When you really want to zone out, leave humanity or your environment behind, you need active noise-cancelling headphones. Few headsets cancel noise better than these Wyze Headphones, which are also one of the most comfortable headsets I’ve worn.
You do pay a slight sonic price for this trick, but that simply means the sound goes from very good to merely good. The kicker: These phones cost just $50. Until I looked up the price at the end of my evaluation, I was thinking $150.
This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best headphones, where you’ll find reviews of competing products, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping for this type of product.
Design and features
The Wyze headphones I tested come in basic black, sport low-latency/low-power Bluetooth 5.0, and as I said, are among the most comfy I’ve tested. The ear cup pads are extremely plush, and my ears never came close to making contact with the speaker grills. The adjustable headband is firm, but not too tight, and the cushion for the top of your head is as comfortable as the cup pads.
The one area where I’m now going to be critical of all headphones is controls. The controls on the Wyze (noise-cancellation button on the left, power/up/down/enter on the right) are as well placed as any I’ve experienced, but after the joystick on the Marshall Major IV, everything else seems dated. That’s not a knock on Wyze, just a plea for all vendors to adopt a superior design.
The left cup is home to the 3.5mm input jack, and the right cup houses the USB-C charging port. The outside of the right cup is also used as a touch surface to control your voice assistant. Wyze includes both audio and charging cables, as well as a simple carry bag. There’s no 1/4-inch adapter or airline adapter included.
I’d like to compliment Wyze on its quickstart guide, which is succinct, but thorough and far easier to read than some of the tiny booklets other vendors provide. Kudos as well for all-paper/cardboard packaging and no shrink wrapping. You can easily recycle everything but the phones themselves. (Although that’s also possible in most locales, if you take the trouble.)
There is of course an app that allows EQ’ing the unit and choosing the level of ambient noise reduction.
Performance (noise abatement and sound)
There’s no arguing the efficacy of the Wyze ambient nose reduction. As these are over-ear headphones, they block a lot of noise without an electronic assist. With active noise cancellation (adding a phase-opposite signal to the audio) enabled, they become very, very quiet. If I were on an airplane, they’re definitely one of the sets I’d consider bringing along.
On the other hand, activating noise cancellation slightly alters frequency response. The Wyze headphones sound very good without cancellation enabled, and merely good with it on. That’s the nature of the cancellation beast, but I will say I hear ever so slightly less difference in sonics between the two modes with my Sony WH-XB900H headset. Picayune.
Sans said noise cancellation, the bass was spot-on, round and punchy without sounding like a subwoofer. Unless of course, you’re a subwoofer fiend. (Is that still a thing?) Separation? They’re headphones. It’s perfect. The mid-range is clean and accurate, though I’d opt for just a tad more in the upper regions. There are just enough highs for my taste, though I wouldn’t say no to a pinch more. Younger ears will wonder what I’m going on about.
My above comments are on the default settings. The EQ seemed to work well with cuts and gain with the bass, but I didn’t notice huge gains in the mids or highs no matter how many dB I boosted. The sound doesn’t need much tweaking anyway, so no biggie.
Run time was very good, but I didn’t quite make the 20 hours Wyze claims. I saw around 16, but then I left them (off-ear) playing at a relatively high volume.
Overall, I’d have no problem using these headphones as my daily drivers if I wasn’t currently stuck on, yes the Marshall Major IV’s. But those don’t do noise cancellation, so I’ll take the Wyze on the plane, and they’re also in my listen-to-recording-mixdowns brigade.
As I’ve said several times now, the Wyze headphones are super comfortable and do a stellar job of shutting off the sound from the outside world. They sound good if not great in that mode, and very good when not cancelling noise. Head to head, I’d give a slight nod to the aforementioned WH-XB900n’s in terms of sound. Then again, the Sony’s are four times the price. $50. With an app. Sheesh. Buy ‘em.
User warning: For goodness sake, don’t use noise-cancelling/blocking headphones that don’t provide the option to pipe in ambient sound in any situation where missing an audio clue could cost you your life. Jogging, strolling downtown, riding your bike? No. Watching TV, listening to tunes at home? Okay.