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Verdict

The Groov-e Connect’s price makes them an attractive pair for casual listeners on a tight budget, but there are more accomplished sounding efforts if you choose to spend more.

Pros

  • Lightweight, comfortable design
  • Long battery life
  • Inexpensive price
  • Good boom mic quality

Cons

  • Slightly confusing controls
  • Too bright with treble and too flat with bass
  • Fuzzy, vague sense of detail and definition with music
  • Bluetooth tops out at SBC

Availability

  • UKRRP: £24.99
  • USATBC
  • EuropeTBC
  • CanadaTBC
  • AustraliaTBC

Key Features

  • Detachable boom micAdd a boom mic for office calls
  • Collapsible designFold the headphones up when not in use

Introduction

I don’t mean to make you feel guilty when buying new headphones, but there’s a few of you who’d prefer to tuck into something affordable than pay for a premium experience.

And with good reason. It’s true that not everyone can afford expensive headphones, and some may not even really need to buy the best, merely something that will do for day-to-day listening.

Which is why headphones like the Groov-e Connect might be a godsend. At £24.99 they’re not going to bust your wallet into pieces, and for those who just need to get from A to B, an inexpensive pair of headphones will do.

But headphones still have to hit that mark of quality, irrespective of price. Is the Groov-e Connect successful in its goals? Here are my thoughts.

Design

  • Lightweight design
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Track skipping/volume controls are a little confusing

The Groov-e Connect are on-ears, and if you’re familiar with this type of headphone or have come across them before in your search for a new one, you’ll be aware of the pros and cons. The question is how well any on-ear can successfully (or unsuccessfully) navigate the minefield of comfort, aesthetics and build quality. In the case of the Groov-e, it scores towards the positive end of the spectrum.

Groov-e Connect headband
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Yes, the Groov-e Connect is unashamedly plastic, but build quality is acceptable. I still cannot tell if they’re black, green or a mix of the two (the Groov-e website says black), so while they’re not going to grab the attention on your head, their understated looks won’t wholly tarnish your sense of fashion by much either. They’ll probably go well with your camo gear.

They’re also comfortable to wear; the plastic construction lends it a lightweight frame, the padding on the underside of the headband ensures it sits well on the head and the earcups have a good amount of sponginess to them that they don’t pin the ears back. My ears warm up a little using these headphones, but not by an uncomfortable degree. It also helps that the clamping force is light, but that doesn’t mean these are on-ears that’ll slip off your head.

Groov-e Connect buttons
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The onboard controls are the one aspect of the Groov-e Connect that do feel cheap, as the clicks of button presses make operating the Connect feel basic. Controls cover track skipping, volume, playback and calling up the mobile device’s smart assistant, and they’re accessible on the left ear-cup, which confuses me since I am so used to controls being on the right.

Confusingly, a tap on what you think are the volume controls skip forwards or backwards – it turns out a hold changes volume, which I think is asking for problems – it ought to be the other way round. A USB-C and 3.5mm input make up the rest of the furniture on the on-ears.

Groov-e Connect earpads
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Like any on-ear, there’s not much protection against the environment around you. I can attest these aren’t headphones you’ll wear on the tube unless you want to give people the impression that you don’t want to be talked to. The Groov-e Connect collapses if you want to stash them in a bag (they don’t come with a carry case).

Features

  • 30 hours battery
  • SBC Bluetooth
  • Average call quality performance

On-ears don’t boast the most features – the Sony WH-CH520 are a relative outlier – so there’s no companion app and no EQ presets. These headphones are exceedingly simple.

Battery life is claimed to be 30 hours in total, which is reasonably good for a pair of headphones at this price. My testing shows that after four hours of streaming a Spotify playlist, the Groov-e Connect were still at 90%, so 30 hours is more than possible with these headphones.

Groov-e Connect hanging
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Bluetooth support equates to 5.1 and the SBC codec, which is the lowest quality codec for streaming audio.

The strength of the wireless connection is one that’s been up and down. It was mostly fine in the areas of Waterloo that I walked through, but would falter in areas where there weren’t many people or much interference, stuttering in an uncomfortable manner for longer than expected.

Groov-e Connect boom mic
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

You can use the Groov-e Connect for calls as it comes with a detachable boom mic for office conferences and the quality of the boom mic was very good in the Zoom calls I used it for. If you were to use it for calls through a mobile device, the Connect are average in terms of performance. They’re good to use in quiet areas but less so in busier ones, with leakage of surrounding noise affecting what can be heard. At the very least, you could pull double duties if you need a headphone to use for office meetings.

Sound Quality

  • Unfocused treble performance
  • Decent vocal quality
  • Struggles with bass extension

Keep in mind the RRP is £25, and expectations have to be realistic about what the Groov-e can do. While the Groov-e Connect performs ok there are some clear limitations.

The Connect conjures up a wide soundstage – bigger than the WH-CH520 at times – and in terms of their tone they err towards the warmer end of the scale. They’re decent with voices, which are clear enough and reproduced without sibilance.

Groov-e Connect earcup
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

But across the frequency range, there’s a lack of outright clarity, definition and sharpness that generates a fuzziness to the Groov-e Connect’s performance – as if there’s a fog shrouding its performance. It offers a broad sense of detail in that I can hear the instruments in Linkin Park’s Somewhere I Belong and get a feel for the timbre of how they sound, but they also all sound distant and undefined with that fuzzy definition in effect.

With the SBC codec you won’t be listening to Tidal and Qobuz Hi-res audio streams any time soon, and the warmth of Tidal Master streams doesn’t do the headphone’s sense of detail any favours, but Spotify Free or Premium would be fine.

Groov-e Connect on a table
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

With Andreas Ihlebæk’s Come Summer, the Groov-e Connect handles the top end of the frequency range with plenty of brightness, but it’s another instance where the Groov-e’s levels of definition doesn’t help its cause. While the brightness to the piano notes is welcome, they are both a little too sparkly in tone and lack a clear sense of definition. After a while the treble can be fatiguing.

Bass is another aspect of the frequency range I’m not sure about either. There is a sense of bass in Derrick Hodge’s Heartbeats with its steady thump throughout the track, but it’s cut off with not much depth or extension. When dealing with tracks that have bright treble and deep bass like Heartbeats, the Groov-e can sound muddled in its description of the soundstage as well as inexplicit in the levels of detail it affords to the track. That leads to a vague and jumbled sounding performance.

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Should you buy it?

If you’re on a tight budget:

£25 for a pair of headphones (£17.49 directly from Groov-e) is a great price, more so if you’re after headphones for casual listening.

If sound quality matters:

The Groov-e Connect’s sense of definition and detail isn’t great, nor is its performance with treble or bass. At its worst, it can sound muddled and a little fatiguing with its treble performance.

Final Thoughts

The Groov-e Connect are a very affordable pair of on-ears, and value is the main priority here. There are things they get right such as the portable design, comfort and battery life.

And while it sounds decent, it struggles to describe either end of the frequency range with much authority. Treble can be too sparkly to the point where it fatigues, while bass lacks depth and feels flat. Their support for the SBC Bluetooth doesn’t give them a leg up in terms of audio quality either.

With the price in mind, the Groov-e Connect are a decent option if you’re on a strict budget, but you can do better. Both the SoundMagic P23BT and Sony WH-CH520 are available at twice the price, and if sound quality rather than affordability is the prime reason for a new pair of on-ears, those two offer an obvious step up.

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We test every set of headphones we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.

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Tested for several weeks

Battery drain performed

Tested with real world use

FAQs

What Bluetooth codecs does the Groov-e Connect support?

The Groov-e Connect only supports SBC Bluetooth, so AAC and aptX aren’t available.

Full specs

UK RRP
Manufacturer
IP rating
Battery Hours
ASIN
Release Date
Model Number
Driver (s)
Connectivity
Colours
Frequency Range
Headphone Type
Sensitivity

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We currently haven’t received answers to the questions on this product, but will update this page the moment we do. You can see a detailed breakdown of the questions we ask and why in our sustainability page.

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Bluetooth

Bluetooth is a method of wireless transmission that allows for the exchange of data between devices over short distances.

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