The first thing I noticed when I first touched these headphones was just how soft and luxurious they felt in my hand. And then I put them on my head and marveled at just how comfortable they were around my ears, and how they immediately dampened environmental sounds with their passive noise cancelling design.
Pairing them with my phone was simple, too – they’re equipped with Bluetooth 4.0, and paired without a hassle. If you can read on-screen prompts, you can pair these with any supported device.
Active Noise Cancelling for the win
Once paired, I then hit the active noise cancelling button, conveniently located on the left earcup. Immediately, the outside world went even quieter. And then I put on some music. Oh my God, I thought, these are awesome: everything I heard was crisp and clear, regardless of music genre.
Bass had a nice thump to it, the intricacies of the obscure thrash metal I listen to were even clearer, and dialogue from YouTube videos was crisp and clear. I was in a perfect cocoon of self-created isolation where it was just me and my audio. Perfect.
And as I work in an open-plan office and did extensive testing there, I can highly recommend Xqisit’s oE400 ANC headphones for people craving a sense of isolation from their noisy colleagues – they block out everything but the loudest sounds. For an introvert seeking a bit of shelter from an extroverted world, they are bliss.
They’re even good for talking hands-free on a smartphone, thanks to a built-in microphone – I chatted away merrily to friends on WhatsApp using these, with crystal-clear audio all the way. I could even listen to songs on my phone and skip tracks using the on-cup controls, both very nice touches.
Testing the headphones’ 10m wireless range meant I didn’t just move away from my laptop, I put a few walls between it and myself too. One wall away, audio was fine. Two walls, and it started breaking up, which is fair. With clear line of sight, audio remained top-notch and uninterrupted from just under 10m away. Past the 10m mark, and the audio skipped every now and then. Also fair, since 10m is what these ‘phones are rated for.
The other things that are good to know about owning wireless headphones is how long they take to charge, and how long that charge lasts. I got between 10 and 12 hours of use between charges, and charging back to full took a surprisingly quick single hour thanks to some fast-charging tech. The presence of a 3.5mm jack for an audio cable means you can still use them while they’re charging, too.
I only have two major complaints about these cans. The first is the volume and track-skipping buttons feel like they are made of weak plastic and felt kind of crap to press, an odd design decision given the high-quality feel of the rest of the headset’s components.
The second is that to get your hands on a pair you’ll need to visit an MTN store in person, as they aren’t for sale through other outlets or online. This is quite inconvenient in the age of online orders.
While these two points certainly detract from the headphones’ overall appeal, they’re not enough for me to say don’t buy them – they are still damn good.
All the boxes
That’s because these headphones tick all of the boxes I want ticked when I look at a new set: they’re comfortable, they cancel noise beautifully, they sound amazing, they’re easy to pair, and they work really well even at a distance. And at an RRP of R1 999 they’re also surprisingly affordable.
Overall, Xqisit’s oE400 ANC wireless headset is a very good product and one that I highly recommend.