Electro-Harmonix, an established US manufacturer for effects devices, also has inexpensive, wireless on-ears in its range. The NYC Cans support Bluetooth standard 5.0 and also have a 3-button remote for device control. These foldable and therefore easily transportable headphones are also equipped with an MP3 player, which optionally allows use independent of Smartphones and the like.
Despite their low weight of 147 grams, the NYC Cans leave a robust impression, especially for wearing on the move. At the same time, the fit is neither too loose nor too tight, so that a sprint can be done on the road and at the same time no unpleasant pressure is exerted. While the ear cups can be folded to save space, the suspension itself is rigid, which means that the shells can neither rotate nor swivel. However, sufficient adaptability is provided by the elasticity of the bracket. Since the rails are quite solid and can be adjusted for size very variably, these on-ears are easy to carry for both teenagers and adults.
However, these headphones do not have much endurance to offer, as the battery life of six hours is quite short. This changes insignificantly with a gain of 30 minutes if only the MP3 player is used. The on-ears are fully recharged in 45 minutes using the USB charging cable supplied. A big advantage, however, is that the NYC Cans have a 3.5 mm audio input, which allows the alternative of wired use. However, a mini jack cable is not included and must be purchased separately.
The lightweight headphones can be paired directly with the power on, as they are automatically put into pairing mode by holding down the power button. While there were no connection problems whatsoever with various Android and iOS devices, there were isolated Bluetooth dropouts within a range of about seven metres.
A good feature is that the remote buttons have clear pressure points and control is instantaneous. The top button is used to start and stop playback and to answer and end telephone calls. In addition, the next two buttons are used to select titles and control the volume. Simply pressing them jumps forward or backwards, while holding them down increases or decreases the level. One criticism is that the volume is adjusted rather abruptly so that fine adjustments are difficult to implement. Speech intelligibility on the phone is also limited because your own voice sounds very soft and dull. On the other hand, the person on the other end is easy to understand.
An additional button switches between Bluetooth operation and player function, which plays back audio data in MP3 format in an endless loop as soon as the slot on the left-hand ear cup is filled with a microSD card. Playlists are also played through in sequence, but cannot be selected individually, as the player is controlled via the remote buttons so that the navigation options are limited to jumping back and forth from track to track. Therefore, even if the MP3 player is more suitable for a smaller selection of tracks and not necessarily for use with large music collections, the handling is otherwise impeccable.
From a sound point of view, NYC Cans need not hide from more expensive systems. The well-shielded on-ears offer a high output that can be used with low distortion and they surprised me with a clear sound image that is by no means dull or cloudy but has a pleasant, warm colouring. At the same time, electronic productions benefit from a powerful bass reproduction with depth, which is neither too slim nor too massive and always sounds defined. The lively and slightly focussed presentation of voices also knows how to please and is suitable for audiobooks. Slight weaknesses are only apparent in the trebles, which lose their presence in the upper realms but are not harsh and otherwise appear fresh and open. The Bluetooth standard SBC is used as audio codec and the present, round sound covers a wide musical spectrum from hip-hop and electro, pop and rock to alternative and metal.
Except for the microphone quality and short battery life, the NYC Cans by Electro-Harmonix gave me nothing to complain about. These handy Bluetooth headphones offer powerful listening fun with pleasing voice reproduction and they score additional points with the integrated MP3 player. Since these portable on-ears can also be used wired and are flexibly adjustable in size, the price-performance ratio is extremely good despite the existence of some weaknesses.
- Ear couplingOn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Weight with cable147 g
What's in the box
- USB charging cable
- BT codecs: SBC
- BT version: 5.0
- integrated MP3 player
- microSD card slot