If you’re in the market for over-the-ear headphones, you’ll probably be surprised by a couple of things. For one, they’re often quite expensive if you want some basic features. Plus, there are tons of options out there, and you’re often not sure whether they’re all good or not. Here we review the Tronsmart Apollo Q10 Wireless Headphones with Active Noise Cancelling: a great example of solid headphones at a solid pricepoint.
Tronsmart Apollo Q10 First Impressions
The first impressions are a bit of a mixed bag. The box has some poor English on it. However, setting that aside, the headphones are pretty good quality themselves. They’re made of slightly creaky plastic, which could be a drawback for those who often handle their headphones, but overall I didn’t really notice. Most of the components are a matte finish, so there’s no risk of fingerprints unless you have grease from food on your fingers.
The soft components are good – I haven’t tested them for long-term wearing throughout an entire day, but for a couple of hours, the ear pads and the head pad are perfectly comfortable. Overall, they feel good in the hands, and they’re inviting to want to put on.
The User Experience
I have to say that the user experience on these headphones is great. It took me a moment to figure out how to work the controls (there are two buttons, and one is only power), but once I understood that there’s a touch panel on the right earpiece, I was off to the races.
The touch pad for controls is a cool concept, and if you’re intentional about your movements, it creates a very minimalist look and seamless experience. Basically, you tap twice to pause / play, slide bottom-up to turn the volume up, bottom-down to turn the volume down, swipe back to front to play the next track, and swipe front to back to play the previous track. It’s pretty intuitive, and I really like the controls. Plus, you tap and hold for three seconds to cycle between active noise cancellation on, active noise cancellation off, and ambient mode.
The active noise cancellation (ANC) is great. If you’ve never experienced ANC, you may be disappointed at first at the fact that you’re not completely isolated in your own little bubble, but it’s definitely great. I like to say that while you’re listening to something, it’ll help mute a loud mechanical keyboard or a loud kitchen appliance, but it won’t do that when there’s nothing playing in the headphones, and it’s not going to stop you from hearing a few things.
These headphones are only rated for 35dB of noise cancellation, which is about a loud whisper. It takes the edge out of most of the sounds that are around me in my home. Voices are particularly well-filtered, though, so if you’re trying to ignore someone, ANC is great.
On the Tronsmart Apollo Q10, the ANC is what you’d expect. Obvious noises are filtered out, and you’re left to just focus on your content. With the ANC off, you begin to realize how much the headphones are doing for you. The pads do a decent job of filtering noise, but this is more for if you want to isolate in a quiet room but still don’t need to hear anything. It’s the mode I’ve used the least, but you may find that it suits your needs.
However, what I love most is the ambient noise setting. The sound quality is just as good, but in an environment where I need to hear something like a knock at the door or a pet making noise, the ambient mode pipes that exterior sound right into the ears. This is the setting if you need to hear people while listening to music or watching a video.
It’s very useful in my life because I love to have really good-quality sound without having to sacrifice the external sounds that I need to hear while I work from home. While typing on my loud buckling spring keyboard and watching a YouTube video, I can still hear my cat meow at me for dinner, all without sacrificing the sound quality.
The 40mm neodymium drivers deliver clear sound with good lows, and the battery life is pretty incredible. I’ve had these headphones for a couple of weeks now, and with relatively infrequent use, I haven’t had to charge them once.
I would recommend these headphones in a heartbeat. The sound is great, the ANC is a nice feature, ambient is a godsend when home alone, and they’re comfortable to wear for short-to-medium periods of time. They’re a great piece of work-from-home and content consumption kit, and they come in at around $60 on AliExpress at the moment.
If you’re interested in a well-priced pair of ANC over-the-ear headphones, I highly recommend the Tronsmart Apollo Q10.