Most people purchase headphones from a brand they’ve either heard of or based on recommendations from friends and family. On that note, you don’t really know what’s out there until you try something new. ZVOX is a company that you need to try. Mainly targeting those who are 55 and older, the ZVOX AV50 noise-cancelling headphones offer something for everyone, including those who may have some slight hearing issues. There’s all-around excellent sound, plenty of comfort for extended wear, and great battery life. Read on for our full review!
- Advanced Noise cancelling technology with the use of aptX Bluetooth for high-quality sound – wirelessly.
- Light and comfortable. The AV50s are lighter than many noise cancelling headphones — less than half a pound (230 grams).
- Bluetooth pairs with your smartphone for distraction-free telephone conversations.
- Battery that lasts for up to 15 hours in noise-cancelling mode using the supplied audio signal cable. The battery lasts for up to 11 hours in noise-cancelling mode when the Bluetooth wireless signal connection is used.
- Fully-depleted battery can take up to 18 hours to re-charge. A partially-depleted battery will take less time to recharge.
- Frequency range: 15Hz-23kHz, +/-4dB
- Bluetooth: Line of sight, greater than 100ft/30 meters. Anything in between can reduce that.
- Magnets: Neodymium
What’s in the box
- ZVOX AV50 Noise Cancelling Headphones
- Micro USB cable
- AUX cable
- Carry pouch
The ZVOX A50 Noise Cancelling Headphones have a pretty ergonomic design similar to other brands out there. By no means does that mean the design is boring. On both sides of the ear cuffs is ZVOX’s logo in big bold white lettering. From the ear cuffs, the headband is attached which allows the ear cuffs to bend in or outward for a better fit.
Moving up the band is a rubber type fabric that gives the headset some added comfort when wearing the headset. Just above the ear cuffs on each side are two hinges that will allow the headset to fold inward and rotate to fit in the included carrying pouch or hang around your neck.
Going back to the ear cuffs, the right side is where all the action is with the power button and volume rocker. Towards the back middle of the right side are three buttons, top being volume up(+), center being power on/off, and finally volume down (-). A little bit below those sets of buttons is the ANC (active noise cancellation) button which toggles this feature on or off. Thanks to the little LED light next to the button, you’ll know when it’s on and off. More on that in the next section.
Each button is very tactile and clicky. Force isn’t required when pressing on each button, so that’s nice. Also on the right-hand side is a 3.5mm jack for the included AUX cable for those who want to be connected to their device if the battery dies on the headset. On the front side is a microphone pinhole for those who may want to talk on the phone with someone.
The left ear cup only has a Micro-USB charging port The rest of the headset has some nicely padded material that didn’t irritate me after using the headset for a long period of time. Inside each ear cup is a large “L” or “R” letting you know which side goes on which ear.
The ZVOX AV50 does come with a carrying case so you don’t have to lug around the headset in your backpack or bag and chance ruining them over time. The case has a nice fabric finish that doesn’t look like it’ll get easily scratched. It’s also tough enough to withstand any accidental drops that may happen. The headphones fold up and sit on one side of the cause while the other side has a mesh pocket that will hold the AUX and USB cables.
Our review unit was black but you can also get the headset in Blue or Red if those colors suit your preferences better.
Ease of Use
There are two ways of using this headset. You can either use it via Bluetooth by pairing it to your device or connecting it to your phone with the AUX cable for those who have a smartphone with a headphone jack or an extra dongle around the house.
For pairing it via Bluetooth, if you hold down the power button to turn it on for the first time, the headset will be ready to pair with whatever device you want. The name will be “ZVOX AV50” in the Bluetooth settings and once it’s paired, you’re able to start playing any audio.
The other way is by using the included cable that comes with the headset. Plug one end of the AUX cable to the headset and the other to the device you want to use and go from there. If you do go this route, the battery isn’t used until the noise cancellation is toggled on.
So, here’s the thing about these headphones that I wasn’t expecting and you might not have either. While these headphones were made with people who are age 55+ in mind who may have some hearing issues, they offer up great sound for just about anyone. These shouldn’t be used as a hearing aid for daily use but should help out anyone who may have some hearing issues while listening to music or other audio sources.
Whether you plan on listening to music or using the headset as a way to listen to your shows by having the headset connected to a TV you won’t have any issue hearing any instrument or voice because this headset offers some really good sound. Everything comes out clear with and without noise cancellation on.
However, if you do have noise cancellation turned off, whatever you’re listening to will sound a bit quieter, requiring you to turn up the volume more. I left noise cancellation on the whole time as it sounded better. Bass is at a level that won’t drown anything else out and that’s great. High and mids were just as good.
Here’s the part that I will only say for this review and I don’t stand by it ever, but having the headset connected to your device via Bluetooth made everything so much better. Yes, a cable will always be better but I preferred using the headset wirelessly when listening to music or watching something on Hulu or YouTube.
Others around me were able to hear my music even at the 50% volume mark on two different phones. I did test this with noise cancellation on and off but people were still able to hear what I was listening to. It’s a drawback to this headset, especially in a quiet room or on a plane or the library.
As far as reception goes, I was able to get about the usual 30-35ft with walls between the headset and my phone but with no interference. Of course, depending on the environment you’re in, you may not get the same results as me.
I’m not one for making phone calls with over-ear headphones as it’s odd (just like people taking pictures with a tablet) but it’s something that can be done. I used the headset with and without the AUX cable when talking on the phone and those that I did talk with didn’t tell me that they could barely hear me. Some of them didn’t realize I was using the headset until I asked how well the could hear me.
With this headset, ZVOX claims you will get up to 15 hours of playback time with ANC and the AUX cable being used and up to 11 hours with ANC on and connected via Bluetooth. The majority of the time I used the headset with the cable and ANC turned on and got around 13 hours total with days in between. As for ANC on with Bluetooth, it was around 10 hours of battery life and again, there were days I didn’t use the headset at all before going back to them.
Sure, neither hit the full battery life stated they did come pretty close. Again, battery life is dependent on the environment you’re in, how loud your music volume is, and whether you have ANC on or off.
As for recharging the headset, and I’m not sure if this is an anomaly or not, but it took 18 hours for us to fully recharge the headphones before the battery light indicated they were charged. At first, I thought this was a typo in the manual but sure enough, they do take that long to fully recharge.
For how these things sound and the comfort behind them thanks to the memory foam and other perks to this headset, the selling price of US$149.99 is pretty reasonable for those that are looking for something with more sound and bass. Considering this has much better sound than some other headsets I’ve used in the past, these are worth paying for and less expensive than other more recognized name brands.
Overall, I enjoyed the AV50s from ZVOX. They offer great build quality and great sound that anyone will be able to hear — even if you’re a little hard of hearing. The price isn’t too bad either considering there are other brands out there who may offer the same type of sound quality or battery life or overall good looking design.
*We were sent a sample of the ZVOX AV50 Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones for the purposes of this review. In some of our articles and especially in our reviews, you will find Amazon or other affiliate links. Running a website does take money, along with time. Any purchases you make through these links often result in a small amount being earned for the site and/or our writers.
ZVOX AV50 Noise Cancelling HeadphonesUS$149.99
- Plenty of comfort
- Great sound
- Help older or hard of hearing people hear their favorite shows or music better
- Others can hear your music or phone call
- Wired option isn't as loud as Bluetooth
- Long charge time