the t.bone HD 2000 NC

Affordable Over-Ear Headphones with Noise-Cancelling Capabilities

The t.bone HD 2000 NC is a closed headphone design with noise cancellation as standard, along with wireless operation via Bluetooth and an integrated microphone so you can keep up with calls on the move. All of this is offered for a very reasonable price.

Measurement Results

More measurement results

Technical specifications

  • Ear couplingOver-ear
  • Typeclosed
  • Transducer principledynamic
  • Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
  • Impedance44,5 ohms
  • Sound pressure level (SPL)106,99 dB
  • Pressure averaged from big and small head464 g
  • Weight with cable200 g
  • Weight without cable187 g
  • Cable length100 cm

What's in the box

  • Cable with mini jack
  • USB charging cable

What’s Included?

The t.bone comes with a simple mini jack audio cable, as well as a USB charging cable. These are the most important of the accessories included and essential for operation, but the lack of gold-plated connectors means these don’t boast the same anti-corrosion qualities as those of some competitors. An operating manual is also included.

Design

The t.bone HD 2000 NC is a closed-back, ear-enclosing headphone model that music fans should love. However, for those users with slightly larger ears, these headphones might not offer the same encasing fit. Additionally, there’s not much space to speak of between the earpieces.

The design of these headphones is certainly appealing, with the sleek shape of the earpieces and matt black finish making an instant impression. It’s certainly nice to look at, but that’s not to say it’s above the usual grease spot or moisture mark. As such, they’re not an ideal option for those looking for sporting headphones where sweat is inevitable. What’s more, the finish of these headphones is a touch sensitive to scratches. With no transport case included, this is something to think about. Investing in a carry case yourself is definitely advisable.

These t.bone headphones are a good choice if you’re after something that packs away discreetly for listening on the go. They’re a lightweight 190 grams, not including cable, with a folding mechanism and rotating ear cups that make stowing these to compact dimensions incredibly easy. With its low impedance average of around 44.5 Ohms, this headphone model has been designed with the lower outputs of smart phones and tablets in mind. This allows for a comparatively louder sound from such devices, bringing a maximum sound pressure of around 107 dB SPL. Another handy detail is the cable is a mere one metre long, meaning it can tucked away under clothing discreetly without any extra wire dangling awkwardly.

Wearing Comfort

Comfort levels of these affordable headphones are surprisingly high. There’s several factors working in their favour here, with contact pressure pleasantly low. There’s also the softness of the earpiece pads, kitted out with agreeable artificial leather that feels fantastic against the skin. The headband is also kitted out for comfort, with artificial leather padding and a layer of simple foam, ensuring you don’t feel fatigued after longer listening sessions.

Handling

The operation of these headphones is intuitive enough you won’t find any issues with them. The small button on the right earpiece requires a simple, single click to activate noise cancellation. A recessed LED will also light up as green to confirm the function is active.

If the battery capacity level plummets critically low, a warning tone will sound every 60 seconds. The battery can then be charged via USB, with the included charging cable on hand to hook up the headphones. The HD 2000 NC has its cable input on the left earpiece base, with a PC or commercially available power adapter for smartphones both suitable power supplies for charging. A recessed LED will illuminate red to tell you the internal battery is charging. When the battery is fully charged, this LED turns blue.

For the sake of fairness, I have to say that while the headphones don’t look and feel particularly great for their purchase price, they do make a good impression in terms of functionality. For example, the rather rather robust rasterised headband has a memory function to remember last adjustment settings. The folding mechanism doesn’t look like many I’ve encountered before, but convinces with its reliabilty and flawless operation. The fact that the one-sided cable is on the right side, rather the left, is perhaps the only functional flaw I could find. I say flaw, but it’s more a new factor you’ll have to take a little time getting used to.

In terms of Bluetooth connectivity, these headphones are child’s play. The t.bone HD 2000 NC is paired as you’d expect, with a press and hold of the button initiating the pairing process. Data connection and transmission proved stale and reliable in the test. A slight problem I found in the practical test was the plus and minus buttons on the device don’t reflect how they’re positioned in the manual. A small gripe, but worth pointing out for those particular about their reference material.

Noise Cancellation

The Active Noise Cancellation function of the t.bone HD 2000 NC works very well in terms of noise suppression. Static sound of various sound sources is reliably dampened, whether that’s a passing aircraft or the noise of your PC fan whirling away nearby.

Bluetooth

These headphones use Bluetooth 4.1, although the manufacturer does not specify which particular codec is used. It’s therefore reasonable to assume a sub-band codex, representing the lowest common denominator in terms of encoding and sound quality. Thus, you can expect the lowest standard in terms of output. Since these t.bone headphones cover a frequency range from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, I was quite curious to see how well the treble elements would sound in the wireless test.

Sound

What I noticed immediately come the practical test was the external sound dampening capabilities of the earpieces. The performance of this was fine for the price. The t-bone HD 2000 NC is rather reserved in the highs, which is why hiss and noise aren’t are a problem for this model. If an equaliser is activated and treble is raised, the sound will gain in diffuse treble, but not in overall brilliance. In addition to this, the upper end of the frequency range is not very pronounced in this reproduction. The audio signal lacks detail and depth. Ultimately, the sound you’ll get from these is quite dull and superficial. The headphones also struggled to convince me with the bass. Even though it delivers low ranges with a corresponding bass boost via EQ, there’s nothing too concise or powerful enough to convince me. The mids is smooth and unobtrusive, much like the treble, which benefits rock and metal titles, with the guitar-heavy productions of these genres never sounding cutting or harsh.

If you on the noise cancelling function, these headphones kick up a lot more volume, so be warned of this spike in loudness Caution is certainly advised if you’re someone who listens at loud volumes in general. Sound playback in general experiences a fundamental change with this function. When the feature is switched on, there’s a very, very noticeable extra layer of highs to register. Speech intelligibility is also massively enhanced, while the upper bass range becomes more contoured. With the additional use of an EQ, sub-basses no longer suffer from unwanted humming effects, instead revealed as a pleasant, clearly perceptible low end that doesn’t impede on other frequency ranges.

Carsten Kaiser
10 months ago by Carsten Kaiser
  • Rating: 3.5
  • Sound
  • Handling
  • Price/Quality
  • Function

The t.bone HD 2000 NC is a solid choice of closed headphone that delivers external noise suppression spectacularly and performs well in a general playback capacity. On the one hand, the sound it kicks out when NC isn’t utilised is rather dull and unassuming, but the activation of this feature reveals a much clearer sound profile. If you want the perks of active noise cancellation, but would rather have it without the premium price attached, then this headphone model is well worth a look.

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