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Huge Comparison of [almost] all the Best Bluetooth Headphones - post your own comparisons here

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by giogio, Dec 15, 2014.
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  1. Giogio
    I wanted to do it.
    I have ordered them used (as I always do when I only want to try something which I know I will not keep) and they arrived dead.
    Or I thought they were dead.
    I have later discovered that they have a removable battery and I remember to have seen a battery in the Box. In that moment I thought "ah, cool an extra battery".
    Somehow I never considered the possibility that these people could send the Headphone as default with the battery outside and with no clear instructions about this fact.
    So, they went back.
    Now I do not have much time and money to do that again.
    The Parrot Zik 2 are very complex, to really really review them, one needs lot of time to really learn how to use the app.
    I can't do that now, sorry.
  2. krzychnip
    Thank you very much for all the help. This type of in depth explanation and person specific advice is truly what a lot of beginners are actually looking for. Although many of these choices are personal preference, many a times I feel like beginners almost need to be told what to buy to an extent haha. So thank you again for all the help, people like you are what make this community what it is.
    Now it's time to go hunting for a good price on these headphones!!
    Giogio likes this.
  3. madnexus

    I see Giogio... the Urbanite XL are totally discarded then. The Philips and the Plantonics are more or less equal in terms of quality of sound so I'm gonna slightly modify my list of pros and cons here:
    £193.40 - Philips Fidelio M2BT
        Pros: Bit better bass. 
        Cons: No NC, battery life "only" 10h.
    £162.91 - Plantronics Backbeat Pro Wireless
        Pros: 24h battery life. NC. Price. 
        Cons: Bit less of bass and no apt-x. Bit bigger (less portable on commuting use?) and I heard you can have some ear fatigue after using them for a long period of time?
    According to the price seems obvious the Plantonics are the winner. Much better battery life and very similar quality of sound. Is there any good reason why you would buy the Fidelio instead of the Plantonics? Only thing I can think of it's the Fidelio being more comfortable...
    Also.. have you used the NC during any commuting trips? (tram, underground, bus, etc?)
  4. orion23rigel
    The Backbeat Pros do have apt-x. Not to answer for Giogio, but he said he personally prefers the sound of the M2BT over the Backbeat. It's a matter of subjective taste I think.
  5. CameronCrazy
    Returned my Plantronics and ordered the Sony MDR-1RBTMK2. They were on sale for $269 and paid $28 shipping for them to be here in 3-5 days. Looking forward to trying them out. I was thinking about waiting on the 1ABT but no idea when they'll be available or what they'll cost. $269 was by far the best price I've seen on the MK2's.
  6. Giogio
    You can answer anytime, this Thread is not a one man show, even if sometimes it seems so :)
    And yes, you are right, it is a matter of tastes. When two headphones have such a good sound quality, the choice between the two is always a matter of tastes. To say that one is better or worse, would be unfair and false.
    So, like Orion said, the Plantronics have Aptx, and actually they are as far as I know the only BT Headphones for Music which have the Low latency Aptx.
    It sounds the same but, WHEN paired to a Low Latency transmitter, gives less then 40ms Latency, which is what you need to completely eliminate any audio/video sync delay. The Normal Aptx has still a good latency (100ms), better than the old SBC Codec, and chances are good that depending on the headphone you will not notice any delay. I did not, with the Fidelio, if not a very very minimal one.
    Very few devices transmit with LL Aptx (actually, no Smartphone, no Mac, and only one Samsung Notebook).
    But you can get it with an adapter like the Avantree Priva or Avantree Saturn pro or Telme2 TosBlue-X, if you really need it.
    About comfort, where did you hear that?
    If you mean sound fatigue due to too many highs, this is subjective and if you can EQ you can solve it.
    If physical ear fatigue due to pressure of the pads, this is relative: the Plantronics are Over the Ear with circular pads/cups with an inner diameter of 5,5cm (I like to think that you are going to measure your ears now) which can be considered actually 6 because once the ears are there, the space inside is a little bigger.
    So, people who complain are people with big and sensitive ears.
    My ears fit perfectly there and I have found the Plantronics more comfortable than the Fidelio. They also fit a bit more loose than the Fidelio, so even if they should ever press against the ears they should not create problems unless you have very sensitive ears (but then, you would probably have problems with the Fidelio too).
    Eventually IF your ears are so big that do not stay inside the cups, you MAY notice leak of sound due to not complete sealing.
    The Fidelio are On Ear, so, they do not even try to avoid pressing against the ears :) But they do it well: the fit is (with my not very big head) just as tight to avoid losing them when I do exercise, and the pads are comfortable, specially after few minutes (they need a while to warm up and get softer).
    I would not say they are more comfortable. At all. They are differently comfortable, but for my head and ears I always find Over Ear Headphones (like the plantronics) to be more comfortable.
    The reasons to prefer the Fidelio?
    Much more portable, much better looking, a bit warmer sound, fatter bass with more deepness and more rumble (especially good for music where the sub-bass is important).
    Reasons to prefer the Plantronics: better highs (yeah, not only more, also better, with a bit more detail than the Fidelio, which anyway still perform very good but can show some harshness if you push the highs too much with the EQ), "fresher" sound which anyway is not cold, tighter faster bass. More battery, Low Latency, Class 1 (this also only if you have a Class 1 transmitter), and many nice functions.
    I have only traveled with the Fidelio, I took a train and had no problem. Excellent passive noise isolation.
    I take bus often, and no problem.
    I hope you'll enjoy them more then the Plantronics.
    I cannot try them, I do not find any seller who ships to EU, and even less who offers return/refund.
    Let us know your impressions :)
  7. dgabe24
    Interesting response from Wirecutter when I brought up their low rating on the Backbeat Pros. 
    Not sure if it's ok to link to outside sites, but I'm curious what your thoughts are:
    "We actually mention them in our NC article : Some readers asked us about the $250 Plantronics BackBeat PRO. Brent Butterworth measured them for us, and found the noise cancelling to be fairly mediocre. From 170-300 Hz they only drop roughly 8 dB of noise (the QC25s drop about 30db in that range, the Samsung’s around 20). Since the Level Overs are now the same price, they’re a much better option for those that want noise cancelling and Bluetooth. The sound quality of the BackBeat PROs is acceptable, but doesn’t stand out enough to counter their below-average noise cancelling performance."
    Thanks.  Still working on the final few on the list. 
  8. Giogio
    Yes I am following that review, because I had bought the Revo thanks to it.
    You can see my thought in what I have just answered to Lauren.
    She did not rally write her thoughts, she copied and pasted what Geoff (the reviewer of Forbes who collaborated with them for the NC Headphones comparison) wrote.
    And he was IMO quite unfair in his judgment. Not because he has a different opinion than mine, but because I just feel that he did not separate enough objective from subjective.
    Sound quality and sound signature are two different things. He was making a comparison between NC headphones, and coming to the BT category he only suggested the Samsung Level Over even if the way they sound will NEVER please everybody, and those who do not like their sound will not enjoy their ANC either.
    Although I do NOT like the Samsung at all, I have no problem in saying that in what is objective they are as good as the Plantronics. So I think that the plantronics should have been presented as a good alternative for those who need their different sound signature and/or their several extra functions.
    Of course he must warn that their ANC is not as good as the Samsung, but IMO if Geoff says that the Plantronics sound just "acceptable" is because he confuses tastes with facts and forgets to say "acceptable to MY ears for MY tastes because i PREFER a different sound signature".
    Or at least I think so. I am no machine, but, in what is objective I felt the Plantronics much more than acceptable.
    And look, google it, they have an average of more than 4 stars from both users and professional reviewers.
    Of course, they will not please everybody (I also preferred the Fidelio), but, no single headphone will.
    If you are confused, stop confusing yourself more.
    YOU CAN NOT DISCOVER ANY UNIVERSAL TRUTH by reading reviews, not even mine! :)
    You will only read lot of OPINIONS, and a few facts.
    Some reviews are able to separate well the subjective opinions from the objective facts. Other are not.
    And if you cannot understand the difference, you will get just more confused.
    Even I seemed to some people here to be too absolute. Even if I always try to separate my tastes from what is objective.
    So... Give up, stop reading, start trying. Damn it, buy something, try it, and give it back if you do not like it.
    It cannot be so difficult :)
  9. dgabe24
    I know I know! I can research this forever and never buy headphones so I'm not going to let that happen. 
    I am so close to buying the Backbeat Pro, but there's one or two others I'm interested in first. 
    Those Pendulumic Stance S1+ look awesome and get some great reviews.
    I guess my last inquiry would be which over the over-ear wireless headphones (for EDM) have the best noise cancelling? 
    Thanks as always. 
  10. james444 Contributor
    A point of view or an opinion can never be objective. You should stop using the word objective in that context. This is my subjective opinion. [​IMG] 
  11. dgabe24
    Did your friend ever give his feedback on the Stance S1+? Curious. Going to place an order today!  Either Stance or Backbeat Pros
  12. Giogio
    you are right, it is a tricky thing, but, if you read carefully what I do is not saying that my "opinion" is objective.
    This already caused confusion in this forum on another thread where I have "defended" the Plantronics.
    I just try to separate facts from opinions. I think that there are some things which are more or less objective, and others which are pretty much subjective. And I do not mix them.
    So, for example, I do not include the sound signature in what is objective. I only include the detail, the soundstage, the features, the build, the price, and the overall sound quality (quality, not signature. By which I mean the quality of how the frequencies are rendered, not the quantity and proportion, not the colored/uncolored stuff. For example, I consider if highs are harsh, if bass has got body or not, if the sound is dull, if the mids are boxy etc. I do not consider as objectively positive or negative if the highs are more pronounced than the mids, because some people will prefer that. But no people ever would prefer harsh highs. Do you understand what I mean?).
    And for the same reason, if two headphones have similar overall "objective" quality, but different or even very different sound signature, like UE9000 and AKG K845, Samsung Level over and Plantronics Backbeat Pro, Fidelio M2BT and Bose Soudlink On Ear, I do not give a negative vote to those who have a signature which I do not like.
    I do not consider uncolored better than colored, and I do not consider one color better than another. These are tastes and I try to respect tastes.
    And this is a reason why after testing headphones without EQ I test them with EQ, to see if their sound is a choice, a "factory tuning" which can be "retuned" with EQ by the user, or is a hardware limitation.
    It helps me to understand how good are headphones "objectively" also when they sound not so well to me subjectively.
    So, "more or less" and in the psychoacustic limitations of the human ear, I think that some things can be considered objective enough. At least if somebody is trained and has spent a couple of months comparing more than 20 Headphones mostly side by side.
    If somebody only tried ONE headphone in his whole life, then it is another story :)
    Expressed in this way, would you agree with me? Or do you still thinks that there is no possible objectivity ever? (but in this case, what do we do with forums, reviews, interchange of opinions...?)
    dgabe24 likes this.
  13. dgabe24
    List is down to
    1. Backbeat Pro
    2. Stance S1+ (waiting to hear back from them about their noise cancelling, it seems to be severely lacking)....I do love that Pendulumic answered my emails personally and that says a lot for this company. I wish them success.
    3. Sony MDR-10RBT
    4. Sony MDR-XB950BT (these are probably awesome for some of the Hardwell, Oliver Heldens, Gareth Emory, etc. etc.) 
    Decisions! haha It's fun and all researching, but I'm ordering a pair tonight no matter what. 
  14. Giogio
    Yes, he did.
    You can just use the search function to search in this thread with "stance".
    He was not able to try them with aptx because he has got no aptx player.
    But, without aptx he preferred the Plantronics.
    You must also consider that he likes bass. So, he would prefer the slightly boosted low region of the Plantronics for this reason.
    If you prefer something with less bass you can decide to buy the stance, or to EQ the plantronics.
    This of the EQ is another interesting subject.
    I for example tend to consider it when i do comparisons.
    Other people do not, they only try without EQ.
    But when you EQ you find out another world.
    For example you find out the QUALITY of the frequency rendering, not only the quantity. And you can see that some headphones respond well to eq and you can boost them or moderate them and they do what you want. Other headphones cannot do that so well, and when you try to eliminate their dullness you just cannot, or if you try to give them more warmth you can not so well, or if you need more bass they go till a certain point but cannot give more because their hardware is limited.
    dgabe24 likes this.
  15. Giogio
    I did not like the mdr-10. They have a dullness which I could not correct with the EQ.
    Their bass is not very precise and funny.
    They are also not so detailed, and the soundstage had something strange for me, it was somehow coming from behind.
    The XB are difficult. I would only buy them if you are willing to do the Mods explained in the XB thread.
    Apparently with those mods (or variations of them) you can have more controlled bass, more detail in the mids...
    Without mods you can EQ their highs and mids to a decent quantity but the bass is a bit too puff puff, lot of air movement and not so much body. If you can understand what ti mean.
    It was not, solid...
    To give it the intensity I needed I had to boost it very much EVEN with the bassboost active, and this was destroying the rest of the frequencies.
    It is also true that I almost only tried them with hard stuff, dubstep & Co, because this is what I needed them for.
    I have already the Fidelio for all the rest.
    Maybe if you do not push them so hard in the low region, you can be satisfied.
    They have almost no soundstage, but somehow I prefer them to the mdr-10 because of this possibility of the bass boost.
    If you are willing to mod them (it seems to be quite easy, have a look to that thread) I think you can be well satisfied.
    They are very very different from the plantronics.
    The plantronics have a clear boost in the highs, and excel in the upper-mids. Exactly what the XB cannot do so well.
    And the Plantronics have a very controlled bass, clean, precise. Which you can push quite a lot with the EQ without ruining other things.
    The Plantronics are not a heavy basshead cans but can do quite well with bassy stuff and their soundstage is very good.
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