The audio headphone space is a crowded market for sure. That doesn’t mean there’s no room for new entrants, and UK-based Damson Audio is one of those whose HeadSpace headphones got their start through crowdfunding. Our Damson Audio HeadSpace review takes a look at a pair of wireless active noise-cancelling over-ear headphones to see how they stand up against more expensive, established options.
The Damson Audio HeadSpace Wireless Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones have the following features and specifications:
- Hiss-free noise-cancelling headphones
- 16hrs of playback
- Microphone for hands-free calls
- Bluetooth or Cable
- Simultaneously connect devices
- Foldable for storage and transport
- Speaker type: Triple driver
- Driver size: 40mm
- Frequency response: 20hz – 20Khz
- Playback time: up to 16 hours
- Charge time: 2-3 hours
- Bluetooth: 4.0
- Dimensions: 7.5 x 6.6″ (19 x 16cm) unfolded
- Weight: 335g
- Warranty: 1 year
What’s in the box
- Damson HeadSpace Wireless Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones
- Micro-USB cable
- 3.5mm audio cable
- Protective case
The Damson HeadSpace headphones come in a hard shell semicircle clamshell case. The Damson logo is embossed in the middle of the top of the case. Opening the case up, you’ll find the Damson HeadSpace folded neatly inside. Picking the headphones up, you immediately notice a nice weight to them due to their premium brushed aluminum construction.
The headband isn’t overly wide or thick and is wrapped in a soft leather-like material. Each end of the headband ends in an aluminum piece with the Damson logo on the outer side and an L or R stamped on the inside. Pulling down on the ear cups unveils a narrow, but thick, inner piece which allows for easy size adjustments. The earcups themselves are attached to the headbands by way of another brushed aluminum component which allows them to be folded up in towards the headband, as well as rotates 90 degrees towards the back and not quite 45° towards the front.
The earcups are slick looking circles constructed of brushed aluminum. The headband joint attaches to a smaller circular section which has a bevelled edge which adds just a bit of shine to the headphones. The left earcup has the Damson logo printed in white with a switch just above it. The switch toggles the active noise-cancelling on or off, and when on an LED in the middle of the logo lights up in green. The Micro-USB charging port is located on the underside of the left earcup as well.
The right earcup is where most of the action takes place. The power/call/voice control/Bluetooth button is centered on the earcup. Spaced evenly around this are four more buttons: + on the top, next icon towards the front of the earcup, – on the bottom, and previous icon towards the back. On the underside of the earcup are a Bluetooth indicator light towards the back, 3.5mm AUX in port, and a microphone just in front of this.
The outer ring of the earcup is tapered inwards and the thick, soft ear pads which are constructed from the same soft material as the cushioned headband. The inside of the earcups are lined with a relatively thick feeling black foam pad. Overall, the headphones are pretty comfortable but wearing glasses, I did notice that I was adjusting them once in a while to accommodate them. It’s minor issue, and unfortunately a side effect of wearing glasses when using most headphones.
The premium brushed aluminum construction definitely makes the Damson HeadSpace headphones not only stylish looking but durable feeling.
Ease of Use
Oddly enough, the Damson HeadSpace headphones don’t come with a Quick Start Guide. However, basic instructions are printed on the outside of the bottom half of the box once you pull the lid off. It’s the first time I’ve seen something like this, and I actually liked seeing it as Damson Audio chose to use usually neglected space instead of including an extra leaflet. To be honest, though, they are pretty easy to figure out. Start by holding the power button until the headphones turn on — and a voice prompt confirms they are indeed on. Once on, the pairing process will begin. Look for the Damson HeadSpace on your smartphone’s Bluetooth list and select it. Once you’re paired, you’re good to go.
When listening to music over Bluetooth, you can adjust the volume and skip tracks using the on-ear controls on the right earcup. The controls were responsive and performed as expected with the center power/MFC button acting as a good starting guide for locating the proper button.
For our initial tests, I tried the Damson HeadSpace with the ANC feature turned off. Considering the price, I was more than pleased with the sound that came out of them. Not only do they go quite loud, but they are crisp and clear when listening at maximum volume. They are nicely balanced between highs, mids, and lows and I felt no need to enable my phone’s equalizer. Everything from rock to hip-hop and EDM sounded fantastic on the HeadSpace headphones. Interestingly enough, when I took them off with the music still playing, my wife could hear whatever song I was playing across the house in the living room. Put them back on my head and she couldn’t hear it at all. When close, you can hear a slight murmur but it’s not enough to annoy someone else while you’re on a bus, plane, or other public transportation.
Not pleased with HD audio active noise-cancelling, Damson Audio decided to take it another step further with their XD Audio noise-cancelling software. While not an issue with higher end, more costly ANC headphones, there are more than a few pairs that emit a slightly noticeable hiss when used with the ANC feature enabled. Damson Audio made it important to focus on creating hiss-free ANC headphones and they’ve definitely succeeded here. When the ANC is turned on, the overall sound does lean a bit more towards the low spectrum, but still sounds balanced with the perfect amount of bass for a pleasurable listening experience.
Even when listening at 50% volume without ANC, I was hard pressed to hear anything around me. At louder volumes, I couldn’t hear anything. With ANC enabled, I was hard pressed to even hear the mechanical keyboard I was using while typing up this review.
As far as range is concerned, the Damson HeadSpace headphones are pretty decent up to about 30 feet which is the standard these days. While you can use these for calls, I did find I had to speak up a bit given the placement of the microphone on the right earcup. There’s no closer spot Damson could have put it and for me, it’s not much of an issue because I don’t like to make calls while wearing headphones. For those of you that do, however, it’s something to note.
Battery life has slowly been getting better and better in headphones. With an “up to 16 hours” of battery life listed by Damson Audio, the HeadSpace fully deliver. During testing with ANC on pretty much the entire time, I was usually getting just over 15 hours between charges. A couple times were close to 16 hours and once I hit 16 ½. Depending on how much you listen to music, you can definitely get a few days use, if not more, out of the Damson HeadSpace.
Once depleted, the headphones took about 2 ½ hours to fully recharge.
After spending some time with the Damson HeadSpace headphones, it became quickly apparent that they easily compete with headphones I’ve tried in the $300+ USD range. Fortunately for consumers, these headphones sell for only $149.99USD/£129.99/€139.00. Honestly, at that price given the aluminum construction, the comfort, the look, fantastic sound, great battery life, and solid ANC, the Damson HeadSpace headphones are a steal.
The Damson HeadSpace Wireless Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones are a no-brainer for a Top Pick of 2017 Award here at Techaeris. Durable, stylish construction with fantastic ANC sound at an extremely reasonable price — what more could you ask for?
*We were sent a sample of the Damson HeadSpace Wireless Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones for the purposes of this review.
Damson HeadSpace$149.99 USD
Ease of Use10.0/10
- Premium design and build
- Loud, clear, crisp, balanced sound
- Exceptional active noise-cancelling
- Great battery life
- Includes protective storage case
- Instructions are printed on the box
- Took a bit of getting used to using while wearing glasses
- Had to speak a bit louder during calls