Beyerdynamic has stepped up to compete against the likes of Bose and Sony with their Lagoon ANC Wireless headphones, bringing quality active noise canceling matched with the familiar range of Beyerdynamic headphones.
The new headphones represent a sort of new design approach for the company, visually separating themselves from their other models. Where a majority of their models carry a studio-like design to them, the Lagoon ANC headphones feature more of a stylish design that is similar to certain models from Sony (ie, Sony WHH900N) and other “like” companies.
They are available in two color options/models, including the Lagoon ANC Traveller, and the Lagoon ANC Explorer. Differences exist within the color of pads used on both the muffs and headband. The color of the headphones themselves remains the same (black), while the padding is an option between black (Traveller) or brown (Explorer). The model we have been testing is their Lagoon ANC Traveller.
Flexibility is similar to competing models, where they can swivel, fold and bend in many ways, allowing them to store easily within their case, a bag or around your neck. This also allows them to easily form to anyone’s unique shape of the head.
All of the controls are located on the right side and include a switch for ANC (off, I, and II), a power switch that can also trigger Bluetooth pairing, a 3.5mm input (for wired devices), and a USB Type-C input for charging.
The power button functions in two different ways. It turns on Bluetooth for wireless when a 3.5mm cable is not plugged in. Regardless of Bluetooth or 3.5mm use, it also powers the ANC function that can be used for all modes of input. If you leave the power off, it will only function if you plug in a 3.5mm analog/wired source. If you slide the power button passes on, it will trigger Bluetooth pairing, so that you can pair to a new device.
As for the options of the ANC switch, the I and II represent the level of noise cancelation being applied (II is the highest, clearly). Off, means no ANC will be applied to the headphones, and they will function like any other pair of wireless/wired headphones.
The back side of the right muff contains a familiar touchpad, that allows you to control things like track selection, volume, play/pause and more. These only work when the headphones are connected via Bluetooth to a compatible device (ie, smartphone, tablet, computer), but when they are operational, they are quite accurate. We do find the tapping to play/pause can sometimes be annoying when it comes to the sound transferred to the ear, however, the option is neat nonetheless.
The insides of the muffs feature an LED running around the inside edge, which makes for an interesting feature. It is your status LED to show when the headphones are looking to pair or when they are powered on or off or even muted (the latter we will go into in a moment).
Beyerdynamic seems to have this category down pretty well, as these headphones sound fantastic. The clarity and detail in the music allow them to stand out if you choose to pair them with a lossless or better source.
For example, I personally spent a lot of time listening to works by Modest Mussorgsky (FLAC, APE, and CD sources) that sounded wonderful. Considering price point vs range when it comes to Beyerdynamic, these seem to perform very well. From instruments to vocals, your ears are wowed and mind relaxed with every track (depending on what you are listening to of course). We also spent some time listening to HAEVN MUSIC on Youtube, which sounded wonderful.
So when it comes to range, these headphones score big with us. What also helps is the fact that wired vs wireless doesn’t really result in a huge difference in sound. Sure, if your ears are trained enough, you can easily hear a difference. However, Bluetooth performance really delivers with the Lagoon headphones.
ANC (Active Noise Cancelation) is also pretty good. It didn’t quite make it to the top for us as we still feel that models from Bose can outperform it (ANC-wise), however, it comes unbelievable close to the top, making this one of our favorites for ANC (Bose and Sony, you know how some company at the top). In fact, I think we have all agreed that range-wise and ANC, this model rates higher than the Sony equivalent, thus second place feels quite a bit fitting.
We found we that we spent most of our time with ANC turned fully on (level II on the switch), but can easily see someone using the “level I” option in situations where they want to still give outside distractions a little attention in case someone is yelling for them (for example).
Comfort is rated pretty high with us as they feel great on the head. There is a little compression from longer rounds of listening, but it doesn’t take much to shake it off. So the small sacrifice is worth the experience.
Finally, they feature something unique that you don’t see often. They register motion to know when you have laid them flat/down, allowing them to automatically mute the track you are listening to. This only works when you are connected wirelessly to a device that supports remote functions (like the side of the right muff), but it makes for a user-friendly experience as all you have to do is put them down. When you are ready to go back to your music, simply pick them up and place them back on your head. The music will automatically start playing again.
The Lagoon ANC headphones are available right now in both color options, with a launch price of $399. A little pricey, but nothing new for both the brand and any quality ANC product.
In all, this is a fantastic solution for both wired and wireless use. The range is wonderful and helps to define the level of quality that Beyerdynamic is known for. Great for listening to hi-res formats and provides hours of use and comfort. The ANC isn’t the best out there, but it comes close enough to easily fall into second place. The touch controls are fun, and the ability to auto-mute/resume when wireless by placing them down and putting them back on is pretty neat. It is also fun to pair these with various amp solutions to see what kind of sound you can get out of them.
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*Average price is based on the time this article was published
- OPERATING PRINCIPLE: Closed
- TRANSMISSION TYPE: Wireless via Bluetooth®
- REMOTE: Without Remote
- NOMINAL IMPEDANCE HEADPHONES: 20 ohms
- WEIGHT HEADPHONES WITHOUT CABLE: 283 g
- BATTERY RUNTIME: Up to 45 hours
- BATTERY RUNTIME WITH ANC: Up to 24.5 hours
- HEADPHONE FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 10 – 30.000 Hz
- SUPPORTED BLUETOOTH PROFILES: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP, SPP
- CODECS: aptX™ LL, aptX™, AAC, SBC
- SOUND COUPLING TO THE EAR: Circumaural (around the ear)
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