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OneOdio A10 review: Stunning value for money

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
54

Remarkable sound quality and noise cancelling for not much cash

Pros 
Effective low-frequency noise cancelling
Solid audio performance
USB-C charging
Cons 
No aptX support
Bass can sometimes be rather woolly
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There's an old adage when it comes to buying headphones: affordability, sound quality, bells and whistles – choose any two.

So when Chinese manufacturer OneOdio offered us a pair of its budget A10 wireless headphones to review, I rather expected sound quality to take a back seat, especially since they’re stacked with features and even look quite nice.

However, with 40mm diameter drivers, they sound pretty good and even the active noise cancelling is effective. They’re a remarkable pair of headphones for very little money.

READ NEXT: The best Bluetooth headphones

OneOdio A10 review: Price and competition

At the time of writing, the A10s cost £54 from Amazon but there’s a promo code from OneOdio (ONEODIOA10) that should knock that down even further, to £37.80. That's a steal.

There are some similar headphones available at this price but most of the direct competition hails from brands similarly less well known in the UK.

TaoTronics’ budget SoundSurge 60 headphones are well made but blighted by a muddy, wayward bass, while Anker's Soundcore Life Q20 perform well wirelessly but poorly when you use the bundled auxiliary cable.

Lindy's BNX-60 are decent, but have a treble that is just a little too soft to be fully recommended. The JBL Tune600BTNC cans are also worth considering, at £80, but the ear cups are a bit small and the build is very plasticky. They sound good, though.

My favourite affordable ANC cans are Sennheiser's HD 4.50, but at £170 we are perhaps stretching the meaning of the word affordable beyond its natural elasticity.

If you want to get a better handle on the competition, we've got a comprehensive roundup of all the best budget headphones and a price-agnostic roundup of the best Bluetooth headphones.

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OneOdio A10 review: Design and build quality

OneOdio certainly gives you a lot for your money. As well as a solid carrying case you get a USB-C to 3.5mm cable for wired connection, a USB-A to USB-C charging cable and a 3.5mm x 2 aircraft adapter. A USB-C to 3.5mm adapter would also have been handy but most phones without a 3.5mm jack come with one so you can’t really complain.

Indeed, the mere fact the A10s use a USB-C charge port is worthy of applause. I won't buy anything that requires carrying two charging cables with me when I travel.

The headphones are surprisingly well made for the price, too. The ratcheted headband adjusters are made of metal and feel robust and the silicon headband has an air pocket in the underside to help with comfort. The whole assembly is squeak- and creak-free, something anyone who has owned a pair of Sony MDR-V55s will appreciate.

The only issue is with those chrome earcups: they show up greasy fingerprints badly and need constant cleaning.

At 245g, the OneOdio A10 are on the lighter side of average for over-ear wireless headphones, which bodes well for comfort. The fit isn’t too tight, either, and the cups covered my ears completely. Even after a marathon six-hour listening session I experienced no discomfort. There’s enough room in the sliders to accommodate even the largest noggin.

The control layout is perfectly functional. On the right earpiece you'll find power and volume/track skip buttons while on the left is the ANC on/off button. However, these do feel plasticky and a little on the cheap side. Usefully, there's vocal confirmation of power on/off and Bluetooth connection and you can launch your phone's default assistant with a double press of the power button.

OneOdio A10 review: Specification

At this price, you're not getting any fancy-pants codec support for the likes of aptX so you have to make do with good old Bluetooth SBC. If you just plan on streaming tunes from your phone this is a lack I suspect most can live with.

The Bluetooth radio is v5.0 so there's no issue with range – everything was still working at 12 metres line-of-sight – and battery life is pretty good. According to OneOdio, the 750mAh battery is good for 25 hours with both ANC and Bluetooth on, 40 hours of Bluetooth without ANC, and 80 hours in wired mode with ANC enabled. That chimed with my experiences running volume at around 80%.

A full charge takes just over two hours and the promised “five minutes = two hours of wireless ANC listening” fast-charge facility worked as advertised. However, you need to make sure the ANC is turned off when you finish using the A10s or it will slowly eat into the available charge.

I'm not sure if the noise-cancelling mics are outside or inside the earpieces or both, in a hybrid setup. Either way, the system works pretty well. My favourite home test is to sit next to a running tumble dryer and flick the ANC on and off. The A10 easily scrubbed off most of the dryer roar.

Higher-pitched background noises – the family Elkhound yapping at nothing in the garden – were less successfully cancelled but this is the case with most ANC headphones. High-end ANC headsets from the likes of Bose do a better job but cost five times as much. If all you want is noise cancellation good enough to make a Tube journey or flight tolerable, the A10 are good enough.

What’s more, if you fire up the ANC without anything playing there's no noticeable white noise or unsettling pressure difference sensation.

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OneOdio A10 review: Sound quality

I conducted most of my listening tests wirelessly with the ANC turned on because, unusually, the A10s sound rather less composed when connected by cable.

Generally speaking, the sound the A10s make is warm, coherent and well balanced with no obvious sonic Achilles' heel.

Bass is to the fore, although sometimes just a little woolly but there's plenty of detail to be heard as long as the source is good.

The nicely judged balance between bass and treble was obvious in the new album by The Slow Readers Club, “Joy of the Return”. The definition between the driving bass lines and guitar riffs that typify the recent work of this Manchester band was spot on.

Turning to what was surely one of the best world music albums of 2017, Les Filles de Illighadad's mesmeric debut “Eghass Malan”, the A10 did solid service to the ever-interweaving vocals, rhythmic backline and jangly guitars.

Morton Gould's 'American Salute' is as good as any way of sorting the men from the boys when it comes to the performance of headphones and speakers with classical music and here again, the A10s did well. Keeping the brass and strings in focus in this piece is not easily done but the A10s managed.

Crank up the volume on an album like Robyn's “Bodytalk Part 1” and the A10s are in their element, the pumping bass coming across hard and clear.

Bouncing around my music library it soon became obvious that the A10s shine in Pop, R&B and Dance rather than Jazz, Folk or Classical. It's very much a case of being better at some genres rather than being bad at others, though. Coltrane's “Love Supreme” still sounded good, as did Myrkur's outstanding new album “Folkesange”.

READ NEXT: The best noise-cancelling headphones

Call quality is up to scratch as well. The A10 can’t match the call quality of a dedicated telecom or gaming headset (check out our roundup of the best gaming headsets) but it does the job and can be used for either.

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OneOdio A10 review: Verdict

Well made, comfortable and acoustically competent, there's not much more you can ask for from a pair of budget wireless ANC headphones.

I couldn't describe the performance of the OneOdio A10 as audiophile, but I'd be more than happy to live with them on a daily basis. The A10s are the most competent Bluetooth ANC headphones I've encountered under £80.

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