Edifier W820NB Plus Review in 2023
The upgraded Edifier W820NB Plus model shares a similar design to its non-Plus counterpart but boasts significant internal enhancements. It offers Hi-Res audio certification even for wired listening, improved active noise cancelling capabilities, enhanced noise reduction during calls, and potentially features new 40mm titanium-coated drivers.
Remarkably, Edifier has managed to maintain the same $80 price tag via Amazon. However, affordability comes at the cost of compromised build quality. The lightweight, fully plastic body may lack durability despite its sharp corners. More information regarding this issue will be provided later.
So, can the advantages overshadow the disadvantages? Are the Edifier W820NB Plus truly worth it? Let’s delve deeper to find out.
I. Product Tech Specs
- Driver: 40mm Dynamic
- Audio Coding: LDAC, SBC
- Connectivity: Bluetooth version 5.2
- Bluetooth Protocol: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP
- Playtime: ANC ON: 33 hours(SBC codec) | ANC OFF: 49 hours(SBC codec)
- Output Sound Pressure Level: 91dB ± 3dBSPL(A)
- Frequency Response: 20Hz – 40KHz
- Weight: 221g
II. Design of Edifier W820NB Plus
Edifier offers excellent wireless products that provide great value without breaking the bank. Recently, I had the opportunity to explore some of their Bluetooth headphone options, such as the WH950NB and the WH500. These models proved to be enjoyable budget choices, delivering good wireless sound. Among them, the W820NB stands out as the most affordable Bluetooth ANC headphone I’ve had the chance to listen to. With a price tag of only $79.99, it offers exceptional value, as you won’t come across many over-ear ANC headphones at this price point.
The W820NB Plus features a fully plastic design, lacking a premium feel. While the headphones offer flexibility, they don’t instill the same confidence as those with an aluminum frame. There is an exposed wire inside the headband connecting the ear cups. Unfortunately, the headphones do not come with a case or bag for storage. The earpads are comfortable but may stiffen with regular use. During exercise, only two mesh layers separate your ears from the drivers, potentially allowing moisture.
Comfortable & Fit
Having tested several other Edifier models, it’s evident that they adhere to a particular aesthetic when designing their headphones. They strive for an elegant, sleek black design that exudes simplicity and class. Given the price, it’s understandable that most parts are made of plastic. However, considering this, the headphones maintain a solid build with a stable frame. They are also designed for extended wear, as they comfortably fit over your ears. The cushions offer good isolation while applying minimal pressure, allowing for a pleasant listening experience.
The W820NB features a 40mm dynamic driver that delivers a stable output for your music. While there may not be extensive headroom, you can comfortably enjoy your music without any issues. The hybrid ANC technology also plays a significant role, providing an impressive 38dB reduction in noise when activated.
The strength of the noise-canceling capabilities is remarkable considering the price, even surpassing some higher-priced headphones. Like other Bluetooth products from Edifier, you can utilize their companion app to access additional features. This includes ambient sound mode and a game mode for low-latency audio during gaming sessions. While a full EQ is unavailable, you can switch between several genre-specific presets for customization.
The W820NB is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0, ensuring a stable connection without any dropouts. However, it only offers the SBC codec, which is the standard option. It would have been desirable to have some form of aptX support included in this model.
You can enjoy approximately 33 hours of playback when utilizing the ANC feature. Remarkably, the W820NB provides an impressive total listening time of around fifty hours without ANC, which is truly remarkable considering the headphones’ price point of $80.
III. Performance of Edifier W820NB Plus
After listening to the W820NB, the impressively separated instruments immediately caught my attention, the headphones exhibit a commendable soundstage width, enabling precise localization of instruments, surpassing many Bluetooth headphones in this price range. While depth might not be as prominent, the layers within the soundstage are effectively presented. The spatial imaging is sufficient to provide an intriguing structure to the tracks. It truly feels that each sound element is faithfully depicted within its own distinct space—an admirable feat for a Bluetooth headphone priced under $100.
The bass response of the W820NB might not deliver significant thickness, but it surprised me with its dynamic nature. It possesses a noticeable punch, although the tone lacks the full-bodied quality that certain listeners may desire in this price range. Nevertheless, the sub-bass reaches impressive depths, providing a satisfying rumble in certain instances. With added force, the low end could potentially be truly spectacular. Choosing the rock preset in the app might bring the timbre closer to your desired preference.
While the bass may lack some weightier elements, the W820NB compensates for it with its captivating midrange. The headphones offer a robust tonal body in this range, maintaining a consistently clean frequency response. The performance of instruments through these headphones feels entirely natural and devoid of artificiality. Remarkably, the transparency is quite impressive for headphones in this category. Each element finds ample room to express its clarity within a controlled environment. No sound element is relegated to the background, creating a level playing field where most components shine equally.
While the highs may not possess as distinctiveness as the bass and mids, they offer an enjoyable response. The overall timbre is predominantly smooth without significant roll-off. Notable details include the heightened positioning of the highs within the mix. However, the tone leans towards a relaxed nature, contributing to an easily digestible sound signature. While the brightness takes a backseat, it also means that texture and other immersive elements typically associated with treble frequencies are not prominent in this case.
The microphone performance of the Edifier W820NB Plus varies depending on the environment, exhibiting two distinct sides. In quiet surroundings, the headphones capture your voice accurately and clearly.
However, the situation changes when transitioning to a noisy environment. While background noise is effectively eliminated, your voice may become muffled and occasionally challenging to comprehend. We recommend avoiding noisy locations when using headphones for phone calls for optimal call quality.
The Edifier W820NB Plus utilizes a relatively thin plastic shell that does not provide substantial noise isolation from the outside or contain sound leakage effectively.
Despite the firm clamping force and over-ear design, the thin plastic earcups do not effectively absorb ambient noise. As a result, you can still hear most of the surrounding sounds, albeit slightly muffled. To truly enjoy music in a peaceful environment, active noise cancelling becomes necessary.
The Edifier W820NB Plus falls short of its promise to reduce ambient noise by -43dB. However, the active noise cancelling still provides a somewhat peaceful commute. Compared to its non-Plus variant, the W820NB Plus has improved ANC technology that reduces environmental noise by -35dB. While it performs worse in lower frequencies, it fares better in the midrange and treble, muting speech reasonably well. The ambient sound mode enhances bass and lower midrange but falls behind some true wireless earbuds in overall performance. While wearing the W820NB Plus, conversations can be held, but voices may sound muted.
IV. The Advantages and Disadvantages
- Excellent separation
- Dynamic bass
- Full mids
- Smooth highs
- Comfortable to wear
- Good active noise cancellation
- Impressive battery life
- Affordable price
- Limited EQ options
- Supports only SBC codec
The Edifier W820NB Plus deserves attention for its exceptional default tuning, which is uncommon for Bluetooth headphones under $100. Unlike many others in this price range, these headphones deliver excellent sound quality without requiring extensive adjustments.
Overall, we highly recommend the Edifier W820NB Plus for those seeking outstanding sound performance while on the go, all at an affordable price. However, it would be great to see Edifier improve the sound quality across all modes rather than just in Ambient mode.
That said, if you prioritize extensive customization options and superior noise isolation, you may want to explore other headphone models. While the ANC performance and build quality of the W820NB Plus have room for improvement, they still offer a worthwhile trade-off at $80, considering what you’re getting regarding sound quality.