Edifier WH950NB Headphones Review LDAC + ANC + Long Battery + Multipoint

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Edifier's new WH950NB headphones knocks it out of the park! A Bose/Sony headphones alternative without the sky rocket price tag, premium top notch design, high quality audio and with all the bells and whistles you could ever want!

The Edifier WH950NB jam-packed features include adjustable active noise cancellation (ANC) for audio and transparency mode (ambient sound) for situational awareness and talking to people with headphones. The Edifier WH950NB have a beautiful understated look with metal and rose gold accents, as well as pivoting yoke earcups made of metal reinforced plastic. 

The PU earpads have comfy memory foam with large over ear hole openings, which are roomy and breathable. Dimensions 4cm wide x 6.5cm high x 2.5cm deep. The 40mm drivers are covered with a thin layer of fabric material. The folding hinges and headband are also metal reinforced plastic, increasing durability. The finish is smooth matte plastic which doesn't mark easily, along with textured plastic leather on the earcups faceplate.  The headband integrates a clicky ratchet mechanism for head adjustment.

On-board the earcups, there are physical rubber buttons with a subtle click actuation for controlling power on/off, skipping tracks (next/previous), calls (answer/end/reject), ANC (on/off), transparency mode, game mode and volume (up/down). There is also a status led on-board the Edifier WH950NB headphones to feedback bluetooth status and battery level. 
The bluetooth status led doesn't flash when listening to audio. Also, when toggling between ANC, game mode and transparency mode, the audio stops for a split second so, you can clearly hear the voice prompt alert. If you own an Android 6 device, Chromebook or GoogleTV, you also benefit from Fast Pair support, which makes the pairing process quicker.
As far as sound/audio quality, it is clear without distortion at max volume. The volume is louder in wired mode than in bluetooth mode but the bass is a lot punchier in bluetooth - particularly when ANC is enabled. Wired mode delivers naturally higher resolution audio and low latency (~15ms), although the WH950NB bluetooth chip supports LDAC which enables hi res wireless audio. 

The bluetooth chip also supports AAC codec, which reduces the latency enough for gaming and watching movies. Despite the small 40mm driver size and lack of 7.1 surround sound, the WH950NB headphones sound is very immersive, thanks to the roomy earcup design and quality plastic material.

As far as battery, the Edifier WH950NB fully charge in just 1.5 hours, delivering a runtime of 32 hours with ANC ON and 60% volume. With ANC OFF, you can get a battery life of around 53 hours. There is no passthrough audio whilst charging so, you cannot use the Edifier WH950NB when charging. That said, the Edifier WH950NB headphones support one of the fastest quick charge headphones on the market with a 7 hour playtime from a 10 minute recharge.

Mobile app support is another feature you get with the Edifier WH950NB headphones. Via the Edifier Connect app, you can check battery status, adjust ANC (high or low), enable volume limiting and wind reduction mode, customize your own preset sound and choose between music/theater/game mode.
From the Edifier Connect app, you can also enable LDAC and access button gestures (single/double/long hold press) to add more functions such as wind reduction and low ANC so, you can control 5 functions (maximum) or 2 functions (minimum) via single press. You cannot remap (swap) functions between single press, double or long press though. For example, game mode is set to double press so, you cannot remap it to a single or long press.

Edifier Connect is the same app that supports many other Edifier headphones and earphones such as the TWS NB2 Pro, Neobuds Pro and WH500 headphones. The Edifier Connect app has a nice, easy to use user interface and doesn't require an account registration, although the intrusive privacy is a drawback. The app requires to be granted some unnecessary permissions.
Potential deal breakers
  • Cannot be used whilst charging in either bluetooth or wired mode
  • Bluetooth volume isn't as loud as wired
  • Limited button remapping
  • Safe volume limiting doesn't work in wired mode
  • Multipoint doesn't work with LDAC
  • No auto play/pause

Selling points
  • Supports 10 minute quick charge = 7 hrs playtime 
  • Supports Google Fast Pair 
  • Safe Volume mode (volume limited to 85dB)
  • Very good passive noise isolation - helps ANC performance
  • Very little sound leakage
  • Foldable earcups
  • Over-ear style
  • Hybrid ANC
  • Earpads can be replaced
  • Noise cancelling mics work well for work/conference calls
  • Long battery life
  • Comfortable to wear - weighs only 295 grams
  • LDAC support (96kHz)
  • When the battery is flat, you can use a wired connection to listen to music.
  • Wind reduction mode
  • Breathable earcups with good depth
  • Transparency mode (ambient sound)
  • Supports AAC codec 
  • Look and feel well made
  • Beep alert for max volume
  • Supports absolute bluetooth volume
  • Multipoint
  • Bluetooth status led doesn't flash after connection
  • Mobile app support
  • Hardshell carry case
Considering the price, features and accessories - the Edifier WH950NB headphones offer superb value. They look and feel like a premium set of Bose/Sony headphones but without the excessive price tag. 
Among the accessories included, you get a snazzy hardshell zippered case for storage and transportation. The carry case outer shell and zipper are made with water resistant fabric. The zipper has a metal rubberized slider that opens up all the way around like a clamshell. There is also a webbing lanyard built-in.
Selling points
  • Affordable price point.
  • Effective active noise cancellation.
  • Balanced sound with good bass response.
  • Comfortable fit for extended wear.
  • Decent battery life for regular use.
  • Game mode
  • AAC codec support
  • Lightweight

Potential deal breakers

  • Longer charging time compared to the W820NB Plus.
  • Lack of fast charging feature.
  • PU earpads (not as breathable as fabric earpads)
  • Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity instead of the newer Bluetooth 5.2.
  • Limited codec support with only SBC available.
  • Shorter battery life compared to the W820NB Plus.
  • Non-folding earcups 
  • No 3.5mm audio port on-board
  • No multipoint 
  • Non-adjustable ANC
  • No hardcase included
  • Status led flashes when listening to audio
  • Not compatible with 3.5mm  to USB-A adapter
Internally, the case is lined with microfiber fabric and features a velcro pouch for storing cables. The case has removable dividers so, it can be used as a blank travel case to store other things (e.g. pocket console, smartphone, etc). The case dimensions are 22cm long x 17cm wide x 6cm high. The weight is 173 grams. Other accessories included are a plane audio adapter, a USB-C cable (40cm long), as well as an Edifier-branded 3.5mm audio cable (1.2 meters).
Compared to other similar Edifier ANC headphones, the Edifier WH950NB is about twice the price of the Edifier W860NB and Edifier W820NB headphones. You can buy the Edifier WH950NB headphones from amazon.

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