and so strive to provide the original sound without distortion. Their portable and home audio products offer the exact presence with tiny details bit for bit, exactly as it was recorded

The XB10 is the first bluetooth receiver/adapter to support new Qualcomm aptX HD technology. This means it includes a 24bit, high-power DAC so that it transforms smartphone sound and at the same time drives headphones harder. It even supports high-quality balanced headphones

Key Features / Specifications

– Dimensions 50 mm x 50 mm x 12.3 mm
– Weight 23 g
– Bluetooth Version Bluetooth 4.1, Class2
– Bluetooth Profile A2DP (multi), AVRCP, HFP, HSP
– Frequency Band 2.4 – 2.4835 GHz ISM Band
– Range Maximum of 10 meters
– Operating Temperature – 10°C to 45°C
– Codec SBC, AAC, aptX™, aptX™ HD
– Port 2.5mm Balanced / 3.5mm Unbalanced
– Output Level 2.5mm Balanced : 1.8Vrms / 3.5mm Unbalanced : 0.9Vrms
– Battery Type 350mAh 3.7V lithium polymer rechargeable battery
– Approximately 5 hours for music playing and phone calls
– Standby Time Up to 300 hours
– Charging Time Approximately 2 hours
– Charging Method Micro USB 5Pin (charging 5V 2A)

So what is APT-X HD? Qualcomm® aptX™ HD audio ensures your Bluetooth® wireless enabled device can deliver High Definition (HD) audio. It preserves sound data through the audio transmission, resulting in a ‘better-than-CD’ listening experience.

With aptX HD, you can enjoy listening to your music at the highest audible quality when using a wireless device. APT-X HD is indistinguishable from high resolution audio. APT-X HD enables 24-bit music quality over a Bluetooth® wireless connection. To achieve the HD sound you need a compatible music player/phone as well as the XB10.

APT-X HD is found on several smartphones. In fact the LG G5 was one of the first to feature this tech. So what does the XB10 sound like and how well does it perform. Well I paired it to my iPhone 7 Plus, Huawei Mate 9 and my friends LG G5. I then plugged my Oppo PM-3 and Sennheiser HD598 headphones into the XB10. I would have loved to have tried a pair of balanced headphones with the XB10 as the sound was phenomenal using the XB10 on all 3 of the different players. The XB10 powered both headphones with such ease.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus – the XB10 has the Apple AAC codec and sounds terrific. This is such a good solution for using your existing wired headphones without wires.
Huawei Mate 9 – The Mate 9 has the standard APT-X and again sounded really good.
LG G5 – This has APT-X HD built in so transmitted 24 bit bluetooth sound to the XB10. Truly stunning and so good this is the end of wires!

So are there any negatives. Just one. Its range is limited to 10 metres, but in reality if using the APT-X HD you do need to keep the music player/phone nearby as the bandwidth used is much higher than standard bluetooth.

Video Review

To really appreciate this dynamite piece of tech, you need to watch the video.

Conclusion

Useful Links

Austell&Kern XB10 latest pricing & more info on Amazon

More headphone & audio reviews on gavinsgadgets.

PS. Note this was not a review sample or loan unit.

Plantronics BeatBeat Pro 2 – Flagship Bluetooth Headphones – My Review

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Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Bluetooth headphones review. Welcome to my next bluetooth headphone review. This Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 are the new flagship bluetooth headphones from Plantronics. They have replaced the original BackBeat Pro headphones which were excellent in their own right.

Key Features / Specifications

– Bluetooth 4.0 + EDR, HSP 1.2, HFP 1.6 (Wideband)
– Up to: 24 hours of listening time, six months’ DeepSleep
– Rechargeable, non-replaceable lithium-ion battery
– Charge Time: Up to 3 hours
– Wireless Range: Stream music up to 100 metres (330 feet)
– Multi-Point: Yes
– Microphones: Dual microphones with DSP
– A2DP: Yes
– Voice Alerts: Status alerts for remaining battery
– HP Drivers: 40 mm dynamic drivers
– In the box: BackBeat PRO 2 headphones, micro-USB charge cable, 3.5mm cable, travel sleeve
– Weight: 0.64 lbs / 289 grams

Bluetooth headphones seem to be getter better and better. Everyone wants a slice of this market, and it seems wired headphones are quickly being relegated to the bin. So it should come as no surprise that Plantronics decided to update and improve their original BackBeat Pro headphones.

So how did Plantronics improve the Pro 2’s over the original. First of all, the BackBeat Pro 2 are approximately 50g lighter. The reduction in weight makes a huge difference to the overall comfort. Next, the design of the headphone cups is now rectangular in style. This provides a better fit over the ear and this also adds to the improved comfort. The next improvement is the sound quality. The BackBeat Pro 2 still have deep bass but with more control, but now the mids and treble are improved too. This creates a wider soundstage, clearer vocals and more detail in the mids. Or in simple language, these sound fantastic and are wonderful to use over very long periods. The bass is enhanced so if you prefer a flatter sound, these aren’t for you. Personally, I have enjoyed listening to these with every genre.

However, its not just the sound quality that make these headphones special. They are firmware upgradeable but you need a mac or pc for this and if you find you are on firmware 1.8 you definitely want to upgrade it to v1.9 or above as the difference is noticeable and makes the headphones rock solid when it comes to holding the bluetooth connection. Firmware v1.8 had a few issues. I originally tried to update the firmware on my Mac, but the updater wouldn’t work. I had to use a friend’s laptop!

There is an iOS and android app that provides a help menu and a few other options. The BackBeat Pro 2 allow you to move around up to 100m away and still maintain a connection. Other features like stopping the music automatically when removing them from you head, and restarting the song when you place them back on is rather neat. Call quality was good on these too. The headphones have all the controls you could dream of as listed in the key features.

One of the aspects I like is being able to use the bluetooth connection with or without active noise cancellation. At home, in the peace and quiet, I don’t need noise cancellation. In terms of noise cancellation the BackBeat Pro 2 managed a reasonable job of removing noise but they are not as good as the Bose QC35.

Video Review

Now watch the video review to learn more about the headphones.

Conclusion

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 correct some of the weaknesses of the original BackBeat Pro’s. There are more comfortable and fit better. More importantly, they sound incredible. Highly recommended.

Useful Links

Plantronics BackBeat Pro – more info & latest pricing on Amazon
The original BackBeat Pro headphones on Amazon
Link to all my headphone reviews on gavinsgadgets.

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PS. Note this was not a review sample or loan unit.

BeatsX Wireless Headphones – My Review – Are these the best Beats Headphones to date? & vs AirPods?

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BeatsX Wireless headphones went on sale on Friday 10th February 2017 on Apple’s website. They are available in grey, white, blue and black and cost £129.95.

The Key Features / Specs

– Experience authentic, clear sound
– Up to 8 hours of battery life
– Fast Fuel, a 5-minute charge gives you 2 hours of playback
– Lightning to USB-A charging cable (short length cable in box)
– Pocket-sized carrying case
– Unique Flex-Form cable provides all-day comfort and easy pocket portability
– Eartip options provide a personalised fit and secure-fit wingtips available in box offer added stability
– Class 1 Bluetooth
– Apple W1 Chip
– RemoteTalk allows you to take calls with a built-in mic, play music, adjust volume and activate Siri
– Charges from a lightning port, short cable provide in box
– Noise isolating

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How To Setup

They instantly set up using the new Apple W1 Chip and iOS 10. Just power on and hold near your iPhone, a notification box appears, tap connect and after that you have simultaneously connected to your Apple Watch, iPad and Mac. This means no more pairing with your other Apple devices as the pairing is synced across using iCloud. The only exception is the Apple TV for some reason which will need manual pairing as will any non Apple device.

The Sound Quality

Apple describe the BeatsX sound as “authentic, clear sound with optimised noise isolation for an immersive listening experience. An innovative acoustic design delivers a clean treble response and distortion-free bass for the most natural tonality across a broad range of genres.”

Seriously, are the BeatsX possessing a natural tonality across a broad range of genres? Well, blow my socks off, because these are the first Beats headphones that have a more natural tonal response. That means there is soundstage separation (medium), there is treble and decent midrange, something that is missing off many older Beats products. And these do deliver a decent punch too.

In fact, I tried these with every genres including pop, rock, classical, dance, jazz, blues, new age and many more. The BeatsX did a stellar job with all of these plus provided a good amount of noise cancellation.

Also as these have the Apple W1 chip, the bluetooth connection range is crazy long and without any signal dropouts.

UnBoxing, Video Review and Comparison versus AirPods and other Bluetooth Headphones

Now its time to watch the next part of my review. This includes a quick unboxing, sound test, comparison with AirPods and other headphones.

Conclusion

The BeatsX are somewhat of a surprise sonically as the midrange and treble are not lost to the bass line. In fact they sound really good. With the iOS benefits of instant pairing across all Apple devices, music controls and more, these are highly recommended and for many will be preferred over the superb AirPods.

Finally, I just want to say a quick thank you to the excellent customer service at the Apple Store in Plymouth.

Useful Links

BeatsX earphones at Apple – More info
Beats headphones on Amazon

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PS. Note this was not a review sample or loan unit.