Edifier WH500 Review Volume Limiting Foldable Headphones

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

The new Edifier WH500 headphones are equipped with an outstanding quick charge performance, delivering one of the longest (if not the longest) quick charge playtime of any headphones on the market right now - an amazing 6 hour playtime from just a 10 minute recharge.

The WH500 are perfect for travel, children listening or backup headphones. They are foldable on-ear headphones that take little space and weight, thanks to the lightweight plastic construction. The headband integrates a standard yoke for the earcups to tilt and rotate flat. 

The headband has a clicky ratchet style slider with no metal band reinforcement. The underside of the headband is padded adequately with comfortable foam padding. On-board the earcups, you find physical rubber buttons for controlling the headphones functions including: reset, volume up/down, skip track to next/previous, calls (answer/end/reject) and mode button to switch between normal (music) mode and game mode.
Game mode and the low weight make the WH500 headphones ideal for mobile gaming when traveling or commuting on the way to work. For desktop gaming though, there are better options such as the Edifier G2 II and Hecate GX - both featuring 7.1 surround sound. There is also the W820NB headphones which are similar in price to the WH500. The W820NB also features ANC (active noise cancellation) and game mode, making it the better purchase of the two. 

The WH500 earcups are equipped with 30mm drivers covered with dome shaped cushions (6.5cm in diameter). On board, there are two status leds to feedback bluetooth connection and battery level.
The construction of the Edifier WH500 does not feel as robust as other Edifier headphones - even older models such as the W860NB and W855BT headphones. 
The WH500 headphones are made with very lightweight plastic, which is a plus for comfort but not durability. The folding hinge is the weakest point of most foldable headphones, especially those that don't have metal reinforcement. The WH500 folding hinge mechanism is made of plastic and has weak tensioning that sometimes causes the earcups to flop.
The WH500 headphones lack a 3.5mm headphone jack and the USB-C port does not support wired connection like the W820NB headphones; hence you cannot listen to audio via audio cable. As far as battery performance, you can get about 35 hours of runtime at 50% volume. Charging time takes 2 hours and you get super fast quick charge support, which is one of the biggest selling points. You cannot listen to audio when charging them.
The WH500 headphones also comes with software support via the Edifier Connect app. The app is easy to use and navigate and connects automatically to the headphones after launch. The Edifier app gives you access to volume limiting (disabled by default), custom EQ, two preset sound modes and other settings such as timer. The only drawback with the Edifier app is privacy.
 Potential deal breakers
  • No as feature rich - no 7.1 surround sound, no ANC.
  • Low bass and sound leakage - onear form factor drawbacks
  • Feels cheaper than its price tag suggests
  • No wired mode
  • No bluetooth AAC support (only SBC codec supported)
  • No audio passthrough whilst charging
  • Cannot enable/disable volume limiting from the earcups. You need the app
  • Small 30mm drivers = small sound
  • Volume limiting is not adjustable like on some children headphones
  • Edifier Connect app requires you to enable GPS/location on your phone

Selling points
  • Super fast quick charge support up to 6 hours playtime from just 10 minutes charging
  • Volume limited to 85dB can be turned off
  • WH500 branding akin to Sony's WH series headphones
  • Perfect for backup headphones or children headphones
  • On-ear form factor allows natural situational awareness without electronic ambient mode
  • Supremely comfortable to wear without pressure points on head and ears
  • Ultra low weight (172 grams)
  • Supported by the Edifier Connect app
  • Low clamping force
  • Soft dome cushions (no inner hole)
  • Can be folded - perfect for traveling and commuting
  • Rubber buttons
  • Bluetooth 5.2 chip supports absolute bluetooth volume and multipoint
  • Status led does not blink during audio playback
  • Audible beep when reaching max volume
  • Voice prompt announcing "game mode"
  • Subtle minimalist branding
  • Earcups can be tilted and rotated flat
  • Noise cancelling mic for calls delivers natural calls while minimizing enough background noise to enjoy the call
  • USB-C charging
 Accessories include a short charging cable. You can buy the Edifier WH500 on-ear headphones from amazon.

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