Active Noise Cancelling Headphones allow users to embrace the comfort, enjoy the sound, without the Pricetag.
When it comes to time-wasting opportunities, it seems that there are plenty. Our smartphones/tablets have moved beyond their base functions and have become personal portable mini-computers. As an early adopter of the PDA, the Nokia, the smartphone, and the tablet, I never dreamed that it might one day obviate the need to own a desktop computer, a camera, a radio, and a television. Despite the presence of speakers, however, the devices still have not eliminated the need for a quality pair of headphones. Whether you chose on-ear, in-ear, or over-ear devices or opt for portable vs. wired Bluetooth speakers, you have the flexibility to enjoy media in your own way. When exercising or traveling, I prefer AirPods Pro. However, while home relaxing, I often prefer an over-ear device with active noise canceling technology.
The broski Lety Noise Cancelling Headphones arrived in a 6 5/8 inches wide by 8 7/8 inches tall by 2 15/16 inches thick retail case. The main cover provided the product name/title along the top left, “Noise Cancelling Headphones” along the top right, and two rows of icons along the bottom of the panel. The top row provided four colorful product descriptors (HiFi Stereo, Bass, Clear Sound, HD Mic) and a Bluetooth logo. The bottom row provided five additional descriptors: 1. 20 Hours Play Time. 2. Built-in Microphone. 3. Foldable and Adjustable. 4. Charging Cable. 5. Audio cable. The main focus of the cover panel was the 4 inches wide by 5 5/8 inches tall image of the broski headphones. The crisp black image visually popped against the clean white background. I loved the depth that the shadowing provided and the overall homage to the checkerboard theme. The right side panel provided the broski name along the top, a blue-colored rectangle “Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones,” a city scene with a man turned toward a waiting subway car. Beneath the image/scene, you will find four product descriptors: 1. Bluetooth, 2. 20 plus Hours playtime/200 Hours Standby Time, 3. Product Contents (Headphones, Travel Case, Soft Cloth Carry Bag, Auxilliary Audio Cable, Micro USB Charge Cable, Airplane Adaptor), 4. Additional accessories on the website.
The black-colored left panel listed the product name, “Noise Cancelling Headphones,” an oblique image of the folded headphones, three descriptive sentences about the product (Cancel the Noise Around you, Over-Ear Comfort, Portable and Foldable), and a side view of the folded earphones. The panel provided a bit more information about the product than the cover/right panels. I learned about the memory foam, the comfortable soft leather, and the ability to fold the headphones to carry within the zippered carry case. I loved the imagery but felt that the dark background betrayed the quality of the pictures. The rear panel of the slipcover provided a similar scene to the cover but added six descriptive labels. The panel detailed the adjustable cushioned headband, soft/comfortable memory foam earcups, Bluetooth 5.0, Intuitive button placement, active noise canceling technology, and deep bass/balanced mid-range/crisp highs. The bottom of the panel provided an image of the sound waves and listed the product specifications (BT 5.0, 10m operation range, 20 hours playtime, 200 hours standby time, Hands-free agreement v 1.6, headset agreement 1.2, AVRCP 1.4, A2DP12).
I removed the white slipcover from the inner black box, lifted the lid, and found an alluring black-and-white image of Alise Willoughby (BMX Olympic Silver medalist) wearing the broski headphones. Next, I lifted the flap and found a three-step how-to-wear instruction manual and an eight-point ink-outline diagram on the inner surface. Nestled within the box, you will find an 8 1/4 inches long by 6 1/4 inches wide by 2 1/4 inches thick nylon broski carry bag and a four-panel instruction manual. The first panel listed the box contents, listed the same labeled headphone diagram as the inner flap, and described how to adjust the headphones to optimize the fit. The lower section recommended that the user charge the headphones for five hours before using them for the first time. The second and third panels detailed how to enable/turn off the ANC and Bluetooth feature, how to pair the device, how to disconnect from a phone/tablet, and how to reconnect. The fourth panel described how to adjust the volume, listen to music and the functions involved, make phone calls and the functions involved, the passive mode, low battery warning, and then low battery auto-off feature. Interestingly, there is not an auto-off feature until the battery voltage drops below 2.9V. The final panel discussed safe listening, cautionary advice and resisted the product specifications.
I gripped the black-colored zipper and unzipped the 21 inches long zipper. I was pleased with the smooth zipper action, with the raised broski logo atop the case, the neoprene texture, and the carry bag’s overall construction. The top section had a 4 3/4 inches tall by 5 1/2 inches wide elastic-lined mesh bag with the two-prong airplane adaptor, 76-inches long 3.5mm to 3.5mm Auxiliary Cable with Velcro retention strap, a black carabiner, and a 72-inches long USB-A to USB-micro cable. In between the upper/lower section, you will find a 7 3/4 inches wide by 9 3/4 inches tall black-colored felt back with white “broski” across the front. The drawstring bag should accommodate the carry case plus contents for an added level of protection. Or, you could consider simply carrying the headphones within the included bag. Add the carabiner, clip the device to a bag/backpack, etc. Returning to the carry case, you will find the 6.5-ounce black, stylish broski headphones sitting atop earcup-shaped projections within the lower half of the case. Before testing the sound, I made sure to charge the earphones as described in the instruction manual.
I removed the charging cable from the top half of the carry bag, plugged it into the bottom of the left earcup, and charged the device for five hours. During that time, I returned to the instruction manual and reviewed the features of the earphones. The 5/8 inches thick headband section measured 3 1/2 inches wide and was capped on each end by a 3/4 inches long by 15/16 inches thick plastic section. Beyond the cap sections, you will find a 2 7/8 inches long arm section with a hinge and a 90-degree swivel arm. Each of the 2 3/4 inches wide by 3 3/4 inches tall by 2 inches thick ear cups had an “L” or “R” printed on the inner surface, a matte black “broski” logo on the outer surface, and an outer rotating hinge. Lastly, you can grip each arm section and pull down to add 1 1/4 inches to each side. Between the dual hinges, swivel, and expander arms, it is easy to imagine an almost infinite combination of positions.
Once the device was fully charged (red LED turned blue), I removed the cable from the base of the left earcup and evaluated the buttons on the right earcup. You will find the 3.5mm port, LED, microphone, and the ANC on/off button along the bottom section of the right earcup. The central multi-function button was located just above the Aux port and was flanked by the volume up/next song button to the right and volume down/previous track button to the left. I pressed the MFB button for 3 seconds to activate the Bluetooth headphones and heard a female voice state, “Power On, Pairing.” I navigated to settings, to Bluetooth, and selected the broski lety from the list. The female voice announced “connecting,” and the setup was complete. I could not have asked for an easier setup/connection process and loved that the MFB button had a small raised tab for easy recognition. When I was done listening, I could press the MFB button for 3-seconds to power off the device. When I powered it on again, it paired immediately with my iPad Pro 11”. To increase or decrease the volume, press the volume up or volume down button once. When you get to the maximum/minimum volume, the device will emit a beep. To advance the track, you can press and hold the right button. To move to the previous track, you can press and hold the left button.
To test the sound output, I navigated to the audiocheck.net website and used the Low-Frequency Response and Subwoofer Audio Test (10-200 Hz) to evaluate the lows/bass. The male announcer started with 10 Hz and vocalized each 10Hz increase in frequency. A good pair of earphones should produce a rumbling sound at 20Hz, the lower range of human hearing. I was pleased to find that the broski earbuds produced a quality low sound at the 20Hz mark. To provide a backup evaluation of the bass, I used The Ultimate Headphone Test on YouTube and found the same result. The bass was full and did a great job at supporting the mids and high ranges. I loved that the bass remained full and supportive from a minimal volume to about 3/4 volume. Additionally, the bass never felt muddy or lacked a crisp feel. For my next test, I returned to the audiocheck.net website and used the High-Frequency Response and Hearing Audio Test (22-8 kHz) to evaluate the upper sounds. Similar to the above test, the male announcer will vocalize each change in frequency. This time, however, he started at 22kHz and dropped by 1kHz increments. Even though the upper range of human hearing can hear up to 20kHz, most adults can hear about 14-15kHz, and younger children up to 18kHz. As we age and experience barotrauma, we lose the upper ranges first. I found that I could hear the high-pitched vibration at 15kHz, which was on par with my personal ability to hear (nearly 40 years old). Here, I will interject a warning to protect your hearing and avoid barotrauma. You do not get it back!
To round out the audiocheck.net tests, I used the Left/Right (Stereo) test to show the channels were appropriately programmed. Pleased with the test, I navigated to Apple Music and listened to Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen for my favorite call/response stereo experience. I then listened to a few of my favorite binaural tests. First, I used the Original Binaural Recording Stereo Perception and Sound Localization Test, then the “8D Sound of Silence” from Disturbed (one of my absolute favorite songs), the “Sound Of Silence (3D Binaural Audio)- Simon and Garfunkel Cover-Jarvis Brothers (Ear to Ear), and Hallelujah by Pentatonix. To create these binaural recordings, people place microphones into ear-shaped holes and record the sounds as if they were hearing them directly. This provides an interesting experience even if you have heard it before. The above tests will show the staging of the earbuds through knocking sounds or through sound rotation around your body.
Out-of-the-box, the broski over-ear headphones provided an above-average experience. I enjoyed the carry case, the included bag, the carabiner, the shape, feel, and sound output. I used the earphones to listen to music selections with Apple Music, Amazon Prime Music, Pandora, Spotify, and audiobooks through Audible “The One and Only Ivan.” To test the noise-canceling feature, I listened to the blended sounds of Anthem Lights, Pentatonix, and Home Free while riding shotgun in my wife’s Nissan NV. The ANC feature proved to eliminate a large amount of the road noise and the noise from my children’s activities in the van’s rear. I loved that the noise-canceling feature was easy to activate/disable and that it did not create an abnormal pressure/buzzing within my ears. To continue the testing process, I navigated to Amazon Music to test my typical test tracks. To evaluate the bass, I played Holly Cole’s “Train Song” and enjoyed the bouncing bass line and the sultry club vibe. I then turned to CeeLo Green to enjoy the brighter bass sounds within “Bright Lights Bigger City.” As noted above, the sounds were supportive, full, and never felt muddy, even up to 75% volume. Following this test, I listened to “Far Over The Misty Mountains Cold” from The Hobbit, Home Free Ring of Fire for the last F# growl from Tim Faust, and finally to Dark Knight Rises Joker Theme “Why So Serious” (3:00 to 4:40). This section continues to provide excitement that is difficult to explain. The ascending, back-and-forth bass pulses up to about 4:40 remind me of a helicopter rotor
Like the bass tests above, I like to use the same songs to test the mids/highs/staging and balance. As noted above, I love to use Anthem Lights, Pentatonix, and Home Free for their blended sounds. I love to add the Gospel PlowBoys “What a day that will be,” “Chain Breaker” by Gaither Vocal Band, a few options from Dave’s Highway, and several of my favorite instrumental tracks. Having played Euphonium throughout much of my life, I love to listen to Sousa Marches, anything by John Williams, Holst, Pevensey Castle, Lincolnshire Posey, Palovetsian Dances, and many more. To test the staging, I love to use Bob Marley and the Wailers “Turn Your Lights Down Low,” Radiohead “The National Anthem,” “Bubbles” by Yosi Horikawa, and the soothing sounds of “Caribbean Blue” by Enya. I used the Robin Hood Prince of Thieves Soundtrack, Far and Away Soundtrack, and Braveheart soundtracks to test the upper blends and instrumental sounds. Lastly, I listened to the Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack, Rocket Man Soundtrack, and A star is born for a touch of fun.
Beyond musical tests, I like to test the video/audio sync with Movies Anywhere, VUDU, Hulu, Paramount Plus, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, and Netflix. I watched several episodes of Big Brother, the finale of Loki, the most recent Bad Batch, The Tomorrow War, and attempted to watch Live Aid Queen on YouTube. Interestingly, I did not experience the YouTube lag with this pair of headphones. The Bluetooth V5 and the codecs worked well and limited the audio/visual distortion. I found that the earphones had no auto-off feature. However, even with forgetting to turn them off for a week, I could still use them for approximately two hours each day before they needed a 3-hour recharge. Per my normal routine, I typically charge my iPhone 12 Pro Max and Apple Watch nightly, my iPad Pro 11” every other night, and my AirPods/currently tested headphones/earbuds once per week. If needed, you can use the headphones passively with the included 3.5mm port. For modern phones, you will need to pair them with a 3.5mm lightning dongle. You will lose ANC features, but you can still enjoy sound sans power. I do not believe the sound to be any worse when used in passive mode.
I was quite pleased with the broski experience. The ANC worked well without buzzing or adding any pressure. The bass, the mids, and the highs were blended without harsh/muddy sounds. They combined well and provided a pleasing experience for hip hop, R&B, Rock, Pop, classical, instrumental, and country. The Bluetooth range was on par with standard Bluetooth technology, and the padding/fit allowed for prolonged, easy listening. The carry case, carry bag, airplane adaptor, and carabiner were nice add-on features and added to the overall kit. The intuitive touch controls were well placed and easy to learn. I liked the placement, the raised button on the MFB, and the short/long press programming. With the ability to move to the next track, play/pause, previous track, and turn up/down the volume, you can set your phone aside and use the right earcup as the remote. During a phone call, you can increase/decrease volume, you can double press the MFB to call the last number called, and you can accept/reject a call with a simple button. Additionally, since the microphone was placed so close to the mouth, you are less likely to sound like you are in a tunnel during a conversation. My only critique was the lack of voice assistant activation. Nevertheless, I would not hesitate to buy the broski lety headphones. The long battery life, quality sound, and adjustable, comfortable fit will ensure that the device is ready for hours of listening enjoyment. Overall, I would rate the broski /headphones at 10/10 for sound, 10/10 for comfort, 10/10 for battery life, 10/10 for accessories, 10/10 for charging capabilities, and 10/10 for packaging.