Forget Bose and Sony, this €180 headset looks good and sounds good

You hesitate to buy the headphones that everyone is talking about, the Apple AirPods Max, the Sony WH-1000XM5 or the Bose QuietComfort 45, because the price is an obstacle. You are not the only one.

There are a lot of people, myself included, who want a headset that is comparable in quality, but doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

If this is you, these Edifier WH950NB headphones may be the ones for you. For $180, you can have a pair of headphones with impressive ANC, a sleek design, and high-quality sound.

Adjustable headband does not expose plastic extensions

Here’s a look at what you’ll get for your money.

First, this headset is stylish and fashionable. Adorned with matte finishes and chrome details, it passes on the looks side for a more expensive product. The polyurethane leather ear cushions are soft and comfortable.

A little detail that I really like in these Edifier headphones: the adjustable headband does not expose plastic extensions. Indeed, by stretching, it only reveals a chrome material.

Edifer WH950NB helmet in ivory placed on a bed of stones

Jada Jones/ZDNET

I was impressed by the number of layered harmonies I could hear

I also really like the hard carrying case. It is made of Oxford fabric, flannel and hard plastic and contains a pouch equipped with a USB-A to USB-C cable, a 3.5mm headphone jack and an airplane audio adapter.

For audio playback, the Edifier WH950NB features a 40mm dynamic driver that allows a singer’s voice to sound clear and balanced. And the treble does not rise too high, which avoids piercing your eardrums. The bass is deep and very present, if you are a fan of this type of sound. The overall sound quality is clear and balanced, and well worth the €180.

While testing the sound these headphones produced with different music, I was impressed by the number of layered harmonies I could hear. I appreciated the little details that the WH950NB headphones brought out in the sound, and the bass was deep enough to keep me in the groove.

ANC, mixed results

The WH950NB headphones have ear cushions that provide decent sound isolation, but I’ve heard better. Fortunately, the headset has two noise canceling modes: High Noise Cancellation and Medium Noise Cancellation.

Mid-range noise cancellation reduces loud noises, such as a car engine or the sound of a refrigerator running, and also eliminates high-pitched noises, such as a mouse clicking or a keyboard typing. a person on a keyboard. High noise reduction eliminates high-pitched noises and buzzing, at the expense of battery life of course.

I took the WH950NB headphones to my favorite coffee shop and found that the barista’s blender was easily heard despite the ANC. However, by increasing the volume to 50%, the noise of the ice making my Frappucino was significantly reduced.

Adjusting the equalizer can be complicated

Adjusting the equalizer is tricky and can be complicated. Because it’s about playing on the frequencies rather than directly and simply modifying the bass, treble and midrange. In short, by changing the equalizer settings of the WH950NB headphones, you will hear a difference. But you may not understand what you are changing…

Jada Jones/ZDNET

Despite this problem, the sound of the Edifier headphones is excellent from the outset. I didn’t need to make much adjustment, as the preset EQ was more than adequate for my tastes.

Edifier claims that the headphones can run for up to 55 hours with ANC off and around 33 hours with ANC on, which is more battery life than Sony, Bose, and Apple offer with their premium over-ear headphones. range.

And you’ll also be able to listen to music for seven hours… with just 10 minutes of charging. The good business.

For 180 euros, you also benefit from listening in LDAC format, the Google Fast Pair function and multipoint connectivity. However, this multipoint connection has a slight delay, but it does not cause me any more problems than my AirPods when I switch from the sound of my iPhone to that of my MacBook.

ZDNET’s purchasing advice for Edifier WH950NB headphones

The $180 price tag may seem high for headphones, but when compared to the cream of the crop, it’s a real bargain. In addition to its functionality and sound quality, this headset is also very elegant.

Certain points in terms of the sound quality of this WH950NB headset can be improved. I would have liked clearer mids and more detailed highs, which you find on more expensive headphones. But if you’re looking for the best for a little less, this Edifier WH950NB is for you.

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