It has been years since I last saw that distinct Orange logo and it was on both a guitar amp and cabinet speaker. I know first hand that their guitar amps and cabs are sensational and well regarded within the industry, so why branch out into headphones? Perhaps they’re using some of that audio finesse in a small form factor, trying to reach new audiences that may not be aware of the brand. Or is this all a fad, just a money-making attempt? I hope it’s not, but let’s find out.
First Impressions & Unboxing
First impressions are very good. The headphones are relatively compact, although they do offer over the ear cups. Each earcup has thick, spongy padding, plus a small amount of padding to the headband. There is an ok amount of flex from the headband and at each ear cup. The entire thing is made from plastic but you can see the headband is partially metal.
The design obviously had to include orange, but it’s subtle, it’s not overpowering nor will you stand out in the crowd like a soar thumb. It’s mainly a matte black, soft to touch finish, with hints on orange on the ear cups, some orange branding, and inner orange headband padding. I love the matte black finish but I’m already seeing fingerprints and scuffs, just from setting it up!
The headphones come in a small hard case and it is small. Slightly too small in my opinion as you have to almost cram them in to zip the case up. The earcups do fold in, helping with a smaller case. Within the box, you also get a micro USB cable for charging (old school) and a 3.5mm aux lead for wired connections. Instructions? I nearly missed them. They are stuck to the inside of the box lid and detail set up and controls.
These are touch-sensitive headphones, meaning you do just that to play/pause, change track, etc. To the right earcup is the touchpad. Touch once for play/pause, swipe up or down for volume control, and swipe left or right for track control. There is a separate power on the push button to the side of the right earcup. The 3.5mm port, USB port, and indicator light are also on the right ear cup.
The Crest headphones currently retail for just under £100, so I have to bare that in mind while using these as I’ve been spoilt with other, more expensive headphones of late. Let me put this here from the Orange website..
“We’ve taken the flat EQ of top studio monitors and made careful adjustments to the whole audio spectrum, maximising these new 40mm Voice of the World drivers.”
So they’re going for that studio effect with the sound profile and I think they have somewhat delivered on that. Sounds are precise, I can hear a crash cymbal in the right, hi hats to the left and bass drum central. The low end is just about there, mids and highs are more prominent. You have to turn the volume up for these to come to life and I’m ok with that. I’m not talking that loud, circa 60% volume, things begin to heat up. There is a track by Point North, that pans left, right and back, it’s subtle but the effect with these sounds fantastic. At the lower volumes, the sound is a little muddled.
There is no active noise cancellation with these but they do a fairly good job at blocking out external sounds anyway, thanks to those thick padded cushions. Speaking of cushions, these are comfortable to wear, be it 30 minutes or something like 2hours, which was my longest stint. They are secure, as in the headband remains at the set size but not secure enough for use while exercising.
Controls, touch-sensitive at that. I’ve tried a few of these now on various headphones and the Crest has some of the more responsive I’ve tested. There is a small delay in control, just a second or two from touching the earcup to the action happening which is acceptable. Take the headphones off, the content continues to play, it won’t pause like some now do. It’ll take some getting used to use the controls and also removing the headphones, remembering to take them off without touch the right earcup.
Oranage state upto 27hours of playback, which is impressive and after using them for 6/7 hours, the little battery indicator on my smartphone has hardly moved, so I’m confident that will be achieved.
I like the Orange Amps Crest Edition Headphones, I have alot of time for them. They look good, the touch controls actually work well, they offer a good battery life and they sound good. They’re not perfect but they also don’t cost a small fortune. For more info and to purchase, head over to the official Orange Amps website.
Will they move into Bluetooth speakers? I have a spot on my desk for a mini orange cab…