11 April 2018

REVIEW: Damson Headspace Noise-cancelling Headphones

Getting into your head

As well as ghosts, old buildings, and tour guides who dress up as Roman soldiers, The Test Pit has the honour of sharing the fine City of York with the sound experts Damson. We've reviewed a few of their products on this site, but surprisingly this is the first pair of headphones we've had from them (other than these very memorable bone-conducting 'phones), despite Damson headquarters being just down the road. And boy are they a decent pair. We check out the Damson Headspace Noise-cancelling Headphones.

Two things: noise-cancelling, and Bluetooth. The Damson Headspace combine those two very desirable features into one gorgeous looking gadget. The Headspace are mostly brushed metal, giving them a weighty and substantial feel, yet still manage to flex and twist thanks to the flexible and cushioned headband. They also fold up, and Damson rightly supply them with a hard carry case. We do love a sweet carry case.

The ear cushions feel soft and comfortable, but definitely aren't memory foam, as you tend to find in pricier headphones these days. They are 'over-ear' in design, which certainly helps to block out ambient noise when the noise-cancelling function is activated. Speaking of which, you have the option to turn it on and off quickly thanks to the small switch on the left can, while on the right you'll find the power/pair button, and also volume and track controls. They are metal, seemingly hard-wearing buttons.

Charge the Damson Headspace Noise-cancelling Headphones up via the included Micro USB cable and you should get about 16 hours of playback from them. We find that very impressive, especially after getting a taste of the quality of musical reproduction.

Bluetooth pairing was a quick and simple affair - even with wireless-dodgy Windows 10! Shocker! After that, we enjoyed all the genres we could throw at them, and they all sounded awesome. The noise-cancellation is delightfully hiss-free, which is something Damson are keen to promote. Flicking that side switch doesn't cancel out an ambient noise with another, more subtle hissing sound (as we've found with other headphones like this), but rather kills the sound dead. We tried them on both a bus and a train, and that annoying rumble that both vehicles make was all but eliminated. Check this out, because, again, Damson aren't kidding:

Seriously, that is how it feels. Also, it's nice to recognise locations used in promo videos like this, as opposed to the gritty backdrop of New York City that all other headphone makers seems to use. 'Old' York City is waaay better.

The Damson Headspace Noise-cancelling Headphones make phenomenal use of those 40mm triple drivers to deliver rich bass and clear high tones. As well as the hiss-reduction, the general overall crackle of intense sound is lowered, as there is no need to crank up the volume too high. Even without the noise-cancellation activated, they still block out a decent amount of sound, making them perfect for city living.

And, if you can't be bothered to pair with your phone, or you're using a device without Bluetooth (we saw a girl on the bus the other day boasting about her MiniDisc player), you can hook up the included audio cable via the 3.5mm jack on the underside of the right can. And yes, they feature a mic so you can call your mates and joke about the girl with the MiniDisc player you saw today.

So there is a lot going on here to really like. They look great, produce good sound, and feel expensive. We bet you're now expecting us to say they are expensive, right? Well, they're not... not really. Currently the Damson Headspace Noise-cancelling Headphones are £129.99, which is very good. They perform just as well as, if not better than, the Focal Listen Nose-Cancelling headphones we reviewed previously, but are almost £100 cheaper. They are also slightly smaller, making lugging them around far easier. Jus' sayin'.

We love this pair of sound-killing cans from Damson, and recommend them heartily.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

Want 10% off a pair of Damson Headspace? Use the code testpit10 when you purchase from www.damsonglobal.com

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