Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiets Review Volume Limiting ANC Headphones

Monday, November 07, 2022

When researching the best possible headphones you can buy for children, one thing that is consistent is ear protection. Puro Sound Labs's new PuroQuiets are designed to protect young ears without spoiling the sound by limiting the volume, as well as using effective active and passive noise isolation!

PuroQuiets is an upgraded version of the original JuniorJams headphones released 3 years ago. The newer PuroQuiets retain a similar earcup and headband design with a more premium look and feel. PuroQuiets is made with metal buttons, metal earcups and higher volume limiting to 85dB so, they sound a bit louder than the JuniorJams. Another upgrade you get with the newer PuroQuiets is active noise cancellation (ANC).

PuroQuiets has anodized hollow metal earcups attached to a solid metal band that slides in and out of the plastic headband for head adjustment. There aren't any yokes; hence the earcups do not tilt up and down. There is no folding mechanism either but, the PuroQuiets earcups can be rotated up to 90 degrees (one way).

The headband slider isn't a ratchet style with clicky notches. Instead, it slides in and out smoothly without making any noise and has strong tensioning too to keep  the adjustment in place. The maximum extension of the headband slider is 3.5cm. The headband itself is padded all-around (along the sides too) with thick foam covered with soft PU leather (same as the earpads). The earpads inner hole measures with 1cm deep. The 40mm drivers are covered with thin foam padding. Provided that you get a snug fit around the head, the earcups/pads deliver superb passive noise isolation (watch video test), preventing external sounds from entering the earcups and leaking out of the earcups. 

On the right earcup, there is a standalone ANC toggle switch for turning on and off the ANC, as well as the micro USB charging port and status leds. On the left earcup, you find a 3.5mm headphone port, a bluetooth button, power on/off switch and split volume buttons. The physical buttons are also made of metal. They are tactile, separated and raised, making them easy to locate. They also have a loud clicky actuation. The power and ANC switches are textured.
The 3.5mm audio port also supports "daisy chain sharing" - similar to BT2200 Plus - which is a neat feature you typically find on children headphones and allows someone (e,g, friend, sibling, etc) to plug in their headphones into the PuroQuiets. The PuroQuiets speaker drivers have a sensitivity rating of 112dB (decibels) which gets automaticlaly "limited" to 85dB via bluetooth and when using the included limiting audio cable, which is basically designed to prevent audio surpassing 85dB. Anythign above 70dB is considered loud, although it is only "considered" harmful when exposed to it for longer than 8 hours. To give you an idea of how loud 85dB is, a relaxed conversation with someone generates around 60dB of noise, while a yelling/ shouting match with someone is typically above 85 dB. 
The on-board micro USB port works just as good as USB-C but it is seen as "old/dated" by many consumers due to the vast majority of gadgets using USB-C connectivity as standard. Another drawback with micro USB is that it cannot be inserted upside down like USB-C.
The PuroQuiets ANC performance is very good, largely in part due to the superb passive noise isolation, which does a good job of drowning higher frequencies. The audio sound quality is better with ANC ON, which naturally boosts the bass making the audio sound more dynamic alive and louder than with ANC OFF. 

Long battery life is a key feature of PuroQuiets that doesn't disappoint either. PuroQuiets is able to deliver around 27 hours at 50% volume with ANC ON. With ANC OFF, battery life increases to around 34 hours - give or take - depending on the audio codec used (AAC consumes more power than SBC codec). The PuroQuiets charging time is about 2 hours.
Potential deal breakers
  •  Micro USB charging - although a micro USB charging cable is included so, you won't have to buy one.
  • Earcups do not tilt 
  • PuroQuiets aren't foldable like Puro's JuniorJams
  • Sweaty ears - same issue with all PU leather earpad headphones
  • The switches rattle a bit
  • The wired mode volume limiting feature can be bypassed by using a standard audio cable
  • Buttons controls do not work in wired mode - same issue with all bluetooth/wired headphones 
  • Battery life depletes fairly quickly in standby mode - in about 8 days
  • The microphone for calls isn't noise cancelling
  • Feedforward ANC - most ANC headphones typically use hybrid ANC (feedforward + feedback)
  • Bluetooth status led blinks when listening to audio
  • No low latency game mode
  • Cannot be used whilst charging in bluetooth mode (only in wired mode)
  • Do not support quick charge
  • No transparency/ambient mode

Selling points for PuroQuiets
  • Supports daisy chaining headphones
  • Volume limiting ear protection up to 85dB
  • The volume limiting can be bypassed using a standard audio cable to enable the drivers full potential
  • Battery level announcement
  • Built-in 85dB volume limiter cannot be overridden in bluetooth mode - ideal for smaller kids
  • ANC works in wired mode
  • Very good passive noise isolation
  • 172 grams - more lightweight than the JuniorJams (220 grams)
  • Long battery life
  • Compatible with iOS and Android
  • Hardshell case for traveling/transportation
  • Metal earcups
  • Headband slider has a smooth quiet actuation
  • Dual connectivity: wired and wireless
  • You can use them whilst charging in wired mode (not in bluetooth mode)
  • ANC ON doubles as a bass booster
  • Built-in microphone for calls - sounds natural and clear
  • Bluetooth 5.0 chip supports absolute bluetooth volume, aptX, SBC, AAC and multipoint
  • Replaceable earpads
  • Passive 3.5mm headphone jack can be used with empty battery
Cable accessories include a 1 meter audio limiting cable, 1.2 meters micro USB to micro USB cable and 70cm long micro USB to USB-A cable for charging. The included audio limiting cable has a red right angle plug and a flat rubber cable construction, making it less likely to tangle. 

 A carry zippered case is included also to transport the PutoQuiets headphones. The carry case has a hardshell made of EVA foam covered with rubbery water resistant material. The hardshell case features a short lanyard strap and a standard non-water resistant zipper with a single metal slider which opens the case in two halves, clamshell style. 
The hardshell case has Puro Sound Labs branding, as well as an internal mesh pocket and soft fabric liner to prevent scratching. You can buy the PuroQuiets from amazon. Check out also the PuroPro headphones - an adult size version that look a lot like a set of Bose headphones!

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