The A1’s, from SoundPEATS, are a budget over-the ear Bluetooth headset. They are very well padded – both the ear sections and the headband and, needless to say, comfort is not an issue. There are numerous control buttons around the ear-cups, and these look to be metallic but are actually very well disguised plastic (to keep costs and weight down). Otherwise, looks-wise, they’re a little disappointing. In matt black, with no other colour highlights, they look a little bland.
On the underside of the left cup are previous/next controls as well as play/pause and a microphone. On the right cup are the volume controls, a power button as well as USB and line-in ports behind a rubber cover. The addition of the microphone means this can be used as a phone headset or even for gaming. The line-in (cable supplied) allows you to physically connect your device, which is handy if the battery runs out (although it has a 15 hour life). Oh, and impressively, the battery is replaceable too!
The headband is adjustable (and even fit my large head, which is something I’m always worried about when I purchased headphones!) and the cups swivel on their access – 45 degrees vertically and 90 degrees horizontally. The whole headset weighs just 210g, so feel light on the head.
Bluetooth is simple to set-up – one of the earphones glows different colours, giving status information and, as with most of the wireless SoundPEATS devices, there are voice prompts too. The Bluetooth has a 10m range, which is more than adequate for most use.
Okay, the sound quality. With a reported range of 20Hz – 20,000Hz, they sound really very good, bearing in mind the cost. Good high and mid-range, a solid bass performance and excellent volume all round, ensure that these provide a very pleasurable listening experience. Combine that with the ample padding and the easy to use controls and these really are nice to use, even for longer listening periods.
The headset comes packaged in a simple cardboard box. Inside is a large, clear blister pack which is disappointing for the purposes of recycling – if the headset can’t be seen through the box, then placing them in an equivalent cardboard moulding would have been preferable. Included with the headset is a plastic bag containing USB cable and flat audio cable, both with plastic cable ties (again, disappointing from an environmental point). There is also a drawstring bag to keep the headphones in and a brief instruction leaflet.
Ok, their looks won’t get you excited but they sound great, have lots of easy-to-use controls, a replaceable battery and a wired option too. An over-the-ear Bluetooth headset, with these features, for £20. It’s a bargain.