Sony – WH-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Canceling Over-the-Ear Headphones

Sometimes, you just want the music. Or the movie. Or the video. Nothing else, just tune the world out for a spell.

There’s a lot of headphones out there. In the ear. Over the ear. Tinny. To much bass. Too little clarity, too much noise. From a few dollars to over a thousand, there’s something out there fro every listener, for the casual listener to the most hardcore audiophile. I can tell you I’ve sampled more than a few with lofty promises and just about every one fails to deliver in the long run. There’s a name, though, that usually means “quality”. They’ve been around a while, you may have heard of them: Sony. And they’ve come out with a top-notch set of earphones that provide all the high-end sound you could hope for and more.

Gone are the days of paper cones and hair-thin wires with tinny sound that distorts and buzzes. These fantastic Sony headphones sport 40mm liquid crystal polymer diaphragms for drivers. That means fuller, richer sound reproduction, with no distortion, and tinny highs and drowned out lows, and they can handle the full range of frequencies up to 40 kHz. Made sturdy and strong, you don’t have to worry about them cracking over your head but not so heavy as to feel like a workout. Wired or wireless (with bluetooth or NFC) you’ll get your sound from your laptop, your phone, your tablet, or just about any pairable device. And with up to 30 hours of battery life, you can listen or groove all day and night on a single charge!

With advanced noise-cancelling technology (Sony’s “SENSE ENGINE” with their exclusive HD Noise Canceling Processor QN1), the headphones “sense” your activity and adjust your level of noise-cancelling accordingly. No more having your fingers camped out over the volume rocker! Nice. And with an included mic, you can take that call, and get back to your tunes a s soon as you hit “end”. And seeing as how these Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones are compatible with Google Assistant, you might not take them off all day. And with up to 30 hours of battery life, you can listen or groove all day and night on a single charge! Not to worry, though, you can get a good amount of juice quickly with the quick-charging technology.

 

The controls are intuitive, and well placed. The build quality is top-notch. The sound quality and noise cancelling are fantastic. The padded cups cuddle up right against your ears and sit snugly. If I were forced to find one nitpick, it would be the USB-c connection. Micro USB still rules the day in my house, so I always have a handy supply. I know the future is USB-c, but I’m still holding tightly to my micro-USB’s. And that’s the only single negative I could possibly think of, and that’s a real stretch. Sony has a history of quality, and with the Sony WH-1000XM3, I feel they have another winner on their hands.

If you want to experience these for yourself, feel free to try them out for yourself here:

http://bby.me/3etee

 

I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion about this product. I received compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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MARSEE MSH03 Active Noise-Cancelling Bluetooth Wireless Headset

03/23/2016 Edit: Well, the customer service is just plain awful. After contacting me to confirm the unit I received is defective, they then proceeded to ask what rating I would give their defective product, and then informed me they have “No return policy”. Yikes. I would avoid these earphones, this company, and their products and stick to a larger, better known company that stands behind their products (and after some comparison shopping are much, much cheaper, too) and isn’t content selling people defective products. Horrible service, no QC, and no returns. 3 strikes and you’re out.


I’ve tested more than a few bluetooth wireless headsets, both in ear and over the ear. I have yet to find a set that has what I would consider truly premium sound, But MARSEE’s MSH03 set is the closest I’ve found to fully premium, awesome sound. Except that there’s one major, major drawback: The “Active Noise Cancelling” feature ruins the sound! Oh, the irony!

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See, I’ve all but give up on what I would consider an affordable bluetooth headset with honest to goodness premium sound quality. And with most folks downloading low quality rips of music anyways (usually 128 kbps quality, which is usually pretty awful, but also the most ubiquitous), it became a giant game of cat and mouse tracking down high-quality downloads and then getting high quality headphones to listen to it. Everyone claimed HD sound quality to only deliver mediocre at best. But lo and behold, the set MARSEE sent me was pretty darn awesome. With controls for playback right on the earcup, soft, enveloping padding, and a firm, secure feeling on the head, these feel like actual premium headphones without being heavy, and no need to handle them gingerly for fear of all the cheap plastic cracking and breaking! They twist and form to even Hubby’s big ‘ol pumpkin head with ease. The bluetooth connects and pairs quickly, and no worries if there’s an issue with the bluetooth, MARSEE provided a nice, braided-cloth covered cable to take your wireless headset to wired int he blink of an eye! And the sound! Oh, the sound. Crisp, sharp highs, with full, thumping lows, clear mids. These might easily be the best sounding headset I’ve put on in over 20 years.

And then the wheels came off my little red wagon when I engaged the active noise cancelling. And it all went to pot. The full, rich lows went away, and were replaced instead with a screechy, tinny, horribly shrill sound that absolutely ruined my experience with these headphones. I tried both wireless and wired and the results were the same: The noise cancellation feature ruins the sound and I can’t for the life of me find a workaround. At $79.99, these should not have this kind of issue. Emails to the company through Amazon have yet to answered, but if not for the fact that I got this headset at no cost, with this kind of problem they’d have been returned post haste. Yes, the sound is amazing normally. The braided cloth 3.5mm audio cable and flat USB charging cords have a premium look and feel. Yes, the headphones seem to have been engineered with quality in mind and feel premium in both build and materials. The bluetooth pairs quickly and easily, but for $80, the noise cancelling feature is important and with it borking the sound so completely, I can’t recommend them as highly as I’d want.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from MARSEE. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Silicone Devices Comfort+ Wireless Waterproof Bluetooth Earbuds

 

I’ve had a coupe of different sets of bluetooth earbuds, some good, some not so good. Sadly, I feel these Silicone Devices “Black Edition” Comfort+ Bluetooth Wireless earbuds fall into the “not so good” category. The sound is lacking, and for the life of me neither I nor Hubby could get a fit where the earbuds stayed in our ears. So let’s go over these, shall we?

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Right off the bat the sound was tinny. Now, I don’t expect earbuds to deliver the full audio experience over-the-ear cups would provide. But I expected them to be at least the equal of the last pair of bluetooth earbuds I tested, and they weren’t, by a long shot. The sound wasn’t as full, there were almost non-existent lows, and the volume levels were noticeably lower. And that’s when we could get them to stay in. Any rigorous activity and we’d be picking them op off the floor quite quickly. And we tried all available combinations of earbud sizes, and these Silicone Devices Comfort+ in-ear headphones, to their credit, come with plenty. Alas, we just could not get a decent fit. They paired with all our devices quickly, thanks to the bluetooth 4.0 technology, but the range, advertised as about 30ft., was probably closer to 15-20 feet. We found the battery life was adequate, and held a charge for a fair amount of time, almost the full 4 hours advertised. Since it takes a few charge cycles for a lithium-ion battery to achieve it’s full capacity, for me, that’s close enough. I can’t say either of us really worked up much of a sweat wearing them, because they tended to come out of our ears fairly easy. Lastly, there was the price. Similar styles of earbuds (sometimes identical  looking) can be had for 50-60% of the $49.87 price point these are currently selling for on Amazon. I can’t, based the performance I witnessed and heard, see what value there is to be had for these in-ear headphones at this price.

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I liked the carry case they came with, and I like the plethora of ear bud tips that they came with. I like that you’re not tethered to your device, and that the charge lasts a decent amount of time. They paired quickly, and with every device we own with no problems. But I don’t like the tinny sound, they don’t stay in my ear well, and the price is really too high for the quality you’re getting. I really can’t recommend these Silicone Devices Comfort+ In-Ear Bluetooth Headphones. Sorry.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Silicone Devices.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

PulseAudio Vitality Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headphones

Every once in a while you come across a product that you didn’t know much about and didn’t see much use for, until you try it, and suddenly understand what all the hub-bub is about. That’s exactly what happened to me with these PulseAudio Vitality bluetooth headphones. I now don’t know how I ever got along without them. Come with me as we explore why.

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Let’s be honest, there’s few things on this earth more annoying than having your earbuds ripped out of your ears. It’s somewhere between “nails on a chalkboard” and ” loud high-pitched whine”.  And we mostly do it ourselves because our earphone cord hangs down and gets caught on whatever (Or whoever) is nearest. I’m here to tell you that with PulseAudio’s Vitality bluetooth earbuds, that’s a thing of the past. And it doesn’t mean sacrificing every drop of sound quality either. Because the sound? It’s quality. It’s not like it’s reference quality, but I’ve paid more and gotten less when it comes to the sound, and they weren’t bluetooth either. And lest you think that means some giant ungainly boxes over your ears like the old FM radio headphones of yesteryear (Full disclosure, I actually owned some of those. Not to date myself here or anything!). No, these are fairly small, fairly light, but set securely in your ear and have plenty more to offer still. They are BlueTooth 4.1 compliant, and also offer NFC wireless capabilities, so all your latest devices are guaranteed to work. They come complete with a nifty little travel pouch, a charging cable, and multiple sizes of silicone buds/stabilizers for all ear sizes and types!

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See, these also have controls for volume, and can double as a hands-free headset for your smartphone! Honestly, I’m shocked they managed to cram so much in such a small package. Powered by lithium-polymer batteries, they have plenty of power (Up to 8 hours!) to last you pretty much all day. If I had a nit to pick, it would be that a couple of the buttons were hard, if not nearly impossible to get to easily by our resident sausage-finger, aka, Hubby. The price is pretty steep too, considering that rival bluetooth earbuds could be had for less than half the cost, but without knowing the quality of the sound of these rivals, I can’t say, dollar for dollar, if they are truly a value. Also, at $59.99, they could have included a wall charger instead of piggy backing on one you already own, or your handy USB charging hub. But they do include a 1-year warranty, so that’s a major plus as well. So overall the positives far outweigh the few minor negatives, and I’m very happy with these PulseAudio Vitality headphones.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from PulseAudio.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Sentey B-Trek H9 Bluetooth Headphones w/Mic Ls-4560

Sentey-Logo

 

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So, it seems when Sentey makes a product that hits, it hits a home run. But sometimes, it’s just a foul ball over the left field fence. Not quite a homerun but a solid hit none the less. This is one of those. You’ll recall from my last Sentey Flow headset review, the sound was nothing to write home about. These B-Trek Bluetooth headphones fix that in spades. The sound is pretty good. The 40mm drivers have even tones, decent bass, and don’t sound tinny or blown out. Wired or wireless, the sound is quality. These are Bluetooth V4.0 compatible, and have been tested to work solidly with my laptop, hubby’s Nexus tablet, and our phone. It holds the connection well too. Where it falls short, again, is in the “gaming” category.

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See, the last thing I want to hear is the carnage and destruction inherent to one of hubby’s Battlefield 4 multiplayer sessions. Especially while I’m painting my nails. And we thought this headset would be the solution. But, despite pairing with the Playstaion 3 with ease, try as we might we could not get sound through these headphones to save our lives from the unit. Not for the game, for Amazon Prime videos, for music…nothing. Just static and ticking. It was a huge let down. We have an email in to Sentey about this, but as of this writing we have yet to hear back*. If you want a decent set of bluetooth headphones that won’t break the bank, these fit the bill. If you want it for PS3 (or PS4, one assumes) gaming, you might want to look elsewhere.

I don’t feel the lack of PS3 support should be a dealbreaker. The sound is good, they seem well constructed and of better materials than the Sentey Flow headset I mentioned previously. They also fold up for travel, come with a spiffy hard-ish travel case that holds the headset, the charging cable and the 3.5mm wired connection. The wired connection also works without having the lithium polymer battery charged (Sentey reports battery life of over 8 hours!), so your tunes aren’t dependent on your battery either. You have play, pause, skip and volume controls on the headset as well (device support dependent, obviously), which is nice. They fit my head, and even hubby’s big ‘ol pumpkin head, so they should fit just about everyone nicely. The ear cushion cups are snug enough for workouts or light jogging, but know that prolonged listening during these activities might cause some trapped perspiration, but the upside is there’s very little sound bleed from the earpieces. They were comfortable to wear and not so heavy that you feel like your head weighs an extra 10lbs. Overall we’re fans of these Sentey B-Trek Bluetooth Headphones, but there’s definitely room for some improvement here.

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*A quick note: I attempted on 2 separate occasions to get some support from Sentey about the PS3/Bluetooth issue. Both went unaswered. I’m dismayed that, knowing this product was sent as promotion and knowing that I would review it, and their after-sales support, they ignored me. Maybe they’d be better about product support with a paying customer, but I’ll leave my readers to draw their own conclusions here. Major disappointment for us, though.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Sentey.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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