Abhimanyu GhoshalManaging Editor
Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and culture. Hit him up on Twitter, or write in: [email protected].
I’ve had the great pleasure of reviewing some top-notch headphones recently, but I’m not comfortable roughhousing with them as I would with a cheaper and smaller pair. That’s why I was glad to give Wicked Audio’s new Endo headphones a go.
At under $50, these are inexpensive enough to purchase on impulse and to relegate to a life on the road as my commuter cans. Wicked’s been making budget gear for a good while now, so I was keen to find out if they can deliver decent audio at a low price point. Here’s what I found in testing the Endo for a couple of weeks.
The Endo is mostly just plastic and synthetic fabric, but it manages to look exceedingly sleek, thanks to a subtle matte black rubberized finish. They’re built to be ridiculously light – which is great for when you want to wear them for long periods of time – but they do feel rather flimsy as a result. I’m also used to a slightly more snug fit with on-ear ‘phones; with the Endo, I had to occasionally adjust them when they slipped off the top of my head.
Having said that, I haven’t noticed my sample unit pick up so much as a scratch over three weeks of moderately rough use. I’m also a fan of the Endo’s fold-flat design, which makes them easy to stash in a backpack without a thought.
The Endo does a decent job of presenting a lively soundstage with good bass response. However, it fails to excite when it comes to detailed material like metal heroes Mastodon’s new album and British progressive rockers Porcupine Tree’s 2002 classic, In Absentia. It’s fine for casual listening and works well with podcasts and audiobooks, but if you’re looking to immerse yourself in a new record, you’d likely be better off playing on something else.
Bluetooth range isn’t great; I found the audio starting to distort when separated from my phone by just a few feet – something other sets like LG’s Tone Free didn’t have issues with. You do get a full eight hours of playback as advertised, but there are other similarly sized sets that offer more battery life.
Should you buy these headphones?
If you’re on a budget or are getting your first pair of wireless headphones, Wicked Audio’s Endo is a good buy at $45. Well-reviewed options from the likes of Skullcandy will set you back by upwards of $70, and this set offers comparable performance for a fair bit less.
I enjoy these as my secondary pair that’s always at the ready in my backpack or at the coworking space I work out of a couple of days a week. The discreet look doesn’t hurt either. For its asking price, it’s a fine product that also makes a good gift.
Find the Endo over on Wicked Audio’s site.
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