Our smartphones are used for more than just browsing the Internet, social media and watching funny cat videos. Over the years, it has become our music listening device allowing us to connect a headphone or earphones for a great mobile music listing experience. But sadly, in recent years, we have seen companies removing the 3.5mm jack and without a good reason, (unless you consider Apple’s reason which was “courage”). Now, people like me, who still prefer a wired connection, have no choice but to either use a dongle or get a Bluetooth headphone or earphone which I still stand firm will not be better than wired connection.But perhaps the Edifier W860NB Active Noise Cancelling Stereo Headphones has given me some faith in Bluetooth audio listing devices.

The W860NB comes in a rather minimal design, although majority of the headphone is made of plastic, they were careful enough to ensure that parts of the headphone that comes in contact with your head and ears are padded with this soft leather-like material, particularly on the headband and ear cups. This makes it very comfortable to wear and helps to counter the weight of the headphones when wearing it.

There are microphone slits around the plastic of the earcups which is used for the ANC feature and on the right ear cup, you will find the switch to turn on ANC and a power button.

The right earcup also has touch controls which allows you to pause/play music, control the volume and the forward/back function for navigating your music tracks. Overall, I found the gesture controls to not be an issue and it pretty easy to use.

On the left earcup, there is a microUSB charging port and a 3.5mm jack if you still prefer to go wired. It also supports NFC connection for easy pairing.

Now comes to its audio quality, the W860NB has an obvious focus on bass, it offers a powerful punch and on occasion, depending on the music, it can overwhelm the other parts of the song. It is definitely suitable for baseheads, but I found my self tuning the audio on my phone to make the bass less powerful. The trebles are slightly above, it offers great clarity especially if you like listing to rock or jazz music, but I did which it had a bit more focus on the mids to gel the sounds together.

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When it comes to its Active Noise Cancelling feature, I did feel like it does not do a good job in drowning out the ambience noise especially when I am in the train. I am still able to hear the wheels on the tracks and LRT announcements can still be heard. It’s not really a problem as I usually listen to music on slightly higher than the recommended settings on Android but I won’t complain much as it is pretty hard to find audio listing devices with ANC for RM499.

Battery life on the W860NB is rather good, it might not match up to its advertised battery life, then again, no product I have used matched its advertised battery life. However, I am satisfied with what it can offer to me. Averagely, it can offer me at least one and a half weeks of battery life and that is using it headphones for around three to four hours a day. With ANC turned on, it does last up to about a week. However, in my honest opinion, if a Bluetooth audio listing device can last me until the end of the week, I consider it to have good battery life, as I can just charge it on Sunday night and it will be ready for the entire week. Perhaps the only issue I have with this headphones is the charging time, it takes almost four hours to charge which is normal as the box has stated the charging time is four hours. I feel it slightly on the long side and I did which it charges faster.

Verdict

The Edifier W860NB is one of the cheaper alternatives to an ANC headphone, but with it being the cheaper alternative, there are some compromises that you need to live with. The ANC might not be the best and the sound quality is not on par with other non-ANC and ANC headphones, but it is a good stepping stone to a more expensive device. Should you buy the headphones? If you are on a budget, this is definitely a good option, but if you have the spending power, you are better off getting something else.

The Good

  • Comfortable earcups
  • Good battery life
  • Easy to use gesture controls

The Bad

  • Bass too strong
  • Lacking in mids