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Shure AONIC 50 headphones review: First listen

Shure's premium headphones are simple to use and comfortable to wear

How do you avoid the crowds at the world’s biggest technology show? Turns out you just need to slip on a pair of Shure AONIC 50 wireless noise-cancelling headphones.

Shure AONIC 50 headphones: Key features, price and release date

  • 20-hour battery life
  • Adjustable noise cancelling
  • Environment Mode via iOS and Android app
  • $399
  • Spring 2020 launch

Shure AONIC 50 headphones: Audio quality and noise cancelling

While a loud technology expo also makes it difficult to give a proper verdict on audio quality, as an owner of a pair of the excellent Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones I walked away from Shure’s stand mightily impressed by both the noise cancellation and the audio quality.

I also liked their simplicity. One of my few criticisms of the Sony cans is that they try to do too much and I often find myself struggling to remember exactly which button does what. With the Shure AONIC, it’s a simple matter of toggling a noise-reduction button on and off. Even I can remember that.

You can take finer control using the ShurePlus PLAY app (available for Android and iOS), which includes a setting to allow ambient sounds in – useful if you need to know what’s happening around you.

Shure AONIC 50 headphones: Look and feel

I would be a little nervous when wearing these out on the streets, though, as they look (and are) expensive. The Shure spokesperson told me they’d go on sale for $399 when they appear in the spring, so we can safely predict a similar price in pounds.

The good news is that they also feel premium. Shure claims that these headphones are designed for people who will wear them all day, such as professional musicians and sound engineers. We look forward to putting these claims to the test in spring 2020, when they’re due to arrive on store shelves.

Shure AONIC 215 True Wireless Sound Isolating Earphones

I also tried out Shure’s AONIC 215 earphones, but will hold off making any judgement on those for now. They fit nice and snugly, which is great news for the more active among us, but note the weird counterweight that sits behind your ear. This contributes to a mighty fine eight-hour battery life, though.

I might have been impressed, but on the showfloor they suffered from terrible Bluetooth interference and drop-outs. For a proper verdict you’ll have to wait until the AONIC 215 earphones go on sale this spring at a price of $279.

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