- Review Price: £27.01
When it comes to audio kit designed to exclude external noise, we tend to favour good noise-isolating earphones; but we’re no fools – we know that noise-cancelling headphones such as the Genius GHP-04NC have their place. The noise-cancelling abilities aren’t necessarily superior to in-ear ‘phones, but worn for long durations ‘proper’ headphones can prove a lot more comfortable, which is an important consideration.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that the GHP-04NCs shouldn’t cost you more than £30, which is a fair chunk of change less than most noise-cancelling earphones that we’ve looked at. Admittedly as a result they’re not exactly anything special, but the design is good enough for use on an aeroplane or train trip, where the noise-cancelling ability comes into its own.
The earcups’ size means they sit on, rather than around, your ears, but there’s enough padding that the GHP-04NCs remain comfortable even when worn for a decent length of time. After a few hours you’ll probably start to notice the pressure, but it’s not to the level of being irritating.
While not so convinced about the stylishness of the faux leather carrying case, it’s definitely a nice addition, offering the GHP-04NC headphones some protection when packed away out of use. Also bundled is a pair of AAA batteries, a 6.25mm to 3.5mm adaptor and an aeroplane adaptor; in other words, everything you could conceivably need aside from a player of some sort.
Genius quotes 50 hours of battery life from a pair of AAA batteries. This will obviously vary depending on the quality of cells you use, but it’s not an unrealistic estimate – we managed to get a good couple of days’ solid use out of the GHP-04NCs before the power finally ran out midday, having accidentally left them on overnight (not that we’d ever do so purposefully).
The GHP-04NCs do stay working un-powered, so you can listen to music while you seek out fresh batteries, but obviously their noise-cancelling circuitry won’t be operating. On which subject, we can’t fault the GHP-04NCs; they work as advertised drowning out external noise to a perfectly acceptable degree.
Unsurprisingly the £30 GHP-04NCs aren’t going to blow you away with how awesome they sound; because they don’t. There’s a massive bass overemphasis, which might please the less sophisticated music listener, but which did the headphones no favours to our ears. Furthermore, the whole soundstage is generally crowded and muddied, with no real clarity or detail to be heard. For the money, though, we’d be lying to say we expected any different, and after a little adjustment we quickly grew accustomed to the less than stellar performance for it to be tolerable.
Given the low price, we’re willing to forgive the slight audible hiss present when the GHP-04NCs aren’t having any audio played through them. While it’s annoying to hear, it’s not noticeable when listening to music.
While they’re not going to blow you away with their sound quality, GHP-04NC noise-cancelling headphones do a perfectly adequate job of excluding external interference and won’t break the bank.
Score in detail
Sound Quality 6
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