The world where you needed to spend hundreds of pounds to get a set of ANC headphones is very quickly disappearing – looking at you Bose! And yes although I can’t really compare a set of Bose headphones to budget models due to things like audio quality, it’s still wicked to see that features from those top-tiered headphones are making their way to affordable everyday systems. Take the OneOdio A30 for example. It’s an over-ear headphone that features ANC, Bluetooth 5.0 and an extremely decent battery life. Are they the next budget flagship? They very well could be.+
The packaging is rather minimal, which in this day and age where saving the planet and keeping waste down is pretty decent to see. In the box, you get the headphones themselves, a carry pouch, aeroplane adapter, a USB Type-C charging cable, a 3.5mm aux cable and a user manual. All very standard stuff with headphones in 2021, but seeing the aeroplane adapter is a nice touch. Saves you using those janky headsets the airline gives you.
Opening the box you’re greeted with an already folded set of cans, which is good to see as these things collapse down to fit inside the carrying pouch, and makes them easier to store inside a handbag or backpack. They’re already stored inside the carrying pouch which I’ll say now is made from some kind of faux leather, plastic, type stretchy material. Feels like a wetsuit that you’d wear for surfing or deep-sea diving. It’s not going to do much if you drop these, but it will keep the A30s from getting scratched by those rogue car keys in a bag.
The OneOdio headphones themselves are primarily made from plastic, minus the metal rod that runs through the headband. This helps with keeping the headphones feel pretty lightweight. They’re coming in at 268 grams and they were comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time. This is also down to the fact the headband is very well padded around the crown, and although pads around the drivers are firm, the memory foam feel to them hug the head very well and don’t feel tight. The design though does resemble a very well known brand of headphones, can you guess what they are? If you said Beats… you would be correct! The cups themselves can rotate 90-degrees too to fit around your neck for added comfort. The whole unit itself I feel is pretty robust considering they’re made from plastic and having everything houses inside a shell only heightens that feeling. There are no exposed cables between the headband and earcups which I love.
The entire IO can be found around the left earcup, and buttons are kept to a minimum and are pretty firm and solid and have a decent tactile quality when pressed. There’s a central power button and also a volume up and down. The 3.5mm aux input can be found at the base of the left earcup. The right earcup is home to the USB Type-C input for charging and the active noise cancellation toggle switch. In terms of ANC though, it’s absolutely great. The noise isolation alone from these headphones is pretty good. But once the ANC kicks in, your outside noise is kept to an absolute minimum. You’re not hearing a thing once music kicks in. However, if you are on pause, you can hear a little bit of static or white noise. It’s minimal, and cheaper ANC headphones are prone to this type of thing, but it didn’t put me off my actual experience with the A30s.
Another thing to point out too is the bass. While the ANC is active, the bass suffers. Not so much that it’s gone completely, but there is a severe drop in bass presence compared to when ANC is switched off. Again, this is normal, but if you’re a bass head please take note. There were times though when the bass from the 40mm drivers was really overpowering the music when the ANC was deactivated, so swings and roundabouts really depending on the track you are listening to. This was pretty noticeable while listening to something like The Joker by Steve Miller Band. It’s quite a bass-centric track, especially during the opening minute or so, and with ANC switched on, the bass was cut in favour of blocking out external sound. Though this could be an issue to some, I did find that when ANC was active, the music as a whole was very well controlled and there was a heightened emphasis on the treble, cymbal crashes and the like.
Battery life is also a highlight with the OneOdio A30s. Their max battery life quoted from the 500mAh battery is around 45 hours. But to hit this kind of level, you’ll need to be using a cable. ANC can still be turned on. Turn on the Bluetooth with ANC though, and it’ll drop down to around 15 hours worth of battery time. Still decent by any stretch though so no real complaints from me here. That’s at least a week’s worth of music listening for me. The headphones use Bluetooth 5.0 to connect to devices. So if your phone is compatible, then expect nice strong signals, even if you walk away from your handset. I had no real complaints either, and could freely walk around my house listening to music while my phone was upstairs.
The OneOdio A30s when it comes to audio performance do suffer somewhat from keeping the ANC switched off. However, I did enjoy my time with them when it was switched on and I felt the audio was nicely balanced. The battery life on these headphones are stunning, and I wish other brands took note. Big battery lives are a big win in my book, especially if you’re someone who commutes to work on trains and busses and don’t always remember to charge them in the evening. They’re also super comfy too thanks to the plush memory foam. The white noise during quiet times of the ANC is a little distracting, but nothing too overpowering, and is something budget ANC headphones fall short on. These headphones can be found on the OneOdio website for around £39.99, which in my eyes, is a pretty fair and budget-friendly price tag for this quality. For more info, head over to the OneOdio website. Below are also some codes for some discount too if you wanted to get your own set.