Written by Zayed Talib (Tech360.tv Community Creator)
When I was looking for something that I wanted to replace my Apple AirPods Pro with regards to listening to my iMac on a daily basis I was looking at battery life test the number one consideration when looking for new devices. Now the bar that I was starting on was pretty low at 4 hours on a single charge.
So when I started looking for potential options, it was clear then what I was looking for – battery life.
What I found strange was that the top-rated and premium-priced headsets averaging $500 each had battery life that was a third of headsets that were priced at $100-$150.
Now, I accept that I am not the only person whose opinion matters, but it seems to be that battery life should be amongst the top 3 conditions that any manufacturer should prioritise.
If I was going to ask Sennheiser what their longest battery life headphones are, it would be the PXC 550 II with 30 hours at the time of writing this article. If it was Sony, it would be 30 hours with the Sony WH-1000XM3. And Bose, 20 hours.
But surely there must be some mistake? No, there isn’t. Because I have looked. And the Edifier W830BT is the king of the hill at 95 hours for the low price of S$100-150 depending on where you buy them from.
How insane is it that there are a pair of headphones in the wilderness that give us such great value in battery life but are not mentioned anywhere?
Granted, this is a 2-year-old product which is probably why it didn’t appear in many 2020 lists or even 2019 lists. But the W830BT took the rest of the S$500 headphones, in 2020 I might add, gut-punched them and left them in the dust when it comes to battery life.
Personally, I have had to run down the batteries of these headphones over the course of 3 weeks, scattered through the day through phone calls, music listening and Zoom meetings but the result was clear. They just KEEP going. That is astounding to me.
It’s like running a marathon and finding out that you have the energy to do two more. It’s like going for a week-long holiday and your headphones have more energy than you do to last you till you get home. I’ve run out of metaphors but if you don’t get the picture by now, then a video and an article won’t change your mind.
Let’s go over the construction of the headphones, which is respectable, I might add, for something that goes for S$100-$150. Most of its body is made of plastic but not the sort that would leave you feeling like you’re handling a pair of cheaply made knock offs. There’s a matte texture running through it. They are closed-back headphones so these headphones were made for users who want to shut themselves off from the world.
The IO is minimal with only one physical control button and though I had wished the buttons on it were clearer to the user, it’s still navigable through the audio feedback as it has to do with volume up and down buttons. There’s a nice PLA leather foam at the top of the headband for comfort and this is very much welcome as you will be using the headphones for a lengthy period of time.
With regards to the audio quality – it’s good. It’s not great but its definitely good. I’m still a fan of using wired headphones with an external DAC and amp to gain a deeper appreciation of the music and sound being engineered for my listening. But since most entertainment nowadays is in digital format MP3 and most videos are encoded with H.264 digital, these headphones definitely make the cut in terms of audio performance.
Having gotten used to the Apple Airpods in-ear experience, there is a noticeable difference when using over-ear headphones as the audio is not as rich.
Still, I’m not an audio engineer and for my needs, the sound is great. There is a special mention for these pair of headphones and that is that it supports multipoint connection, where it can be connected to 2 devices at the same time. In this respect, I suppose Apple either didn’t have the time or the experience to ensure its headphones could do the same.
Technology-wise, the Edifier W830BT and many other headphones and true wireless earphones have shown it can be done. So it’s a bit disappointing that Apple hasn’t figured out a way for its own products to do the same. Conclusion? If your concern is battery life, these are the ones for you.
More information and purchase options for the Edifier W830BT (S$149) headphones can be found on distributor Ban Leong’s website.