LSTN is a recent company that’s forayed into the crowded consumer audio scene. What’s unique about the company? It is founded on the principle of a profitable business making a valuable contribution to the world. The headphones are made using wood from sustainable sources and every purchase supports people around the world with hearing aids via the Starkey Hearing Foundation. We give these 'headphones with a heart' a spin to see how good they sound.
Did you know: The name troubadour means a wandering singer which is apt for an on-the-go portable headphone.
Build and Design: 8/10
The Troubadour headphones have an old-school look with their metal headband and exposed wiring. The design comes in beautiful wood options such as the Zebra Wood and the Matte Black Maple, which we received. Interestingly, you’d swear that these were made of plastic if you didn’t know that they were made of wood.
The headphones are extremely light and quite comfortable to wear. The exposed hinges on the sides of the ear cups and above them are not only an interesting style choice, but also ensure that the headphones can swivel slightly to adjust themselves to fit the wearer.
The ear cups are made of plush vegan leather, are comfy and sit snugly on the ear. Due to this, there is a good seal (passive noise reduction), though at the same time, extended periods of listening might warm the ear a bit.
Being Bluetooth headphones, you have three simple buttons on the bottom of the headphones for power, which also double up as calling and volume buttons. Due to the discrete placement of the buttons, it doesn’t take much effort to get used to, however, the usability leaves a little to be desired.
Pressing the power button for a few seconds turns on or off the headphones, the buttons, however, aren’t very tactile. You’d need to press them harder or longer to register the command which can, annoyingly, turn off the headphone in the process.
The detachable 3.5 mm headphone cable is sturdy and made of nylon, but has only one button to receive or disconnect calls, which means you’d need to alter the volume from your phone.
In the box, you get a USB cable, a detachable connecting cable with a mic and a carry pouch.
The bass is strong and impactful, albeit a little boomy, but it's not as crazy as on bass-heavy headphones. Therefore expect to hear the boom in the bass, but with a less articulation in it. The mids have plenty of snap in them, with the lower mids being a little muddy due to the signature of the sound. The highs are well-represented without getting harsh nor sibilant, these headphones will not give you sound fatigue with high energy tracks.
This representation of sound is shown well visually in the frequency chart, with a little more stress on the bass as shown on the left. The mids in the middle are a bit recessed and the highs taper off on the right.
Overall, I really like the sound signature of this set. It tilts a little towards bass while the highs feel a little lacking in some songs (perhaps due to the strong bass). These headphones are made for those who enjoy listening to music with a bit of colouring. Those looking for accuracy of sound, look somewhere else.
Call Quality: 8/10
The call quality is good. The caller on the other side would experience a little distant/low volume sound with Bluetooth compared to the wired mode, but this is typical of Bluetooth headphones with side mic functionality.
Strangely, LSTN hasn’t mentioned the capacity, but expect to get around 8 hours at a 60 percent listening volume. It would take about two hours to fully recharge.
The LSTN Wireless Troubadour is a definite recommend. They sound good, are made of wood, portable and will work perfectly with devices lacking 3.5 mm jacks.