Wicked Audio headphones seem to be everywhere — Best Buy, HMV (R.I.P), Walmart — you name the place, and you've probably seen one type of Wicked Audio headphones or another. I've long been curious about the quality of these cans, but was a little gun-shy about grabbing a pair.
Wicked Audio sent me the Endo on-ear Bluetooth headphones to try out. Here's how they shape up.
I've been using the Wicked Audio Endo headphones connected via Bluetooth to my Samsung Galaxy S8 and my 2015 iMac.
Let's get (arguably) the most important part out of the way — these things sound pretty good. I don't consider myself an extreme audiophile (I do look at speaker sensitivity and that sort of thing, but I'm not a snob about it), but I do like my headphones to sound great, and these aren't quite there.
That being said, they're by no means terrible. The bass is present and rather warm, but the rest of the mix just has a sort of hollowness to it. It's likely not noticeable to most, and if you're coming from a cheap pair of $12 earbuds, you'll be floored.
If I had to give these a score on sound out of 10, I'd go with a 7, especially taking the $45 price tag into consideration. I regularly use Audio-Technica ATH-M50x cans, which are wired and studio-quality, and the Endo headphones actually hold up pretty well. They're not amazing, but they're definitely better than many headphones I've tried over the years, Bluetooth or otherwise.
The ear cups aren't much for keeping outside sound out, but on-ear headphones rarely provide total audio isolation anyway. Plus, some folks like being able to hear the world around them while listening to tunes. I was able to hear my dog and cat squabbling, despite having them at mid-level volume.
The design of these headphones both delights and frustrates me. On the one hand, the all-black color is sleek and sexy as hell. Each can folds in, and for on-ear headphones, it gets pretty compact. The button controls on the outside of the right can are convenient, providing a satisfying tactile response, and work very well.
Then it comes to the fit. I'm used to using over-ear headphones, and they hug my head tightly. I like that feeling. A lot. The Endo headphones sort of just sit on your head without really grabbing on. The other issue is that, while it would be more comfortable to have each arm as tight as it can go, the bottom of each ear cup pulls up when I do that. So I have extend each arm out a little and then it just ends up feeling a bit loose, since there's no real tension, due in part to the way the ear cups fold in.
All that being said, the padding on the headrest is comfy, and these aren't so heavy that your neck starts to hurt after a while.
Design-wise, the Endos get a 6/10, because the fit really detracts from the overall quality.
The 8- to 9-hour battery life that Wicked Audio promises is pretty accurate. I usually get two days' use out of these while I work, intermittently stepping away from my desk or whatever. For straight use, 8 hours seems to be the case. And I've found that, though Wicked Audio promises a 1.5-hour charge time, it's actually been a little quicker.
These definitely hit the mark when it comes to battery.
Should you buy these? Yes
I've been listening to the Endo headphones while writing this review and it started off somewhat negative, but as I switched up audio sources (from Mac to Galaxy S8, streaming to physical audio files), my tune changed a little. I went back and forth between my wired, studio-quality headphones and the Endo cans, and found myself more impressed than I thought I was at first.
At $45, you definitely pay for what you get, but if you're looking for quality Bluetooth headphones for under $100, then I can safely say I'd recommend these. You just really have to get used to the fit, and it definitely won't be for everyone. They only come in black, but the matte finish really makes these look classy, taking away from how cheap they might feel in hand.
If you're looking for mind-blowing sound, you won't find it here (again, unless your frame of reference has always been cheap 'phones), but for headphones as ubiquitous as these, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised.
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Mick is a staff writer who's as frugal as they come, so he always does extensive research (much to the exhaustion of his wife) before making a purchase. If it's not worth the price, Mick ain't buying.
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