The W1 Conundrum
As I work on producing more and more podcast audio headphones are becoming one of the most important things in my tech arsenal. My trusty wood backed over ear wired headphones that I have been using since EuroTech Talk (I have no idea what they are they came free with a subscription to wired) are no longer cutting it.
My requirements are as much noise cancelling as possible, a wired connection for the times I’m using a mixer, and most importantly they must be over ear. I’ve used some Beats Solo3 for a while and due to being on ear they are uncomfortable after an hour or so of use.
There are hundreds of models that fit into this category, with price tags anywhere from just over £100 to north of £500. Almost all of these, there are considered to be 3-4 leaders, and hundreds of reviews comparing them all together. Most people give the nod to the Sony WH-1000X closely followed by the stalwart of any long haul flight the Bose QC.
Yet as much as I know that the Sony WH-1000XM2, or equally the Bose QuietComfort 35 or the Sennheiser PXC 550 are the much better choice for sound. Any headphones produced with the W chip in must become a consideration – so I must also take into account the Beats Studio 3 simply because they are so easy to use.
Many times I have used my AirPods to walk down the gym, and switched to my Beats X or Solo3 for working out without missing a single beat. Many people dismiss the Beats headphones as sounding overly bass heavy, but more modern versions are better, and I can forgive this if I don’t have to fiddle with the Bluetooth connection screen for 5 minutes before each use.
The Bose QC35ii even have a ‘Google Assistant button’ which is pretty much useless when using an iPhone. This is no fault of Google assistant, or Bose, but Apple Music music controls are extremely limited. The smartphone wars are now extending towards headphone manufactures and car companies, what a time to be alive.
Ultimately I wanted something comfortable and ’neutral’ sounding so I went with the Bose (my personal preference), but it just shows what a difference the W chips have made. If they were not installed in the Beats range they wouldn’t even be in the conversation.