Edifier W828NB ANC Bluetooth Headphones Review!

Edifier W828NB Noise Cancellation Performance | Qualcomm aptX

Edifier W828NB Active Noise Cancellation Capability

Active noise cancellation is conceptually simple. One or more microphones pick up ambient noise, which is used to generate opposing sound waves that cancel out the noise before it reaches the user’s ears.

However, it has not been easy or cheap to implement. For one thing – noise detection and the generation of its opposing sound waves happens in real-time.

It is complicated by the need to mix the noise-cancelling sound waves with the actual audio output (of your song or movie), and deliver the output without any noticeable lag.

The Edifier W828NB (US | AU | SG | MY) is one of the few affordable wireless headphones to boast active noise cancellation. It has an ANC microphone at the side of each ear cup, pointing backwards.

Edifier W828NB active noise cancellation

From what we can tell, the W828NB uses analogue negative feedback circuitry to generate its noise cancelling sound waves.

Analogue noise cancellation is simpler and cheaper to implement, but limits its active noise cancellation to the lower frequencies.

For active noise cancellation of higher frequencies, they would need to add a fast digital signal processor to handle the complex noise cancellation algorithms.

 

Edifier W828NB Noise Cancelling Performance

We tested the Edifier W828NB (US | AU | SG | MY) on seven flights, recording its noise cancellation capability using a cardioid microphone, the best examples of which you can see in this video.

Before you watch the video, please keep in mind that it was quite impossible to fully isolate our microphone in the ear cup. So the actual effect is more pronounced than what you’ll hear in this video.

In the airplane cabin clip, you can distinctly hear how the W828NB cuts out the low-frequency rumble, but the higher-frequency sound of the air-conditioning is still audible.

Turning on active noise cancellation will markedly reduce low-frequency noise. This gives you a better appreciation of whatever you are listening to. However, this includes voices of people around you. In fact, airline announcements were clearer with ANC turned on, than turned off.

However, we noticed some static feedback whenever the plane landed. It always happened right after the plane touches down – it’s as if the static feedback is caused by the sound of the airplane’s tyres. It tapers off as the plane slows down.

 

Bluetooth 5.0

The Edifier W828NB (US | AU | SG | MY) has a big advantage over the more premium Edifier W860NBBluetooth 5.0.

Its Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity is more than twice as fast as the W860NB‘s Bluetooth 4.1, allowing it to deliver audio data at lower latencies. It also uses less power.

This should let the W828NB avoid audio synchronisation problems that sometimes affects Bluetooth 4.x devices.

It is also the reason why the W828NB can wirelessly play music for 80 hours (without ANC), compared to just 45 hours for the W860NB.

 

Qualcomm aptX Support

The Edifier W828NB (US | AU | SG | MY) supports the proprietary Qualcomm aptX audio codec. When used with smartphones, music players and other devices that support aptX, it can deliver lower latencies and better audio quality.

QUalcomm aptX

The aptX audio codec is more efficient than the default SBC (Sub-Band Coding) Bluetooth audio codec, delivering a higher bit rate with lower latency. The lower latency is especially important when you watch a movie with wireless headphones, because nothing is more distracting than a movie with unsynchronised audio!

However, make sure you enable aptX on your smartphone or player, or you will end up using SBC. Most smartphones, for example, default to SBC, even if they officially support aptX. In fact, you may need to make the change in Developer Options.

The W828NB does not support the newer and more advanced aptX-HD, which delivers HD Audio over Bluetooth; or aptX Low Latency, which promises a very low latency for better video and gaming performance. This is something for Edifier to look into adding into the next version.

Next Page > Edifier W828NB : Our Verdict | Where To Buy?

 

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