* Great build quality
* Comfortable on the ears
Before we begin talking about how wireless headphones are just a select group of products for people who hate cables and like the convenience of listening to music and/or taking calls with their smartphones lying somewhere else on the table, let us just remind you of a few ‘improvements’ some major smartphone manufacturers have made.
Specifically, the removal of the headphone jacks. Take the latest Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL for example. It’s a beautiful smartphone with the best-in-class software experience.
Unfortunately, for your music pleasure, you’ll have to either wait for Google’s Pixel Buds (which are, not to forget, smart). Or you can use your existing headphones with the Type-C to 3.5mm dongle that you get in the box. How awkward it would be to see that headphone jack, attached on that dongle and dangling out from your pocket, like some rat’s tail.
Since many manufacturers haven’t yet jumped on the bandwagon of creating headphones with Type-C interface, consumers are drifting to wireless headphones. And many companies are bringing in more wireless headphones at better price points than the competition.
One such company is Sound One, and we got to use the V8. Read our review to see if your hard earned money is worth going wireless.
The Sound One V8 gets full marks for design. It’s lightweight and compact, and you can even carry it in your backpack by just folding in the earcups.
It’s got a black matte finish, lending it a premium look, almost like an accessory made especially for the iPhone 7 in Black.
On the right earcup are the volume control buttons, call answer/end button and then power or pairing button. The buttons are quick hard press. Pressing down on those buttons while you’re actually wearing the headphone was the only design flaw that we’ve noticed. Additionally, you even get a standard 3.5mm jack on the headphones in case you wish to tether your phone directly to it. The headphones are charged via a Micro USB port.
The cushions on the earcup are thick and comfortable on the ears. The headphone may feel petite on the ears. This may be due to the small design of the earcup. Neither is it too big nor too small. It may take some time to get used to the form factor, as it does feel different from competing manufacturers. The earcups also fold inwards making it compact and easy to carry around in your backpack.
The Sound One V8 is a wireless headphone that can churn out great performance. However, it all depends on the kind of smartphone you own and the sound chipsets within them. We tested out the V8 with several low-end smartphones to flagships, including the Google Pixel 2 XL.
We listened to a wide range of music, and initially, when using the headphones, we struggled to set the equalizer to the perfect combinations. It felt like breaking the combinations to an impenetrable safe. On default, the headphones are a tad bit on the higher end of treble and mids. But tuning the bass to balance them gives a better audio experience. If your smartphone has additional settings for bass boost and surround, you can tune these settings down or up depending on your preference.
When it comes to outdoor usage, we found the Sound One V8 is not so loud in spite of our efforts to bring out the best audio experience. And cranking up the volumes could only be a nuisance to people around you. Coming down to the call quality and handsfree experience, we were disappointed to notice that callers on the other end could hear more from the surrounding environment.
There are some users out there who, even though they are connected wirelessly, often do take out their smartphones to change the playlist or check messages occasionally. Bad news follows you here, as the V8 tends to go mute for a millisecond if connectivity between the phone is disturbed. It is a big inconvenience for audiophiles who need a non-stop, continuous music experience.
The Sound One V8 definitely gives you great sound quality and is compact enough to be easily stored in your backpack. At a price point of Rs 3990, you will initially be spending hours or probably even days tuning the equalizer to your taste, but the end result is good.
The downsides of having a weak microphone and not having great outdoor performance make this headphone, unfortunately, the best for indoor use, which is even more awkward. The competing headphones are at higher price ranges, like the Sony MDR-ZX330BT wireless headphones, and these provide better hassle-free performance.