These headphones make a good entry into the active noise cancelling feature, but they fall short of the higher-end competition in many regards. It’s hard to adequately compare these to products that cost double or more, but you have to in order to form some bases for comparison. There are very few options for inexpensive active noise cancelling headphones, and while these do deliver a very reduced outside noise level, the quality of the feature and the overall product are less than they could be. However, these are lightweight and provide good sound quality.
– Good, moderate active noise cancelling.
– Headphones don’t require power.
– Comfortable for most head sizes.
– Light plastic frame less durable.
– ANC feature lower quality than others.
– Wired design means cables to deal with.
The design of these headphones is very lightweight, coming in at less than half a pound. This should make it easy to wear for long periods, and also not overly heavy for smaller people or children. The headband extends to fit most head sizes, though people with larger heads who often find headphones to be too tight or uncomfortable are likely to find the same with this design. The ear cups are soft and rather comfortable. They are over ear headphones, so your ears should fit entirely or at least mostly within the cups. The padding is soft, but the cups aren’t overly deep and there is no padding against the speaker casing. So, if you ears stick out quite a bit, you may find that they rub or press over time against the back of the ear cup. And one down side of such a lightweight frame is that the plastic is less durable and more prone to breaking.
The sound quality on these is quite good, though it doesn’t compare to the high end offerings of the likes of Bose or Plantronics, etc. You’ll likely find better sound quality in other headphones, but probably not in this price range that feature active noise cancelling. The frequency range is good, offering some full bass (though it isn’t booming) as well as clear mid and high ranges. Sound becomes muddled at higher volumes, though as always I don’t recommend anyone listen to their music that way in the first place and it’s bad for your hearing. The 40mm drivers are pretty good, but lack the fullness of larger speakers and the clarity of the more expensive models on the market.
The main feature of these headphones is the active noise cancelling, which does set it apart from most headphones in its price range. Typically you’d need to pay more for this feature, and it often comes along with bluetooth headphones. As those wireless headphones already have battery power in order to function, the ANC feature is powered from the same source. These headphones don’t require power to use them in a standard way, but the in-line control also houses a rechargeable battery which is needed to power the feature here.
There is a simply on-off switch that controls the feature, alongside the phone/multi-function button. The feature itself does work to isolate background noise fairly well. The company makes an 85% reduction claim, and I would say that is the “best case” target. It’s hard for my to adequately measure the actual percentage of reduction, but it doesn’t match up to the higher-end headphones with the ANC feature. However, again you have to keep in mind that most of those headphones cost double or more.
Final Score: 3.75/5Overall these are a good pair of headphones, and they make an inexpensive entry into the active noise cancelling realm. However, if you’re simply looking for the highest in quality for the noise cancelling feature, these headphones are not that. Their sound is also good but not phenomenal, with many other products offering superior sound. So it all depends on your needs and budget when considering these headphones. If you want the best but least expensive option, they’re certainly worth consideration. But if you want the best in noise cancelling, you should look elsewhere.
Saxhorn ANC-J1 Headphones: $49.99 – Amazon.com