Edifier WH950NB review: A triple threat
A good quality pair of headphones is a must-have for any audiophile, gamer, or someone who finds themselves commuting a lot, and after a few weeks with the Edifier WH950NB, it's become my go-to for all of the above situations.
That's thanks to impressive noise cancellation features, clear audio, and plenty of comfort, making this headset a triple threat.
The sound of silence
The Edifier WH950NB has a sleek design that comes in black or white, depending on your preference, making it a standout piece of gear in any audio or gaming set-up. Upon opening the box for the first time, you'll also notice it comes with a protective case to help you store it between uses. This comes with some nice extras too, such as the USB-C charging cable, AUX cord, and plane adaptor.
Back to the headset itself, the headband is made of sturdy yet flexible metal, sporting the Edifier logo on both sides. On the underside of the headband and on the insides of the ear cups, you can find memory foam cushions which help it sit comfortably on top of the head and on the ears. These features help to keep it snug even over long sessions of wearing the headset, and I could routinely wear it for hours without feeling any pressure or soreness.
The right cup is where all the action happens for the Edifier WH950NB, as along the bottom, you can find the control buttons for various functions. There is a long strip that comes with a plus and minus button, with another button between them for pausing or controlling power. The plus and minus buttons combine the volume control and track navigation functions together, which can be a mark against it for people who find this control method clunky and easy to make mistakes with.
The real star of the show is the M or mode button which is located just below the minus button. This allows you to cycle between three preset modes for noise cancellation: ambient mode, high noise cancellation, and no noise cancellation. This makes changing these presets on the fly a simple task, and I found it super useful to flick through when I needed to change them.
The noise cancellation features are top-tier on the Edifier WH950NB, with the high NC mode blocking out even the loudest sounds, ranging from traffic during a commute, to vacuuming when you are lounging around at home. Thanks to the M button, you can also easily go from the ambient mode when you need some awareness of your surroundings, to the high NC mode to relax and listen to a podcast or music. Using the Edifier app, you can also customise the modes that you can switch between if you want to try out wind reduction or low noise cancellation modes.
A long life
With a pair of wireless headphones, you'd also expect them to work for a long time, and I can happily report that the battery life on the Edifier WH950NB is top-tier. Since unboxing them, I've consistently used them for at least a few hours every day, and they didn't need a charge until nearly three weeks in.
Edifier claims that the battery life is around 55 hours without noise cancellation, and 34 with noise cancellation, though it seemed to last a little longer while I used it with NC turned on. It also supports fast charging, so you can get seven hours of use out of it from just ten minutes of charging, allowing you to always be quickly ready for a day of listening.
Despite the headset's strengths, there are some drawbacks that might be too much for some people. Firstly, Edifier seems to favour Android phones way more than iPhones, which is apparent with some of the features. For example, the phone supports an LDAC codec to allow high-quality audio, but this only works with Android phones, leaving iPhone users in the dust with a lack of support for AAC or aptX HD codecs.
While this is a fantastic feature if you use an Android phone, letting you listen to everything in the best possible audio quality, it is a massive problem for iPhone users who want the same, meaning you'll have to look elsewhere. Another plus for Android users is the Google fast-pairing feature, which lets you connect to Bluetooth instantly, but once again, there's nothing similar for those with an iPhone.
Choose your codec
Thankfully, the lack of support for some codecs may not be a problem for everyone, especially if you aren't looking for the best possible audio quality. However, if you do fall into the audiophile camp and have a Google device, then the Edifier WH950NB has everything you want.
The 40mm dynamic drivers in both ear cups provide excellent sound quality, with heavy bass for those who like to really sink into the sound when blasting music. The sound quality remains when playing games too, and while the Edifier WH950NB isn't exactly a gaming headset, I found it to be fantastic in both single-player games where you want to immerse yourself in the noise, and multiplayer games like VALORANT where you need to focus on footsteps and listen carefully for audio cues.
This is where the price point of £179.99 RRP can be a little steep, as there are many headsets which come way cheaper for gaming, but if you plan to use it for its high-quality audio and noise cancellation modes too, then it's well worth it for those with the funds to spare.
The Edifier WH950NB is a brilliant set of headphones for those looking for strong noise cancellation features, a good quality build, and a comfortable fit that is easily wearable for hours. For some users, its high-quality audio features will also be a strong selling point, but due to the lack of codec support for iPhones, not everyone will get the most out of it.
Product provided by the manufacturer for review.