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Edifier W820NB Plus

Endurance Bluetooth over-ears with ANC and LDAC

In a nutshell

Edifier’s W820NB Plus are affordable wireless over-ears that sound good and feature effective active noise cancelling (ANC). Five microphones with DNN (Deep Neural Network) noise cancellation are also supposed to ensure clear speech intelligibility when using the phone.

Pros:
  • Balanced basic sound
  • Can be used via Bluetooth or USB cable
  • Effective ANC mode
  • Effective noise cancellation during phone calls
  • Supports LDAC
Cons:
  • Heat build-up on the ears
  • No AAC
  • Basic noise in transparency mode
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The Edifier W820NB Plus weigh-in at 230 grams and are available in grey, light blue, white, beige or black.

With pivoting and tilting cups, this closed-back over-ear system has flexible adjustability, with a range of earpiece settings to accommodate small to larger head shapes. However, these headphones cannot be folded up to save space for transport. At the same time, the fit is tight rather than loose, offering stability for outdoor activities. In addition, there was a fairly high degree of shielding from the outside world. However, a strong development of heat was noticeable on the ears, especially in summer temperatures.

Battery life

At high volume, these Bluetooth earphones can achieve a good 49 hours of battery life, which is reduced to just under 33 hours when noise cancellation is used. The long-lasting rechargeable battery is also fast-chargeable, which means that after just ten minutes, it has enough capacity for up to seven hours. The Edifier W820NB Plus are fully charged after 100 minutes, and these over-ears can also be used while charging on a laptop’s USB port. A USB-C to USB-A cable with a length of 120 centimetres is supplied for this purpose.

Operation

The Edifier W820NB Plus support Bluetooth standard 5.2 and offer a stable wireless connection that can cover a distance of about 25 metres in a garden. In addition, several rooms can be bridged inside buildings. However, it is not possible to have multipoint connections with two devices at the same time. As an alternative to Bluetooth operation, these over-ears can be used on a computer via USB cable, and this worked perfectly with macOS. The noise cancellation was well implemented, while the transparency mode and the controls were available both wirelessly and via USB cable.

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A classic 3-button remote on the right side is used to control playback and allows you to activate a voice assistant, adjust the volume, skip forward and back, and answer and end phone calls. In addition, the reduced latency gaming mode can be activated and deactivated via a separate multifunction button. Furthermore, it is possible to switch between basic and ANC modes, and the ambient mode can be retrofitted via an app.

Edifier Connect App

The Edifier W820NB Plus app (for Android and iOS) allows the ambient mode to be adjusted to the environment using seven intensity levels while the noise cancellation is fixed. In addition, it offers access to a wide selection of “soothing sounds” that can be used for relaxation or meditation. There are four pre-configured modes for sound control: “Classic”, “Pop”, “Classical” and “Rock”, with “Classic” being the default setting. However, unlike with the Edifier WH950NB, there is no EQ. On top of all this, the gaming mode can be activated and deactivated via the app, the volume can be adjusted, and a timer can be set. You can also carry out firmware updates.

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Bluetooth and gaming mode

These over-ears support Bluetooth standard SBC and LDAC as a premium variant, but AAC is not supported. If your smartphone or tablet does not provide LDAC, the SBC codec is automatically used, which means that there is an offset between the picture and sound during films or games. This problem can be remedied in gaming mode, as the latency optimisation brings about a clear improvement in synchronicity. However, the headphones must first be decoupled and reconnected after activation so that the latency is actually reduced, which seems somewhat awkward, but this could be fixed with an update. Otherwise, the gaming mode worked flawlessly and did not negatively affect the stability of the wireless connection.

Speech intelligibility during phone calls

In a quiet environment, the Edifier W820NB Plus’s microphone technology offered a rather average voice quality, as your own voice is presented smoothly and is well understandable but sounds somewhat artificial. However, the filtering of wind and ambient noise by the DNN technology was impressively effective. Even strong gusts of wind or loud background noise were almost completely masked out and not perceived by the person on the other end of the line. However, it was noticeable that the noise suppression had an effect on the quality of voice transmission, which was somewhat reduced. Nevertheless, communication remained possible even under adverse conditions. Great!

Noise cancellation (ANC) and transparency mode

The ANC mode also performed its task convincingly and performed surprisingly well, especially with background voices, so that these no longer cause hindrance during playback. This also applies to low-frequency noise sources, which were significantly lowered. However, ringing tones and birdsong penetrated and were not so intensively attenuated, but typing noise from a computer was noticeably reduced.

While the noise reduction worked relatively quietly, a basic noise was present in the transparency mode, which increased from level to level. However, even at low settings, outside noises were amplified sufficiently to make it possible to communicate when playback was paused, but the amplification was likely to be more intense in the upper levels.

Sound

The basic tuning of the Edifier W820NB Plus seemed appealingly balanced and had a tidy, slightly warm sound. Modern music styles were reproduced with a powerful bass foundation that reached down deep and created the desired punch while not seeming overemphasised. The Pop mode offered a richer bass reproduction with more substance, while the Classical variant sounded leaner and tighter in the lower realms.

The basic sound had a present, cleanly structured mid-range with good localisation of individual signals, and this did not create a feeling of narrowness even in more complex arrangements. The clear voice reproduction was assertive when in mobile use while at the same time not being obtrusive or exhausting when listening to music in a relaxed atmosphere on the sofa. If you prefer a fuller sound with more intense warmth, then you can use the Rock mode.

The treble reproduction of the Classic tuning had energy but did not cheekily overshoot the mark even at higher volume levels. Sibilants, in particular, appeared softly rounded, which reinforced the harmonic listening impression. A tendency to peaks or harshness was not noticeable even in Rock or Classical mode, which sounded a tad livelier in the upper registers.

Conclusion

A definite weak point of the Edifier W820NB Plus is the development of heat on the ears, which required occasional venting. However, these Bluetooth over-ears impress with their very effective filtering of wind and ambient noise during phone calls, as well as their powerful noise cancellation. The balanced basic tuning of these earphones is also successful, especially as the four sound modes allow for individual adjustment. Another plus point was the fast-charging, long-lasting battery, which gives the overall package an attractive price.

11 months ago by Maike Paeßens
  • Rating: 4.25
  • Sound
  • Handling
  • Price/Quality
  • Function

Technical specifications

  • Ear couplingOver-ear
  • Typeclosed
  • Transducer principledynamic
  • Frequency response (headphones)20 - 40.000 Hz
  • Impedance32 ohms
  • Weight with cable258 g
  • Weight without cable230 g

What's in the box

  • USB-C to USB-A cable

Special features

  • available in gray, light blue, beige, white or black
  • BT codecs: SBC, LDAC
  • BT version: 5.2
  • BT profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP

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