My first Edifier review of 2023 and we’re back with a bang. Right off the bat I can tell you that these WH950NB’s are brilliant. Let me stop there, before I spoil any more of my review! I don’t think I’ve had the chance to review such a premium pair of ANC headphones since 2020, when I wrote a review of the W860NB.
I got the email to say these were available and I jumped at the chance to get my hands on them, I’ve not reviewed any headphones in a while. I was excited to get stuck in, if the WH950NB’s are even half as good as the W860’s then we’re in for a treat.
Edifier WH950NB Review
As usual, I’ll start off with my first impressions and then move onto a few different areas before writing my summary and final verdict. With that said, let’s get into the review.
First impressions then. To say I was impressed would be an understatement, I really love the sleek matt black packaging and high gloss, high quality imagery Edifier have used on the front of the box. If I was to describe how it looks, I’d say it was gloss embossed.
The cardboard is nice and thick to protect the headphones inside and it’s a really pleasant unboxing experience.
Removing the outer sleeve, you’re presented with the inner box which again, is nice and sturdy. Opening up that box you’ll find a beautiful textile carry case which I hadn’t expected. Most carry cases I’ve seen by Edifier have been faux leather, so it’s different, in a good way.
Opening up the case you’ll find the headphones which fold down for easy storage, they look good, with quite large sized ear cups. I’m hoping the ear cups are housing some powerful drivers.
I really like the zipped shell case and it feels good quality, but I’ll save my comments on that for the build quality section of the review.
Overall my first impressions are good, I’m looking forward to getting them connected and finding out how they sound. For the sound quality part of the review, I’m going to be listening to an album by an American artist called Caskey.
Single Use Plastic
I hope Edifier start 2023 as they mean to go on, there’s hardly any single use plastic at all. Because they’ve included a carry case, they can get away with reducing the amount of protective plastic they’ve used to basically zero.
One slight improvement would be to change the security tape securing the inner box from plastic to a paper alternative.
I’m pleased with the reduction in single use plastic, the tech industry is fairly damaging so any little steps companies make towards becoming more planet friendly are welcome.
Let’s take a look at the build quality now then.
This isn’t meant to sound like a complaint, it’s more of a compliment if anything. But, it’s getting really rather boring writing about the quality of Edifier’s tech. It’s all pretty much always spot on.
Having said that, I’ll still cover the Edifier WH950NB’s build quality as I would any other tech product, fairly.
I’ll start with the carry case, it’s fantastic. The fabric shell case does a brilliant job of protecting the headphones from day to day abuse, being chucked into the bottom of a backpack for example.
It’s also got a great internal pocket on the underside of the opening, great for a stowing a few accessories such as the charging cable or a small microfibre cloth.
The fabric material feels soft yet hard wearing and the colour doesn’t look as boring in real life as it does in pictures. Again, not a complaint but a compliment.
It’s got a generic unbranded zipper, it’s functional but when I’m reviewing a pair of headphones that are over £150 / $150 I’d usually demand a YKK zipper. But, then again I’m a zipper nerd, if there is such a thing?!
The finger loop on the case is a neat addition, initially I thought it was fairly pointless, but I did find myself reaching for the loop more often than not.
I also had my reservations about the strength of the stitches holding it onto the case. Believe me when I say it’s incredibly strong, I pulled on the loop really hard and gave my finger a friction burn!
The inside of the case has been lined with an incredibly soft fabric which is sure to keep the headphones scratch free.
The minimalist design approach is one that Edifier absolutely nails. The black body of the headphones paired with the subtle design accents, such as the copper coloured logo, looks superb. They’re really modern and attractive without being too flashy.
They not only have a modern, stylish look they’re well built too. I expected nothing less from Edifier to be honest. Each component fits together well, there aren’t any sharp edges, loose bits of plastic or dropped stitches in the travel case.
For a strength test, I twisted the headband to see how much punishment they can take, I wasn’t able to leave any permanent damage, which is good, they’ll stand up to daily use without any problems.
In the box, you get a bunch of accessories including; a splitter, charging cable and a decent quality 3.5mm audio jack. The accessories are a welcome addition, I don’t necessarily think I’d make use of the splitter, but it’s nice to have nonetheless.
In terms of comfort, the WH950NB’s are fairly lightweight and really comfortable. I could definitley wear these for a full shift at my day job. I can tell I’m wearing them, but they aren’t a nuisance and they don’t feel like they are too heavy or weighing my head down.
The full sized ear cups fully enclose your ears and they’re incredibly soft too, adding to the comfort.
Incredible Battery Life
To recharge them, you’ll need to use the bundled USB-C cable. Once charged, you’ll get around 55 hours of playback time (ANC off), which is amazing and I think, almost best in class? I haven’t listened to music for all 55 hours, so only time will tell if this is an accurate representation of battery life.
In my past experiences, Edifier are pretty accurate in their battery life claims so you don’t have to worry about being short changed.
They’ll fully re-charge in just 1.5 hours and give you a playback time of 32 hours with ANC ON at 60% volume.
The WH950NB’s support one of the fastest quick charge headphones on the market, you’ll get 7 hours playback from a 10 minute recharge.
Overall, I’m incredibly pleased with how well these are made and I’m starting to see where the high asking price for these is coming from. I’m hoping the sound quality is up to par.
As I said further up, I’m going to listen to a southern hip-hop artist called Caskey to get a feel for how well the WH950NB’s perform.
As far as audio quality goes, they’re brilliant. They provide clear sound without any distortion at higher volume levels, which I’d expect from the pair of 40mm drivers.
The bass is incredibly punchy, in particular when ANC is enabled and the southern hip-hop tracks of Caskey’s album sound fantastic.
Mid range is where these shine, vocals are crisp and I’m easily able to identify each element of the backing track.
I love a loud high end and they allow the high-hats and snares to really stand out in each song I listened to on the album.
The sound quality is where I’d expect it to be for a pair of headphones at this price point, they’re firmly outside of what I’d called budget though, they’re reaching into the premium audio pricing bracket.
Active Noise Cancellation
I’ve reviewed a few headphones with Active Noise Cancellation by Edifier and these are probably the best that I’ve tried. The Edifier WH950NB come with two ANC modes.
The first mode is full ANC which filters pretty much all background noise. I wore these in my noisy office which has a couple of desktop computers, a file server and my wife working next to me.
At one point she was trying to get my attention from the other side of the room and I didn’t hear a word she was saying. I wasn’t ignoring her on purpose, honest!
If you don’t have a need for such an aggressive noise cancellation mode, then you can opt to use the lower ANC mode, which is called Ambient Mode. It filters out quite a bit of background noise in the environment. It’s meant for places that are quiet.
I visited a local coffee shop to test out the ANC, it was really busy and there was lots of noise from people talking, steam being produced by the coffee machines and other environmental noises. I could hardly hear any of it. It really allowed me to concentrate on some code I was debugging.
These headphones have Game Mode which allows for ultra low-latency audio. It’s perfect for people that want to connect to headphones to their gaming PC via Bluetooth and not suffer from any audio lag / latency.
I don’t think I have the audiophile ears required to tell the difference between normal mode and game mode, I don’t do a hell of a lot of PC gaming these days either, so I can’t give an opinion of how well this works.
Improved Smart Phone App
When I first used the Edifier Connect app, it wasn’t that great. It had limited functionality and wasn’t compatible with all Edifier headphones. That’s all changed now though and I thoroughly recommend you download it.
Once you download the app you get access to some really useful tools. For example, you’re able to adjust the EQ of each audio band.
You can also turn on the LDAC audio codec to utilise higher quality audio playback. The audio quality of these headphones is great out of the box, but is even better if you tweak a few settings in the much improved smart phone app.
How Much & Where To Buy
You can buy these awesome headphones either from Amazon or from other good audio equipment suppliers. Hit the button below to check the latest price on Amazon.
Edifier WH950NB Review Summary & Verdict
I’m going to go right ahead and say it, these are perfect. To give them any less than a 10/10 would be doing them an injustice.
Having said that, I feel like they should be around $10 / £10 cheaper, it may not sound like a big pricing reduction, but it would help make them accessible to more people.
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CodeWithMike is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.
These headphones were sent to us in exchange for writing our Edifier WH950NB Review.
the app was rubbish in the past, glad to hear it’s improved
Yes the APP is much much better than former versions. Edifier have very clearly worked on improving it. It’s well worth downloading these days.