Wireless earphones and headphones have been garnering a lot more interest, given the removal of 3.5 mm jack on so many smartphone devices today.
While nothing can truly replace a wired experience, some have come close.
Today we have the Sound One V8 Bluetooth wireless headphones up for review for the budget market.
Build and Design: 6.5/10
The headphone is well made at this price point; the plastic is sturdy, can take a beating and the headband material doesn’t annoyingly flake. It's also comfortable.
The controls are tactile enough, but it is almost discern the button you need to press, making it easy to press the wrong button on the control unit.
I have a large head and I had to completely extend the headphones to fit, which was disconcerting because those with bigger heads than mine would definitely find the fit inadequate. Almost all headphones I’ve come across always had a little more play room for headband extension than this.
The ear cups look different than what is depicted in the official picture.
The ear cup design is over the ear and not around it, this means that you will feel headphone fatigue after a while, especially since the ear cups aren’t the super comfy breathable kind. I personally found myself adjusting after extended listening sessions. At least the clamp force doesn’t press on the ears, unlike some headphones, such as the Audio Technica ATH-m50, which is notorious for it. Just like the m50’s the Sound One V8 has a compact design which can fold easily, a real nice touch.
In the box
The Sound One V8’s comes with a USB cable (use your own charger, though) and a short 3.5 mm cable. While the addition of the 3.5mm cable is thoughtful, it isn’t long enough to hold the phone comfortably in your hands while listening.
The sound is outright muffled and lacking in definition. All songs sound quite unclean, boring and muffled. Instruments just don’t sound distinct at all. There seems to be like a veil of diffusion, almost as if the sound is sitting right beneath, waiting to be polished and shown off in its full glory.
To accurately describe the sound, it sounds like how loud music would sound behind a closed room door. To really get better sound out of these, one would need heavy EQ adjustments, especially treble, to bump up the clarity, and bass/mids adjustment for the definition of sound.
Call Quality: 5/10
The call quality is a strange beast in the Sound One V8 headphones. While it works, it doesn’t work really well. The other person on the line complained that my voice was echoing while to me, the caller sounded just fine. This has been confirmed by other users on Amazon (check out the reviews on the product page). However, not all users reported this.
Another issue that the caller I was talking to mentioned was the volume, the headphones aren’t particularly good at catching the voice from the mouth. They aren’t bad either, it's just that the volume is very low, partly because that mic is actually sitting closer to the ear than the mouth. Expect to talk rather loudly to the person on the other end.
The battery lasts for around 9-10 hrs when actively using the headphones, which his pretty good. However, mileage will always vary depending on the volume used as you can apparently get up to 16 hours of play time on 60 percent volume and 8 hours on full volume, as per the manufacturer. The headphones will need a full 2 hours recharging time.
I personally didn’t like the Sound V8’s at all, they are strictly average Bluetooth headphones. The sound is unclean and muffled and will need heavy EQ correction to sound just right. The problem with most wireless Bluetooth sound at a low price point is this, you get wireless convenience, but at the sacrifice of clarity of sound. You can get much better wired headphones/earphones in the same price range no doubt, of which I have covered many. Click here for a full list.
At a street price of Rs 2,200 (MRP Rs 3,990) for a pair of Bluetooth wireless headphones, they are a decent buy (though not recommended). For better sound, you’d need to spend above Rs 4,000 for a better pair. However, the echo feedback during voice calls is disconcerting.