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Edifier W820NB Review ANC Headphones With Game Mode And Very Long Battery Life

Wednesday, December 01, 2021



Beating headphones considerably more expensive, the Edifier W820NB hybrid active noise cancelling headphones offer superb comfort, super long battery life and a low latency mode for mobile gaming. The W820NB headphones have comfy earpads , although a bit on the thin side compared to the W855BT and W860NB headphones.


The clamping force is high, which can be an issue with big heads but the exceptional low weight (232 grams) makes the W860NB headphones very comfortable to wear for hours on end. On-board the left earcup, you get four rubbery buttons (clicky and raised) for controlling track skipping, volume, ANC/Ambient sound, play/pause, voice assistant and calls. The W820NB earpads are not user replaceable but, like with all PU leather earpads, you should wipe down the earpads after wearing them to keep oils/sweat from breaking/ cracking the PU leather. The inner hole measures 3.5cm wide, 6.5cm high and 2cm deep (depth to the driver). Hardware includes 40mm dynamic drivers (covered with thin fabric) with 32 ohms impedance and 91dB volume sensitivity.


An interesting spec listed on the W820NB headphones box packaging it's DNN noise cancellation for calls. Edifier doesn't mention whether DNN refers to "krispNet DNN" but, it's basically deep learning (AI) noise reduction that suppresses noises in real time a bit like Microsoft Teams noise suppression and ENC. The mic works really well for work calls as the mic comes in loud and clear. In busy, noisy environments, the DNN AI algorithm does an impressive job of cutting out background noise, much better than CvC and DSP noise reduction. That said, the noise reduction can be a bit aggressive which takes a little bit off the clarity of the call.

The bass is balanced with the midrange and treble so, vocals and instruments can be heard cleanly and clear with a good lone tone oomph behind it. The one thingyou may notice about the Edifier W820NB headphones it's the volume (91dB), which isn't quite as loud as the W855BT headphones (98db) and W860NB ANC headphones (97dB). Audio via bluetooth connection sounds louder than via USB-C wired connection, although the actual sound quality is better via wired connection, which delivers hi-res audio and no latency. There is no AUX (headphone jack) on the W820NB but, you can still use the ANC function while connected via USB-C connection. When connected via bluetooth, the status led flashes blue every few seconds during audio playback  


Both the W860NB and W855BT headphones perform similarly but the W820NB has a low latency game mode, which really seals the deal for wireless mobile gaming. Enabling game mode, reduces latency down from ~200ms to ~80ms. The only drawback with game (low latency) mode though, it's that it decreases the wireless range and drains the battery a lot more, almost by half. This is the same basic scenario you get with any low latency audio device.


The W820NB active noise cancellation feature works well and, it's greatly aided by the high passive noise isolation of the ear cushions, which help suppress most every day sounds like loud music and construction work. That said, the noise isn't entirely eliminated so, you will still hear faintly some sounds like voices of people and very loud high pitched noises and drone sounds (e.g. plane flying overhead)


The Edifier W820NB are also equipped with ambient sound, which is always a neat feature to have on headphones/earbuds for situational awareness when outdoors. The W820NB ambient sound mode works very well, letting external sounds into the earcups loud and clear. You can adjust how much ambient sound enters the earcups via the Edifier connect app.


The Edifier W820NB headphones feature loud and clear voice prompts, which come up when activating ANC/Ambient sound and Game mode. As far as construction, the Edifier W820NB headphones have an all-plastic construction with a matte coating throughout. There is absolutely no metal, even the ratchet headband adjustment slider, which has no metal band reinforcement. The earcups tilt and swivel 90 degrees (one way) but do not fold. The headband measures 3cm wide.


The Edifier W820NB headphones don't feel premium as the W855BT model, which has metal construction and comes with a really snazzy hardshell carry case. The W820NB doesn't come with any carry case at all. Even though, it's not mentioned on the user guide, the W820NB headphones come with mobile app support via the Edifier Connect app. The app lets you remotely toggle ANC, Ambient and game mode, as well as see the battery level. There is no EQ built-in (for tweaking the default sound signature) and no button remapping support; hence you cannot re-assign the button functions.


The Edifier W820NB headphones don't offer quick charge support but, they fully charge extremely fast in just 90 minutes (1.5 hours) which is exceptional charging time for headphones. At around 60% volume and ANC ON, you can achieve 28 hrs of battery life and around 45 hours with ANC OFF. You cannot use the W820NB in bluetooth mode whilst charging.


The bluetooth 5.0 chip supports AAC and SBC codecs but does not support multipoint connection so, you cannot connect two headphones at the same time. Accessories include a 1.2 meters long rubber cable, which is unbranded but of good quality and can be used for charging and listening to audio. You can buy the Edifier W820NB headphones from amazon. Check out the reviews of the W860NB model and W855BT models.


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