Tangled cables are a thing of the past with these wireless headphones, but what are they like to use? Three IoD members put top-of-the-line brands to the test
Director, Learning Partners
What Urbanears Plattan ADV Wireless headphones (above), £79
I use headphones daily when travelling, running or doing mundane jobs where I need distraction, and the Urbanears were ideal for all three. There was no bouncing around when running, and their snug fit and lightweight design meant they didn’t give me a headache. The colour (fluorescent orange!) led me to expect style over substance, but far from it. The design is simple and minimalist, and they have the best controls I have come across – just swoosh the earpiece with your finger to control the volume/change tracks, and with one tap you can answer phone calls. You can even remove the padded foam earpieces and headband to wash them in the small machine-proof mesh bag provided. The absence of wires was liberating, and the high standard of sound highlighted the lamentable quality of my previous headphones. I had some difficulty pairing them with my iPhone, but the customer helpline solved the problem instantly. I would recommend these without hesitation – they are the best I’ve ever used.
Elva Pearson is a member of IoD Berkshire
Founder and CEO, Career Codex
What Plantronics Voyager Focus UC wireless headphones, £199.99
Although I use headphones every day, this is the first pair of wireless ones I’ve used. Without the need to battle with tangled wires, the WiFi connectivity and freedom of movement meant I could enjoy my favourite music discreetly at home (my family doesn’t share my taste in music). The headphones were very comfortable, and being light and wireless you can easily forget you’re wearing them. They came with a storing pouch, and a desktop charging stand, although this is quite bulky and not as easy to carry. The sound quality was excellent and I particularly like that the music pauses within a few seconds of you taking the headphones off. The controls are accessible and easy to use, and I managed to pair them with my desktop computer, iPhone and iPad in around five minutes with no headaches at all. Overall, the headphones are aesthetically pleasing, with great quality and functionality, and while they weren’t suitable for the gym, I now don’t know how I ever managed without them.
Simon Gray is a member of IoD East Midlands
Founder, A Life Less Ordinary Wanted
What Marshall Major II Bluetooth wireless headphones, £129
I use headphones mostly on public transport when feeling antisocial, for meditating and occasionally when running. While these were unsuitable for running due to their weight, I found the sound quality excellent and aesthetically they are really beautiful. I love black and gold, and the headphones have a sophisticated look about them that means I’d be equally comfortable wearing them with trainers or with a smart coat. Being wireless was a definite plus, and I put them to the test while walking around central London making phone calls. The call quality was great (my grandmother even gave it her seal of approval), and it was useful to have my hands free. The headphones were easier to store than my previous pair, although they would benefit from a plush case to prevent them getting damaged in my bag. Pairing the headphones with my devices was simple, and I managed not to kill the battery. The only downside is that they are very tight, and pinched my head after a long period wearing them.
Naomi Jane is a member of IoD London and IoD 99
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