Checking in at just under $60 on Amazon, the Cowin E-7 noise-cancelling headphones are built for the music lover on a budget. You might not exactly fall head-over-heels for any headphone set when you get down to this price range, and as a newcomer to the industry, Cowin certainly has some flaws when it comes to product design. That said, it still pulls through with some surprising strengths, making it a strong contender for the right kind of buyer.
What’s in the box?
For an all-plastic pair of headphones, the E-7 is surprisingly stylish. It’s a little bulky around the ears, so it’s not especially well-suited for jogging or other kinds of exercise, but a soft faux leather on the head strap and on the inside of the ear cups makes for surprisingly comfortable everyday wear. The padding is stable around your ears and decently breathable.
The ear cups easily swivel and ratchet up and down can be made to lie flat on the outside for travel. Unfortunately, though, they don’t turn inwards, so this isn’t the easiest pair of headphones to carry around. The travelling pouch these come with won’t protect from impacts or water damage, although a sturdier, rubber carrying case is available.
The ear cups are a little stiff to adjust but will stay firmly in place. The whole thing slides nicely over the ears, and thanks to its adjustable arms, there’s never too much pressure anywhere. It’s also fairly lightweight, at a little over half a pound.
You have your pick of colors with this product, too. They come in black, blue, purple, red, and white, and the glossy chrome outside is pretty nice—if you’re willing to put up with fingerprint smudges, of course. They are still all-plastic, so they might feel a little cheap and their build quality is moderate.
The E-7 offers great wireless range, although it does tend to sound somewhat muffled (especially with active noise cancellation on). The bass, while often a little boomy, is heavy and performs well. The midrange can be overpowering, and the treble, while well-supported, often lacks clarity. The soundstage isn’t the most open, either, though this is somewhat improved with active noise cancellation on.
Overall, the sound has a tendency towards muddiness and distortion. There is an overall warm, round sound, but this product has a great deal of static even at moderate volumes. This gets worse when the volume is lowered, and raising the volume increases distortion.
Additionally, although these are marketed as noise-cancelling headphones, they’re far from the best at retaining quality while actively blocking out noise. In terms of passive noise cancellation, they work fairly well. Even without turning on the noise cancelling function, the E-7 easily blocks out most ambient noises, making it easy to immerse yourself in the music.
Once you try turning noise cancellation on, though, things get a little more complicated. The audio quality is drastically reduced, taking on a canned quality. This is especially true at lower volumes. Moreover, turning on active noise cancellation doesn’t do much to further block out ambient noise. Loud background sounds can still be heard, and it’s not that much better than when noise cancellation is turned off.
The E-7’s controls are poorly thought-out. Short-pressing the plus and minus icons on the triangle outside the right ear cup lets you skip forward or back on an audio track. If you want to adjust the volume, though, you have to long-press on these same areas—making it difficult to get the volume exactly as you want. And even with long-presses, volume adjustment is still counterintuitive, since the minus sign is for some reason above the plus sign.
The call function on these headphones is a little off, as well. The microphone is on the upper part of the ear cups and points away from the face, resulting in muffled audio quality. Additionally, double-clicking the play/pause button automatically redials the last number called—a potentially useful function, but easy to accidentally misuse.
In terms of your audio connection, you get the option of toggling between an aux chord, Bluetooth, and active noise cancellation with Bluetooth. These have good wireless connection, and you can listen to them while they charge. One drawback, though, is that you have to use Bluetooth if you want active noise cancellation.
Should you buy this?
That said, they’re only $60. They’re the Amazon #1 bestseller for DJ headphones, with an overall rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars. They perform well, allowing for easy Bluetooth connection and simple manual controls. They have strong passive noise cancellation and battery life, and their ear cups fit comfortably over the ears.
These aren’t the headphones for an audio aficionado, but they’re a solid choice for the average consumer.Check Current Price