I’m a big fan of going wireless.
At home, I use a wireless keyboard, a wireless mouse and a set of Razer Chimaera 5.1 wireless headphones. I even have a wireless charging station for my phone (lucky me, I know), because cables suck. My desk looks so much better uncluttered, too.
So when these wireless headphones crossed my desk, I was immediately intrigued.
For starters, they look pretty damn good: they’re covered in soft-touch black rubber, they’re not too heavy and they aren’t very big. Then, when I put them on I noticed how snug they fit and how easily adjustable they are – even on my large noggin I managed to get the earcups exactly where they needed to be to cover my ears perfectly.
iFrogz’ engineers placed the controls and ports on the right earcup. There’s a volume rocker, a power button, a micro USB port for charging and a 3.5mm jack for those times when the headset runs out of power, giving you the option to hook them up the old-fashioned way while they charge.
Turning them on requires a press-and-hold of the power button, and pairing them is a no-brainer – simply activate Bluetooth on the device you want to use them with, go through the quick pairing process and you’re done. I used them on my Windows 10 laptop and my Android phone, and the headset worked beautifully on both.
It even has a built-in microphone allowing it to be used as a hands-free headset for your phone, which worked seamlessly.
And the range on this thing… yoh! The Bluetooth 4.1 specification says that its maximum range is 100m, so I tested it. I took my laptop outside and had a colleague hold it while I walked away wearing the headphones, maintaining line of sight, and only at about the 80m mark did the signal drop. Only at approximately 100m did it cut out entirely. Impressive!
Inside a building is another story, however. All it takes is a few walls to stand between you and your audio source, and the signal distorts. I made it to the kitchen here at work, which is about 15m away from my desk, before the audio started cutting out. So don’t expect the audio to remain constant while walking all over your office or home.
This isn’t a criticism, it’s simply the nature of any wireless technology: it will degrade over distance and be affected by objects occupying the space between its source and receiver.
Sound quality is likewise a pleasant surprise: it’s fan-freaking-tastic. I’m sure a super-fussy audiophile would find something to moan about (like maybe the soft hiss I hear when nothing is playing but the volume is set quite high), but for me, as a player-of-games and listener-of-music while I work, the sounds produced by these headphones is all-round excellent.
Bass is rich with a nice thump to it that doesn’t feel as if it shakes the headphones at all, and mids and highs are nice and clear without being tinny. Darude’s Sandstorm is a pleasure to listen to on these, but so too are BomfunkMC’s Freestyler, Collective Soul’s Where the River Flows and Metallica’s The Day That Never Comes.
The battery life on these headphones is insane. During the review period I listened to over four hours of music and played three hours or so of games, but spread out over a period of about four weeks. In fact, what surprised me the most was the fact that I didn’t use these for weeks, yet when I picked them up to put the finishing touches on this review today, they hadn’t run out of power yet.
About the only gripe I have with these headphones is that they are a bit too snug on my head – they grip quite hard since my head is, er, quite large and their earcups press my ears flat against my head. As a result I can’t wear them for longer than two hours or so as my ears start to hurt.
Lastly, you’re probably expecting these headphones to cost a fortune, but they don’t: you can pick them up for a piffling R699 from Musica. For a well-made wireless headset, that’s a great price. It’s so good, in fact, that as a broke-ass journalist, even I’d consider spending my own money on them were I looking for a new wireless headset.
So yes, these are pretty damn good. If you’re in the market, I can highly recommend the iFrogz Coda Bluetooth Wireless Headset.