Oh, the sweet sweet capability of tuning everyone, I mean, everything, out from around you. The power of active noise cancelation (ANC) to make the experience so much better as you walk through a noisy crowd, ride the bus or suffer that long flight to your next destination. At times, this technology can really be your friend. Then, couple it with built-in hearing protection and you have one friendly pair of headphones. You might just have the Puro Sound Labs PuroPro Hybrid ANC Volume-Limiting Headphones.
I remember the first time we came across one of these models from Puro that sought to protect your hearing. It was the BT-5200 wireless headphones and we absolutely fell in love with them. It was a great balance of sound quality mixed with the act of preventing the user from causing any loss to their hearing. Setting a limit so they couldn’t turn up the decibels past an acceptable limit.
Then we spoke to Puro Sound Labs last year at Digital Experience 2020 (during CES 2020) in regards to the company’s latest flagship–the PuroPro. We had a brief listen at the time, which made for a great demonstration, given that the surrounding environment was filled with noise (you can find that interview video on this page just below the conclusion).
It took some time, but we eventually came across a pair to test around the office here. We’ve had the PuroPro’s for about a week now, pitting them against various tests to see if they live up to what the BT-5200’s had to offer. The final result was quite enjoyable.
The design, this round, is less like trying to look like something from a company like B&W and more like something you’d find from many of the headphone companies out there. Causing it to blend in with the market, pulsing amongst the crowd of options. You wouldn’t think anything of it at first look.
A simple black plastic body. You won’t even find a lot of branding. It’s like the headphones aren’t trying to brag about anything.
The top of the band has the company’s logo, softly printed on it. However, that’s it. Everything is a blank slate outside of the left/right designation inside of each muff. Again, there is nothing impressive quite yet, as this design has been seen many times in various models and companies (or, at least, quite similar variations of it). At least, outside of the cushions that look pretty comfortable.
They are too (pretty comfortable, that is). A soft pleather (protein leather) material that is more resilient than polyurethane (which is a cheaper synthetic leather alternative that doesn’t last as long). The pads feel great on the ears.
The inside of the band features the same, although we aren’t quite sure about how we feel about it just yet. The underside of the band is very soft to the touch. However, we do begin to feel it within so many minutes of wearing it. It’s more due to how the headphones kind of pull down a little, creating a small bit of pressure at the top of the head. This may change over time though, as you break them in.
Like many of today’s headphones, they are quite flexible. They fold up to fit into a semi-hard shell case that isn’t large in size. They twist, swivel, adjust and give to any size of head and they should last a long time since they don’t show any signs of stress points during use unlike the band of the BT-5200, which wore kind of easily over time (featured a brittle plastic inside possibly).
The left muff contains a micro-USB port for charging, while the right muff contains all of your controls. You have a power button (long-press) that also acts as your play/pause button when pressed quickly, and what you use to trigger pairing (they do automatically go into pairing the first time you turn them on out of the box). The power button also allows you to accept/reject phone calls as well. There is a volume up/down toggle (short-press), that also acts as your next/previous track selection (long-press). You also get a 3.5mm connection in case you want to take them wired (for devices that don’t offer Bluetooth). Finally, you have an ANC button that allows you to toggle between two modes of ANC or turning it completely off.
Both muffs contain microphones. These allow you to use them as a headset for taking calls, while also listening to the environment around you so that they can cancel it all out when ANC is enabled.
We were a bit surprised to see the use of a micro-USB port due to the popularity of USB-C in devices these days. However, the PuroPro’s have been out for a year already, and were in development for some time before that. So it still makes since that they didn’t adopt the modern conenction just yet.
So do they work? Yes sir/mam, they do indeed. The ANC possibly works as well as a pair of Bose QuietComfort 25 headphones. This is strictly going by memory though since we don’t currently have a pair to test side-by-side (all of the current Bose models we have on-site right now are the QC 35 II’s). Switching between the two modes of ANC yield an obvious result. Turning it completely off allows you to listen to them as normal.
The ANC performance isn’t the best on the market, but it does seem fitting for the price and still works great. What’s also nice, is that they sound great with ANC on or off. This is something that not every company has pulled off well over recent years.
I’d almost go as far as saying that they are what you get when you take the BT-5200’s and pack in ANC and a more resilient body/design.
The range is well-ballanced, which enough detail in the highs and mids, and plenty of bass to go around. Allowing them to sound good when matched to any genre of music. They don’t fall into the realm of audiophile, but they do sound good nonetheless.
As mentioned, you do have the option of going wired or wireless, depending on the device you pair them with. They do a great job either way, and you can rely on wired if they battery dies. Of course, it will take awhile before that happens. The battery life is up to 28 hours with ANC enabled and up to 32 hours with ANC turned off. With that kind of battery life, you can get a number of days out of it before having to recharge. We absolutely love seeing this kind of battery performance in headphones.
Then there is the volume limiting feature for your ears, which is something Puro is well-known for. Providing a great pair of headphones, while also preventing the user from destroying their hearing. A great option to have if you are buying a pair for a child or teen.
The headphones come limited to 85 dB’s, which is a great place to be. If you absolutely have to have more, you can hold the volume up and down buttons for three seconds to switch to a 95 Db limit. Given that, both of these limits can still be damaging to your ears if you listen for prolonged periods of time, so it’s best to keep it at 85 (which is mostly safe as it would take a lot of listening before damage could set it).
This also contributes to the battery life of the headphones, as the louder you take a pair of headphones (or speakers), the more power you consume. So by limiting the dB ceiling, you also gain battery life compared to a pair of headphones that could go louder.
Finally, they also come in a nice box. You may or may not find yourself keeping it since the semi-hardshell case is everything you’d ever need. However, you could also find another use for the box (ie, storing various trinkets in). It’s a very light/simple wood, so it likely wouldn’t take any abuse. However, it should function well for basic storage. It’s just a nice addition to the packaging and a little added protection during shipment.
We are happy to once again find a model from Puro Sound Labs that we really like. The headphones offer a good balanced range of sound that should match well to almost any user. ANC performance is spot on for the price, and it’s nice to once again find a brand that can compete against some of the bigger names. Then there is that darn battery life that allows them to last for days on end. It’s just a really good combination of features that make a good pair of headphones.
- Type of headphone: Over-ear headphones
- Volume limiting: 85 dB & 95 dB sound limit
- Ambient noise reduction: Deep noise reduction up to 32dB & General noise reduction 15dB
- Microphone: 5 microphones, 4 for ANC & 1 for communicating via calls
- Wireless: Bluetooth 5.0 wireless headphones
- Battery life: 28 hours w/ANC & 32 w/o ANC
- Battery type: Lithium-ion rechargeable
- Drivers: 40 mm custom dynamic drivers
- Dynamic range: 20Hz – 20kHz with <1% total harmonic distortion
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.
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