Pros: Excellent flat sound - no 'enhanced' bass. Low noise floor (better than most). Lightweight. Very good battery life. Fast Charging USB Type C connector. Excellent hard case supplied. Effective basic controls. Bluetooth range. No dropouts experienced at all. Good clean volume.
Cons: Feels cheap. Rattles when handled (but not when worn). Slightly uncomfortable when worn for long periods. Pads don't appear to be removable. Style an acquired taste.
I have had the opportunity to try out quite a lot of Bluedio’s bluetooth headphones over the past couple of years - generally speaking each model is an improvement over the previous one and their range is extensive enough to potentially appeal to a wide range of different target customers. One thing they have all tended to have in common is dominant bass - probably thanks to them using 57mm drivers.
The latest headphone is the A2 or Air 2. Like their predecessors, they come in a choice of two fairly outlandish patterns which I’m sure would appeal to a younger customer. One thing that is different are the ‘hidden’ controls on the right hand side which control all the functions - power on/off, track skip, voice controls and play/pause. Intuitive and surprisingly effective considering it’s all done with three controls. The headphones come supplied with a USB Type C charging lead and a conventional analogue cable for non-powered wired connection to your player.
I can’t describe the pads as ‘over ear’ - they’re more ‘on-ear’. They are pretty comfortable - but I wouldn’t want to wear them for more than a couple of hours without taking them off for a couple of minutes. The headband has more padding than the previous model as well. I couldn’t find a way of removing the pads though so keep this in mind if you’re really rough with your headphones. The A2’s appears to be durable but unfortunately they do tend to ‘rattle’ somewhat and feel a little cheap. The good news is that they are completely silent when worn and their sound quality more than makes up for any of its minor shortcomings.
One of the strange things about bluetooth headsets is that the more expensive ones don’t necessary have the most reliable connections. All the Bluedio headphones I’ve tried have always had very fast and reliable connection to all my devices. Their effective range is very impressive - far better than you would get with earbud-type bluetooth headphones. I had no problems connecting two phones to them - one for calls and one for music.
Battery life is excellent - no problems using the headphones all day and they charge fast. I like the USB Type C because it’s easy to plug into but I don’t like the fact that all my cables are conventional USB - which means I have to make sure I’ve got the right leads to hand.
Considering these don’t use the APTx protocol, their sound is surprisingly open and detailed. They have some power behind them - perhaps not as much as the V-Moda Crossfade Wireless - but they’re a fraction of the cost and definitely get the job done. Bluedio state that these headphones use the NICAM protocol. I’ve never heard of any headphones which use this technology - I used to have a couple of NICAM stereo video recorders and was always impressed with their sound quality (although I have to admit that back in the day I didn’t have any quality headphones like I have now).
Rather surprising considering the ‘fun look’ but the bass on these is deep without being too ‘boomy’. The headphones coped easily with some Chillstep - showing really nice deep but controlled bass notes. The earpads actually offer a degree of seal which assists with the bass response.
Detailed. Doesn’t suffer with the ‘boxy’ effect that you sometimes find with the cheaper bluetooth headphones. I would describe the mids as ‘slightly recessed’ - this helps reduce some listening fatigue in my opinion. The mids can sometimes be a little ‘strident’ when they’re pushed hard though.
Slightly recessed but for me this is preferable to them being too bright. The detail is there but you have to listen a little harder to make them out. Interestingly I found the timbre of instruments such as cymbals, bells and synth notes to sound very pleasing and accurate. I must admit this was rather surprising for ‘portable’ headphones.
I’m extremely impressed with these headphones. I think they’re amongst the most balanced out of all the Bluedio headphones I have had the chance to try. Whilst the build-quality feels cheap and cheerful, this doesn’t seem to make any difference to their sound quality which is really impressive - especially when you take into account their price. If you can stand their rather garish design, these are actually a first-class set of headphones from a sound perspective and should be taken more seriously. Bluedio need to make a plain-looking set of these - I’m absolutely sure they’ll sell in droves.