If a compact, stylish and affordable set of headphones are what you need, the Status BT One are something of a bargain. There are some aspects that are less-assured – parts of the build feel a little flimsy and the buttons are stiff – but for price, the sound quality is super-impressive
- Well-balanced sound
- Long battery life
- Slightly flimsy build in places
- Some may not like on-ear design
- Review Price: £80
- 30 hours' battery life
- Bluetooth 5.0 w/aptX
- 40mm driver
- 20Hz – 20kHz frequency range
The BT One are Bluetooth on-ears from New York City-based brand Status, which claim to offer premium sound at an affordable price.
Costing £80 – you can get them for £64 on the Status website – the BT One are a steal for the money. Small, compact and offering good sound quality, the only question mark here is to do with their design.
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Status BT One design – Stylish and compact
The Status BT One are a petite pair of on-ear, closed-back headphones. Compared to the AKG Y50, which are small by headphone standards, they’re positively dinky.
The streamlined design ensures it’s all smooth curves and fetching looks – and to continue the Y50 comparison, the minimalist appearance of the BT One is classier than the colourful, fun-loving Y50.
Status says premium materials have been used in the BT One’s construction; however, they still feel plasticky. They wear their metallic finish well, though, and for the price they’re a good-looking pair of on-ears.
The review sample arrived in “Umber”. It’s a retro and stylish look that’s accentuated by brown ear pads and headband. The headphones are also available in “Jetblack” (all black). Note that the ear pads are removable; a quarter-turn counter-clockwise is enough to remove them and vice-versa for putting them back on.
Comfort-wise, the ear pads can make you ears warm, but not to the point of discomfort. Having worn them for a few hours at a time, I wouldn’t say they were most suited for extended periods, but the same could be said for most on-ears.
The BT One can be folded inwards, and at 155g they barely weigh much at all. The labels for the left and right ear cups are on the outside and can be easy to miss on first glance. There’s a slight flimsiness to the build, particularly around the headband adjuster, and the glossy surface of the ear cups is a potential magnet for scratches and smudges.
For this reason it’s best to keep the headphones in the supplied hard case when not in use; also included is a pouch for the 1.2m audio cable and USB-C connection.
The size of the BT One may be an issue for those with bigger hands. The onboard buttons on the right ear cup are small and stiff. While the “play” button is bigger than the volume buttons, trying to get a firm press requires a slight change in grip. It’s a small quibble, but in terms of usability it shouldn’t be overlooked. To skip tracks back and forth, you simply hold down the volume buttons.
Status BT One features – Impressive 30-hour battery life
For a pair of on-ears costing less than £100, the Status BT One cover the bread and butter of what’s required.
The drivers are 40mm in size – the same as the Y50. Battery life is 30 hours, with full charge possible in just one hour thanks to Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology.
You don’t get any active noise cancellation, but the ear pads offer passive noise isolation to reduce the amount of noise that gets through. The built-in microphones use cVc 6.0 noise cancellation to pick up voices with more clarity during phone calls.
Bluetooth is 5.0 with aptX, which is good for CD-like quality of wireless transmission and should ensure a robust enough connection. Range for Bluetooth is 25m, and I haven’t experienced anything untoward to doubt that number.
Related: Best wireless headphones
Status BT One performance – A bargain for the price
Upon first listen, the Status BT One make a great first impression displaying a big sound, plenty of clarity and smooth enough presentation. First impressions can be misleading, but the BT One haven’t fallen off in performance in any meaningful way since that first listen.
For the most part, the Status BT One captivate with their performance. Their biggest weakness is at high volumes, where the BT One trade on detail for power. It makes them less revealing in the process, losing a semblance of subtlety and organisation.
Nudge them down to around 70% and the BT One manage a good balance between smoothness, power and detail. Their delivery isn’t the smoothest or lightest; there are some hard, thick edges at times, but their characteristics are winning. Their dexterity with different tracks is impressive, and the width of the soundstage decent enough not to be too compact.
Dynamically, they’re rewarding: the gradual rise of the strings in Thomas Newman’s The Night Window is well built up. Plus, they don’t lack for weight or scale either. Treble is pronounced enough to make its presence felt without grating, and their tonality is well balanced, rarely feeling as if they’re too strong or weak in any area. Bowie’s voice on Cat People is particularly distinctive, with vocals able to stand out from the track’s busy instrumentation.
It’s a big sound and musical enough, too. Bowie’s Modern Love on a Tidal Masters stream is a flowing, engaging listen. Detail conspires to be good, even at lower volumes, although turn the wick up for more heft.
A Tidal stream of Childish Gambino’s Boogieman is afforded clarity and space for the track’s funkadelic 1970s stylings to play out to great effect. Timing is good, with the BT One keeping a firm grip on the track’s flowing rhythm. Bass is accommodating, although full-size headphones will certainly offer more than the BT One can summon.
Should you buy the Status BT One?
If a compact, stylish and very affordable pair of headphones is what you need, the Status BT One fulfil those requirements. They lack a little in certain areas – parts of the build feel a bit flimsy and stiff – but the sound quality is truly impressive for the price.
Another option are the AKG Y50BT, the Bluetooth versions of the Y50 mentioned earlier. They’re bigger and a bit more robust; but they offer less battery life (20 hours). They have aptX Bluetooth, but they’re an older (2015) pair of headphones and lack Bluetooth 5.0.
For the price, Status has delivered great value for money with the BT One.
|Type||On Ear (Supra-aural)|
|Microphone||Yes - cVc 6.0|