Amazon.com: Customer reviews: COWIN E8 [Upgraded] Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Bluetooth Headphones with Microphone Deep Bass Wireless Headphones Over Ear, Great Audio for Travel/Work/TV/Computer/Cellphone, Rose
I bought the Cowin E8 Black Rose ANC headphones for $160 when my beloved Crusher Wireless headphones snapped after a few good years of use. I'm leaving this review with my Crushers in mind and comparing the two.
These headphones are big, as the photos illustrate. They are also considerably heavy. When I wear them for an hour or two, they start to get uncomfortable. My ears get sweaty and I feel the weight focused on the top of my head. My Crushers were much lighter so I've had to adjust. They are a bit bulkier when carried around my neck as well. However I don't normally wear them out of the house, so I can usually take them off and set them aside for a while. Just keep that in mind if you like to take headphones with you wherever you go.
Despite the size, they are comfortable when not worn for hours on end. The benefit of the headphones being large is that the cups sit comfortably on my head without making my ears feel cramped. The ear cushions are the softest of the three over-ear headphones I've purchased.
The build quality seems pretty solid to me. I've not really tried bending them to test the durability, but there hasn't been a moment in which I feared my normal usage would break them.
The headphones are definitely stylish IMO. I went with the Black Rose model instead of the standard Black Gold model and am very happy with that decision. The rose accents tastefully complement the black...well, rest of the headphones. I even like the placement of the Cowin logo--on the inside of each color stripe on the headband and on the back of each ear cup. Something that doesn't bother me much but might bother others is that the bottom of the back of each ear cup has a small piece of black, reflective plastic(?) material that tends to collect a lot of fingerprint smudges. For those who may be interested in the Black Rose E8s, keep in mind that while the accents will all be rose-colored, the "L" and "R" above each ear cup will still be gold. Again, doesn't bother me, but I saw the picture and thought it could be silver like on the other colors
The Bluetooth wireless connection is pretty good. I really like how quickly they connect to my phone. Immediately after I hear the "POWER ON," I also hear "PAIRING," a 1.5 second *beeeeep* and a quick *beep* and I'm connected. My Crusher Wireless always required me to manually connect them through Settings, and it just took longer. However, something to consider is that the headphones make a *beep* noise every time you press the volume buttons. It isn't a deal breaker for me, but it is a weird thing my Crushers didn't do. I also think that the wireless E8s require a higher volume than did my Crushers. I can't really listen to music at a low volume. Though this only matters when I ride in the back of the car with them on because I like to being able to hear when someone needs my attention. That may not matter to most people, but if anyone else is like that as well, I suggest using ear buds instead. That's what I've started doing in the car.
The battery on these headphones does not at all compare to my Crushers. The Cowin E8 has a battery life of about 20 hours. I'm not certain if that is different whether using the Active Noise Cancellation. For some reason, I had trouble finding out the battery charge time. I eventually determined that they require about 4-5 hours to charge fully. My Crushers lasted for about 40 hours on 2 hours of charge. I already knew the battery life before purchasing, so I knew what I was getting into. I mainly use my headphones wired at my desk using the provided aux. cable, so I don't miss terribly the extra 20 hours of wireless use. I do miss the 2-3 hours it didn't take to fully charge them, though.
The Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) was not a major sell point for me. I don't typically use my headphones in noisy environments. I have tried it though and will attempt to describe its effectiveness. It works very well with constant, low-frequency noises. For example, when I use my Cowins while riding in the back seat of a moving car, the ANC does a phenomenal job of blocking out the loud noise of the wind hitting the car. It also helps to block out the hum of my air conditioner at home, which is pretty close to my room. I don't know for sure, but I believe it's because what it really does is mask the sound with a subtle amount of higher-frequency white noise, which I only notice when I'm listening to a talk show or nothing at all. I think that it's almost unnoticeable when I'm listening to music. I don't think the ANC will completely block out a few people having a conversation, though.
The sound quality is fine for me, which is all I'm really comfortable saying about it. I don't really notice differences in audio quality that well, I just know that these sound about as good as my Crushers did with its bass boost slider at the default setting.
The hardshell case is pretty cool as well. There's a built-in mold for the headphones to sit snugly within and a (admittedly cheap) velcro strap to keep it in place. There is also a small mesh pouch in which the felt(?) accessory bag is kept. The accessories include a piano adapter (haven't used), an airplane adapter (haven't used), a braided aux. cable (frequently used) and a braided charging cable. It also comes with a carabiner placed just beside the zipper.
One last critique I have about the headphones is the placement of the aux. input. The Cowin E8s place it on bottom of the right ear, just below the charging port and the volume controls. This may be common on over-ear headphones, but both of my previous headphones (both made by Skull Candy) kept the wires on the left ear cup which was convenient because my computer's aux. input is also on the left side. Small thing, but I think it would have been an improvement.
tl;dr I'm happy with my Cowin E8 headphones. However, if you want decent bluetooth headphones that don't have a $300 pricetag, I'd probably recommend the Crusher Wireless by Skull Candy before I recommend these.
I bought these after a long debate I had with myself last summer over how I needed noise canceling headphones in order to function in a world with screaming babies and inane conversations. After reading lots of reviews, I settled on getting the Bose QuietComfort 15's... Yep, I got used headphones from years ago. And I liked those for a while. The noise canceling was, to my ears, above average but not great. And the technology was still old enough that my ears felt slightly pressurized when the noise canceling was on. If I fell asleep on top of the headphones, a pressurized and noisy squeak would erupt in the ear I rested my head on.
So they had their flaws. But the function I bought them for -- the noise canceling -- as I said, was pretty darn good. Then I lost them, so now I opted to try the Corwin E8's, in part because I wanted what I figured would be new technology.
Having used them for about 48 hours, all I can say is these E8's are fine. Some pros:
- They're quite comfy - I like the oversized earphone look, and they overall look and feel sleek and higher-end - Excluding my own feelings on the noise canceling feature, the sound produced by the speakers for music and movies is pretty great. I wouldn't call it amazing, but I'm happy with it. I'm specifically referring to the listening experience with the noise canceling feature turned off - They come with a nice case
And the cons, which for me are pretty significant:
- The noise canceling feature is at best okay. I agree with a reviewer of the E7's that a lot of noise reduction is accomplished with these via over-ear cupping. I can't deny there is an active noise canceling feature at work here, but I feel like my QuietComfort 15's were slightly superior in this department. And keep in mind those were much older. - While there aren't, overall, a lot of annoying clicks, buzzes, etc., they do exist, and they're particularly noticeable when noise canceling is turned on. With ANC on *and* bluetooth paired, there is often a very light hum. If you're charging the headphones and have ANC on, there's a much more distinctive hum. There are minor clicks when browsing through apps on my phone etc., and not ones that are intended as phone sounds. - If the battery falls to 10% or lower, there's a verbal "low battery" warning pretty much every minute, rendering the device unusable for 10 percent of its total lifespan during each use.
A lot of the sound issues I mention are generally most noticeable in super quiet moments when you may not need noise canceling. I've been average or maybe slightly above average pleased with using these in public. I just feel like given the fanfare the E7's had on Amazon that these should be pretty incredible. While I do like them, I wouldn't recommend these headphones over a comparable pair for $150.