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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 suppose you meant a set of on-ear.
    I am only aware of the Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H8, not for you, a bit V-Shaped, particularly in the bass. So, if you do not like to EQ and do not like boosted bass, game over.
    But if you want to EQ, the ANC is nice (although it adds some hiss, and, on a negative for me but positive for you note, it decreases the low region), the detail also, and the soundstage is decent for being an On-Ear.
    The leakage is acceptable, and the comfort is subjective but I find them very comfortable, light, gentle clamping, soft pads.
    They are very expensive though.
    An alternative would be the Momentum On-Ear, they come out soon.
  2. Deckardk
    ^ Yes on-ear. No point in trying the Momentum on-ear when they make an over.

    Listening to the BBP with NC off has them sounding more natural.
  3. n00b2
    @Deckardk If you haven't tried the AKG k845bt you should give it a go. It is sort of in the middle between on ear and over ear. It's meant to be over ear but the round ear cups sort of mean it won't fit around anyone's ear. No NC so you probably wouldn't keep it but worth a listen to since it seems you might like their sound signature. Nicely balanced and a high level of detail. No boosting of bass or any frequencies.
  4. Deckardk

    The NC of the BBP isn't enough so I doubt a non NC can will work.
  5. n00b2

    It definitely won't work for what you are after. The AKG leaks a fair bit of sound and doesn't have a great seal. Just suggesting you should have a listen to it to see if you like the sound signature and quality. Might give you a better idea of what headphones to look out for in the future.
  6. GuyDebord
    They are definitely not for noisy environments. These cans are designed for flexible home/office listening, forget fidelity if you plan taking them out in ANY urban environment or form of public transportation.
    IMO, NC in the Zik2's is superior to the Bose, actually, the best NC I have heard. Yes the battery is terrible, I purchased two extra batteries and I have to charge and swap if I want to get through any transatlantic flight. Very impractical!
    100% agree, these need to be heard with BT, NC and App equalization. They are terrible in any other mode, including Flight mode, $10 dollar buds seems about right. However with all the DSP on, they sound better than any other BT in existence if you use an iOS device.
    The Phiaton's ANC is USELESS! Seriously. With that said, they have good passive NC, IMO better than the 1rbt's

  7. Giogio
    The point is that they are supposed to have a slightly different signature than the Over Ear, a bit more V-Shaped (but still in the balanced range). And are smaller. And cost 100 less.
    I do not remember if the DefTech Symphony1 are supposed to come with ANC. Wait, yes, I think they are. So, there you have another one. Maybe the winner. It is supposed to have a wonderful sound, balanced and open. You just have to wait.
    In the while you can keep trying and returning other headphones. You can only acquire experience in the process, and understand better what you really want.
    Probably because their pads are so big that they cover the entire ear, and are so soft that they seal it well.
    Similarly to the Bose Soundlink On Ear, at least for the softness of the pads, although Bose is softer and smaller.
    Personally, for the form of my ears, the Fidelio M2BT (which are not as soft as these other two) were sealing my ears enough and providing a nice passive NC.
  8. n00b2
    I haven't tried them with an iOS device but quite a few people have said that they sound brilliant with it using the AAC codec. They aren't bad on Android either for MP3 files and even some FLAC. You just have to equalise the app the same way as for iOS. Aptx doesn't really make a difference for MP3.
    Absolutely correct about the importance of the app (I forgot to mention it before). They are useless for listening on PC for that exact reason (lack of app) and the horrible battery life pretty much makes if useless for any commutes other than your weekday bus/train work journeys. Can totally understand why the battery life is so poor (and charging time so high) considering all the tech they have crammed into the headphones but I would have thought they would have tried to do something about that when they released the 2.0 version. There were enough complaints about the poor battery life in the original model...
  9. cehowardNote3
    My Note 4  and My Tab Pro are is my only mobile sources. The Note 4 and the Tap Pro support aptx, and I have them crammed with FLAC files..
    In fact, IMO, the Note 4 has the aptx support, which IMO, is a MUST!!
  10. Giogio
    So, I was asked for which BT headphones have the lesser background hiss.
    I am talking in this case not of the hiss caused by the ANC, but of that caused by the internal Amp, and which is common to almost all BT headphones, some more (Beats Studio Wireless among the worse), some almost none.
    Normally, apart for the serious cases like Beats, you do not notice this hiss while you are listening to audio.
    You can generally only notice it during silence. For example, right after pausing music.
    So if you pause the Music and you cannot notice any audible hiss, it is already good enough.
    Now to check which headphones are even better than this, you wait a bit (a few seconds) till the headphone will turn its amp off, and if there was some hiss (which you did not notice because your ears were used to it) you can now notice that the hiss goes away and there is a cleaner silence.
    If you do not notice any difference between pausing the music and, let's say, a time of 10 seconds, then your headphone produces no hiss.
    I've never felt the hiss as a problem on any other headphone than the Beats, as far as I can remember.
    But I have only tested headphones with music. While this guy who asked for help, is looking for something to use with TV, where the flow of sound contains much more silence.
    So, further tests are needed.
    I can only test for him the headphones I have now (or will receive in the future).
    So, to everybody else here (and @n00b2 you could ask the same in your Thread, maybe linking this post of mine), I would like to ask to make this hiss test on their BT headphones.
    It could help other customers too and it is actually a cool idea.
    About the ones I have here:
    -Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H8: almost no hiss. Pausing the music I have heard no hiss. When the Amp went off I could not notice any difference. So, at least in this the H8 are good, BUT, only if the ANC is off... Their ANC adds hiss. Anyway for TV use they are not good because they lack mids and low mids and the vocals sound distant and off, which in movies is very noticeable.
    -Meelectronics Air-Fi Matrix2: same story here. Almost no hiss. These are nice headphones for the price. And they have more mids than the H8, vocals are more present. Only problem, the bass cannot be boosted much, only 3 to 6 db, or it distorts. And under 60hz it cannot be boosted at all. And out of the box, with no EQ, the bass is not boosted like in the H8, which many people would prefer for music, but for films a bit bass boost is good.
    Now if you ask me, between H8 and Matrix2, for films and TV, absolutely the Matrix2. Clear present vocals, and louder than the H8, and MUCH cheaper.
    -Audio Technica ATH-WS99BT: there is a little hiss which I could only hear when the Amp turns on (not when the Headphones turn on, but few seconds after they establish a connection) and which I could notice disappear when the Amp turns off. But during the music I could not notice it at all, and after pausing the music I also could not notice it till the Amp turned off. So, they are still very good, and apart being one of the best sounding BT Headphones imo, they are also very good for TV and movies because the bass is rendered very well (without being boosted. It is just, powerful and natural), the mids and low mids are excellent and vocals sound very clear and present, and the soundstage is very good, which not only for music but also for movies is cool.
    -AKG Y45BT: these have a bit more hiss. Once again, for me not audible during music or during films, but compared to the ATH here I could hear it a bit more after pausing the music. They are anyway quite cheaper (less than the half) and even if not with the detail of the ATH they have also very present mids, and a bit boost in the bass, so that they work very good for movies.
    -Bluedio R+ Legend: not at the level of the Beats, but the hiss here is clearly noticeable. With music I did not notice it so much and I got used quickly, but when pausing the music it was very clear. They sound more present than the H8 in the mids and have better soundstage.
    Considering that I have just received and never before talked about them, I will say a bit more: they are not too bad. But absolutely not a GOOD pair of headphones. The sound signature is a bit dark in the bass and not very lively in the rest, and with EQ they improve a bit but not much. The bass is the opposite as it should be: boosted out of the box (= not good for lovers of balanced sound) but not well extended and it distorts easily if boosted with EQ (= no good for bassheads).
    The overall sound is not very detailed, but also not bad. They do not have Aptx, anyway. And the soundstage, although quite good, is very far for being as impressive as Bluedio advertise it with all this of the 8 drivers.
    The ATH have better soundstage with two drivers.
    But, AT is AT :) And the price is on another level.
    I will be able to test the Pendulumic Stance S1+ in the next days, and also to re-test the Fidelio M2BT, so, stay tuned.
    Now I am curious to hear the test of other people.
  11. Soundofmusic
    From the reviews I've read, Definitive Technology Symphony 1 wins on that factor.

    BTW,could people stop quoting full posts when replying to only parts of them, or to the post right above? It makes for a lot of spam when reading the forum on a mobile phone.
  12. Giogio

    Can you post the links to such reviews?
    Btw, "wins", is something neither you nor anybody else can say without having tried ALL other BT Headphones, possibly in a side to side comparison.
    Otherwise who only tried that one or a few ones, can only talk of what he has tried.
    The only guy I know who compared them supposedly side to side with other headphones is the one of Bloomberg. They are only 5 headphones being compared, and calling that a review is really difficult, considering the very few info given.
    About the hiss he only mentions it for the DefTech and he is speaking of the hiss produced by the Anc, not of the one produced by the Amp, and does not compare it to any other headphone.
    Please, do not generalize.
    I agree for only quoting the part needed.
  13. Soundofmusic
    Yeah I'm referring to the Bloomberg review and I agree on your points. We will have to wait and see for more in-depth comparative reviews.

    I have first hand experience with the Momentum Wireless and the Sony SBH80 buds, and both produce a very faint but (to my ears) still audible hiss.
  14. Techfixation
    In reference to Giogio's post, he's actually asking the question on 'Bluetooth hiss' on my behalf! Thanks Giogio! : )
    I'm looking for a decent pair of phones for watching movies late at night without having a cable trailing across the living room floor! They need to have great bass and a warm exciting sound as I think this will best suit the kind of movies I'll be watching!
    This is my shortlist so far;
    Philips Fidelio M2BT
    Plantronics Backbeat PRO
    Logitech UE9000
    Harman Kardon BT
    Sony MDR-XB950BT (modded)
    The most important thing is that they have very little to no background hiss at all!... Unlike listening to music, movies have lots of silent parts such as spoken parts and the audible hiss can be very distracting!
    I'd be very interested to know whether anyone has any experience with the headphones above and can tell me how much hiss they put out?
    Also if you have any other recommendations of other headphones that are great with movies?
  15. n00b2
    Well everyone today I managed to track down the local distribute and get a chance to listen to the Definitive Technology Symphony 1. Didn't have the longest tima wiith it, only about half an hour but I messed around with it long enough to be able to write a small review. Firstly I will say that these are designed to be listened actively and with nc on. Sound quality dropped when both were turned off. Anyway here is what I felt about them.

    Comfort: I have actually forgotten exactly what the smaller dimension was but I am pretty sure the internal dimensions were around 6.5cm x 5cm. The ear pads were extremely big and thick and there was space inside the for your ear properly. I would have preferred 7cm for length but I did manage to for my ear inside the cup easily enough as the cups were deep and well padded. Don't know how comfort would be for long term listening as I wasn't there very long but to me they seemed like they would be fine over many hours. The ear cups rotate in all directions so it was pretty easy to get a good fit. The headband doesn't extend that long though so if your ears hang low you might have a bit of trouble.

    Isolation and NC: isolation was extremely good since the pads are large and the cups actually fit around your ears. There appeared to be no sound leakage as the guy next to me couldn't hear what I was playing. The NC was pretty good. Not up there with the Bose but more than decent. All low rumbling office sound like the air conditioner were removed and the guy next to me with the deep voice sounded a lot milder and not as deep. I could still hear the keyboard tapping away at the next cubicle but it was much milder. When I turned the music on though I couldn't hear anything beside me even when I was concentrating on the guy next to me. I'll admit I wasn't looking out for it but I noticed absolutely no hiss at all either from Bluetooth or NC. If it was bad I would have noticed it straight away even if not looking for it. I don't know if super sensitive ears in a quiet environment would notice a faint hiss or not but I didn't notice any at all.

    Battery life: there's a few conflicting statements on the box and manual but it seems that the battery life is 8 hours with Bluetooth and NC on, 10 hours with just NC on and 15 hours active but with no nc or Bluetooth. Dont know about charging time however.

    Connections: I tested it with Bluetooth and through cable both active and passive. All the buttons worked while connected active with cable but not passive. Didn't check call quality or microphone level. I also tried connecting it through usb otg but couldn't get it working. I've never tried headphones through usb otg before though so it could be that I was doing it wrong. The supplied audio cable was very short and it looked like a 2.5mm to 3.5mm cable. There was no airplane adapter included.

    Sound quality: all my testing was done through my Galaxy Note Edge so I'm guessing I was connected using aptx but don't know for sure. Over Bluetooth with NC on the sound quality was amazing. Easily the best Bluetooth headphones I've heard. Sound profile was well balanced, bass went deep and was full but not overbearing at all. Vocals were clear and treble was great with no sibilance. If the sound signature moved in any direction I would say it was slightly bright not in no way fatiguing. With the NC turned off the sound quality was still really good but the bottom end was lacking. Mid bass was present but weakened and sub bass was pretty much absent. The rest of the sound was the same as with NC on and still really good. Soundstage was also really good and spacious for a closed headphones due to its deep cups. Far better soundstage than all other Bluetooth headphones I have heard.

    Wired sound quality: listening wired and active with nc was simply amazing. All the little details that are lost in Bluetooth or mp3 came back and the bass was even fuller with more body. Sounded like a much more expensive pair of wired headphones. With NC off the sound quality was still amazing though again the bass was less. The drop off wasn't as significant as with Bluetooth however and it still sounded amazing. Listening passively however and the sound was pretty bad. Bass was completely non-existent and whatever was there sounded muffled and very bright. Volume was also significantly lower than active as you would expect. There it's probably some limitations with the note edge itself and passive night sound better with a sound card or amp but from what I heard I would never listen to it passive unless battery dead. Don't know how it sounds over usb but it could be even better than wired.

    Verdict: with nc on easily the best sounding Bluetooth headphones I have heard. Simply amazing active wired sound add well. Definitely worth the price add long as drop outs are not an issue. Couldn't test that add I couldn't walk around the office but since all the other tech seemed spot on I'm hoping this is as well.

    As a side note, the carry case is HUGE. Definitely not fitting in anyone's handbag or briefcase. Will fit in a backpack though will take up a fair amount of space.
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