Edifier WH950NB review: Premium wireless headphones without the high cost

in General Discussion
There isn't a shortage of premium options for noise-canceling headphones to consider. Still, the new Edifier WH950NB, with its exceptional audio performance at a competitive price, is worth adding to your list.

Edifier WH950NB
Edifier WH950NB

We liked the sound and comfort of the WH950NB headphones, plus their ability to hush sounds around us was impressive.

With a $180 retail price, these headphones undercut Sony's also excellent WH-1000XM4 by a significant amount and put AirPods Max to shame on the cost front.

Of course, just because the price is right doesn't mean a product is a must-buy. But after weeks of use, we can confidently say the WH950NB headphones are great and deliver tremendous value.

Edifier WH950NB review - Specs

Edifier's WH950NB headphones are great because they pack many valuable features for daily use.

WH950NB headphones charge via USB-C
WH950NB headphones charge via USB-C

The battery life was exceptional, and we loved not having to think about charging them frequently. The headphones are rated for 34 hours with ANC on and 55 hours with it off.

The headphones use Bluetooth 5.3 and can connect to two devices simultaneously. We had no complaints about this nicety.

The WH950NB headphones support Hi-Res Audio and Hi-Res Audio wireless and have LDAC certification, but currently, this only applies to Android devices. Also, for Android devices, the Google Fast Pair feature is present.

It wasn't all roses. There were a few disappointments we encountered. There's no way to skip songs from the headphones.

There are physical buttons for volume, pause/play, and changing noise-cancellation modes, but no skip button or a way to customize an existing button to do that job.

It's a strange omission and probably not a deal-breaker for anyone, but it did catch us off guard and was occasionally annoying.

There's also no ear detection. When you remove the headphones from your head, they don't pause. This was less annoying than no skip button, but still a feature we've become accustomed to with the higher-end headphones.

Additionally, while there is a shutoff timer in the Edifier Connect app, presumably for use at night around bedtime, there is no way to have the headphones turn off after a period of inactivity.

Listening to Edifier WH950NB

We tried the white color option and thought the headphones looked attractive enough. More importantly, the soft protein leather and memory foam ear pads were comfortable. The comfort allowed for long periods of listening.

Memory foam made the headband and ear pads comfortable for extended use
Memory foam made the headband and ear pads comfortable for extended use

The headband and ear pads were plush without too much pressure. We also didn't feel overly sweaty around the ears, but that will vary for other people.

WH950NB has a frequency response of 20Hz to 40kHz and uses 40mm drivers. As a result, the bass was deep and thick while vocals were present, and the mid-range was clear.

A prime example of these elements coalescing was the song "Identical" by Phoenix. But, most importantly, across all genres of music, these headphones felt personable and let each song thrive.

These headphones threaded a fine line of presenting an accurate sound without coming across as too flat or sterile.

If you want to use these wireless headphones for mobile gaming, an 80ms low-latency gaming mode is available in the Edifier Connect app.

In terms of noise cancellation, there were plenty of choices. You can choose between high noise cancellation, low noise cancellation, wind reduction, and ambient sound.

These modes can all be cycled through with the button on the headphones, or you can remove certain ones from the app so the ones the button cycles through are shorter.

The ANC performance wasn't as strong as Sony's, but it was good enough to keep us focused in our house and out at a cafe.

The ambient sound mode, which let us hear the world around us, did a competent job of keeping us aware of sounds we needed to keep an ear out for.

Are the Edifier WH950NB your next headphones?

There are a lot of really good general-purpose wireless headphones we could recommend that sound excellent and provide plenty of features, but few of them dip under the $200 price point.

The headphones fold to fit inside their included carrying case
The headphones fold to fit inside their included carrying case

While $180 isn't cheap, Edifier has made the WH950NB headphones a more affordable premium option.

We wish that some minor conveniences like ear detection or a skip button on the headphones were present, but we could live without those things in favor of sound quality, comfort, and solid ANC performance.

Edifier WH950NB pros

  • Dynamic and wide soundstage

  • Better than average ANC performance

  • Great value

Edifier WH950NB cons

  • Lacking minor features like inactivity shutoff

  • No skip button on headphones

Rating: 4 out of 5

Where to buy Edifier WH950NB headphones

These headphones are available for purchase at Amazon for $179.99.

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