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Latest Questions Answered

0
Purchasing strictly for Blue tooth use with TV. For this purpose, do you think that Bose QC 35 is the best choice? Better selections ? Thank you!
The QuietComfort 35 have a pretty high base latency so they won't be the ideal headphones to use with your TV. Our best Bluetooth recommendation for home theater use are the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. However, to get their best latency performance you may have to purchase a Bluetooth dongle/transmitter that supports aptX Low Latency.

If you strictly need a home theater headphone, then the Sennheiser RS 165 are your best option. They are radio frequency headphones, limited by an RF transmitter stand but have an excellent base latency that's ideal for watching video content. Check out our best home theater recommendations here.
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I see that you have tested the 250 ohm version of the headphones for this review. Did you run these 250 ohm headphones through a headphone amp when conducting the review (and is that where these Sound quality stats come from) and if so which amp? Wondering if an amp is necessary or if I can reach these sound quality scores you've posted using a smartphone/CD player.

We use an RME UFX as our DAC an a Schiit Ragnarok as our amp, but you don't need very expensive equipment for the DT-990. We also have an Asgard 2 amp and our headphones measure basically the same on both, but the Asgard 2 doesn't get as loud.

It shouldn't be much different with a smartphone either, but again, if you listen to older tracks or podcasts that generally are not too loud by themselves, they may only get moderately loud.

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If u can use dac/amp to drive westone w40 i think it will get better score, i really dont understand how would bose QC30 will have better sound quality than w40. I suggest you to listen to them for 3 days and can start to compare them.I own sony mdr1000x, akg 712, bose qc30, senh 600,sph9500s, akg n20, senh momentem in earwestone w40, w60, ve6 and some diy in-ear earphone. I really dont think bose qc 30 would have a 6.9 critical listening score since w40 has lower. Thanks for review my question.

We use an RME UFX as our DAC an a Schiit Ragnarok as our amp, so there's not much we can improve there. Regarding the target response, it could definitely be a matter of taste, but based on the target response we have settled on (which is loosely based on the Harman Target Response), the W40 doesn't perform too well. Also, our results are supported by this paper that concluded there was no correlation between the price of headphones and their frequency response.

You can find out about our target curve in a video here.

0
It says no for the passive playback but in the description you mention that the audio quality doesn't deteriorate much after the battery runs out. Can you confirm if it actually has passive playback and does the mic work without the battery?
Thank you for catching the error on the Skullcandy Crusher review. Yes, they can be used completely passively without any batteries. The text is accurate and we have now updated their status for passive playback. However, when used passively you don't get any bass enhancements, which sounds about the same as when the bass slider is set to 0.
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Is the latency value of the SBC codec? I want to know the latency at the AAC codec on iOS devices. Is there a change in the frequency characteristics of this earphone depending on the size of the volume?
Yes, the current base latency value is that of the SBC codec. We have yet to find a reliable Bluetooth dongle that supports AAC and also works with our test bench. Therefore we cannot yet comment if the sound quality of these headphones will be significantly better.
0
How does the auto off timer work? Do the headphones go off after the allotted time, no matter what you are listening to? Or does the timer refer to times when the headset is not actually playing anything but is still on and thus goes shuts down in idle to save battery?
Yes, the auto of timer only switches off the headphones when they are idle (i.e not playing any audio).
0
This is being replaced with the SHP9500S model. Have you had any experience with it? Some have said its just a cheaper version and the quality has really gone down
We heard about the S model just recently, and don't have any first hand experience with it. However, based on what we found on Philip's official forum it seems that the two models are meant for different regions in the world, and the difference between the two is mostly cosmetic and not in sound.
0
What would you recommend for home tv/movies and games that is wireless as an alternative??
The Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 would be the best suited for gaming and watching movies especially if you have a Bluetooth dongle with apt-X or apt-X (LL). You could also consider the Parrot Zik 2.0 they're a lot cheaper than the Zik 3.0 and they have a relatively fast Bluetooth connection without the additional aptX codecs.
1
I've used this site many times in the past for its exceptional accuracy & reliability for TVs. I started looking at your headphone reviews. I'm honestly a bit disappointed, I did not expect a site so renown for knowledge to put a "target response curve for a headphone as a completely flat line. Sean Olive has done a lot of reasearch in this area & has published a "harman curve" as many call it to show an approximation of what a headphone should sound like. I would urge you to either use the Harman curve or none at all & explain its generally easier to compare a headphones FR to ones you know as the dummy head itself can have a great effect on the measured response.
Thanks for your email. The graphs on our website are compensated, based on a compensation curve quite similar to Harman's. We have flatten our target curve so it would be easier to read. You can find out about our target curve in a video here.
1
Given the type of headphone you are reviewing, I think it would be nice to also have amplifier recommendations, whether general, like basic specs or more specific like models.
Thanks for your suggestion. That would require us to review headphones amps, and reviewing a new product category takes a lot work. We may add them when we have the time to develop a proper test bench for headphones amps.
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How does the sound quality compares to the Bose QuietComfort 35s.
They are quite similar. The main difference is that the JBL could sound a bit sharp and sibilant on certain tracks, compared to the QC35. But if you look at their frequency responses, they are within a couple of dBs of each other up to 9KHz.
0
Soundmagic e10 please review, excellent in ears
Thanks, noted! By the way, we have a new tool for suggesting products to be reviewed and you can submit and vote for your suggestions here.
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Hey I'm trying to protect my ears and would like to know the maximum volume decibels and the half volume decibels. I use them for about 2 hours in the morning and want to make sure I'm staying under about 80 decibels.
This is highly dependent on the type of program you are listening too. A heavily compressed electronic tune could go above 100dB SPL at full volume, but an audiobook may go up to only 90dB at full volume. Unfortunately there's not an easy way of finding out how loud your listening level is, unless we can use the same source that you are using.
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Before testing, was the headphone updated to the lastest firmware update?
Yes, they were measured with the latest firmware available.
0
How does the sound quality compares to the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless?
They are more balanced than the Momentum. The Momentum has too much Bass and not enough Treble.
0
Beats. Why does this website recommend them when EVERYONE else doesn't? Is it just a trend to bash beats into the ground?
Because the more recent Beats (post Apple acquisition) are actually really good! That seems to be the consensus online as well.
0
Your noise cancellation measurement of Bose QC25 and QC35 shows non-cancelling at about 70 Hz. In other measurement on the internet (innerfidelity.com, about.com, etc.), does not have that non-cancelling at about 70 Hz. What makes the difference? The headphones are from different batch? Or measurement artifact?
The Isolation box that we measure our headphones in, has a bit of a buildup at around 60Hz but that's compensated for post-measurement. Because of the build-up, some headphones can't handle the loud levels that are produced around 60Hz and therefore their noise cancelling system clips. We are looking into improving this, but it is not a big issue in our opinion since it is the same for all headphones. Not all of our noise cancelling headphones have the bump around that range, meaning that some headphones are better at handling low-frequency noise up to 120dB SPL, and some others can't.
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Alright, so i'm looking for some good, closed, portable, fullsize headphones. They would have to be under 250 and be stable enough to stay on when I run. I don't care if they're bulky or if they're ugly so long as it's comfortable. My previous headphones are the hd 598 and the ath 900x if you need to know. Thanks in advance!

Here are our suggestions: Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear II, Bose SoundLink Around-Ear II, and Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2.

Between the 3: SoundTrue is the cheapest, but wired. SoundLink sounds best, but doesn't have noise cancelling. Backbeat Pro 2 does have noise cancelling, but doesn't sound as good as the other two. The difference in sound is not huge between the 3, and all are good sounding, so it comes down to your preference and budget.

4
Can I use the MDR-XB950B1 wirelessly with the Playstation 4 via Bluetooth?
Weren't able to pair it. Our PS4 says that it does not support Bluetooth Audio Devices.
1
Hello, I am trying to seek your expert advise for a set of headphones. My goal is to find a set that is wireless so I can use them while I do yard work and block out sound while listening to music, talk radio etc from my iphone. I also work from home in my office and would like the same pair to be able to connect to my cordless Panasonic phone via included cable with the headphones to the 2.5mm headphone jack. Reason being is that I am on a lot of conference calls and that had to be a big factor in my search. So needing active noise cancellation, wireless and a cable to be able to connect to my phone for work. So far I narrowed it down to the Sennheiser PXC 550, Sony MDR-1000X and the Bose QC 35. I would love your advise on which one and even if its a different model I have not thought of. One thing to note is that I do understand that it will be a jack of all trades headset and i dont have to have the best noice cancellation or audio. The most important is the call functions with the cord. Thank you in advance!

QC35 and MDR1000X have superior noise cancelling compared to the PXC550. With MDR1000X you have the option of turning the ANC off, but with QC35 the ANC is always on. On the other hand, the QC35 has the best sound quality out of the three, but it requires a 1/16th TRS jack instead of a 1/8th (2.5mm).

If you don't care about being able to turn off the ANC, and can find a 1/16th jack adapter, then we'd recommend the QC35. Otherwise, the MDR1000X would be a better fit for you than the PXC550 because of their better ANC.

1
Did these ratings change recently? They seem quite different, and some of the text doesn't seem to correspond to the scores. For example, 8.1 for imaging meaning average imaging?
Yes. The review has been updated with our latest test bench. The text will be updated after all the headphones have been updated.
0
I'd like to get an inexpensive pair of headphones for listening to podcasts while mowing the lawn. I want ANC to eliminate/reduce mower noise so I can listen at a reasonable volume. It looks like there aren't really any reasonably priced (under $1000) options that do a good job of noise cancellation though. Would the Plantronics Backbeat Pro be any good? What about the CB3 Hush?
Both in our measurements and subjective tests, the Sony MDR-1000X performs best in Noise Cancelling. However, we don't have a reference for the noise profile and loudness of a lawn mower, so it may or may not be adequate. Our other recommendations would the Bose QuietComfort 35 and QuietControl 30.
0
Can you please elaborate on your methodology when measuring with human subjects? Do you still also measure on the dummy head? I don't understand it.
We are working on a video to better explain our issues and workarounds for headphones measurements. In short, we measure over/on-ear headphones on 5 human subjects, 5 times each. We also measure the headphones 5 times on the dummy head. We then merge the results of the two sets of measurements (human and dummy head) in the Mid Range to get the final Frequency Response.
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I'd love to see the HD 700 reviwed
We have a new tool for suggesting products to be reviewed! You can vote for the HD 700 here.
4
Why didn't you lock 1 kHz to 90 dB? And did you change the compensation curve recently? A lot of the measurements seem to have a hump around 2 kHz while there used to be a dip (800S, M50x, HEX, SHP9500, iirc).

We don't lock down the response at 1KHz, because it won't align the Frequency Response across the Target SPL properly. Currently we align the response full range (20Hz-20KHz), but we are open to suggestions for doing it differently.

We have just updated our Target Response (compensation curve), which you can see below, and we are in the process of updating our measurements and scores with the new target. That's the reason for some changes on the website.

All the headphones will be updated to the latest test bench (which includes measuring the bass of over/on-ear headphones on 5 human subjects), by the end of April.

Rtings.com Headphones Target Response
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I prefer ON-EAR Wireless headphones because they seem to fit better and are less bulky, especially when my head is on a pillow (OVER-EAR headphones seem to get pushed around). I saw the Beats Solo 3 are ON-EAR and have favorable user ratings on Amazon, but I cannot find a review of this model at Rtings.com. Do you have a review of this pair of headphones, e.g. are they comparable to anything else?
You can check our latest review of the Beats Solo3 here.
0
My Bose SoundLink Around-Ear II are paired with my Bluetooth ready TV. The volume suddenly gets louder at times. Don't hear a pop, but it's not a gradual increase, more like something just started working. I can't pinpoint any particular type of program and it doesn't back & forth. I just want to be sure it's not the headphones themselves, hoping it's a distance or something else problem a 76-year-old lady can't figure out. Thanks,
To confirm whether your headphones or the TV caused the sudden volume increase; We suggest connecting your headphones to another Bluetooth source, if possible, and checking if the issue persists on other devices. Also, if you have the brand and model number of your TV, we will try to reproduce the problem with our SoundLink Around-Ear II. We will update you on the results and possible fixes for the issue, once we receive a bit more data.
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I am looking for a recommendation for a great headphone to use for PC gaming. Are critical listening headphones ideal for PC gaming, or is there another type of headphone you can recommend me?
Most of our Critical Listening recommendations are open-back and don't have a microphone, so if a microphone and isolation are not a concern, then they should be a great choice for gaming. Otherwise, we would suggest a pair of wired closed-back headphones (for the lowest latency) that also come with a mic, like the Bose QuietComfort 25.
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Additional Review Notes
Here is the raw FR plot for MDR-1000X at 100dB SPL (Red Wired, Blue Wireless) MDR1000X BT vs Wired - FR and here is the THD plot for MDR-1000X at 100dB SPL (Red Wired, Blue Wireless) MDR1000X BT vs Wired - THD
0
Is this Qi-enabled? I have one and the USB port is broken and can't be charged with wire charger
Unfortunately, the Bohm B-66 do not support Qi wireless charging. We have yet to test a headphone that is Qi-enabled and would appreciate any suggestions to add to our to-do list.
1
Did you guys notice any issues while multitasking and using bluetooth? I was using these headphones during my morning train commute, and noticed a lot of intermittent drops when using anything that required data. But if I left the iPhone locked, no issues. This makes the device unusable (for me) outside of exercise or reading a physical book. Did you guys notice the same issues? I have an iPhone 7+.
We tested the Jaybird X2 with both Android and iOS (the Nexus 6P and the iPhone 7 respectively). We played youtube videos, audio from Spotify and the native media players on both operating systems while switching between different apps. There were no connection drops as long as the devices were within range. We suggest pairing the X2 to another Bluetooth device, if possible, to isolate the issue and confirm if the connection drops happen on other devices or only with your phone.
11
How do these headphones compare to Bose Quietcomfort 35's?
We have experienced some measurable Sound Quality issues while using our MDR-1000X wirelessly, but they are not terribly audible. Assuming this can be taken care of with a firmware update, the Sound Quality of the Sonys are very similar to the QC35. But the main difference between the two is the superior noise-cancelling of the MDR-1000X and the fact that you can turn off the NC and still use the headphones wirelessly. Additionally, the QC35 would have the edge in comfort and the MDR-1000X in build quality.
1
This test result only Aptx codec?
Yes, when available we use aptX for our measurements. But for the MDR-1000X we double-checked our results without aptX as well, and still had the same issues above 10KHz.
0
Can you please also consider reviewing JBL Everest Elite 700 headphones? It's been well received by critics, especially since the headphones has gotten cheaper.
We have a new tool for suggesting products to be reviewed! You can submit your suggestions here.
0
How about the over the ear version of the amazon basics headphone? Is it significantly better in terms of sound quality?
We haven't reviewed the Over-ear version of those headphones, so can't comment on it yet. But we will consider reviewing them. You can now submit your review suggestions here.
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Hello, I would like to know when the gaming section will be released as I see it says "Coming Soon".
Most likely in the second half of the year.
3
When will you test/publish the results of the LDAC codec testing of the MDR 1000X?
We have yet to find a reliable Bluetooth dongle that supports the LDAC codec, as it is typically only available on Sony devices. However, when we do, we will update the review accordingly, but it may take some time.
1
I noticed recently that the frequency response measurement for the M50x has changed considerably, I don't know exactly, but I remember seeing it differently. Were the measurements updated/corrected?
We are in the process if re-testing our old headphones against a new test bench and that's why the scores may fluctuate a bit for the next month, until they stabilize. A key feature of the new test bench is measuring the low-end of headphones on 5 human subjects, 5 times each to cover for seal/leakage issues experienced with measurement heads. The M50X was just updated.
13
Hey Rtings, First of all, thank you so much for this detailed review, I really appreciate it that you made a review based on measurements instead of own experience. However I do have one unanswered question, could you tell me which firmware of the Bose QC is used for this review? I am wondering about this since I have read that there are some considerable differences in sound quality between one firmware and another. Thanks in advance.
We measured the QuietComfort 35 on firmware 1.0.6. We will retest the headphones with the most recent firmware 1.2.10 and append the review with the new data and any significant changes. However, we also have a new test bench, which means we are re-measuring all our previously posted headphones, so not all the changes will be due to the firmware update. We've bumped the QC 35 in our priority queue so the review should be up-to-date in a week or two.
0
Follow-up on the BOHM B-66. The battery barely held a charge for longer than 20 minutes. Fully charged, all works well until the low battery signal starts in. Usually dead about 3 mins later. Any plans to test the Sony MDR-1000X? Would love to see results against the Bose QC35s. Thanks for all of the great work!
It seems that the Bohm B-66 has a low manufacturing tolerance. Our unit is still working and holding a charge for up to 10 hours after repeated battery drains, and we've used them a couple of times in the office without any issues. However, we've had several questions about the Bohm and Diskin's fluctuating battery performance, and our unit does take a surprisingly long time to charge fully. I would suggest contacting the manufacturer as your unit appears to be defective. Also, the MDR-1000x review will be posted very soon.
0
I'm total novice want to use this gift to watch movies on my iPad. The first day, wonderful. When I tried the next day, not a sound. I'm using the audio cord. What is my problem.? I'm 82 with zip technical knowledge. Thanks
The Bohm B-66 will continue playing audio even when the battery is completely drained, so there may be a couple of things that are causing this issue: The first being that once the headphones are out of power, they will only play audio if noise canceling feature is turned off. The switch on the right ear cup must be toggled downwards so that you see the small red marker, indicating the off position. If this does not solve your issue, make sure that the audio cable is properly plugged into your iPad. Also, when fully charged the headphones should play regardless of the noise canceling feature. We suggest charging the headset for a couple of hours and trying again, to check that your unit is not defective.
1
Disregarding the sound and the ANC, is there a noticeable difference in comfort between the QC35 and the Bose SoundLink Around-Ear II?
No, they are basically made identically.
0
Will you please consider testing quality DACs? For example the Oppo HA-2SE, or RHA Dacamp L1.
At the moment we are focused on reviewing headphones and there's still a lot left to add/improve in our reviews. However, we are open to reviewing other products once our headphones reviews have become more solid and complete.
0
How do these sound compare to the wired model? Is it the same?
They are very close. The wired model has slightly less distortion and phase error, but there's a good chance you won't notice the difference. On the other hand, the wireless model has active noise-cancelling which improves the isolation, but a consequence of increased isolation is decreased openness in Soundstage. Unfortunately, you can't disable the noise-cancelling on while using them wirelessly.
0
Hi, are you planning on reviewing the HD-700? Its the little brother of the HD-800 S at $500.
It is on our radar, but not very high priority because of their price and their reputation.
0
To repeat with a slightly different selection set, if my wish list was 1. Sound quality 2. Comfort 3. NC 4. Wireless/wired capabilities and money wasn't an issue, which should I buy, the Bose QC35 or Sennheiser PXC 550s over ear?
We would still recommend the QC35, unless the extra wireless features of the PXC550 are very important to you.
0
I plan to purchase the Audeze Isine 20 which is a open back, planar magnetic, in ear, with an frequency range of 10hz-50khz. I absolutely love the system you guys use to evaluate headphones and would very much like to see it and it's baby brother the isine 10 reviewed on your website.
Thanks for your suggestions. We already have the Audeze headphones on our to-do list, but we don't have an estimate for when we will be able to review them.
4
Could you please review the Sennheiser HD 599. Thanks!
Already have them in the office, but it may take us some time to test them and publish a review.
0
I would really like to see how Etymotic earphones measure, especially the recent ER4XR and ER4SR.
We have them on our to-do list, but it may take us some time to get to reviewing them.
2
Love the website, thanks for all the great info, it helped me pick out the perfect tv for my parents. I actually wanted to suggest reviewing Etymotic earbuds. I had a pair that is now discontinued but they sounded amazing and the isolation is probably unparalleled (i could mow the lawn with them in). I cant vouch for their current lineup, but if they havent dropped the ball I think they would be well worth your time. Regards, Caleb
Thanks for your suggestion. We tend not to review discontinued products, but we will take a look at their new lineup.
1
I own the Bose QuietComfort 20 and the jaybird X2 primarily for noise isolation. The Bose is very comfortable to wear whereas the X2 makes my ear sore in short order, however I don't like the cord and rectangular box that you have to carry around with the Bose. But there's nothing else on the market, so I had the best of both worlds AFAIKnew. To my surprise, I discovered that Bose has merged the best of both worlds with the QuietControl 30 Wireless headphones. I think I'll get a pair, but I'd love to see a review write-up on them. Lastly, this is my "go-to" website before buying televisions. I upgraded my Samsung J5200 televisions to KU6300 series and I couldn't be happier. Night and day difference. I upgraded my soundbar from a J355 to K450 primarily for the wireless sub and HDMI-ARC. But what I want is 5.1 multiroom systems, yet they're still expensive to gamble. I can't find a good site that makes things scientific like your television and headphone reviews. Are you aware of any? Thank you for this website.
We have the Bose QuietControl 30 in the office and we're in the process of reviewing them, but we are also building a new test bench so it may take some time before the review is actually posted. However, from our experience, we can confirm that the QC30 are more comfortable than typical in-ears/earbuds and also isolate quite well. As for the website suggestions, unfortunately, we are not aware of any objectively based review site for soundbars.
0
I'm looking for a decent pair of Bluetooth on ear headphones. Would be mostly used for watching TV (a Samsung with Bluetooth) from 8-10'. All of your on ear headphones in <$100 range seem to have the same comment of too tight on the ears. The Bohm B66 seem to have a nice price/performance ration with the latest price on Amazon of around $85. Any other recommendations?
The Bohm B-66 are a versatile and affordable pair, but as mentioned they're pretty tight on the head. You may get used to them over time, but they're not the most comfortable headphones out-of-the-box. If you're looking for a good On-Ear substitute, the Samsung Level On Wireless are currently on sale. They're equally, if not more, versatile than the Bohm but they're a bit more expensive too. Alternatively, there's also the Sony MDRZX770BN. They're comfortable over-ear headphones for most use cases but do not sound as good as the Level On.
0
Have you considered testing the definitive Technology Symphony 1 headphones? They are in the same price range as the Denon AHGC20, but appear (based on other reviews) to have much better mid-range and treble response, better noise isolation, and better leakage.
Thanks for your suggestion. We were not familiar with the brand, we'll look into it.
0
Please review Oppo PM-1.
We will add them to our to-do list, but they seem to be one of the older planar magnetic headphones and quite expensive too! So newer high-end planars will probably be given priority.
0
how replace battery for Diskin bluetooth headset?
The battery in the Diskin Wireless Bluetooth headphones is not replaceable. You can only recharge it through the micro-USB port, and attempting to open the earcups, will most likely damage your headphones.
0
What's the best Bluetooth transmitters to use with my wireless solos?
We are currently using a MEE Audio Connect Bluetooth transmitter with AptX, AptX(low latency) and dual pairing for one of our Bluetooth tests. It's easy to use and versatile, but it's a bit pricier than others. However, any Bluetooth 4.0 (or higher) transmitter would be a good fit for the Solo2 Wireless as they don't have the aptX codec and rely on the typical SBC connection with most Bluetooth devices. Also, we have yet to test for the AAC audio quality codec and cannot recommend an ideal transmitter for that purpose.
1
Should you be able to expect a headphone like the Bose QuietComfort 35 to block out talking in a cubicle office setting?
For all intents and purposes, the QC35 will block out the conversation in an office environment. Meaning they will block out the outside noise enough so that you won't be distracted by them. Actually, the amount of noise-cancelling on these headphones can be a bit unsettling at first. Which could be considered a down side if you want to use them where you need to monitor your environment, since you can't turn off their noise-cancelling. But they don't block out all the noise 'completely', and no noise-cancelling headphones exist that can really do that.
0
Any updates on the Apple AirPods now that they're publicly available?
Here it is.
0
I think you guys should review the MEE audio Matrix3 because its predecessor were greatly well received by reviewers for their sound quality at a low price, please consider reviewing them? Also since I'm the 100th question asked?
We'll add them to our already long list. And yes, you asked the 100th question! No prize though ;-)
0
Hello, do you plan to review the Astro A50 gen3 headset? I can see you did a review on Turtle Beach Elite 800, Astro and TurtleBeach are the top premium gaming headsets - it would be super cool to have your opinion on the Astro A50 gen3 as well. Thank you
We are planning on reviewing gaming headsets and will add the A50 to our list, but that would probably be sometime later this year.
0
When will you be reviewing the new Apple AirPods?
We have already tested the Airpods and will post the review in the coming weeks.
0
In terms of sound quality, which is better QY8 or QY7?
We haven't measured QY7, so can't comment on that. But between QY8 and QY9, we'd recommend QY8.
3
What capacity micro SD card does it take?
We tested three micro SD cards with the same mp3 file. The headphones were able to read the audio file on the 2GB and 32GB micro SD cards but not on the 64GB. Therefore, the maximum capacity for the SD card you can use with the Bluedio T3 Plus is 32GB.
0
I have had people inform me that the microphone picks up the tiniest sounds and makes them sound quite loud when I am on calls. Did you experience this, and how did you solve for it?
We haven't had any unusual experiences with the microphone on Soundsport Wireless while making calls.
0
First of all, i want to thank you guys for making this site, i love it, i love the reviews, they're very informative, detailed and helpful for making comparisons, really thank you! I've already made a couple of lists of headphones (2 headphones per list to choose between), One for my music listing needs (mainly based on your Critical Listening score and details) the other is for the on-the-go listening (that contain wireless and ANC features and match your Portability, Stability and other scores) Now I'm trying to find a headphone for my gaming needs, I know you guys didn't start reviewing gaming headsets yet, I just want to know which of the sound specs and characteristics i should focus on if i want to have a great sound experience in games from a non-gaming headphones, is it the bass the mid or the treble? the Soundstage or the Imaging? i don't really care about the mic or the design. hope to see an answer soon, keep it up guys.
If you only care about sound quality, then critical listening rating should match up pretty well with what you are looking for. Then only thing to consider is whether the leakage of open-back headphones is an issue for you. In that case remove Soundstage (specifically Openness and Acoustic Space Excitation) as one of the criteria.
0
Are your values (dB) for "Noise Isolation" correct (Overall Attenuation, Bass, Mid, Treble & Self-Noise)? The recorded dB levels don't seem to correlate with the associated line graph.
Thanks for pointing out the error! Should be fixed now.
0
I currently own a Sennheiser HD 598 and plan to get the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO. Just want to know if there is a massive upgrade for this. And would my Fiio E10k be able to drive DT 990 250 ohm?
We don't consider the DT 990 Pro to be a big upgrade over the HD 598. The DT 990 is a bit heavier in bass, but also more sibilant than the 598. So if you care about sound quality, you'd probably get more out of your investment by getting a good software/hardware EQ for your HD 598.
0
Hi, In your review, you say that the Samsung Level app is for iOS and Android; however, based on everything I can find, it is only available for Android. Can you confirm that you were able to find an iOS version? Also, any idea on when you plan to review some of the newer sets of BT earphones? Specifically, I'm trying to decide between the Powerbeats3, the Samsung Level U Pros, Plantronics BackBeat Fit, and Bose Wireless SoundSport. I'll be using them for mild physical activity (walking), lawn work, and while sitting at my desk. Of most importance to me is comfort. I like something that fits like Apple EarPods (but the cable drives me nuts when I'm working with them on); I really don't like earplugs that go deep in your ear and seal them off - they make my ears hurt. I'll be using them with my iPhone 6s, Apple Watch Series 2, and MacBook. Sound quality isn't as important to me as comfort when wearing, Bluetooth reliability, and battery life. I mostly listen to podcasts; when I listen to music, I can't really tell the quality difference between CDs, MP3, satellite, or FM radio. The Apple AirPods would appear to be perfect for me, but from what I've read, they're not water or sweat proof, so I'm worried about spending that much on something that can get ruined so easily. Also, I've learned to avoid first generation Apple products based on bad experience in the past. I'm even considering the Samsung Level U (base ones for $approx. $25 not the Pros) as an under $30 quick fix and wait to get a more expensive pair in 9 - 12 months after we see what Apple and others release in 2017. Based on the criteria I've laid out, do you have any suggestions?
Thank you for catching the error on the Samsung Level U Pro. We can confirm that the Samsung level app is not yet available for iOS. As for the headphone suggestions, the Bose SoundSport Wireless will be the most suitable reconmendation for your needs, as they have a semi-open fit thats more comfortable than most in-ears. However, they're a bit pricey and some models have shown to not be as sweatproof as expected. We have yet to post the review of the QuietControl 30 but they have a similar fit in a more durable design and a longer battery life. But if you don't mind the neckband and fit of the Level U Pro (they have a regular in-ear fit but softer tips that makes them a bit more comfortable), then they're a safe and cheap option that perform well overall. Also, the BackBeat Fit and Powerbeats3 are on the list but it may take some time until we are able to review them.
0
In your research, have you found any plug-in, wired noise-canceling headphones? All of the noise-canceling headphones I've seen are either powered by traditional (i.e., AA or AAA) or rechargeable (usually via a USB cable) batteries. That's fine for travel, however, my only use for these headphones is at work, where I'd much rather utilize either a traditional 120V power outlet or a USB cable to power the noise cancelation. As such, if it wasn't plugged into an outlet or my computer, noise cancelation would not function (but audio could still be played in the former case, presumably if there were two cables coming from the headphones -- one audio and one power).
We have just recently added a new battery test, that also checks if the active headphones can continue streaming audio, wirelessly or plugged-in, while charging. As long as you don't mind having two cables, the PXC 550 would be the best recommendation overall, to use in the office, for their comfort, noise canceling, sound, and ability to play audio when connected to a direct power source. The QuietComfort 20 are also a good, completely wired option that work, while charging, but for more comparisons, please check our new battery test article.
1
How does the sound quality compare to the SoundTrue II?
Nearly identical, but the QC35 could in theory sound slightly less open and spacious because of their noise-cancelling feature.
1
Will you please do a review of the V-Moda Crossfade Wireless?
Already on our to-do list, but it may takes us some time to get to them.
2
Will you please do a review for the Wireless version with ANC?
Sure we'll add it to our list, but the list has gotten quite long!
0
So if the QC 35 sound more accurate than the Momentum Wireless, which headphones sounds more appealing? Because alot of other other sites praised the momentum wireless for its sound quality? Even more than the QC 35?

Yes, we'd still recommend the QC35. But if you really want something from Sennheiser, the PXC550's performance is closer to the QC35's than the Momentum's. We don't think there's a big difference between accurate and appealing sound reproduction. When the sound of a pair of headphones is described as appealing or exciting, it usually refers to a few extra dBs of Bass (and sometimes also Treble). We try to account that in our compensation curve.

0
I need help with a decision to buy either the V-Moda Crossfade M-100's or Sennheiser Momentum's 2.0 (Wired) Which one is better overall especially with sound quality and also is the noise isolation from the M-100's really bad?
The M-100s don't have as good an isolation and leakage as the Momentums, because their ear cups are a bit shallower and thinner. However, the M-100s have a more balanced sound overall, the Momentums lose a lot of clarity in Treble.
4
Regarding your distortion measurements, specifically the parameters you set forth as targets, are you aware of the work of Geddes and Lee (available on their site, GedLee, under "distortion perception") and subsequently Olive and Welti (The Correlation between Distortion Audibility and Listener Preference in Headphones, available via the AES as well as on Listen Inc.'s site) on the matter? Have you considered measuring and displaying distortion via other methods, such as Olive and Welti's non-coherent distortion tests with music (which, in their test, correlated the most to individuals' preferences), or Geddes and Lee's GedLee metric?

Thanks for your message. We are familiar with Olive-Welti's paper, and have even discussed improving our measurements with them. As part of our new test bench, which will be rolled-out slowly over the next few months, we have an improved THD weight curve and have also added IMD measurements. But measuring non-coherent musical distortion may be a bit more difficult for us to implement at the moment.

The GedLee metric seems quite interesting! We've been thinking of something along the same line for a while, and are definitely open to incorporating it into our reviews, but it won't be a high priority at the moment. We have just finalized our new test bench, and based on the papers out there, we should first make sure we're getting our Frequency Response, Soundstage and Imaging right, before worrying about distortion! ;-)

0
Please please please add a column to factor in the Bluetooth headset's microphones. If they're listen-only headphones then great, but if there's a microphone present then it needs to be more than a mere afterthought. The lack of detailed commentary on call quality by reviewers in general grants permission to completely overlook a critical part of headphones' usability with the phone they're paired to. Experiences with the flagship travel-friendly bluetooth headphones: After owning the QC35 for a month I pre-ordered the PXC550 and then also the MDR1000X simply because of my experience with the QC35 on calls. The PXC550 fared significantly worse, which was a dealbreaker because I actually really liked them. I listened to a call recording with the MDR1000X and it was, no exaggeration, no better than wired earbuds with the omni-directional inline mic dangling below my neck. So until I try something better (almost afraid to try Backbeat Pro 2 because I do love the sound image and ANC of the Bose), I'm forced to supplement my $350 Bose QC35 with a $40 Plantronics. In an office the QC35 is hard to use for a conference call without putting myself on "mute" between every word, yet with even a cheap calling-oriented Bluetooth headset I can stand on a Subway platform and only have to worry about myself going a little deaf. For what it's worth, Bose and Sennheiser both make premium ANC aviation headsets, and Bose makes a lot of ANC military headsets (most especially for vehicle crews). Sony's product measures the acoustic characteristics of the wearer's ears and head to optimize the DSP for better listening, so they're not idling either. It's not a big stretch to ask for good microphonics from their flagship consumer bluetooth headsets.
Thanks for your message. As previously mentioned, we have yet to review the quality of headphones' microphones. But it's part of our road-map. Having said that, please keep in mind that with Bluetooth devices you are always at the mercy of the bandwidth provided by the Bluetooth protocol. Therefore the microphone audio will always sound compressed.
1
Any chance you guys could review the Bohm B76 headphones and maybe the Avantree Audition Pros? both seem to be pretty popular lower-cost alternatives that seem pretty interesting.
We will add them to the list, but the list has gotten quite long and we're not sure when we will get to them.
0
I am noticing considerable difference between the fidelity of the bluetooth connection to my iPhone 7 vs my MacBook Pro. Is there anything that can be done to improve the audio connect to the Macbook.
We can't think of a reason for why the sound quality would be worse on a MacBook, since both are apple products. And we don't have MacBooks in the office reproduce your problem. Maybe you would be able to find something in the Bluetooth settings of your laptop.
0
As the owner of several wireless headsets, battery charge time/life are extremely important when considering Wireless headphones. Can you please include battery life and charge time information in your reviews.
We are currently testing all our active headphones for battery life and charge time. The results will be posted and scored by the end of December. There will also be a dedicated article, with the test results' table, to easily compare battery performance across all headphones.
1
Hello, I have used your site to purchase a TV in the past and now headphones. Love it! I am looking for a pair of headphones that will block some/most sound when I am mowing with my riding lawn mower. The m40x's seem like good headphones for my price point. Are there others that I should be taking a look at that would block more sound with similar audio quality?
It sounds like a pair of noise-cancelling headphones would better suite your case. Depending on whether you'd prefer a wired or wireless design, Bose Quiet Comfort 25 and 35 would be excellent choices.
0
If my wish list was 1. Sound quality 2. Comfort 3. NC and money wasn't an issue, which should I buy, the Bose QC35 or Momentum 2 over ear?
Bose QC35 beats the Momentum in all three.
0
The summary says Mic: Yes but there is no other mention in the review of the mic. Is this accurate?
Yes, the QC35 do have a microphone. However we are not testing the microphones of headphones yet, that's why we don't have more information on that at the moment.
0
Is there an effective way of adding volume controls to the headphone?
The Bohm B-66 have a slightly unintuitive control scheme. To change volume levels, you have to press and hold the volume buttons. A simple tap will skip tracks instead.
0
Hi there! I'd like to suggest that the Sennheiser HD 380 Pros be reviewed; they're the successor to the HD 280s and widely considered to be better subjectively, and they're also widely and relatively cheaply available, so I'd love to see a scientific assessment of them.
Already on our list, but it may takes us a couple of months to review them.
2
Hello! I have used this site before for TV recommendations and you guys have not disappointed me. I have looked for the "perfect" pair of wireless headphones for a while now and many sites state that it is the Momentum 2 over the Bose QC35's. I am wondering which one of these two to get. I listen to all kinds of music besides heavy metal and rock. Many people say that the bass on the QC35 is not as good as the Senheiser but you say otherwise. I am also not an audiophile whatsoever, but am looking for headphones with good bluetooth connection, sound, and comfortability. Which one would you recommend, the Momentum 2 or the QC25?

Both our measurements and subjective impressions of these headphones favor the Bose. Its audio reproduction is more accurate, it has better noise cancelling and is a lot more comfortable than the Momentum (the Bose are actually our highest rated headphones in Comfort). The downside of the Bose headphones seems to be their leakage. If you listen at loud volumes and have people around you, they will be able to hear you. The Momentums are considerably better in this category.

One thing to point out however, is that both of the headphones you have considered are noise cancelling, and you won't be able to turn off their noise cancelling while using them wirelessly. We don't recommend noise-cancelling unless you really need it. The non-noise cancelling variant of the QC35, which has a near identical performance, is the SoundLink Around-Ear II.

0
I'm a music producer. Whenever I make beats late at night in the house I've been using my beats pro headphones that I've had for about 5 years. They still sound excellent but it's time for an upgrade. I've considered just getting a new pair of beats pro headphones but I've been searching for a good wireless solution. The wireless beats studio headphones are out of the question because I only want the best. Is the sound in these headphones comparable to the beats pro headphones?
We haven't reviewed the Beats Pro, so we can't comment on that. But the QC35 on their own are pretty neutral sounding. They may sound different from the Beats Pro, but the QC35's neutrality makes them a pretty good candidate for wireless music production. One slightly negative thing about the QC35 is their leakage though. So if you listen at moderately loud volumes, and there are people around you, they may be able to hear the sound.
0
Great reviews! I could really use your advice. I am looking for Bluetooth fitness headphones, but I have very small ears and most all in-ear options will fall out if I do not have a "hook" that goes around the top of my ear. I haven't seen any good options. Any ideas? Thank you!
The Powerbeats 2 have a stable ear-hook design, and their in-ear fit is a bit more comfortable than typical in-ear models. However, they don't have the best audio reproduction. Alternatively, you could get the Soundpeats Q9A, which are very similar to the Powerbeats but at a much lower price. These are the best, of the few, ear-hook designs that we've tested so far but you can always manually place the audio cables of better sounding headphones, behind your ears, to simulate an ear-hook fit. For more options, please check our Sports/Fitness recommendations.
2
Why don't your reviews of high quality headphones like the Sennheiser 650s mention amplifiers or DACs? Do you test the headphones with headphone amps? Shouldn't you inform consumers that they would need to purchase an amp to appropriately drive these headphones?

We are planning on testing the impedance and drivability of the headphones hopefully sometime in the coming year. However, our immediate priority is to improve our current test bench so our scores correspond better to the user's subjective experience.

Once we have our test bench solidified we will explain our testing procedure and philosophy fully in a couple of articles and videos. But just to give you some information for now; we are using an RME UFX as our audio interface/preamp, and a Schiit Ragnarok as our headphones amp. Our new test bench calculates the final results by averaging 30 measurements that were gathered using a variety of measurement devices in order to account for different head shapes/sizes and headphone positioning preferences.

2
Can any of these headphones be used on a Tv or is that a special category.
If your TV supports Bluetooth headphones, then the Bluetooth headphones listed here should work. For wired headphones, you may need an amplifier to bring the TV signal up to a level that headphones can use.
0
Great site;critical to my TV purchase. Any intent to review 1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones ? I'm on the endless search for quality running audio gear.
Thanks for your suggestion. We will add them to our to-do list, however, it may us take us a while to review them.
2
can you review the Bluedio V {Victory} pro Bluetooth headphones? I would love to see all the tests and your professional reviews and opinions on these. Are they worth it?
Thanks for your suggestion. We are not familiar with the Bluedio V, but will add them to our to-do list. It may take us some time to get to reviewing them though.
0
What is the criteria for "Limited Availability Products". I don't understand why the Sony MDR7506 is marked as one.
The criteria for "Limited Availability Products" is usually, if they're out-of-stock or unavailable through the affiliate links. However, thanks to your question, we noticed that some headphones would display as unavailable because of the "hidden price" feature of several Amazon links. We have since pushed a fix for this issue, and all test result tables should now be displaying the correct list of available headphones.
5
Would love to see a review of the mdr-1000x. You seem to have a well defined procedure for testing which is really nice.
Thanks for your suggestion. Added to our to list, but it may take us a while to get to it.
0
Where are the soundstage comments?
We haven't been able to add comments to all of our new tests yet. The texts will be updated early next year. In short however, the 598s good Soundstage is mainly due to their open-back design and large ear cups.
2
Can you compare and contrast the Bose QC35, the Sony MDR 1000X, and the Parrot Zik 3.0? I am especially interested in which one has the best microphone for use in noisy environments. 2nd priority would be the most isolation from noisy environments.
We haven't reviewed the MDR 1000X yet, and we haven't started testing microphones yet either. However, in terms of isolation, the QC35 should outperform the Zik 3.0 by a small margin, but the ANC in Zik 3.0 will most likely be more comfortable than the QC35. That's because it adapts to the environment and doesn't overly isolate in quiet environments.
7
I'm debating between these (Bose QC35's) the Sony mdr-1000x's and the Sennheiser PXC 550's. I trust your reviews, but there's nothing on the sonys or the sennheisers, so I was wondering if you had any opinions or suggestions as to which one I should go with. Appreciate all the detailed reviews, thanks guys!
We haven't reviewed the MDR 1000X or the PXC550 yet, but have the latter in the office. It seems in terms of noise cancellation, the QC35 outperforms the PXC550 by a small margin, but the PXC550 is a pretty good headphone too and a big improvement over the previous attempts by Sennheiser.
4
I just purchased a pair of Bose QC35 headphones and have the following observation. I tried using them to practice playing drums with them and they are fine except for one annoying issue. When I play a bit hard, I am hearing a pop that corresponds to my stick hitting the head. It sounds like the headphones are being overloaded with sound even though I am playing them at about a quarter volume. It almost sounds like "clipping" at high volume. Any ideas what might be causing this? Would there be a very high quality headphone that is non-ANC that would not possibly have this issue? I am wondering if the ANC is causing this problem. Thanks

We didn't have a source loud-enough in the office to replicate your scenario, and although we were able to get a couple of clicks out of the headphones by exposing them to loud noise, the clicks were not consistent enough to indicate a overload of some kind.

Since it is quite possible that the drums are overloading the ANC, a good non-ANC alternative to the QC35 would be the Audio Technica ATH-M50X.

1
Awesome reviews guys. Can't write my expression. Would you guys please add soundmagic to you list of 'to be reviewed'. I owned couple of them for their decent stage. I find them good, in fact value of money. Again kudos n keep up the good work.
Thanks for your suggestion, Soundmagic is already on our list. :-)
0
Hi RTings! Thank you for the detailed review on the headphones! I just have one question. Since the QC35 has a volume-dependent Active EQ, at what volume was the headphones tested at for the Frequency Response graph?

At the moment we measure headphones at 90dB & 100dB SPL (C-weighting, 20Hz-20Khz pink noise, post compensation curve). However, this may change slightly in the near future.

Not sure how Bose calibrates their headphones, but if the volume-optimized EQ is based on the Equal Loudness Contour, then theirs should be pretty close to ours. Also, the EQ's gain should more or less be reducing as the volume increases.

0
Good job... Please review dt880 pro and focal Elear.
We are mostly focused on low to mid priced headphones at the moment, and will review more high-end headphones in the near future.