Pioneer is one of Japan’s oldest audio companies, known for a wide range of products from automotive applications to Hi-Fi, video and DJ equipment. A Chinese consortium, however, has taken over a large part of the audio division and is now responsible for the successful WiFi and DJ products. With the SE-C4BT, a Bluetooth headset has come onto the market that is primarily aimed at cost-conscious newcomers to the world of wireless headphones.
The scope of delivery includes a USB cable for charging and a short manual, as well as a total of three rubber ear tips in various sizes. The cable between the two earphones feels solid and durable. The function keys are located on the right side of the cable in the typical Bluetooth control block. The standard functions for volume control, switching on the device and a microphone for telephoning are available here. Unfortunately, there is no counterweight on the left side of the cable, so the handset sometimes tends to slip a little to the right. This is not deal-breaker, but is also not a particularly successful design – other manufacturers have done it better.
The control panel also contains the micro-USB port for charging the handset. The Pioneer offers around six hours of playing time. With Windows 10, the remaining battery life is displayed in the taskbar; with Mac OS and Android, you’ll have to go with your gut, but this is due to the operating system and has nothing to do with the headphones themselves.
The coupling process is quick and easy. In comparison, other headphones in this price segment sometimes have more difficulties. The SE-C4BT works with Bluetooth 4.2 and uses the license-free but somewhat more compressed A2DP protocol. This may be the reason why phonecalls are not really a strength of these headphones. Especially in noisy environments, the conversations sound noisy and dull – but they are still sufficiently clear to communicate normally.
For the price, the Pioneer does its work properly in terms of sound. For pop or soul music as well as electronics, the headphones provide the right amount of steam. The bass range is a bit more accentuated but doesn’t carry any negative weight, instead giving the impression of a solid foundation. The lower mids, on the other hand, seem a bit crowded and spongy, so there is a less nuanced sound with jazz or opulent oldies. In rock, this doesn’t matter but provides solid pressure. For Bluetooth in-ear headphones, the upper mids and higher registers are on the softer side in quiet environments. This means that you can listen to music comfortably over a long period of time without your ears ringing, but this may also be due to the slight drop in the highs. Due to a minor accentuation of the lower treble, vocals are reproduced in a present manner. In this respect, voice recordings or acoustic songs are also in good hands. Ultimately, as is usually the case with in-ear headphones, the depth of the Pioneer is rather flat.
The SE-C4BT are neat headphones for a low-cost entry into the world of in-ear Bluetooth headphones – especially students or other users with a low budget. The sound is solid and does its job without any annoying outliers. If you’re looking for headphones to take you to work or a small all-rounder for the office, the university library or the discreet Netflix session, you’ll be well served for little money here. You shouldn’t make Hi-Fi-quality demands, but you don’t have to excessively cut back your expectations.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)10 - 20.000 Hz
- Weight with cable13 g
What's in the box
- 3 pairs of ear tips in S, M, L
- USB charging cable
- Available in bordeaux red, mint green, white and black
- BT version: 4.2
- BT profiles: A2DP / AVRCP / HFP / HSP
- BT codec: SBC
- Multi-Pairing: max. 8 devices
- Battery life: max. 6 hours
- Charge charging time: approx. 1.5 hours
- Supports the Pioneer Notification App