Any links to online stores should be assumed to be affiliates. The company or PR agency provides all or most review samples. They have no control over my content, and I provide my honest opinion.

The Edifier WH950NB ANC headphones are the latest launch from Edifier and their new flagship ANC headphones which I assume replace the ageing W860NB.

The Edifier WH950NB borders on premium-priced products, but they have sensibly priced them well below options from top brands, including Sony’s WH-1000XM5 or the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700.

Specification

  • 40mm composite titanium film driver
  • Active Noise Cancellation + Ambient Sound Mode
  • LDAC codec with Hi-Res Audio & Hi-Res Wireless certification
  • Advanced 4-Mic ENC for the best voice clarity
  • Personalize EQ and select various music modes in Edifier Connect APP
  • Supports Google Fast Pair for Android users
  • Bluetooth 5.3 with dual device connection allows you to multitask with two devices
  • 1.5 hours fully charged for at least 34 hours playtime(ANC ON) / 55hrs(ANC OFF)
  • Fast charging: 7hrs playback in just 10mins
  • Double protection for safe hearing: Volume <85dB and a cut-off timer. Foldable and lightweight design. Ideal for daily use, conference meeting and travel

Design / Fit

I was sent the white colour option. They are reasonably attractive, no worse and no better than most other headphones.

They are plasticy, but the build quality feels good. The earcups have quite a large circumference, and they are well cushioned. I, therefore, found them very comfortable to wear. As with all headphones, especially those with PVC-coated cushions, my ears get hot after a couple of hours of use.

All the controls are via the buttons on the right-hand earcup. The buttons feel a bit cheap, but I prefer them to my Bose 700 headphones. The Bose has smooth flat buttons that look more aesthetic, but I can never work out if I am pressing the right button when they are on my head. The Edifier are more indented, so it is easier to work out what you are doing.

App

I have mixed feelings towards the Edifier Connect App. It works; it provides all the functions I want. This includes multiple ANC modes, a decent EQ (though only 2 presets), then different modes which can improve performance for gaming/music/movies.

If you enable notifications, the app forces a permanent notification, which I find irritating.

The app, in general, just doesn’t feel quite refined enough when you compare it to other brands such as Anker, Bose etc.

LDAC & Dual Connection

There is one annoying issue with these headphones. You’d can’t use LDAC if you want to use dual-device connectivity. I assume this is some sort of limitation with Bluetooth. I guess it ensures the headphones only need to use SBC between two devices rather than two devices trying to use SBC and LDAC separately.

While this may not be Edifier’s fault, you are forced to disable either LDAC or dual device connection, and each of these features are selling point for the headphones.

Sound Quality

While it is good that these headphones have LDAC, they are limited to SBC if your devices don’t support LDAC. There is no AAC or any AptX. LDAC support is quite good on Android nowadays, but iPhone users will be limited to SBC.

Edifier has established itself as a reputable brand to go for if you want good-quality audio for a reasonable price. This trend holds true for the Edifier WH950NB.

With LDAC enabled, these are enjoyable to listen to. Like most mainstream headphones, these have an emphasis on bass. With the classic mode, I would regard this as pleasant; they are not excessively bassy, nor are they boring (which I find neutral headphones can be).

In the dynamic mode, with some tracks, I found the low end a little overpowering for the other frequencies.

With the bass dialled in a little, I find the mids and vocals to be superb.

I’m quite sensitive to high frequencies, and I think this is why I am not as keen on neutral headphones. With these, I didn’t experience any unpleasant sharpness in the highs. I listen to quite a lot of punk music, and I find that it can sometimes be a bit too screechy and harsh with headphones, but I didn’t experience this here.

If the two default sound profiles don’t quite suit your tastes, you can tweak things within the EQ. I would like to see more presets. For example, Anker Soundcore has loads of options, and it just makes things a bit easier when you don’t know what you are doing with an EQ.

Active Noise Cancellation

As soon as I switched these on, I could tell there was an effective amount of ANC. With no music playing, the background noise from my PC was immediately eliminated. I could hear the tapping from my keyboard, but it was subdued.

Similarly, when I put them on in the kitchen, the background boiler noise was completely cancelled out.

Moving onto my default airplane cabin noise, I dialled up the volume on my Edifier S3000 Pro speakers to an unpleasant level. In this scenario, the headphones blocked out most of the low end, leaving the high end and some mids. I could still tell there was some low end, but that was the physical sensation in my chest as it was that loud.

Importantly, I was able to play music over this loud background noise without dialling up the volume more than I would normally listen. Leaving the music playing but switching ANC off, it was impossible to enjoy the music.  

Battery

With a claimed 34 hours playtime with ANC on or 55 hours with ANC off. The battery life is good enough that I haven’t really tested it properly, I charge them once a week, and that’s about it.

The battery life is worse than the Anker Space Q45 (50h/65h), but better than the likes of Sony WH-1000XM5 (30h/40h).

As long as they can get me through a long day of travel/flights, that’s all I really care about.

Price and Alternative Options

The Edifier WH950NB headphones are priced at £179.99.

It is an interesting price point because it makes them quite a bit more expensive than the obvious alternative brand, Anker Soundcore. However, they are priced at least £70 below the big brands such as Sony and Bose.

They have only been on Amazon since the middle of January 2023. I suspect over time there will be some big discounts and this will make them much more appealing.  

For the alternative options you have:

  • Anker Space Q45 with ANC, LDAC and an excellent app. The RRP is £139.99 but can be regularly had for under £100.
  • The older Anker Life Q35 cost more at £119.99.
  • Bose QuietComfort 45 have an RRP of £320 but they are consistently priced between £230-£250.
  • The Sony WH-1000XM5 are often classed as the gold standard for ANC headphones, but they are consistently around £290, so much more expensive than the Edifier.
  • The Sennheiser Momentum 3 are around £245 or the newer Momentum 4 are £299.

Overall

There is a lot to like about the Edifier WH950NB. They have an excellent specification, and the overall performance is superb. I am more than happy to recommend them.

I think the pricing is OK for what you are getting, but I think people will think £180 is a bit steep when you have big brand names competing at £70 more or Anker coming in at least £30 cheaper.

I have never been fond of the Edifier Connect app. It is functional, but it just doesn’t have a premium look and feel to it that other brands have. I also dislike that it tries to show a permanent notification. This is all fine for cheap earbuds, but I expect a bit better for something at this price point.

Overall, these are an excellent choice if you can’t stretch your budget for Sony or Bose headphones.

Edifier WH950NB Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Review

Summary

There is a lot to like about the Edifier WH950NB. They have an excellent specification, and the overall performance is superb. I am more than happy to recommend them.

Overall
85%
85%
  • Overall - 85%
    85%

Pros

  • Excellent overall performance
  • Impressive ANC

Cons

  • Perhaps a bit expensive when you have good options from Soundcore at a much lower price point

Last update on 2024-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *