Tuned by our own in-house acoustic engineers, enjoy the clarity and subtle nuances of your favorite music against a silent backdrop. These over-ear wireless headphones produce a vibrant sounding audio spectrum with powerful bass.
Pros - Excellent build quality. Good battery life. Bluetooth.
Cons - Ear pads could be larger
From sunny Southern California and launched in 2011 comes the technology company iDeaUSA. They have headphones, wireless speakers and tablets among other things and they focus on bringing innovative solutions to the masses. From their website:
Our team strives to bring quality and affordable products to the everyday user without any limitations of proprietary technology.
Good ol' Bluetooth. I seem to be saying that "B" word a lot lately. Seems that it's no longer an emerging technology but one that has settled itself into many areas of our daily lives. As the technology improves so does the end user's experience with better battery life, codecs and adopted standards. Today I'll be looking at the iDeaUSA AtomicX V200 Bluetooth headphone that comes with ANC and up to 16 hours of battery life. Let's go.
This sample was sent to me for the purpose of an honest review. I'm not affiliated with the company in any way and all observations and opinions here are my own, based on my experience with the product.
The iDeaUSA AtomicX V200 retails for $74.99 to $99.99 depending on where you buy it from. It's available on Amazon and AliExpress.
Like most people on this type of site I'm a lover of music. In my younger days I spent several years as a hip-hop DJ (using real vinyl and turntables) as well as producing a variety of music on computer using a combination of MIDI and live instruments. I did a Home Studio Sound Certificate at the Milton School of Audio Engineering in Brisbane, Queensland which covered the setup of audio for playback and recording in a studio environment along with other basic engineering principles. Nowadays I prefer to simply listen to and enjoy music.
My taste in music has changed a great deal over the years. For a long time my only interest was in rap and hip-hop music. Now though I listen to all kinds of music including jazz, classical, rock, psytrance, folk and ambient. I listen to music everyday using portable gear consisting of a DAP and mostly IEMs or simple desktop setup consisting of a laptop and DAC at work and my desktop setup at home which is based around my PC or Shinrico D3S with a DAC, often but not always including a tube amp and full-sized headphones or speakers.
My preferred sound signature is fairly balanced with slightly elevated mid-bass and deep well-extended sub-bass, clear and resolving midrange with a touch of warmth and clean, airy treble. I'm not offended by brighter sounding gear but dislike any sibilance. The majority of my music is 16/44.1 flac files as I stopped using physical media (CD/vinyl) many years ago and prefer the convenience of digital formats.
I often list a number of tracks or albums that I have used for testing a specific product in my reviews and they usually relate to things I've been listening to at the time of the review but note that during all my testing there are a number of ADDITIONAL standard tracks that I use for testing various aspects but do not list these in my reviews.
Packaging and accessories
The V200 comes in your average type box, black body with green top and bottom. On the front is an image of the headphone and on the back are another couple of images along with the features and specifications listed.
On the inside is a nice zippered, semi-hard carrying case with the AtomicX logo on the front. Inside is the V200 headphone, a 3.5 mm to 3.5 mm auxiliary cable, airline adapter, USB to micro USB charging cable, user manual and warranty card.
The supplied cable is actually really nice and seems to be an upgrade over the one that comes with the V203. It's significantly thicker but retains the supple feel and is very resistant to tangling. It doesn't feel rubbery or sticky and all and is terminated at each end by a straight plug with good strain relief.
Build, comfort and isolation
It's immediately apparent as soon as you pick up this headphone that the build quality is excellent. It's mostly metal with just a small amount of plastic on the outer part of the earcups. Starting with the metal headband, it has a cushioned pleather cover, has a good amount of flex to it and feels very robust. The adjustment slider is also metal and very solid at almost 3 mm in thickness. The slider connects to a metal fulcrum that's connected to the earcups and feels just as solid as everything else.
The outer part of the earcups is metal and on the right side is the Power/Bluetooth button, surrounded by volume up and down, forward and previous buttons. Just under these is the 3.5 mm cable jack, microphone and an LED indicator. All the buttons are firm and have a tactile click to them, adding to the overall feeling of a quality build. The earcups rotate 115° so they can be laid flat on a desk or stored more easily. This also improves comfort as they'll adjust themselves to sit more comfortably on your head.
On the left side is the switch for turning ANC on and off and on the underside is the micro USB charging port and another LED which lights up when the ANC is turned on. The pleather earpads are nice and thick and fit around even larger ears quite comfortably.
When it comes to comfort the V200 is not too shabby either. Thanks to the thick earpads, soft pleather and padded headband it can be worn for long sessions without getting uncomfortable. Because it's a closed back headphone things can get a bit warm on the ears after a while but not more so than any other closed system. Clamping force is about spot on, keeping the headphone firmly in place without putting to much pressure on the sides of your head. Overall the V200 performs well in this aspect.
Isolation is good, even with the ANC turned off because of the closed back and meaty earpads. Once the music is playing you won't hear much of what's going on around you.
Bluetooth and pairing
Fitted out with Bluetooth 4.1 pairing is very simple with the V200. Just turn on the headphones by holding down the power button for a few seconds and you'll get a voice prompt telling you "Power on". After you select the V200 from your source you get another prompt saying "Pairing" which is soon followed by "Connected" and you're ready to go.
The connection is very reliable and I have not had any disconnections or dropouts when using with my Galaxy Note 5 or Acoustic Research M20. Range is quite good and about average for a Bluetooth device. The headphones play uninterrupted up to about 12 meters away from the source before the signal shows signs of cutting out.
Call quality is also good. Voices come through clearly and the built-in microphone does pretty well at picking up your voice as the person I talked to for testing could hear me without any issues.
Playback time is rated at 16 hours or 9 hours with ANC enabled and in my testing I found that to be accurate. That should be enough to get through the day or several days of sporadic listening. Charging only takes a couple of hours which makes a pretty impressive charge to playback time ratio.
Sources used for testing
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (Bluetooth)
Acoustic Research M20 (Bluetooth)
PC/Foobar2000 > Arcam irDAC-ii (wired)
The sound varies quite a bit when using ANC compared to when it is turned off. For this section I'm going to talk about the sound with ANC Off because while alone at home there isn't really any background noise that needs to be silenced. In general the V200 is a V-shaped, consumer oriented heaphone that is perfectly suited for modern music, movies and games.
This is a bass heavy headphone, similar to the iDeaUSA V203. It's a little woolly and is definitely boosted but not so much to detract from the overall experience (especially with ANC on). It has quite an impact and should get people in the mood for some dancing. I can see this being the perfect companion for doing stuff around the house when you just want music in your ears and aren't doing critical listening. Most emphasis is on the mid-bass but the sub-bass reaches pretty well too and is great for electronic and hip-hop music.
Midrange is nice and clear albeit slightly recessed because of the V-shaped signature but it's not beaten into submission by the boosted bass. Vocals are fairly intimate and in Anathema's "The Lost Song, Pt. 2" Lee Douglas' voice comes through strongly and without graininess. Separation is not too bad though in busy segments things can sound a little congested. Tonality overall is very good for an ANC headphone.
Treble is behind the mids and bass and lacks sparkle but the timbre of ride and crash cymbals stays true to the recording. You'll find most of the focus on the other frequencies which makes the overall sound a bit dark but there's enough in the high ranges to keep things lively.
With ANC On
When the active noise cancelling is turned on the bass steps back a bit and the midrange leaps forward. Treble is more pronounced in this mode too and the effect is a brighter overall presentation. Soundstage is also increased a lot with ANC on, giving more sense of openness and space. Some will prefer the sound more with ANC on and that's very cool, essentially giving users the option of two different sound signatures.
The V200 can also be folded up for improved portability
I've enjoyed my time with the V200. The comfort and sound are good but I really can't stress enough just how impressive the build quality is. This looks and feels like a much higher priced headphone. Battery life is pretty good though not outstanding, however it's in line with the majority of the competition and if you do find yourself without power there's always the option to use the supplied 3.5 mm cable.
ANC works fairly well, though it obviously can't compare to something like the Bose QC line, however it does a good job of cutting out low frequencies and things such as fans, air conditioners and droning motor sounds so should also be great for using on flights.
Overall the V200 is another solid product from iDeaUSA. It probably won't appease demanding audiophiles when it comes to audio quality but for casual listeners it's a well rounded headphone with lots of features. These are great for watching movies and gaming too and if I were to take a flight or long bus/train ride these would certainly occupy a space in my travel bag. The excellent hard-case and rotating earcups make them ideal for portability without fear of them getting damaged or being too bulky. If you're looking for an inexpensive headphone with active noise cancelling make sure to give this one a look.