Bluedio F800 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones REVIEW Hear only what you want to hear
I am a huge fan of movies, music, gaming and audible books. Unfortunately, my wife does not share my same interests. Thus, I will often use headphones with my iPhone 7 Plus or iPad Air 2. For prolonged listening, I have preferred over-ear (circumaural) headphones instead of in-ear (intra-aural) or on-ear (supra-aural) varieties. This style of headphone typically utilizes larger drivers and provides for a fuller sound, and often provides more comfort but at the sacrifice of portability. Noise-canceling features are often included, with circumaural style headphones. This feature helps you to enjoy your programs, even when background noises attempt to interfere with the sounds. Bluedio provides an amazing example of an active noise canceling headphone.
The Bluedio F800 ANC headphones arrived in a classy flat black cardboard box with a beautiful representation of the product on the cover. The silver chrome accents of the Bluedio logo and on the headphones provide a stark contrast to the black background. One side of the box further details the chrome features of the headphones and the other side provides 6 logos, describing the features of the F800: Active Noise Cancelling, Ultra-big Driver, Line-in/out, HiFi Sound, Adaptive, and 1300h Standby. The rear face of the package shows an active noise canceling diagram, which appeared to resemble a circuit diagram from physics class. Essentially each ear cup contains two microphones that sense ambient sounds and create a 180 degree out of phase sound wave, to negate the sound. To access the headphones, slide the outer slipcover off of the main box and then lift the magnetic flap located along the right side. Inside you will find the F800 ANC headphones and a Stereo Headset Accessory box, which contains the grey 7 1/2 inch by 8 1/2 inch plush drawstring carry bag, a flat 40-inch USB-A to USB-micro cable, 60-inch 3.5mm audio cable and a multi-lingual user manual.
The instruction manual is written in English, Chinese, Spanish, French, German, Japenese, Russian and Italian languages. The English portion of the manual is well written and easy to peruse. You can gain a quick understanding of the device by evaluating the diagram on page 3 of the manual. Additionally, the manual details the use of the multi-function button, volume buttons, active noise canceling button and the mechanism to pair the device via Bluetooth. The device was incredibly easy to pair. Simply press and hold the rectangular multi-function button, on the right earcup, and you will hear an audible “power on” and then “ready to pair.” In addition to the auditory cue, you will also see a solid blue LED. Navigate to settings, then to Bluetooth and select F800 from the list. Once completed you will hear “Pairing completed” and the process is complete. The instruction manual further states that you can connect the headphones to two devices. Once connected to the first device, turn off the headphones and the Bluetooth feature on your first device. Power on the headphones again and then connected to device #2. Additionally, you can turn off the device and plug the 3.5mm audio jack into your device and along the bottom left ear cup.
The multi-function button will serve to power on/off the device and will also pause/play music if you press the button. If paired with a device that is capable of receiving a phone call, you can tap the multi-function button to answer and then again to end the conversation. If you wish to refuse a call, you can hold the button for 2 seconds. You can also double press the button to redial the last number or place a caller on hold. I have never liked using any pair of headphones for phone conversations. I do like the ability to hear the conversation better, but the person you call suffers from a decreased ability to hear. Headsets with the microphone by the mouth or those designed for calls perform much better than headphones that have added the phone call feature. Even the Bluedio headphones suffer from the tunnel sounds of having the microphone by your ears. I tried calling multiple friends/family members and nobody liked the quality of the conversation.
If you look along the top inside of the ear cups, you will notice a small R and L, which will allow you to correctly orient the headphones. Interestingly, it feels as if the volume up/down buttons are reversed in the Bluedio F800. Intuitively, I would like to press the right button to increase and the left button to decrease the volume. Additionally, I would expect a long press to advance to the next track by pressing right and the previous track by pressing left. However in this instance, pressing the right button will decrease the volume and will skip to the previous track if held. I found that this was the worst part of the device and needs to be reversed. Below the multi-function button, you will find the active noise canceling button, which makes a huge difference in the overall sound quality. I really cannot find a reason why I would turn off this feature. The sound was markedly fuller and provide a more robust enjoyable listening experience, while in ANC mode. Additionally, I could enjoy the sound with much less ambient noise. This is not safe for driving and I would not use this mode in any environment where background noises are needed for focus/safety.
The headphones utilize the latest Bluetooth version 4.1 (A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP), and have the typical operating range of 33 feet (10meters). I had no issues with the range if line-of-sight was maintained. Unfortunately, the addition of any solid object drastically reduced the range of the headphones. The headphones have a frequency response of 15Hz to 25 kHz (but most of us will never hear above 15–16 kHz due to age-related limitations). On a single charge, I was able to listen to a few hours of music and to watch my own movies for an entire week. The manual promised 30 hours of talk time under ANC, which proved to be very accurate in real-world testing. The manual promised equal time for Bluetooth listening with and without ANC use and thus I did not test the listening time without the ANC feature active. The headphones will fully recharge, with the included micro-USB to USB-A cable in 2 hours.
Listening to music/books and watching movies was a very pleasant experience with the headphones. The bass is deep and full and the treble is well balanced. I enjoyed my routine test tracks and quickly turned to my comfort music in CCR. From Cee Lo Green, to Star Wars, to Braveheart, this pair of headphones provided an amazing sound. Using the audiocheck.net website, I was able to hear the range of 20Hz to 16kHz and the Left/Right/Center channels are correctly programmed. The headphones are rather large and my wife did not like the way that they looked on my head. She jokingly noted that I looked as if I were directing airplanes on the tarmac. Truthfully, I am not trying to win any beauty contests and do not care much about what the device looks like. I want a device that provides comfort, quality sound and plenty of features for the price. She tried the headphones on and noted that they were really comfortable and actually had a great sound. Bluedio has succeeded where multiple other varieties have failed. I would rate these headphones at 5/5 stars.
Originally published at macsources.com on October 19, 2017.