16 February 2018

REVIEW: Edifier K550 Headphones


Edifier has made many an appearance on this 'ere site over the years, but usually only in the form of desktop or portable speakers. So prepare to have your minds blown as we review a pair of Edifier... headphones! Wonders never cease. Well, they do, especially once you're married with kids, but anyway... let's check out the Edifier K550 Headphones.

Actually, are these headphones? Amazon has them listed as an "on-ear stereo headset", while Edifier themselves refer to them as a "computer communicator". You might have noticed the microphone arm on the left can: something typically associated with gaming headphones. So what are these?

First up, the Edifier K550 Headphones are light and very flexible. Going from a beefy pair of on-ear headphones, such as our most recent sound kit review of the Focal Listen, we got a bit of a shock. They are surprisingly light and refreshingly thin - something that is both good and bad. While this means they are comfortable to wear over long periods, they also feel quite cheap and insubstantial. This feeling is backed up when you see that the headband is simply plastic, while the body of the cans and the mic boom are the same.

They are wired headphones, coming with an attached two metre cord (good length, that), ending in twin 3.5mm audio connectors. One is for the headphones, the other is for the mic. Yep, they are separate; something that further suggests these are designed more for talking than listening.

That said, we hooked them up to several musical devices and had a listen. Edifier have managed to pack 30mm Neodymium drivers into each of those thin cans, and padded them with a fairly light removable cushions. However, they actually sounded pretty good, even at higher volumes where smaller, cheaper headphones start to distort. The quality wasn't amazing, but considering you've paid about £30 for these (at time of press), it was more than acceptable.

The bass might be flat(ish) and the highs less than crystal clear, but all genres still sounded good. However, we did noticed a marked improvement when we used them for audiobooks and podcasts, and then again when hooked up to a desktop computer (with separate headphone and mic ports) for chats on Skype. Fully clothed. The Edifier K550 Headphones definitely performed better for speech than for music.

The key thing to remember is that these things are cheap as chips, and although the build quality and musical reproduction leaves a lot to be desired, as inexpensive gaming and telecommunication headsets go, the Edifier K550 do well.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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