* Prices may differ from that shown
I have recently purchased this product and have used it for a few weeks. If you're in the market for a pair of bluetooth, noise cancelling headphones, then these are really a good pair to consider. This review is based on my own personal experiences of the product, and your own experiences may differ.
# Fairly light and very comfortable.
# Very easy to connect to phones/mp3 players/computer, etc..
# Rechargeable, with a battery life of between 8 and 10 hours. Standby time of approximately 20 hours.
# Works at a distance of approximately 10 metres.
# Has a talkthrough feature, meaning you can hear without removing the headphones.
# Can be used wirelessly or with the supplied cable to save on battery life.
# Compact enough to store in a bag or larger pocket.
# Excellent quality sound, especially when using the noise cancelling feature.
# Removable and replaceable battery.
# Easy to control devices from the headphones themselves.
# Quick charging from USB or wall socket.
# Replacement batteries are expensive, approximately £35.
# Battery life is fairly good, but for this kind of money I would have preferred more hours.
# Expensive, although definitely at the lower end of the noise cancelling, bluetooth headphone market.
# Not as compact as much cheaper, regular bluetooth headphones.
I'll start by saying that my first step into the bluetooth headphone market was by purchasing a 7DaySHOP pair for approximately £20. I still have and use them, they are excellent and they are still going strong after a year. I thought they were the ultimate in bluetooth headphones. To be honest, if money is tight, they are an excellent option and I would definitely recommend them.
Why, then, would I replace them with a much more expensive pair of bluetooth headphones? Well, 2 reasons, really. First of all, I was finding the "behind the neck" fit of my previous headphones to be quite uncomfortable and they pinched my ears. Secondly, I work in a noisy environment and I was certain that noise cancelling headphones would be perfect.
So, I headed off to Amazon to have a quick search. I typed in "bluetooth noise cancelling headphones" and hit the search button. After I woke up from fainting at the prices, I had a more detailed read of each pair. I couldn't quite believe that the prices were so much more than my 7DaySHOP ones. The only real feature that was any different was the noise cancelling one. Surely that isn't worth an extra £200? Well, maybe it is, if it's really something you want. Fortunately, I bought my pair in the sales and got them for under £150. It's unlikely you'll get so lucky, unless you're willing to wait a while. To be honest, if I'd paid £220, I would probably have been just a little disappointed. However, at under £150, I think it was money well spent.
These headphones are quite light and very, very comfortable. I can't emphasise enough just how comfortable these are compared to my previous pair. I put the Sennheiser's on at work and totally forget I'm wearing them. They are genuinely that comfortable. There are little cushions that sit on the top of your head, just inside the headband, and the earcups are very thick and puffy. I've never had a pair of headphones that felt so invisible on my head. Considering I can sometimes wear them for about 7/8 hours a day, this is a very important thing for me.
Connecting the headphones to my iPhone 5 was simple and took under a minute. Simply hold down the power button on the headphones (from off) for about 7 seconds until they flash red, then search for them on the phone, and hit connect. From there, the headphones are always remembered by the phone and connect automatically whenever I turn on the headphones.
The battery life is relatively good, lasting approximately 10 hours without noise cancellation, and 8 hours with it turned on. To be honest, for a pair of headphones costing over £200 I would have expected the battery life to last a little bit longer, at least 12-15 hours. However, replacement batteries can be purchased and used with the device, so if you needed to use these headphones for over 10 hours you could always have a backup battery. These backup batteries are approximately £35, though, so really only an option if absolutely necessary. There is a supplied cable that allows the headphones to be connected to any device with a 3.5mm jack, though, so that does save on battery life, although I do think you need SOME battery to actually use the cable, too. This is quite annoying as I would have expected the cable to make it work without battery. Standby time for the battery is approximately 20 hours. I have used these at work since I bought them, and I would say that over an average day I use them for music/podcasts for about 3-4 hours, and have them on standby the remainder of the time. Using them this way sees them last approximately 2 and a half days without needing a charge. I've got into the habit of charging them after every 2 days, just to be sure.
I always have my phone in my pocket, and signal is good, but if you needed to have the phone away from you these do work up to a distance of approximately 10 metres. This is useful if you didn't have a pocket and used a table instead, or had your phone on a desk and needed to move around to get stuff without taking the phone. Life without cables is brilliant.
One of the great features about these headphones, although one that I don't need or use much, is the talkthrough feature. This means that you can keep your headphones on and still hear what is being said to you or the noise around you. By pressing the noise cancelling button once it turns on the outside microphones (2) on the headphones, making the outside noise audible through the headphones. Sennheiser recommend this for use on planes when a steward may be talking to you and you don't wish to remove the headphones. It's a great feature, but as I said above, not one I need or use. If this is one of the reasons the headphones cost over £200, I would rather they had left it out and charged less. However, I can see how it would be a useful feature for people who don't want to be removing headphones all the time.
Sound quality is important, right? Well, you won't be disappointed. The sound is very, very good. I find that the sound is actually much better with the noise cancelling feature turned on. This makes the bass better and, as the outside noise is cut out mostly, the audio sounds much clearer and crisper. There will be people out there who won't rate these headphones for their sound, but unless you absolutely need the most perfect sounding headphones in the world, and you have the bank balance to buy them, these will sound brilliant to you, too.
Now, the noise cancelling feature is a big selling point for these headphones, and the main reason they are the price they are, so here's what I think of that feature. It's brilliant! To be fair, these are the only noise cancelling headphones I've ever used, but if you can get ones better than these they must be truly outstanding. I work in an very noisy environment at work, with machinery whirring all around me. I would say that these headphones cut out approximately 80% of that noise, allowing me to hear just enough to know when the machines have finished their job. Trust me, you definitely notice a huge difference between using noise cancelling and not using it. When I take these headphones off while the machines are running, I just can't believe how noisy the room is, as I've been in my own little music bubble. By the way, with music on and turned up quite loud, the noise cancelling effect is even more impressive.
The headphones can be used for phone calls if connected to a phone, although I haven't had cause to use this feature yet so I don't know how good the quality is for that feature. The phone can also be controlled from the headphones, though, with the right cup having a volume up/down button, a track skip forward/back button, and the main power button that also acts as the play/stop/answer calls button. This is extremely useful for controlling my phone without removing it from my pocket. However, occasionally I've accidentally activated the voice control on my iPhone 5, and even once rang someone by mistake. Teething problems, I'm sure, but keep an eye on that to make sure you don't have any disasters!
As I said above, if you're just looking for a pair of bluetooth headphones and noise cancelling isn't a main concern for you, then a much cheaper pair would be for you. However, if you need a bluetooth headphone with the noise cancelling feature, you could do a lot worse than the Sennheiser MM450X travel headphones. They're not as compact as some other bluetooth headphones, but what you lack in space saving you more than make up for in quality of sound and comfort. They are very well built and I don't think these will need to be replaced for several years. Highly recommended.