As a musician and a self-proclaimed audiophile, my family and friends know that I take headphones and quality of sound very seriously. When I saw the opportunity to test headphones, my first instinct was nothing but “YES!” That being said, I will be very picky and tell the good and the bad about any given device. I took a little longer than most to submit my review because I wanted to make sure that I tested this product for every scenario I possibly could.
My partner often makes fun of me for having so many headphones. I currently own the AirPod Pros, Beats Solo3, the Nuraphone and Nuraphone Buds, the original Airpods, the Sony WH-XB900N, and as a performing musician, have dual-driver in-ear headphones that are custom-molded to my ears.
Whew. You know, when I write it out like that… maybe I have a bit of a problem. What can I say? I like good sounding headphones! 😉
With all of that said… I am truly delighted to add the Oladance to my collection. However, there are a few expectations that I think should be set. Lets start with the design:
DESIGN: 4 out of 5
When I first put on the Oladance Wearable Stereo, I was surprised at how low-profile they looked verses how they feel. I did get a few strange looks from my coworkers about what these bright orange things on my ears were, but I found them to be a great conversation starter. Easy to remove, easy to put on, and easy to wear. I think the orange color really makes them stick out, but a more neutral color like white or black would draw less attention. The touch sensors on the side of the Oladance made themselves quite obvious from the beginning, and took some getting used to in order to not accidentally press it. The volume adjustment is a cool feature but definitely takes some practice. I gave a 4 out of 5 because I found that when putting on the headphones, I would often start and stop the music or skip a song instead of adjusting the volume because of the touch sensor.
FIT/COMFORT: 4 out of 5
After putting on the earpiece, the first thing I notice is how light they are. It was a strange sensation as we are so used to in-ear buds or over the ear headphones, of which the Oladance are neither. They just sit there, outside of the ear. I could barely feel them there and as an added bonus, I am able to still perfectly hear the people and conversations around me. I gave a 4 out of 5 because I did find that if you are wearing glasses or a mask, the headphones don’t stay put as well as I’d like them to. Without glasses or a mask, you could absolutely wear these all day. Which brings me to my next category…
BATTERY LIFE: 5 out of 5
All I can say for the battery life is WOW! I am truly blown away at how long the battery lasts. The case does not charge the headphones but I know that Oladance will offer a charging case that provides extra battery. However, with the USB-C charging and the extreme battery life, even a short charge will give you plenty of listening time.
SOUND QUALITY: 3 out of 5
This one is tough for me, and hear me out. In no way should my rating of the sound quality be a deal breaker, but Oladance made some claims that I think are a bit far fetched. The highs are crisp and clear, making treble frequencies like female vocals, cymbals and high-hats really pop. The mids are warm and inviting, enveloping you in sound that feels like its coming from nowhere and everywhere at the same time. But… the lows and bass frequencies left something to be desired. Oladance claims to have a virtual bass boost, and it’s completely understandable that the bass frequencies are going to be tough to put through a non-in-ear headphone. I found myself having to turn the volume up pretty high when I wanted to hear the music more than everything around me, like in the gym, and when the volume is up high enough there is a very slight crackle/distortion. I gave it a 3 out of 5 because the actual sound that comes from the speaker is very good for casual, everyday listening, but for times when you want a louder, fuller sound experience, it leaves something to be desired.
CALL QUALITY/MICROPHONE: 4 out of 5
This actually surprised me. Everyone I talked to on the phone said they could hear me loud and clear! The only thing I would not recommend is using them for calls while in the car. The microphones do not filter out much background noise, and the people I tested it with said they did not enjoy how I sounded in the car. At work, however, if you work in an office or at home, where it’s quiet-er, these are absolutely perfect. Comfortable and crisp.
OVERALL: 4 out of 5
Considering what they are, and as long as you have proper expectations, I give these a 4 out of 5. With a retail value of $179, I believe it is competitive with other devices like it (such as the Galaxy Buds Live) but one thing that might deter people is the lack of noise cancellation, which is included on the Galaxy Buds as well as the Airpod Pros. But, if you are looking for an open-air, long-lasting headphone that can be worn all day without taking them on and off constantly… these are the ones for you. I look forward to seeing what Oladance does in the future with these!