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Shure AONIC 50 Gen2

Closed Bluetooth headphones with flexible sound via an app

In a nutshell

The Shure Aonic 50 Gen 2 are closed over-ear headphones that impressed us with high-quality Bluetooth codecs, ANC, Ambience Mode, USB streaming, Spatialiser and parametric EQ. They are also very comfortable to wear, have a quick-charging function and a soft case. We judge them to be flexible everyday headphones with customisable sound.

Pros:
  • Many features controllable via app
  • Flexible sound thanks to parametric EQ
  • High wearing comfort
  • Distortion-free up to higher volumes
Cons:
  • Restrained basic sound, requires adjustment
  • The beep of the centre button cannot be deactivated
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The Shure Aonic 50 Gen 2 are closed, circumaural Bluetooth headphones in the mid-price range. Shure has equipped them with all kinds of features to set them apart from the competition. With this second generation, this model has been revised, so read our review of the previous incarnation. Here, we take a closer look at what these new headphones have to offer and explore the key features in detail.

Shure Aonic 50 Gen 2 – Package

A little bonus right from the start: The Shure Aonic 50 Gen 2 come with a soft case for safe transportation and where the headphones can be stored together with their accessories. This case is optimised for these headphones. It has a carrying strap, and the whole thing can be opened and closed quickly using a zip. This is fairly unusual, even for this price range.

If you want to use these Bluetooth headphones wired, a cable for 2.5mm to 3.5mm jack is included. However, the package does not include an adapter for a 6.35mm jack. However, the audio cable plugs are gold-plated to protect against corrosion. A USB-C cable is also included; this is used to charge the battery in the headphones, but it can also be used for digital audio connection. The Aonic 50’s package is pretty well organised.

Shure Aonic 50 Gen 2 – Materials and construction

The all-black Shure Aonic 50 Gen 2 looked impressive with its thoroughly modern appearance. From colourful simplicity to elegant design, these headphones look up-to-date and should appeal to many discerning headphone users. The materials and overall workmanship are straightforward and flawless. The closed ear cups are held in place by sturdy metal arms, something that usually indicates a high-quality device. It’s not immediately obvious that these headphones are in the mid-price segment; they look more prestigious than that might suggest.

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Shure Aonic 50 Gen 2 – Technical values

The Shure Aonic 50 Gen 2 can stream audio up to a quality of 32bit/384kHz via USB.Its Bluetooth uses Qualcomm aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, Sony LDAC, AAC and SBC as codecs. Snapdragon Sound also ensures low-latency lossless audio. The frequency range of these Bluetooth headphones extends from 20Hz to 22kHz. This means that the bass range is just about what the human ear can normally perceive. In the treble range, this is 2 kilohertz above the typical range of perception. This should provide sufficient scope to ensure open-sounding highs.

With an impedance of 39 ohms, these headphones can be used with smartphones, tablets and laptops without playing too quietly. They also do a good job in terms of volume when used with the headphone output of audio interfaces with this resistance. Although the maximum sound pressure level won’t blow the roof off, 97.5 dBSPL is still perfectly acceptable for closed over-ear headphones. After all, the sound of audio playback is sent directly to the ear cups. A range of 100 metres and up to 45 hours of battery life speak for themselves when it comes to suitability for everyday use. There is also a fast charging function, which provides an impressive 5 hours of operating time after just 15 minutes.

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Shure Aonic 50 Gen 2 – Handling

The headband size adjustment on the Shure Aonic 50 is rasterised, so it automatically adjusts to the correct size when put on and then retains it. The ear cups on these headphones can also be rotated and swivelled so they adapt perfectly to the shape of your head. High-quality, soft ear pads with memory foam and a comfortably padded headband ensure a high level of wearing comfort. In addition, a sufficiently strong but never oppressive contact pressure ensures a secure fit.

It is worth noting that these headphones are definitely designed for right-handed users. All control buttons are located on the right ear cup. And if you use the analogue audio cable, it connects on the left. This gives right-handers more freedom of movement. The cable length of 1.55 metres is sufficient to comfortably run the cable under your clothes to a mobile player, but at the same time, it is not too long for use with a laptop.

Controlling the headphones is straightforward and, therefore, wonderfully simple. In addition to the usual functions such as pairing, playback and volume control, you can also check the battery status. It is also possible to delete previously established connections. The central button is responsible for no less than ten functions. It offers various keystroke combinations for playback, telephone calls and using the voice assistant. Unfortunately, they respond to commands with a swoosh sound that cannot be switched off via the app. In the long run, this becomes a bit annoying. ANC and ambient mode can be activated using a slide switch.

This is all clearly laid out, and in practice, it is easy to use. A helpful feature was that pairing status was confirmed with voice feedback. Some matt black headphones have a problem with fingerprints that are left behind during handling, but this was not a problem here.

Shure Aonic 50 Gen 2 – Sound

The sound of the Shure Aonic 50 Gen 2 can be adjusted using the equaliser via the ShurePlus PLAY app. This is available for Android and iOS devices. To my personal taste, this adjustment was necessary because the sound of these headphones was dominated by the lower mid-range and the bass that followed it. Voices and vocals were easy to hear despite the warm mid-range sound. Above this, you will find restrained highs with a silky timbre and a super high-frequency range that, unfortunately, lacks openness. At the other end of the frequency spectrum, the Aonic 50 delivered easily perceptible low bass but lacked the final push. Minor resonances meant that my audio enjoyment was slightly diminished here.

It was, however, possible to individually optimise this sound behaviour using the equaliser. The last settings selected in the app were retained on the headphones so that the sound could be permanently customised.

The ANC feature can also be controlled in the app; this includes the eleven-stage Ambience mode. Both functions can be activated simultaneously via the app, but an audible background noise remained in the highest frequency regions when the ANC mode was switched on (depending on the level selected). Nevertheless, the active noise cancellation did its job almost flawlessly. If you want as little residual noise as possible, it is best to select the “Light” level.

The ambient mode of these headphones also worked effectively. Where some competitors can only come up with quiet ambient sound or, even worse, reproduce noises or annoying sound filter effects, the Aonic 50’s microphones did a great job, at least when the sensitivity of the mode was set to the highest level via the app. However, you need to put up with strong noise levels. In terms of noise behaviour, I would describe only the lower three of the mode’s eleven intensity levels as “moderate”.

And last but not least, the app offers a Spatialiser. It widened the sound image and also provided a richer bass sound. A media player is also included, and in addition to multipoint connectivity, charging behaviour and USB mode, a sleep timer can be set in the app. If you like using Bluetooth, what more could you ask for?

The acoustic shielding from the inside was good because it is effective. The same applied to isolation from the outside. In terms of dynamics, these headphones were better for soft transients. Please don’t get me wrong: even if these descriptions of the sound seem quite critical, the sound of these headphones was still really good. And if you use the equaliser, personal tastes can be matched with pinpoint accuracy. Regardless of which EQ parameters the user chooses, the sound of these headphones was distortion-free right up to the highest playback volume.

Conclusion

The Shure Aonic 50 Gen 2 are closed Bluetooth headphones with an over-ear design and a flexible sound thanks to the equaliser in the accompanying app. With multi-stage active noise cancelling, an ambient mode that can be adjusted in eleven stages and a spatialiser, they also include features that are not only helpful in everyday use but also take the sound to the next level. This applies above all to stereo width and bass behaviour. If you are prepared to make the effort to customise the sound of these headphones for yourself, the Shure Aonic 50 Gen 2 are Bluetooth headphones with a rich variety of sounds, high wearing comfort and a soft case that undoubtedly makes them worth the money.

2 months ago by Carsten Kaiser
  • Rating: 4.25
  • Sound
  • Handling
  • Price/Quality
  • Function

Technical specifications

  • Ear couplingOver-ear
  • Typeclosed
  • Transducer principledynamic
  • Frequency response (headphones)20 - 22.000
  • Impedance@1 kHz: 39 ohms
  • Sound pressure level (SPL)@1 kHz: 97,5 dB
  • Weight with cable382 g
  • Weight without cable337 g
  • Cable length155 cm

What's in the box

  • 3.5 mm jack cable
  • USB-C cable
  • Soft case

Special features

  • BT codecs: aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX Voice, SBC, AAC, LDAC
  • BT version: 5.3

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