Over-ear headphones aren’t as popular as they used to be, with those tiny true wireless earbuds getting so good – and so cheap. And yet, big headphones still have their place – with excellent sound, long battery times, and that immersive feeling that’s hard to beat.
The WH950NB (yes, it’s a mouthful) wireless Bluetooth headphones from audio specialist Edifier might help renew your love for over-ear pairs: the sound quality is excellent, clear and warm (though the bass is somewhat weak) , the battery times are great, there’s decent Active Noise Cancellation – and, they’re surprisingly lightweight.
Of course, it’s not all perfect – the audio levels do call for some EQ tweaking, the controls are a bit confusing and fiddly, and they’re not exactly cheap.
Still, there’s a lot to like about Edifier’s latest pair – and they even look good. So let’s dig in deeper…
Quick Look – Edifier WH950NB
What are they: On-ear wireless headphones with active noise cancellation and a foldable design for easy carrying.
Value For Money
- Very comfortable and lightweight
- Great audio quality (with some tweaking)
- Excellent battery times
- Decent Active Noise Cancellation
- Hi-res LDAC audio codec (Android only)
- Weak bass
- AAC and aptX codecs missing
- Control buttons are somewhat confusing
Features and Specs
- Driver unit: 40 mm Composite Titanium Film
- Battery Playing Time: ANC On: 34 hours / ANC Off: 55 hours
- Full charging time: 1.5 Hours / 10 minutes fast charge for 7 hours
- Ports: USB-C (Charging), 3.5mm audio
- Bluetooth Version: 5.3
- Audio Codecs: LDAC, SBC
- Extra Features: Ambient mode / 4 mics for phone calls / Foldable / Dual device (connect two devices at the same time)
The WH950NB headphones are a great pair with excellent sound and impressive battery times. They’re extremely comfortable and lightweight, with a foldable design. I can’t call them cheap – but you get a lot for your money, especially when compared to some higher-end (and more expensive) models.
Table of Contents
Who Are The Edifier WH950NB Headphones For?
Edifier is a Chinese company specialising in audio products – from studio speakers to soundbars and earphones. I’m a fan of several of their products (such as the NeoBuds Pro true wireless earphones and their S2000MKIII speakers), so I was looking forward to testing their premium headphones – the WH950NB.
At £179 (as of this writing), these headphones are not exactly cheap – but if you consider the competition, this pair provides results way about its pay grade.
Maybe I’m old-school, but when I’m out and about, I tend to always use tiny in-ear earbuds – and when I’m at home, especially in front of my computer (or the TV) – I prefer big, over-the-ear headphones for that intimate, head-engulfing feeling and sound.
The problem? As headphones become more and more sophisticated, with advanced codecs, active noise cancellation, and many additional bells and whistles – they’re also becoming heavier and heavier.
The WH950NB headphones buck that trend – they have most of the features one would expect from high-end headphones these days, but they’re so lightweight I can wear them for hours at a time without notice.
And yet – the audio is great (especially if you tweak it a bit), the ANC – while not on par with some of the more expensive models – is not bad, and the battery times are very impressive.
Using The Edifier WH950NB
Size and Comfort
So yes, as mentioned, these headphones are among the best I’ve tested in terms of how lightweight and comfortable they are.
The earcups are super-soft, there’s just enough padding on the top band – and thanks to them being so lightweight, they don’t crush your head and your ears.
They’re also quite pretty – my review unit happened to be Ivory-coloured, and I say – go for that. Enough with the boring black headphones… the Ivory in this case is almost white, so if you walk around with these, people will see your bright white headphones from a mile away.
In the box, you get a hard-shell carrying case, a 3.5mm cable for wired connectivity, an in-flight adapter (for those pesky two-pin earphone sockets that some planes have), and a USB-C charging adapter.
The headphones are also foldable, so it’s quite easy to slide them into their carrying case or into your bag.
Pairing and Controlling
The WH950NB support Bluetooth 5.3, so pairing them with your phone or laptop is quite smooth. They also support “Instant Pair” on Android, which can make things even more, well instantaneous.
Thanks to Bluetooth 5.3, you also get Dual-Device support – which means you can pair the headphones with up to two devices at the same time (so, let’s say, your phone – and your computer). You can then listen to either of those devices without having to unpair the headphones and repair them.
Setting up two devices was a bit fiddly – you have to turn the headphones off, then put them in Pairing mode again, and all in all it took a few tries before I got it to work – but when it did, this feature proved to be quite useful.
You can’t listen to both devices at the same time – you have to pause the sound on one before you begin to play on the other – but it’s still much easier than having separate headphones for each device (or that pairing and unpairing game).
The WH950NB don’t have touch controls – instead, there are four tiny buttons on the right earcup. The controls are somewhat confusing, as you need to remember too many functions for just 4 buttons (volume, skipping songs, changing between modes, etc.) – but it’s not a dealbreaker.
Edifier also has a smartphone app that lets you control several aspects of the headphones – change ANC modes, choose or modify EQ presets, and change SOME of the button functionalities.
Audio Quality And ANC
Moving on from pretty colours and fiddly buttons – the sound quality is obviously the most important aspect of any headphones – and the WH950NB don’t disappoint on that front.
But there’s one caveat – out of the box, the sound is a bit… boring, at least for a heavy bass lover like myself. The sound is quite clear and bright, and everything is levelled up nicely – but if you like a bit more oomph, you’ll definitely head to the EQ part of Edifier’s app (the Dynamic preset in the app will be a quick fix for many – though, again, it could have used more bass).
Testing out specific songs, I started with Justin Bieber’s Peaches. This smooth R&B track has a laid-back beat and a catchy melody, and it sounds great on the headphones.
The minimalistic production, with sparse instrumentation and a focus on Bieber’s vocals, made for an intimate listening experience.
The bassline was great , providing a simple and steady foundation for the track. The subtle atmospheric synths and pads added a dreamy, ethereal quality that the headphones delivered nicely, especially after some EQ tweaking to increase the high-ends.
Bieber’s voice is front and centre throughout the song, and his soulful delivery sounded smooth and clear.
Moving on to a classic – ABBA’s Voulez Vous – The fast-paced, danceable disco hit sounded somewhat thin with the default EQ settings, so it’s highly recommended you download the app for further customization.
After some tweaking, the clear and bright sound showcased the individual instruments and vocals, with the iconic opening synth riff and beefy bass complementing one another perfectly.
Altogether, the WH950NB deliver a top-notch listening experience – it’s just a shame some people won’t enjoy it fully unless they tweak the settings first.
The WH950NB also support advanced LDAC High-res sound codec (but there’s no support for Apple’s AAC or Qualcomm’s aptX).
However, to use LDAC, you have to turn it on using the app – and when you do, you lose the dual-device functionality.
LDAC does help clear up the sound even further. Is it a huge difference? Not in my book, but if you don’t need the dual-device support, it’s something you should definitely turn on.
The Active Noise Cancellation (along with the passive NC that comes with being over-the-ear headphones) does its job – but it’s similar to what you get on cheaper in-ear earphones. That is – it’ll help mask train engines and aeroplane noises, but it doesn’t do too much to cancel people talking around you or loud traffic.
There’s also an Ambient Mode, which does the opposite – it amplifies outside sounds, so you’re more aware of your environment. That’s useful when you’re cycling, running outside, or generally need to know what’s going on around you, and you can use the app to control the levels of both the Ambient mode and the Noice Cancellation mode.
I also tend to use over-ear headphones for watching movies – either in front of the computer or in front of the TV late at night – and these don’t disappoint on that front either.
I tested them with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and the sound was clear and bright – I could hear every sound effect, blending nicely with the music, and the speech was ultra-clear. That being said, my main complaint stands – I wish the bass was stronger.
Lastly, you can also use the headphones for phone calls (or video calls) – and while the voices were a bit muffled at times, the other side always heard me perfectly.
With these being so lightweight, many people are definitely going to use them outside (or on a long flight) – so having such excellent battery times is a big plus.
With the Active Noise Cancelling turned on, you can get up to 34 hours of listening, and with ANC turned off, you can get up to 55 hours, which is quite an incredible number for such lightweight headphones.
Fully charging the headphones (with the USB-C port) can take up to 1.5 hours – but they have a Quick Charge feature that lets you get up to seven full hours of listening with a quick charge of just ten minutes.
Of course, your mileage may vary, as the battery times depend on the volume levels you’re using, the connection strength, and other factors. But all in all, I was able to use these for hours on end without having to recharge (and without having to massage my head or my ears).
Bottom Line: Are The Edifier WH950NB Worth It?
Despite the WH950NB headphones being so lightweight – they’re in the heavyweight class. That is – they give higher-priced headphones from the likes of Sony a real fight.
The audio is excellent (with my main concern being the weak bass – but you can improve it with some EQ tweaking), the ANC is good enough at this price level, the battery times are wonderful, and they’re comfortable to wear.
All that being said, £179 isn’t exactly cheap in this day and age – but if you’re in the market for over-the-ear headphones, and you want to get as much as possible for your hard-earned pounds, without paying more than £200 – then this is a great pair from Edifier.