ONKYO sealed wireless headphone Bluetooth-enabled / NFC support / remote control with microphone H500BTB (Black)

General Information

Product Description ★ possible intuitive operation, touch panel control equipped with wireless headphones ◆ Bluetooth, a wireless environment of enhancement was, including the NFC function, freedom to the more music. ● equipped with a Bluetooth function, also supports high-quality codec aptX and AAC. Also equipped with the NFC function, you can also perform pairing easy. ◆ when the cable is connected, reproduce the full-fledged pure sound in hi-res sound source corresponding. ● equipped with a 40mm strong magnetic force rare earth magnet speakers that allow broadband playback of 7Hz-40,000Hz, when the cable is connected to the corresponding high-resolution sound source. ● the authentic and pure sound that can only be experienced in high-resolution, please enjoy. ◆ any action to intuitive. Design in pursuit of function. ● music playback, stop, skip, volume control and hands-free calls are possible by the touch panel control function. Any operation can be intuitively performed with one finger. ● In addition, enabling continuous communication of up to 16 hours equipped with a battery of large capacity. The dead battery can also be used as normal headphones with the included cable. ● Others, including the ear pads that are based on human engineering to achieve a high seal comfortable fit properties, such as the adoption of storage easy swivel mechanism, both function and design. It was a lineup of two-color variations of stylish black / white.

Latest reviews

Pros: Great solid bass. Excellent musical acuity. A great musical experience.
Cons: Piano and brass not as lively as some might like. Volume in Bluetooth mode seems lacking.
When I first got my Onkyo H500BT's I was pleasantly surprised by the punchy but solid bass when heard through my Shanling M2s player with FiiO A5 amp. My overall first impression was very favorable. But, in the last few days I've been struggling with what I perceive as a lack of liveliness in instruments such as piano and brass. This is in contrast to their more lively sound in my Grado SR60's. Are the Grado's overly bright and I just got used to it? Today I compared what I was hearing on those instruments between my Onkyo cans and a pair of small monitor speakers I have in my home office, and it did seem to me the tonalities in piano and brass were well matched.

There are things I like about the H500BT's that are causing me to exercise patience. First, the sound is very enjoyable to listen to over a variety of musical styles (e.g., jazz, rock). I just love the musical acuity of these headphones. That is, all of the various instruments are clearly distinct from one another, each with its own set of tonalities and texture. Additionally, if I wanted a serious pair of travel cans how could I do better? Their design makes them easy to pack, and being on-ear seems a good compromise between solidly hearing the music and your travel companion's voice when necessary.

In short, I'm still assessing the Onkyo H500BT's, but for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that they are just a great musical experience, they are growing on me and I'm leaning more toward holding on than letting go.
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Pros: Very portable, attractive simple design, well done contemporary signature
Cons: Lack of carry case/bag
I am very glad that ONKYO released their new line of headphones into the North American market this June. I had been very curious about trying the ONKYO sound, but knowing new models were soon to arrive I didn't want to dabble in the previous models so I decided to wait. I had also owned and was suitably impressed with the ONKYO DP-X1 DAP so my instincts told me that ONKYO headphones might just float my boat. Spoiler alert, the H500BT really does float my audio boat. In fact, I think I may enjoy this as much as I do my Beoplay H7, which is quite the compliment as many who frequent these forums know that I think quite highly of the H7.
Briefly, I am 47 years old and I have been using and interested in better audio and well recorded music since the early 1980s when my father came home with a very nice Pioneer turntable and integrated amplifier matched with a pair of rather sweet sounding Celestion speakers (we still have the two Pioneer components and they work great to this day). I was hooked and I have been chasing the audio dragon ever since it seems. My taste in music is fairly diverse; however, in recent months I have been very focused on Nu-Jazz, EDM and electronica. I have spent two weeks listening to the H500BT daily with a fairly diverse range of music and I feel rather confident that I have fully acclimated to the signature of the H500BT. As well, despite my age, I still have very good hearing so for what that is worth, I thought I should throw it out there for your consideration.
Looks, Build and Comfort
I actually rather like the looks of this headphone. It certainly isn't flashy, but it is elegant looking in it's simplicity which is just fine with me. Like the H7, but perhaps even more-so I would describe the H500 as understated looking. For those who really don't want to draw attention to themselves when out in public you most certainly will feel very comfortable with this headphone on. Some may take this as negative, but I don't - in terms of build the H500BT is quite light and makes use of plastic for all the housing as far as I can tell. The detailing is in keeping with the overall design and rather minimal, but again, in a very modern and clean way, not in a thoughtless, poorly produced manner.
The headband has nice positive adjustment clicks and is made of metal with what for me is a quite an adequate amount of material padding (faux leather I believe, but I'm not positive). The ear-cups are nicely attached via a simple round stainless steel rod with the right side being marked with a subtle red stripe around the top of the cup rod. I actually feel that despite the light weight, the headphone has a nice solid feel about it. ONKYO clearly intended this as a dyed in the wool portable so the profile and weight of the H500BT is spot on in my books. ONKYO marketing literature says that the cups are rigid and will minimize vibration greatly. I have to agree, and I will admit, I was surprised myself as when I first held these small, light-weight headphones I was worried about housing vibration. I no longer worry about that.
I do not usually like on-ear headphones, I seem to be pretty sensitive to the pressure. To give a frame of reference I found my V-MODA XS to actually hurt a little after about 10 minutes of wear. I am happy to say that this is not at all the case with the H500. The ear cushions are very nice and feel firm, yet supple. The fit was interesting at first with me thinking I wanted to manipulate them on my ear more, but almost right away the way the cups sealed on ear felt just right. I get the sense that the design team actually spent quite a bit of effort on the fit and feel and with an excellent result. So there you have it, this is a true portable wireless headphone that feels very comfortable on. Although I haven't as of yet bothered using it wired the cable that does come with it is a rather attractive two-tone colour scheme with twisted copper and black wires with a nice solid rubbery feel that I suspect wouldn't kink up and drive you nuts. I use Bluetooth almost exclusively now so wired performance wasn't my focus for this review. I will update the review in time as I do intend to test both wired and phone call performance, but the cable that was included with my review sample curiously does not have the inline microphone so that will have to wait. Not a big deal for me as I never use headphones for calls, they are for music listening first and foremost.
I will say that given the price point that I feel at least a soft carry bag should be offered along with the H500. I won't hold ONKYO to the standard that Oppo set with the excellent travel case that comes with the PM3, but that would be ideal. While well made I do feel that as a portable some protection is warranted for those who like to put a headphone in a bag where damage could occur. As for weight, the H500BT weighs in at a cool 191 grams so very portable indeed.
As is the norm for Bluetooth headphones these days the H500BT is Apt X compatible and sports the usual Class 2 range of 10 meters. In my testing the stability of the Bluetooth connection was rock solid walking around my house while leaving my LG G3 on the kitchen table. My typical real-life range test is to go into the bathroom which is about 25 feet away and loosely close the door with music streaming from the kitchen. The H500 performed flawlessly here and it has never even given me the slightest drop out of any kind to date so that bodes quite well. I had briefly had some problems connecting via Bluetooth, but upon further testing I have been able to determine it wasn't the H500 at fault so given this new information I have to say that I have never experienced connection issues that were related to the headphone so that is a positive update.
I like the controls on the right cup which includes touch controls for pausing, starting music, adjusting volume and moving through tracks. I have become used to this set-up rather quickly and I don't think I would want to go back to button based controls for such core functions. The buttons to turn the power and Bluetooth on have a very nice solid feel to them that suggests longevity. Time will tell. I have found the battery life to be excellent although I have not tested it beyond about 8 hours of music play before I charge it again. For me, if I can get 8 hours of music I'm happy. ONKYO states that battery life for music is up to 16 hours and I think I will test that out, but given how loud I play music I do not think that rating is for me, I can only assume it is for moderate volume settings which is the typical way such ratings are done as I understand things.
Sound signature and quality
The H500BT has a sensible contemporary, portable sound signature. What does that mean? Well, I hear the bass as being sensibly elevated from mid-bass into the upper-bass. This I consider contemporary in that it strays away from the purist pursuit of neutrality. I actually have grown to prefer a well done contemporary signature as opposed to a signature that is ruler flat. Yes, I realize the theory holds that ruler flat response will appropriately portray the various frequency amplitude. Despite that, I have grown fond of a sensible elevation in the bass if it: does not become muddy; isn't emphasized to the point of being distracting; and if it has enough quality to render texture, speed and tonality appropriately. I can tell you I tried liking the Denon AH GC20; however, that particular Bluetooth offering had bass that was so overcooked it really unbalanced the sound signature. The H500BT feels nicely balanced. I have been playing plenty of acoustic music, piano and female vocal jazz and plenty of electronica and across all of these varied uses of bass I really, really enjoy the way the ONKYO presents bass. I listen for timbre and attack with percussion as I have played drums for I think 30 years now. Not surprisingly I very much like to follow the bass guitar in music and when I listen to Diana Krall or Steely Dan I can very easily, and distinctly hear the instruments well separated, but also integrated into the music. I have some really richly recorded music that makes use of acoustic bass and I remain firmly impressed at the level of detail I hear with the ONKYO. The sound of the strings being plucked and how they reverberate is quite good and has a lovely naturalness about it. This is an interesting characteristic as there is no denying the mid bass is elevated; however it would seem that ONKYO tuned the H500BT so that despite this meatiness the sound can still breathe and not feel congested.
The H500 has plenty of bass quantity, the quality is in general very good, perhaps not mastering level clarity, but this is after all a headphone for enjoying and getting lost in music, not analyzing it. I do not think you can hold a portable to that standard as these designs do need to provide some extra weight and density to the lower frequencies simply to compete with background rumble. I take public transit buses and trains everywhere, and I walk all over the city as well so I use this as a true portable and I think it is almost perfect in that capacity. Even when I sit at home and use it I feel the quality is high enough that if I wanted to use it critically to explore the music in that way it would not be put to shame at all, far from it.
Yes, a lover of neutrality would I'm quite sure have a different perspective, and I would caution such a person that they would need to be aware that the tuning is not neutral. However, because the overall tonality is well balanced the H500 does not sound congested or purely "fun", it is actually a very well tuned headphone to my ears. In keeping with the contemporary signature the midrange is also slightly forward, but I think these are very yummy mids, quite clear and rich. Moved forward enough to give that slight warmth and weight to music, but not so much so as to obscure nuance or get right up in your face. I am adding the following detail as it relates to the midrange. Given even more time with the H500BT if you love vocals you will be very impressed with the way this headphone can render voices. The treble is simply marvelous, I'm a huge fan of the treble. Vibrant, well balanced into the overall signature, well extended, detailed and never strident or sibilant. Readers should note I listen at full volume so if anybody is going to hear undue distortion or grain it will be me. I think the H500 holds itself together extremely well feeling poised and in control top to bottom.
Now I like big components and I have no issue with spending a couple of grand for a DAC, but I have to admit that I am very impressed with the DAC in the ONKYO. Maybe I am imagining this, but whatever amount of the signature can be ascribed to a DAC, the H500 sounds very similar to the tuning of the DP-X1. There is quite a bit of detail, but I perceive it as not at all edgy or bright, just a fuller rendering of the edges around the notes and instruments. I find the instrument separation to be again excellent and spatial cues are right where they should be. Somehow all of the energy and detail comes together very cohesively and very musically to my ears. The H500 gets to a decent volume and only quieter masters such as Portraits of Cuba by Paquito d'rivera need more amplitude for loud listeners. With contemporary recordings volume will not be an issue for anybody I'm sure. The H500 is a very efficient headphone with a rated sensitivity of 105db and sports a 16ohm impedance so this is a headphone that is phone friendly if you want to go wired.
I find that soundstage is very dependent upon the piece of music, but taking this into account I would say that the H500BT fares quite well with good width and depth of stage (slightly better width) with a fairly around your head effect when the mastering permits. It is a smaller driver, closed and on-ear, so don't think it is going to give anything like an HD 800 stage, but again, this is a closed portable and within those design parameters I think the soundstage is actually good, perhaps quite good. Some recordings from my favourite Nu-Jazz collections Saint-Germain Des-Pres Café (there are 17 volumes, many are double CD volumes) are simply jaw dropping in detail and staging and the ONKYO really shines with these often challenging pieces of music which incorporates electronic and acoustic instruments with vocals. I highly recommend these collections by the way, well worth the investment.
If you are in the market for an excellent sounding, well made true portable wireless headphone, while I of course can't guarantee you will share my enthusiasm for it, I have no problem stating here for all the world to see that I believe the ONKYO H500BT is a top-shelf offering. Now I just have to try the 50mm open back A800! Well done ONKYO, well done.
Can you tell me how the Onkyo H500 stacks up against the B&W p5 wireless? Which one would you recccommend?
Can you tell me how the Onkyo H500 stacks up against the B&W p5 wireless? Which one would you recccommend?
GREAT REVIEW! Can you please share your thoughts when comparing these to the Bowers & Wilkins P5 & P7.


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