Lightweight and comfortable mini-cans with a stunningly warm and open sound.
Although most of the world uses in-ear headphones, they’re not an ideal choice for everyone, for reasons of comfort or audio quality. Audio Chi’s W4 over-ear headphones have a characteristic warm and rich sound, with a solid, but not overwhelming bass. Although the headphones have closed drivers, they create a wide soundstage with plenty of audible detail and a real sense of space.
They’re not as precise as some of our favourite in-ear headphones, which direct the sound straight down your ear canal, but their sound is still very detailed, without the harsh edge that can sometimes be heard through a perfectly flat pair of earphones. They don’t have any sound isolating or noise cancelling capabilities, but the closed drivers help exclude low-level background noise and mean that not too much sound escapes to annoy those around you.
They look great, with styling that takes cues from classic designs, without the massive size or neck-strain-inducing weight of old-fashioned cans. They’re light enough to wear for hours without getting either a sore neck or squashed, sweaty ears.
The W4’s come with a separate 3.5mm stereo cable with plugs at both ends and a 3.5mm socket on the left earpiece. This makes it very unlikely that you’ll damage the headphones by yanking on their cable. The headphones also come with a 3.5mm to 2.5mm mobile phone adaptor and a soft cloth carrying case. They don’t fold down, so you’ll have to keep them in your bag or around your neck when not in use.
They’re more expensive than Shure’s SE102 in-ear sound isolators, but their quality is comparable, despite a radically different design in terms of both sound and fit. If you’re after a comfortable and lightweight pair of over-ear headphones with great sound, Audio Chi’s W Series is perfect.
|Plug type||3.5mm stereo jack plug|
|Extras||soft carry pouch, 2.5mm adaptor|