SONY h.ear on 2 WIRELESS NC

Design & Construction

The Sony h.ear on 2 Wireless NC are the 2017 version to the h.ear on Wireless NC released 2 years ago. It focuses heavily on style and audio quality giving it users the ideal way to enjoy the best of both world without sacrificing any of them. The h.ear on 2 Wireless NC is the best headphone in the lineup. Having a revamped range of colours to a more sophisticated, classy look, Sony is targeting young consumers of today's world. The h.ear on 2 Wireless NC feels durable and isn't prone to scratches as the previous model. The left earcup has the (From Back-Front): NC/Ambient button, Power Button, Micro-USB port and 3.5mm input. Controlling the rest of the playback functions are on the right earcup itself. Swipe down for Vol-, swipe up for Vol+ swipe towards the front for next track, swipe backwards for previous track, double tap to play/pause and cover the whole right earcup to activate Quick Attention. Quick Attention is a feature that allows users to instantly pause the music and deactivate noise-cancelling to hear others when people wants to interact with you. After you are done, release your hand from the earcup and everything retracts to normal. A red LED will light up when it is left to charge. It takes about 6 hours to charge from a dead battery. Pairing via both NFC and bluetooth is simple and quick. A Blue LED light up once in 3 seconds during wireless usage. The power button allows you to check for battery status by pressing once. It is also worth noting that the headphones only requires 10 minutes of charging for 65 minutes of playback. The NC/Ambient button can be used to switch on/off the noise-cancelling and toggle through various ambient sound mode. Both sides of the headband bear the Sony logo and the left earcup has the NFC. The headphones have thick cushions which is meant for providing a comfortable experience. The headband is very light and will not cause discomfort to those who wear spectacles. On the headband, there is also cushioned headrest which provides a good amount of comfort. The exterior of the headphones gives off this classy yet bright colour scheme but it resists fingerprints smudges very well. On the top, the headband holding the structure is made of metal and the earcups pivot left and right and folds up for easy storage. The top of the earcups has bass ports to maximise airflow of the drivers as they push out bass but it is hidden under the headband arms. The earcups are still boast a wide opening so that it encases your ears and causes absolutely no wearing fatigue. Overall, the headphone is super light-weight and definitely suitable for long commutes.

Sound Quality

The 40mm High-Resolution headphone drivers certainly live up to its name. They produce an extremely clear sound signature to provide for a very immersive experience. Based on user experience, the noise-cancelling is comparable to other headphones in this price point. I could not hear my surroundings when there was no music on. Occasionally, voices do leak in but it is muffled. Sony also customised the noise-cancelling abilities of the headphone by adding various Noise-Cancelling modes, Ambient Sound Control, Virtual Surround Sound, an equalizer, DSEE HX, LDAC and AptX Codecs. Definitely a plethora of features and functions to satisfy the pickiest of users. All these functions can only be controlled via Sony's Headphones Connect App available for download on the App Store and Play Store. The noise-cancelling can be tuned to different modes such as wind-reduction, full noise-cancelling or off. Of course, users can toggle the amount of ambient sound let in, focus on voice only or just turn it off completely. The next function is Virtual Surround Sound which include presets like outdoor-stage, club, hall, or arena style sound. However, the presets did not really enhanced the sound and I personally do not use it as it makes my music output rather unnatural and artificial. It is also good to know that the app has an internal equalizer to enable the best output of music. With a large category ranging from Bright, Excited, Mellow, Bass Boost, Treble Boost, Speech Etc. You can also choose to customize your own too! This makes the headphones great for all genres of music ranging from soothing jazz to bass-heavy EDM tracks. Highs, mids and bass come off as balanced. Call quality was great, the caller manage to hear me on the other end and didn't know that I was using the mics on the headphones.

Connectivity & Portability

The headphone operates both passively and wirelessly. From my test, it was surprising to know that the volume of the headphones drop significantly while using the wired mode. The maximum volume in wired mode was only equivalent to about 70% of the volume in wireless mode.  In wireless mode, it supports LDAC, AptX codecs and Bluetooth Version 4.1 for clear audio transmission. The mic and controls on the earcups are disabled in wired mode and users cannot charge the headphone and use it at the same time. Listening via the Micro-USB cable is also unavailable. Users can put the headphone in Bluetooth pairing mode by holding down the power button for 7 seconds when its switched off. The battery life peaks at 28 hours. The headphones' connectivity to the app is about 90% perfect as I do occasionally experience it being unable to detect my headphones when its already connected via Bluetooth. This may be slightly frustrating especially when I need to tune the sound immediately. The headphones folds up into a more compact profile and comes with a micro USB cable for charging, a 1.2m 3.5mm cable for wired use and a soft carrying pouch. I would have preferred a hard carry case to better protect the headphone from drops and scratches.

PROS

  • Clear, Bright Sound Signature

  • Snug & Comfortable

  • Long Battery Life

  • Easy Controls For Music Play & Calls

  • Ambient Sound Control

  • Equalizer In App

  • LDAC & AptX Codecs Supported

  • Quick Charging

  • Quick Attention

  • Folds Up into a Smaller Profile

  • Carrying Pouch

  • A Range of Colours

CONS

  • Imperfect App Connectivity

  • Mic and Controls Not Available In Wired Mode

  • Volume Difference In Wired Mode

The Bottom Line

The Sony h.ear on 2 Wireless NC is a definitely a stylish noise-cancelling headphone housing comfortable ear cushions, noise-cancelling, ambient sound mode, 40mm Hi-Res drivers, long 28 hours battery life and easy to use controls. However, the app is slightly flawed which may irritate some users. It is highly recommended for daily commutes and long listening sessions. A range of colours are available to fit users of different gender and personalities.

WE RATE IT!

9.5/10

Other Notable Competitors

BEATS STUDIO 3 WIRELESS
JBL EVEREST ELITE 750NC
V-MODA CROSSFADE 2 WIRELESS
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