Amazon.com: Customer reviews: COWIN SE7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Bluetooth Headphones Wireless Headphones Over Ear with Microphone/Aptx, Comfortable Protein Earpads, 50 Hours Playtime for Travel/Work, Black
UPDATE: My rating goes down from 2-stars to 1-star (purely due to unacceptable tactics of Cowin). I had already quickly returned Cowin SE7 headphone 6 months ago and Amazon had already refunded me (a fact that should be clear to Cowin, thru my purchase history). Yet previous day I receive a txt message at my cell phone from a CA phone number; (without any identification) someone addresses me with my name and mentions my Cowin SE7 purchase on Amazon... "They" are offering me a full refund or a free replacement. Which one would I like?... I immediately replied that; I had already returned it months ago and by the way; you don't have right to contact customers directly at their phone numbers. You are required to stop immediately, otherwise that'll be reported to Amazon... Few minutes later this time I receive an email from a guy at "Amazon Review Services" . He mentions that; they are a third party and they noticed my negative review. Same offer is repeated; "The manufacturer will gladly give you a 100% refund on the product or a FREE replacement. There is no need to worry about returning the original product. It's yours to keep!" (do I smell a bribe here?). At that point I took my time to report this to Amazon. Now listen to me Cowin very carefully; 1) My reviews can never be influenced with your "enticing offers". 2) don't you ever have nerve again to share my personal data (like my cell phone number and email) to your "third parties". This is simply illegal as I never provided my consent. Amazon provides customer data to you to only fulfill orders, never to harass them for their reviews.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My only criticism here will be on Active Noise Cancellation feature. Otherwise audio quality (if you listen without ANC) is good, as well as build quality, ergonomics, battery life. But then, (without ANC) you can buy a similar headphone at much lower price point.
Now to ANC : (after reading many glowing reviews and trying the product myself) I'm really surprised how majority of people can't correctly judge / describe what they are experiencing. A real ANC circuitry requires inverting ambient sound signal picked by microphones (on each ear-cup) and applying this to speakers. That process should never interfere with audio signal (your music) which is also driving the same speakers. So there should be two completely separate (for each L-R channel of course) signal paths / processing.
What this headphone circuitry seem to have is a "band-reject/attenuation filter" (tuned to around 60-200Hz, where most of real world rumbling exist). So instead of employing (such as above mentioned) separate noise inversion circuitry, engineers of Cowin must have opted for a much simpler band-reject filter. "Why" you would ask? Much cheaper to implement (fewer components). Yet it gets worse; they are passing the music signal as well thru that band-reject filter! How one comes to that conclusion? Simple; listen to details of your music crossings in such lower frequency region. Almost all reviewers correctly mentioned as; "you lose bass when you engage ANC". That's correct (as your bass range is below 200 Hz), but missing the critical design flaw. If you continue to pay attention; you (should) very quickly realize that also other dynamic elements of the song (in that frequency range) is fading in & out as it pass thru. It feels like there is a hole in audible range - and elements of your music (in that range) just disappear in that hole. That is simply that band-rejection filter butchering your audio. So design engineers must have opted out to use much cheaper/simpler chipset which gives the illusion of Noise Cancellation. One single signal pathway - cuts that low frequency band from your music AND some ambient noise from microphone. This is not real ANC and you get your music butchered. By the way; even if you try ANC itself (without playing any music); it's not really that effective.
There is a reason why higher-end Bose/Sony ANC headphones command a premium price.
BOTTOM LINE: When you read reviews as such "you lose bass when you engage ANC" simply run for your life; you are looking at another pretend-to-be ANC headphone with cheap circuitry.
For the reference; I did all my testing by playing FLAC files (lossless compression), to make sure that the source is pure.
Loud creaking noise with every tiny movement = straight back in the box and back to Amazon for a refund.
See the attached video for an example of what I'm talking about.
Come on guys, this is basic headphone engineering. If I can't hear the music over the noise the plastic is making there's no point.
Also, the active noise cancellation actually adds noise. Anytime there's a loud sound or drastic change in the tonal quality of some noise that is being filtered there is, for lack of a better term, a loud farting noise in the left earphone.
Which doesn't help the fact that the noise cancellation can't keep up with any noise because the latch on noise changes is too slow to keep up with changes in sound in the environment. This is a feature of most bad noise canceling headphones and results in a constant wah-wah effect as the noise around you gets louder and softer.
EDIT 7/10/2019: After I returned this product I recieved a barrage of emails, text messages and phone calls from a company called Amazon Review Services. I do not know how they got my personal email address and phone number, but this makes me very uncomfortable. Not only will I never order from this merchant again, I recommend that everyone else avoid them as well.
I bought these thinking they were good lower end headphones for music at work and gaming at home. They performed well in both roles, the noise cancellation was really well done for the price. The fit was a little snug, and hurts at first until you wear them a few times.
BUT, after 7 weeks, the joint where the ear piece meets the headband snapped and broke, rendering them unwearable. I contacted Amazon, who was nice enough to replace them, and after wearing my replacements for just 2 weeks, the headphones broke AGAIN in the same place! Awful awful manufacturing quality on the plastic joint. It is totally worthless.
I took good care of the headphones, using the carry case and being tender with them at all times. I never exercised with them or used them in a strenuous way, just normal light use at a desk or walking around. Amazon has been nice in dealing with the issue, but BE WARNED, THE MANUFACTURING IS VERY CHEAP AND BAD QUALITY; despite the decent sound quality, it is just not worth it.
Very good sound quality, but some irritations. It is disconcerting that if I don't plug these in after each use (even after powering off), they discharge to the point where no sound is produced. Second, they won't operate while charging, so if they are out of battery, you are stumped until they recharge. Third and more minor, is the length of time required to power on and off. I guess it is to prevent accidental power-off while adjusting volume, but there must be better ways of preventing that. Moving the power button so it isn't between the volume toggles seems pretty obvious.
None of these items is annoying enough for me to return what is essentially a very good product, but they do downgrade it from being an exceptional device.
Followup: Performance has become erratic. Sometimes the item simply refuses to pair. Repeatedly power cycling all the equipment is tiresome. When I spend longer trying to get the device to work than actually listening to it, The value plummets. Over time the product quirks have become more irritating, not less. The internal voice prompt is way too loud, button placement is not intuitive, battery life is short (even with noise canceling turned off). At this point I regret the purchase and would return it if I could.
This was my first set of ear phones with this technology. I read the instructions, charged the unit and...nothing! I could hear people typing on a keyboard in the next room. I have a set of headphones from home depot (no electronic just passive blocking) that deaden the ambient sound better than these. Maybe I expect too much but the product advertising of noise cancellation is hope over reality. I am probably going to return them.
Coming from someone who returned the Cowin E7 Pro because it was so bulky and uncomfortable, I was hopeful that this upgraded model of headphones would be great, which they truly are. But here's the problem: The build quality. In search for the best aptx Bluetooth headphones I could find within budget, this is my 4th pair of headphones I've tried out, one of the other ones being the E7 Pro. These headphones are VERY comfortable to wear, and I would say just as comfortable as the TaoTronics headphones I tried out, but sadly I find I cannot keep these. With literally any movement of your head or if you even slightly touch the headphones, you hear creaking sounds from the plastic moving around your ears. I noticed this same issue with the E7 Pros as well, and I was hoping that it was just that one pair of headphones and I got unlucky. I'm not sure what it is with Cowin products, but this is extremely disappointing, and it's way too noticeable for me to justify spending nearly $100 on these. I love the lightweight aesthetic as well as the sound quality of these, but I can't stand the constant creaking sounds. It really makes it feel like these are very cheaply made. Maybe they'll get it right next time around, but I sadly will be returning these as well.
Charger port gave out after two weeks. Looks like the wafer board in the usb slot slipped backwards and the cable couldn't make contact anymore. Sound was good, batter life excellent, but the big thing for me was quality. I saw another similar review with the same issue. Return process started, ordering the TaoTronics headset. Can't imagine ordering another pair of these after the issue I experienced.
Update: I tried returning my original pair for a new one in hopes that the mic on my first set was just faulty. It turns out that is not the case. With the replacement pair, I cannot make phone calls. I have to yell for the person on the other end to hear me, and even then they can't make out what I'm saying half the time. I'm effing sick of having to repeat each word 4 or 5 times for the other person to (maybe) make out what I'm saying. Also I should add, I haven't heard from Cowin support after the two-star review (Amazon support is just troubleshooting, AKA: worthless). We will see if the one-star downgrade gets the seller's attention, but I'm already about to return the second pair and try a set from Harman Kardon. What an utterly disappointing experience from Cowin.
I got these yesterday. I've tried various modifications (ANC on/off, volume high/low) but no matter what I do, the person on the other end of a phone call can't understand what I am saying. I have to yell, slowly, enunciating every syllable (or spelling the words multiple times). According to them, it sounds like my words are going through a "bubbler" and being muffled in and out. Also if I have the volume on my end at a normal level, they have to deal with a constant echo of their own voice. So I'm forced to have volume on lowest setting so they can talk. I think I might return these, as comfortable as they are. Design is great, but if I can't switch between calls and music without going back to my Jabra bluetooth headset, they're basically worthless.
The service from Cowin/Amazon was great. It was backordered and estimated to arrive on the 14th but I actually received it a week earlier, was very happy about that. The headphones, however, are only just ok. I don't know if my head is just too small but my head kinda aches a little from wearing it. Maybe too much tension. The sound quality is fine - until you try the mic, which is pretty bad. It sounds like you're in a fish bowl, far far away. I was bummed about that because I wanted a good mic and now canceling for my somewhat loud work environment where I want to block out noise while also having good mic sound for my teleconferences. When you turn on noise canceling, you can actually hear the difference, which was pretty cool. Battery life is good on stand by. If you're not needing a good mic, then I'd give this product 4 stars. The color is pretty nice, not exactly the same shade as in the photos but pretty close. Initially had trouble connecting it to my PC but did some troubleshooting and it finally worked. No issues connecting to Android. The case is a little bulky but at least it comes with a case. If you're a gamer, these headphones are not for you.
I've tried headphones at 2/3 the price, including E7 - and these are definitely better. The good: - the pads are soft and fit well, the shape seems well contoured and looks attractive - the sound is generally good, and bass is deep, especially when wired and NC OFF - packaging is nice
BUT: - the swinging joints crinkle loudly when I move my head or chew gum - turning on NC kills all bass, making the sound tinny and shallow - the NC is in general not as good as I'd expect - the case is smelly and bulky
Overall, these are decent, but I'm afraid, still not good enough.