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, Black
I am a pretty lazy reviewer, typically. I don't often leave reviews unless I feel really strongly about a product. I used to be better about leaving consistent reviews, back when I was young and idealistic. That being said, I wasn't feeling that strongly about this product.
My very reliable plantronic headset recently broke (the headband bit cracked and the set no longer hugged my head enough to actually stay on), and I found myself in need of a replacement. I felt like I could upgrade to a set with noise canceling, and I shopped around for a set between $150-$200. I narrowed down the field by review and this set seemed pretty ideal; it had a lot of reviews and their average was VERY HIGH.
Upon receipt of these headphones, I will admit that they are nicer than my old ones in fit. They are very comfortable, as long as you're in a cool location. They're not ideal for exercise or sitting in a warm room, but that's sort of whatever. Not a deal breaker, you know?
We tried the noise canceling and it's... not great. For reference, I have tried on headphones that my sister and my fiance have bought- both opted for more expensive sets with apparently more robust noise canceling. I will tell you now that the majority of the noise cancellation from the Cowin set is from the physical block of sound by the headphones.
Again, not something that is super deal-breaking for me given that the set is a mid-range improvement from the plantronics in terms of sound (and only that- the controls are a lot harder to use when the headphones are on my head).
The reason why I am leaving this review is the note I got about a week after I received the headphones. Cowin, apparently, is offering to give a donation to a charity and a $20 gift card for Amazon to me if I left a 5-star review. Now, I am disinclined to believe that EVERY person who left a positive review here did so for the gift card, but I am a bit irritated that this company is trying to artificially inflate their rating by bribing people.
TL;DR : Don't trust the 5-star reviews of the product without examining the content of the review, because this company is bribing people to leave them.
I was looking for a noise cancelling solution to use my iPad while my wife watches TV at night. I already have a pair of Bose noise-cancelling earbuds, but the idea of a Bluetooth over-ear solution for this application prompted me to dig around and I decided to give these E8 headphones a shot. They arrived today and I compared them with the Bose earbuds.
The E8 headphones are comfortable. The controls are logically laid out and the tactile feedback is good, the build quality also seems good and the instructions are easy to follow. COWIN has obviously gone to great lengths to create a product with a competitive user experience.
Why three stars and why did I return the headphones? They simply didn't measure up to the Bose earbuds in the realm of noise canceling. I fired up a TV and went back and forth between the E8's and the earbuds. The earbuds suppressed a much wider frequency range than the E8's, which seemed to focus on lower frequencies. This might be fine and a good value for flying where the ambient noise tends to be a low frequency rumble, but sitting in front of a TV the E8's passed the mid and higher frequencies through with more of a discerned pitch alteration than actual suppression. The suppression performance difference between the E8's and Bose earbuds was immediately apparent.
It boils down to what you're looking for in performance and what you're willing to spend. The earbuds are three hundred bucks, the E8's are less than half that. The over-ear Bose headphones are a whopping three fifty, which I just can't justify seeing as I've already got the pricey earbuds.
If you're looking for a solution for flying and don't care that the E8's don't fold up (a light carry-on load is why I bought the earbuds in the first place), these might work just fine.
I am in the market for a good quality BT headphone with ANC. I am not extremely demanding but do expect decent quality for any headphone > $100. My reference headphone is a very old (30+ yo) AKG that is physically falling apart but the sound quality is still superb. My normal headphone is an Audio Technica wired headphone that is almost as good as the AKG.
I was considering Bose and Sennheiser but the reviews for this Cowin E8 were glowing and so I gave it a chance. Physically, it is very well made and pairing with everything was easy and never experienced any issues. It was also quite comfortable wearing it, even for a long time. BT connection was very secure even at large separation. It is a large package that will take up quite a bit space in my carry on, but not a show stopper.
It was the sound quality that disappointed me. It was apparent immediately using it the first time. I gave it some time to "break in" but nothing changed. Sound was closed in, like in a tunnel. It could not adequately resolve complex music. Switching to wired connection was even worse. Sound was muddy, mainly midtone and some "cloudy" bass. I suspect the cable was the limiting factor but I did not have anyone to try. Or may be I had a bad copy.
Okay, these are super uncomfortable if you have a large head, only wore for less than 5 minutes. 7 5/8 noggin here, not THAT big, but they push down hard on crown of head, and really don't cover ears (just top 3/4 so uncomfortable there too). My on ear cheap ones are more comfortable and don't hurt the top of my head. Sent back, ordering Sony M3's, bite the bullet, buy the best first, only cry once. Hope they fit better!
ANR: not impressive at all. Turn it on, off, all that changes is they don't sound like you're in a shell anymore. Can still hear everything else fine. Does affect music quality especially in mids and highs. I'm NOT an audiophile, so when I tell you not impressive. It must really not be impressive. Mediocre at best.
I may be spoiled by my studio quality headphones, but the sound quality of the COWIN E8 is not acceptable to me -- the sound is just too "muddy", I can't listen to these. The COWIN and says "The superior sound quality of the E8 is 25% stronger than that of our earlier E7". I'm not sure what "stronger" means (maybe louder?) but these are horrible unless the Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) is turned on. When the ANC is on they are better, but still way too muddy in the midrange, the vocals do no stand out from the background at all. You cannot hear the individual instruments.
I will go back to my $130 "SMS Audio STREET by 50 Wired Over-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Headphones" for airplane travel and keep my wired $220 AKG Sealed Type Over Ear Headphones K550MKⅢ for home use. Those AKGs are the best headphones I have ever heard -- better than Bose!
I bought these for traveling. I am on airplanes every week and thought these would be great for movies and music. I usually use high quality wired headphones with an OPPO HA-2 or FiiO Q5 headphone amp. I was trying to lighten my load by going this route. It is obvious, nor was I expecting these phones to compare to that However , when testing them against my wired headphones with the same source, I found that they didn't have the sound quality that my wired set has. They are not as detailed and the clarity of the different instruments is sub par. Maybe good for todays modern music but for Jazz and Classical listening, I would look elsewhere. The ear cups are quite comfortable, however they are large and heavy,...not a great pair for traveling. The blue tooth connects quite well but I don't think that is an issue with most wireless headphones these days. I can't comment on the noise cancellation because I didn't like them enough to want to take them on my next trip. You get what you pay for , that's why Sony and Bose cost 3 times the price. I personally would consider Master & Dynamics and Bowers and Wilkins over either of those.
The first set I received had a bad ANC switch that caused severe static in the right ear. Amazon did a great job of exchanging them for a new headset. The new headset did not have any static issues. I give this headset a star for sounding good, not great, but better than my LG 750 earbuds. I give another star for the comfort and good phone conversation. Minus two stars because of the first set I received being defective, and I cannot activate voice control on my iphone. A call can be answered by pressing a button, but you cannot press a button to activate voice control on your cell phone. This was a show stopper for me. I don't want to stop working and pull my phone out to read my texts, or call someone. I returned them and purchased the Sennheiser Momentum M2 and couldn't be happier. An added note - the voice in the headset letting you know they are on is annoying. I could have lived with this headset if the buttons allowed for voice control of my cell phone.
Hi Good for music. HUGE and not good for traveling as they don't fold and the case is VERY rigid, a shell really. I really wanted to use them for the phone (Samsung Galaxy 8+) but EVERYONE I call asks me to switch them off so they can hear me well. So I am returning the, That is the main reason, that they are not useful for phone calls. NC seems to work well, but they are so BIG that they make it a bit tedious to travel with, otherwise a good product. Oh one more thing...the sound cable has one size jack on one end and another size jack on the other end. So you need to make sure you always have that cable with you which I have found inconvenient. In fact, when I went to return these I couldn't find the cable....lost somewhere.
I bought these and tried them out for a drive as soon as they arrived. I wore them for about three hours straight before taking them off. One the three hour mark hit, my head started to hurt and my ears hurt so badly I was forced to take them off.
These headphone have thick hard ear pads and they hug your head too tight. The quality of sound was good and the anc was excellent. I've used qc35ii and the Sony's and the anc on these are about the same of the Bose, but worst than the Sony's. The microphone also doesn't work if you are driving. I was able to hear the other person, but they said it sounded like I was in a long hallway and couldn't hear me. If you need to call somebody and need to use these look else where.
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.