I have for many years been using my Skullcandy Hesh headphones, which have served me well and still to this day work as well as the day I purchased them. I wasn’t necessarily looking to upgrade, but with a flight coming up I wanted something which meant having to carry less stuff with me – namely an mp3 player. As such I went on the hunt for some headphones with an SD card slot.
What I found where the very reasonably priced Bluedio H+ Turbine Bluetooth headphones, and decided they were worth a gamble at around £20.
If you’re going to be wearing them on a long haul flight they obviously need to be pretty comfortable. The leather ear cups are REALLY soft and comfortable, I can see wearing these for a long time, being no problem, and they seem to be slightly larger than those on my Skullcandy headphones too which will make them easier to wear for long periods.
They are also not too tight, so there’s not the feeling of having your head in a vice. The headband doesn’t look like much but that too is very soft and comfortable.
This is of course the most important thing when buying new headphones.
The very first thing you will notice about these is the bass! It handles very deep bass tones, extremely well, which works wonders for electronic music (I am a big fan of ebm and industrial music, so bands like VNV Nation, Combichrist and XP8 sound incredible on these, but rock and hip hop are also played back very nicely with deep bass tones and pounding drum beats). I have noticed that some of the treble notes come across a little clicky in the background, like a speaker which has been turned up for too long. However this isn’t all the time and is something I wasn’t surprised by considering the price.
The large ear cups are meant to drown out outside noise whilst listening which is something they do extremely well, especially if (like me) you don’t exactly listen to your music quietly. However, it seems to be a different story for the people around you. This might not be so much of a problem on a noisy flight however in a quiet room (such as an airport lounge etc), even when the music isn’t very loud, you can clearly hear every word being sung!
The reason why I chose to buy these headphones was the fact that you can load your mp3s on a micro SD card (maximum 32GB) and stick this direct in to the headphones. During play mode you are meant to get 40 hours or more per charge (which is done via micro usb).
The mp3 player is very basic, with nowhere to tell you what track number you are on or what a band / song is called. There aren’t a huge number of play modes, and skipping through songs is very tedious as it needs to be done one song at a time. However, by being kept nice and simple everything is housed on one of the ear cups and can be easily controlled, once you get used to it, without taking them off your head. All in all, a pretty nice feature which saves one more gadget you don’t need to bother taking on holiday with you or risk getting wires tangled up when you’re getting up to go to the toilet during a flight.
The box comes complete with a micro usb cable which you can use to charge up the headphones, with a full charge taking just 2 hours. However, there is also an audio cable, which is very handy for things like flights or if you wanted to use these as a DJ headphone set etc. This is a normal 3.5mm plug, so on flights you still need a converter to use them properly.
When you are connecting to devices such as a phone you don’t need these accessories however and can use the handy Bluetooth option.
Overall these are not too bad looking… they look a little bit cheap, but to be honest… they are! However, you certainly wouldn’t be embarrassed to wear these out and about. The only thing which concerns me is the material which the internal parts of the head band are made of. When you pull the ear cups down to make them bigger (and thus fit most adult’s heads), you can see that the exposed band is made of plastic. This doesn’t look like it will last long, and I have read some reviews where this has been an issue.
I have not yet had a problem with these headphones, however newer models have had improvements made, so the cheaper materials may well mean that the shelf life of these headphones won’t be any near the same as my Skullcandy Hesh set. Bluedio seem to know that there are some issues (especially with the head band) as newer models have addressed this issue, and I would love to one day get my hands on some of these models, including the Turbine T2s, Turbine T3, R+ Legend or UFO (which are far more expensive and look like much more sturdy pieces of kit!).
I have however recently (and this is an addition to this review) noticed something which meant I had to stick some electrical tape on the side with the mp3 player. There is a light which flashes when in use – if you then go somewhere dark you realise how bright this light is! Not only would it make you unpopular on a night flight, it also draws attention if you were walking with them at night, and its so bright you can see it from the corner of your eye, which is quite annoying. A bit of tape sorts this out – must find out if there is some way to turn it off – can’t see anything on it!
All in all these are some pretty decent headphones for their price… I just hope that I can find a suitable balance between what is loud enough for me, and what won’t make me unpopular at the airport (much of what I listen to is what you might call, an “acquired taste”).