Forget Bose and Sony, this €180 headset is beautiful and sounds great

Estimated read time 4 min read

Forget Bose and Sony, this €180 headset is beautiful and sounds great

You hesitate to buy the headphones that everyone is talking about, Apple’s AirPods Max, Sony’s WH-1000XM5 or Bose’s 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 helmet of comparable quality, but which does not cost an arm.

If this is your case, this Edifier WH950NB headset may be the one for you. For € 180, you can have a pair of headphones with an impressive ANC, an elegant design and high-quality sound.

The 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 goes on the look side for a more expensive product. The polyurethane leather pads are soft and comfortable.

A small detail that I really like about this Edifier helmet: the adjustable headband does not expose plastic extensions. Indeed, by stretching, it reveals only a chrome material.

Edifer WH950NB ivory helmet placed on a bed of stones

Jada Jones/ZDNET

I was impressed by the number of superimposed harmonies that I could hear

I also really like the hard carrying case. It is made of Oxford fabric, flannel and hard plastic and it 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 have a 40 mm dynamic speaker that allows a singer’s voice to be 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 is well worth the € 180.

By testing the sound produced by this headset with different music, I was impressed by the number of superimposed harmonies that 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 rhythm.

ANC, mixed results

The WH950NB headphones have ear pads that provide decent sound insulation, but I’ve heard better before. Fortunately, the headphones have two noise attenuation modes: High noise cancellation and Medium noise cancellation.

Medium noise cancellation attenuates muffled noises such as the engine of a car or the sound produced by the operation of a refrigerator, and also eliminates high-pitched noises, such as the click of a mouse or the typing of a person on a keyboard. A high noise reduction, it, eliminates high-pitched noises and buzzing, to the detriment of the battery life of course.

I took the WH950NB headphones to my favorite cafe and found that the barista’s mixer could easily be heard despite the ANC. However, by increasing the volume to 50%, the noise of the ice cream to make my Frappucino was significantly attenuated.

Adjusting the equalizer can be complicated

The adjustment of the equalizer is delicate 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 many adjustments, because the preset equalizer was more than adequate for my tastes.

Edifier claims that the headphones can work for up to 55 hours with the ANC disabled and about 33 hours with the ANC enabled, which is a longer battery life than that offered by Sony, Bose and Apple with their high-end over-ear headphones.

And you will also be able to listen to music for seven hours… with only 10 minutes of charging. The good deal.

For 180 euros, you also benefit from listening in LDAC format, the Google Fast Pair function and multipoint connectivity. However, this multipoint link 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 buying tips for the Edifier WH950NB headphones

The price of €180 may seem high for an audio headset, but when you compare it 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.

Some points, at the level of the sound quality of this WH950NB headset, can be improved. I would have wanted clearer mids and more detailed highs, which is what we find on more expensive headphones. But if you are looking for the best for a little less, this Edifier WH950NB is for you.

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