I’m reviewing the “AudioMax HB-8A” Bluetooth Headphones.
I was kindly given a discount by Avantek so I could purchase the Headphones for a review. My views are my own and I point readers to my “Product review policy” link for more information.
My first impressions were good. The Headphones are supplied in a very nice and sturdy “Presentation / Gift” box. Once you slip of the top cover you are presented with the folded headphones with a small instruction booklet. Under the headphones you’ll find a storage bag with the AudioMax logo on it, the USB charging cable as well as a line in cable for direct audio input.
The design of the headphones is simple and discrete, with silver arms and matt black headband and earpieces highlighted with a small band of silver, with silver arms is nice looking elegant style, the arms fold in for storage (in the supplied storage bag) and have a nice stiff movement so you know one they are clicked out they are secure. The Headphones itself has 3 buttons and a LED indicator on the right hand side rear. The main power button turns the headset on/off as well as turning on “Bluetooth Discovery mode” for linking to a phone or other Bluetooth enabled device. The other 2 buttons are for the volume +/- (short press) these also double as next track and previous track navigation with a long press. On the bottom of the right hand earpiece is located the USB connector for recharging, the Line in 3.5mm socket as well as a small hole for the inbuilt microphone.
The good quality build feels substantial without being too heavy when worn for long periods. The foam on the headband and the earpieces is soft and substantial enough not to give you sore ears when worn for a long period. Volume range is better than I had expected, I’m used to inner ear headphones which don’t have additional amplification, so using the headset I’ve found that I am setting the volume at 50% or lower. The audio quality is good from my mobile phone when using streaming audio services like “Google Music” or “Spotify” but this also depends on the quality of the music being sent. I’ve also used Bluetooth on my PC to connect to the headphones and used it as a gaming headset. The quality of the sound was great in-game, Although the headphones have a built in microphone the audio quality for in-game chat was not as good as I expected, though to be fair I usually use a dedicated gaming headset when chatting in-game so this might just be because I’m not used to it.
The Specifications say the battery should last 19h, which in my unofficial test it held up to this estimation. Over the weekend I fully charged the headphones, then using the bluetooth connection on my PC, and on my phone when out and about, I lasted around 9.5 hours on the Saturday and well over 9 hours on the Sunday before the headphones battery was drained. That in itself is very unexpected. I’ve found that the battery life specified on devices is usually tested under “ideal” simulated conditions and you usually expect to get 10% – 15% less when using it in in the real world day-to day. I then used the headphones “AUX” connection on my PC and phone, and the quality was just as good.
Few points I’ve found :
1) When the wind hits the headset earpieces front on, it can make it sound like you are in tunnel, which can be annoying when listening to audio books or quiet music. Not sure what could be done to compensate for this.
2) The AUX cable option is for audio only, personally I would have liked for to handle the microphone connection as well this means the headphones could still be used for calls when the Bluetooth battery is drained.
3) On Amazon It’s listed as having “Passive Noise Cancelling” I’ve not seen any mention of this in the packaging or documentation that comes with the Headphones so it looks like the description on Amazon might be wrong.
Those are the only 3 issues I have with the headphones, but are not big enough to consider avoiding the headphones.
For the guide price listed they are a good quality. They are sturdy enough to be pushed into and pulled out of your bag every day without becoming scratched or damaged.
I would recommend these to anyone who wants sturdy good quality headphones for a reasonable price which outperforms in my opinion the bigger more expensive “Branded” headsets.