Bluetooth Headphones, Syllable In-Ear Wireless Sport Earphones Noise Cancelling Stereo Headphones with Mic for iPhone ipad and Android Smart Phones -

General Information

Syllable D700-2017 wireless bluetooth headphones with advanced technology give you superb sound quality experience. Stylish ear hooks fit well to your ears for worry-free exercising. Premium Sound Quality Adopted innovative A2DP technology, Bluetooth earphones allow you to enjoy clear and natural sound when running. Stable Bluetooth Signal Bluetooth 4.0 technology features faster and more stable signal transmission, high sound quality and low energy consumption. You can enjoy clear, natural sound from this durable, lightweight headset in sports. Lightweight and Comfortable Our lightweight earphones come with ergonomic designed ear hooks that provide comfortable wearing without falling out easily. The ear tips ensure a good seal in the ear that minimizes the outside distractions and makes you focused on the things that matter. Hassle-free Calling Built-in HD microphone transmits crystal clear voice for hassle-free conversations. You can easily control multifunction like music and calls via the button on the Bluetooth earphones.SPECIFICATION: Bluetooth version: V4.0 Frequency range: 2.4GHz - 2.48GHz Operating distance: up to 10m (free space) Standby time: up to 180hrs Talking/music-playing time: about 4~5 hours Charging time: about 1~2 hours Bluetooth profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP Frequency response: 20 -22kHz Package included: 1 x Bluetooth headphones 1 x Cable 1 x User Manual 2 x Replacement pairs of earbud

Latest reviews

Pros: Neutral warm signature, no harshness, decent spacial presentation
Cons: Temperamental fit that dramatically effects the sound, short battery life, a bit thick and forward in the mids (maybe positive for some)


Thanks, Jomas’s Travel for supplying this review unit as a sample in exchange for my honest opinion.


I’ve reviewed a lot of Bluetooth headphones, with my total now at six before this review is completed. Four out of six have been inexpensive units that have failed to be anywhere near giant killers, all in the below £25 price range. Most of these have sounded like average consumer headphones with inoffensive signatures that don’t move me in any way. This is not a recipe for audio pleasure. So far, my experience has been that you can get good to excellent sound from Bluetooth, but not under $50 (~$65). Ironically, I think that many of the people searching for a Bluetooth option are also the people who don’t want to spend $50 on any headphone. So these folks, those that could be wading into the shallow end of the steadily improving sound quality pool, will not partake of any auditory feast of wireless delectibles. They may not hear the 1MORE iBFree ($60 or £80), or the 1MORE MK802 ($150 or £150). They may take a look at these Syllable D700-2017 IEMs.
My first review of a Syllable headphone was not a successful one, and I have a feeling that the Syllable D900S was discontinued as I can’t find it anywhere and after ryanjsoo and I reviewed it at two stars or under all you can find is the out of date super low battery life D900 review by mark2410. So when I was contacted on Twitter by a Jomas’s Travel about reviewing a headphone and it turned out to be a Syllable product, I was surprised. I believe in second chances, so I said yes to reviewing the D700-2017.

A little bit of musing on bluetooth

Bluetooth is weird. There are a good many people who have stood on the position that all we need to hear is 320kbps MP3s. If this is so, than nobody needs the headphone jack and Apple has it right in getting rid of the archaic technology. I’ve had the privilege to hear a great variety of Bluetooth headphones, and I can say with confidence that the quality is improving, and that the quality is getting ever closer to rivalling the quality found in wired headphones. For those who listen exclusively to Redbook CD rips or can’t tell the difference between MP3 and 24/192, cables may already be obsolete—assuming sufficient battery life.
I have generally found that wired performance is better than Bluetooth performance, but it isn’t night and day. On the go, in loud environments, at the gym, Bluetooth may be preferable—you won’t hear the full fidelity of your music anyway.
Many Bluetooth headphones tout their use of aptX, but these Syllable D700-2017s don’t have it. I think we need to define what aptX does and doesn’t do a bit better. According to a 2016 What HiFi? article, AptX HD Bluetooth: What is it? How can you get it?, aptX is a coding algorithm created in the 80s that was popular with film studios and radio broadcasters. AptX claims to be able to play ‘CD-like’ audio quality, but when we examine what this means. ‘CD-like’ is 352kbps lossy music. It isn’t much better than the best quality MP3s. AptX HD boasts a bitrate of 576kbps, and has the ability to play 24-bit/48kHz audio—it’s still compressed and lossy, but higher quality lossy. Qualcomm also claims lower distortion in the mids and treble regions—that would be spiffy.
If you don’t have aptX you have a codec called SBC (subband coding). The Headphone List has an article that should be required reading for anyone thinking about their upcoming Bluetooth purchase. According to the linked article, SBC plays at a bitrate of 328kbps at a 44.1kHz sampling rate (at maximum quality), but with worse audio quality than a top quality 320kbps MP3. If you have an Apple device you may get AAC, which is designed to sound better than MP3 at similar bitrates.
The catch in all of this is that your ears will only get to hear the best codec that your transmitter and your receiver (the headphone) are capable of producing. If you are wielding an iPhone, aptX is just marketing, you don’t have it. If your phone doesn’t use it like the ZTE Axon 7 (as far as I know, not listed aptX anywhere), your aptX headphones will default to whatever quality SBC the phone is programmed to play—it might not be that 328kpbs high quality bitrate. Beyond this, headphones and transmitters with aptX aren’t necessarily better. I have an Aukey Bluetooth USB dongle that has aptX low latency, but my older Avantree SBC only BTTC-200 is better sounding with less noise. My new Avantree Priva II transmitter is better than the Aukey also. Both Avantree transmitters sound better than my Samsung Galaxy Note 2, which has aptX.
Another factor plays into whether your Bluetooth set-up sounds any good. Unlike your wired headphones, your Bluetooth headphones have the Bluetooth receiver, a DAC and an amplifier (as well as batteries) in the earpiece(s) or attached to the earpiece(s). The quality of those components may mitigate the quality of your source. If the amplification isn’t clean to the drivers, your source isn’t really going to matter too much.
Wireless headphones are just a lot more complicated than wired headphones. With wired headphones you know exactly what you are getting in the signal chain much of the time. This isn’t the case with Bluetooth headphones most of the time. I think that Bluetooth tech needs to fully disclose what chips are used inside the enclosure so consumers can know what to expect a bit more. It would be similar to being able to know that your favourite delta-sigma chip is inside your DAC. Personally, I always know a device will sound pretty good when it has an AK4490 chip inside.
I think that the improvements in sound quality between most Bluetooth headphones aren’t down to the differences in codec, but in the differences in DACs, amps and drivers that are in the headphones. Additionally, as others have pointed out, much of the difference in sound quality between HiRes and CD/MP3 is due to better mastering on the HiRes tracks, so if you down-convert from a high quality master, you are getting most, if not all of the sound quality of that master. Theoretically, this means that Bluetooth headphones may very well replace most wired headphones in the not too distant future and we won’t be any worse off for it.
Like most sensible people I started falling in love with music as a child. My first portable audio device was a Sony Walkman (the cassette kind) that I got when I was 10 years old (24 years ago).  I listened with the cheap Sony on ears that came with the Walkman until I bought a Koss CD boombox and started listening to UAF College Radio and 103.9 (alternative rock at the time) in Fairbanks, Alaska. I once listened to Louie, Louie for 3 days straight, and I’m not insane—did you know there is a Spanish gospel version of Louie, Louie?
Like political tastes and tastes in friends, my musical tastes evolved through association and then rebellion and experimentation. From the songs of my father (The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, ZZ Top), to the songs of my peers (Dr. Dre, Green Day, Nirvana, Weezer), my tastes evolved, expanded and exploded into the polyglot love that is my current musical tapestry. Like a Hieronymous Bosch mural, my tastes can be weird and wonderful: dreamy Japanese garble pop, 8 bit chiptune landscapes percolated with meows, queer punk, Scandinavian black metal; or they can be more main-stream with minglings of Latin guitar, Miles Davis trumpet, and banks of strings and percussion in the Mariinsky Orchestra. Mostly my audio drink of choice is a rich stout pint of heady classic rock and indie/alternative from my musical infancy and identity formation (the 90s). Come as you are, indeed. Beyond the weird, the wonderful, the interesting and accepted, I’m a big fan of intelligent hip-hop artists like Macklemore, Metermaids, Kendrick Lamar, Sage Francis and Aesop Rock. I even dabble in some country from time to time, with First Aid Kit and the man in black making cameos in my canals.
My sonic preferences tend towards a balanced or neutral sound, though I’ll admit to liking a little boosted bass or treble from time to time. If I have to choose between warm and bright, I’ll choose bright almost every time. A few screechy high notes are preferable to me than a foggy unfocused bass guitar. As my tastes are eclectic, and a day of listening can involve frequent shifts in my sonic scenery, I don’t generally want headphones that try to paint my horizons in their own hues. I need headphones that get out of the way, or provide benign or beneficial modifications. I desire graceful lifts like an ice-dancing pairs’ carved arc, not heaving lifts like a man mountain deadlift.
My last hearing test with an audiologist was a long time ago and under strange circumstances. However, I have heard tones all the way down to 10hz and all the way up to 23Khz using headphones in my collection. Either my headphones tend to have a hole in frequency at 18kHz or my hearing does, because I never seem to hear it. I’m sensitive to peaky treble, and treble fatigue, even when I can’t hear what might be causing it. I do enjoy smooth extended treble. I like deep tight bass and impactful drums, and dislike upper mid-bass emphasis.  I like my vocals crisp, so stay away from Josh Tillman’s voice you nasty upper mid-bass hump.  I like air in the stage, not just cues to distance and height, but the feeling of air moving around and through instruments. Soundstage shouldn’t be just about hearing, I need to feel it. I listen at volume levels that others consider loud (78 to 82 dB), but I just set it to where the dynamics peak. I’m not here to shatter my eardrums. I like them just how they are.
I generally don’t believe in using EQ, not even for inexpensive headphones, especially in reviews. I won’t claim that I haven’t done it, but I generally try to avoid it.
I believe that burn-in can make a difference, but I also acknowledge that there isn’t any measurement that appears to give conclusive proof that burn-in exists. I trust my ears, fully acknowledging that my brain may fill in expected details, may colour my interpretation, or may be subject to its own settling period with a headphone. In my experience, burn-in effects are not as large as proponents of burn-in tend to advertise. I’ve also noted that using white/pink/brown noise, I almost never observe changes beyond 24 hours of burn in. When people tell you that you shouldn’t listen to your headphones until they have 200 hours on them, I think these people need to be ignored. No matter what, you should be listening to your headphones at different stages, right out of the box and at intervals. How can someone observe a difference without baseline observations and follow up observations to measure change trajectories? If you really want to be serious about controlling for effect, you need volume matching, source matching, and tip/pad matching.
I’m a firm believer that cables can make a difference, but I don’t think they always do. When I tried out Toxic Cables line, they were in a bunch of baggies at the Cambridge 2015 HeadFi meet without any labels tell me what I was listening to. The cheapest looking one was the one I liked the best. I was excited that I wouldn’t have to spend much to improve my sound. It turned out that the cheapest looking one was the Silver/Gold top of the line cable. I’ve heard the difference that USB cables can make, from upgrading from the crappy cable that came with my Geek Out 1000 to a Supra USB, and then again when upgrading to the LH Labs Lightspeed 2G with the iUSB3.0. When I picked up a cheap shielded power lead from Mains Cables R Us to replace my standard kettle lead on my integrated amplifier, I heard more crunchy and clearer treble. I switched the leads with my wife blinded and she heard the same difference. I didn’t tell her what I heard and let her describe it herself. But cables don’t always make a difference. When I switched from my standard HD650 cable to a custom balanced cable (Custom Cans UK, very affordable), the sound stayed exactly the same when hooked up via a top tier (custom made by my local wire wizard, out of  silver/gold Neotech wire) 4-pin XLR to 6.3mm converter. Balanced mode made a difference in clarity and blackness of background—this indicates that the amp was the deciding influence, not the cable. Your mileage may vary and you may not hear a difference, but I have.

Vital Statistics (specs from manufacturers and distributors)

What follows is what the box and sellers on the interwebs had to say about the D700-2017—too many numbers! I couldn’t find a website for Syllable, and had to rely on Amazon descriptions. The descriptions on the USA website appeared to be innacurate, as they claimed specifications and features that were not claimed in the manual (waterproof), and were not claimed by Syllable’s official listing on It isn’t clear whether the headphones are certified as sweatproof. Unfortunately, testing that kind of claim requires a lot of testing, which I don’t have time to do. I’ll leave that to a more fit user. Additionally, there is some inconsistency between the manual and the listing. Where there is inconsistency, I’ve cited more conservative statistics.
  1. ✔ [ Stable and comfortable] With ergonomical design, ear hooks and rotatable earbuds makes the headsets fit your ear perfectly.Along with their rubber coating, these headsets hardly cause forign body sensation when wearing.Friction been reduced to minimum on condition that the earbuds can fit in ears firmly when doing sports
  2. ✔ [ Light in Weight & Sweat Proof ] As light as 18 grams. Never a burden to the ears. Rubber coating, soft and skin friendly
  3. ✔ [ Last Call Redialing Function ] In standby mode, double-click the MF button, can redial your last call
  4. ✔ [ Bluetooth 4.0 A2DP Stereo ] Perfectly transfer HD lossless music. Bluetooth 4.1 Chip: The latest Bluetooth chip, which can transmit data at a high speed and bring you smooth music experience without bothering from a mess of cables
  5. ✔ [ Strong Compatibility ] Compatible with Bluetooth enabled music players & A2DP enabled devices such as iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Android Smart Phones, tablets, etc. Fit for iPhone 6 6Plus 5S 5C 5 4S,Galaxy Note 3 2 S4 S3 and Google,Blackberry,LG other Smartphones
Frequency response
22Hz - 20kHz
Bluetooth version
Bluetooth codecs
aptX HD, SBC
Bluetooth range
Up to 10m
Battery life
4 hours talk/music, 90 hours standby
Charge time
1-2 hours
Black, blue, or yellow

Form & Function

The Syllable D700-2017 come in simple packaging, just a small box with a plastic tray with a USB cable, a manual and some eartips rammed underneath. Nothing fancy here, just a budget retail box. The look of the headphone is also understated, with simple lines and a matte black rubberised plastic finish.
The Syllable is not unattractive in appearance, but it is immediately recognizable as being inexpensive. The type of plastic used, whilst having a soft feel, is also generally used primarily on inexpensive headphones. The cord is routed from each earbud through a plastic tube. This makes it look like the headphones will have good adjustability. Then you try them on and realise these things are sized like they are made for Keebler Elves or other fey creatures, not for humans who have reached full maturity. In order to wear these I had to put the earloops on first, and then rotate the bud into my canal. I was unable to get a full seal, but I think that this actually improved the sound for me.
The Bluetooth on these is not aptX, so those looking for that may not be happy. I’ve found that aptX doesn’t necessarily matter. What does matter for me on these is that sometimes I get some cutouts and timing errors. I’ve had blips and blops where signal drops from less than 1 meter from the transmitter. I’ve also had playback speed up. Neither of these are acceptable. It isn’t constant, but it shouldn’t happen at all.

Audio quality

The Syllable D700-2017 has a very fit dependent sound. If you can insert the tips fully—pretty hard with the abnormally small earhooks—then you may get a warm quite bassy sound. I can’t insert fully, and that is probably for the better. I get a signature with relatively neutral bass. The bass is a touch woolly, the mids are a little veiled and the treble doesn’t extend hugely, but for the price and the fact that these are Bluetooth headphones, the sound is quite good. In fact, I’d say the sound is the best among under $25 Bluetooth headphones that I’ve reviewed. Overall the tone is pretty accurate, the signature is balanced. The soundstage is intimate, but you don’t expect a big soundstage for under $25. There are no harsh aspects to the sound. It’s a cozy sound; it’s soft, a bit warm and pillowy.


For comparative listening I volume matched every headphone using my trusty SPL meter with big foam ball or with my toilet roll and Poundland packing tape coupler—extra special reviewing gear here. Volume was matched to 78dB using white noise from Ayre Acoustics – Irrational but Efficacious System Enhancement Disc.
Below is the rest of the signal chain:
Dell Vostro—LH Labs Lightspeed 2 USB—iFi Micro iUSB3.0—LH Labs Lightspeed 2 USB—LH Labs GO2A ∞—
—Avantree Priva II AptX transmitter—1MORE iBFree Bluetooth IEM (Comply tips)
—Avantree Priva II AptX transmitter—Syllable D700-2017 Bluetooth IEM
I maxed transmission volume on the GO2A and then adjusted volume on the headphones to closest match. The Avantree Priva II sounds better than the Cayin i5 Bluetooth out, and better than my phone’s Bluetooth, I wouldn’t be surprised if this little white disc of flexibility bests a lot of Bluetooth setups. Something to note with Bluetooth dongles is their black box nature; inside the Avantree Priva II there is an ADC, and a DAC and Bluetooth transmitter (maybe part of same chip, I don’t have a clue) but I don’t know what they are. One advantage of the Avantree Priva II is that it can pair two Bluetooth headphones at the same time, which is hugely useful for reviewing. I should have bought this little white beauty a long time ago.

Syllable D700-2017

Why – Strawberries has a bit of a veiled sound, but for £20.99, these are doing pretty well. Bass sound is very fit dependent due to the wonky shape of the earhooks and capsules. If I press these in firmly I get a more intimate soundstage, bigger bass and more muffled mids. I prefer the loose fit that is more natural on these, which is good, because I’d have to hold my fingers on top of the capsules to make these seal more—that would be a pain in the butt. There is some sparkle in the treble, but overall it is smoothed with muted extension. The sound is cosy rather than expansive. Perla Batalla’s voice has a pleasant warmth and richness on her rendition of Bird on a Wire (RIP Leonard Cohen—2016 was like a class field trip to the sewage processing plant, at least it’s over). The sound is pleasant, with some air in it. Quite nice for the price. Kicking to something a bit harder, I throw on Rage Against the Machine – Killing In The Name. Some of the transients lag a bit with a bit slow sustain on lower guitar notes. The vocals are pushed to the forefront a bit. On Where Is My Mind, the stage is a bit more intimate, details pop less and the overall sound is much more crude and thick, simple but not sludgy. Wait a second—I slipped into a more inserted fit! Dang these things are fit dependent! The extension on the backing vocal isn’t so out of my mind. Drums are more slappy instead of having a nice full round character. The timbre just isn’t quite right if the fit is off. Mmmm Rebecca Pidgeon sounds nice on these. I little bit of extra weight, on her voice, but not too thick. Amber Rubarth – Tundra gets a more spacious presentation than expected good height and width, but not huge depth in the stage.

1MORE iBFree

On Killing In The Name, the iBFree has more splash on cymbals, more round drum impact, less forward vocals and a much more precise sound, especially in the guitars on just about everything. The iBFree has a faster more capable driver. The sharpness in Rage Against the Machine’s sound is not softened. The Syllable D700-2017 are pleasant warm and mid-forward whereas the iBFree are more nuanced. Even with volume matching, the iBFree sound quieter do to the more balanced presentation of the mids. The more forward mids on the D700-2017 will be to liking of many listeners who like a mid-forward sound, but I prefer the more neutral approach of 1MORE. Listening to the Pixies – Where Is My Mind, I always listen for how big the stage is on the soaring backing vocals that make the song so bloody famous—that and Ed Norton watching the world crash down with a mouth full of blood, a heart full of hope, and a hand full of bewildered Helena Bonham Carter.

On Tundra, the stage is still good sized but with a bit more precise instrument separation and detail. More dimension to all sides. Rebecca Pidgeon is still the real rose in Spanish Harlem but the presentation is leaner, less affected.


I didn’t expect very much of the Syllable, but it gave a good performance, especially when you get the fit right. With the fit right is a neutral warm smooth mid forward headphone without any hint of harshness or overemphasis in annoying frequencies. It is imminently listenable, in fact. With the fit wrong, it becomes a too intimate sound with thick cloudy bass, off timbre and rolled off treble. It isn’t as good as the iBFree, sonically or functionally, but it is good sounding at less than half the price.
If Syllable takes the sound they’ve gotten here, and improves the fit, they may have a pretty successful headphone. I think these are 3.75ish on my scale, but I’m feeling generous today and rounding up. Four stars, Syllable. Nice recovery.
I found these to be utterly horrible - not only was the sound quality muddy and distorted, the fit was atrocious and cut into my ears due to the sharp edge of the cylinder not being rounded off. 

Even some gentle movement would prompt these to come loose out of my ears. 4 stars is being extremely generous.


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