almost a top of the line – Tecnoblog

Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

Without much ceremony, Edifier added the Edifier W820NB in your portfolio of Bluetooth headphones. Combining advanced features and attractive cost-effectiveness, hype soon came and many people rushed to purchase the product. With prices ranging between R$300 and R$500, what makes the W820NB even more interesting is the active noise canceling available. But does the technology work well here?

Other attractions are the autonomy that guarantees up to 49 hours of sound, the dedicated application for settings and the minimalist design. I have been using the Edifier W820NB for over a month and I share my experience using it in this review.

Edifier W820NB Review on Video

Notice of ethics

THE Techblog is an independent news outlet that has been helping people make their next purchase decision since 2005. Our reviews are not intended for advertising, so they highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each product. No company has paid for, reviewed or had advance access to this content.

The W820NB was provided by Edifier on loan and will be returned to the company after testing. For more information, visit tecnoblog.net/etica.

Design, comfort and controls

Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

When I first saw the Edifier W820NB I was immediately reminded of the Sony WH-1000XM4 for its similarity — in design, of course. The W820NB is a mid-range headphone, but you can find some popular model features. It’s not as simple as the popular Edifier W600BT and W800BT, but it still looks modest, with plastic and a more sober finish. It’s a layout that already shows that the product was developed for everyday life, and can be used indoors and outdoors.

One thing I liked is the flexibility. You can easily “fold” the shells to make the phone compact and thus keep it better in your bag or backpack. I think Edifier could make it even more flexible, but that’s just a detail. If you are always traveling, you will hardly find obstacles to transport it.

Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

In terms of comfort, the shells have a simple material that imitates leather and does not promote pressure or other discomfort. I used it for long hours indoors and I had no problems with it, not even with glasses. Edifier says it only weighs 230 grams, it’s a small thing, so many people should feel this comfortable fit.

Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

All buttons have been placed on the right shell of the headphone. Volume, play/pause, pairing, and USB Type-C connection buttons are grouped together there. Even after weeks of use, I still had difficulties recording and locating each shortcut, mainly because the volume and play/pause keys, also used to turn the device on and off, are so close together. Unfortunately, Edifier did not add connector for auxiliary cable (P2).

Features and connectivity

Edifier Connect is the official app for controlling headphones. As I said in the W800BT Plus review, it is a basic app with few features. There is no equalizer available, but it does offer menus to turn noise canceling on or off, ambient sound mode, as well as checking battery level and activating game mode. It also works as a showcase, as it concentrates a list and information on other branded products.

Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

I who play casually haven’t felt considerable advances with the available game mode. Basically, it’s here to reduce latency during matches, however, even disabled, the W820NB performs well. I used the headphones a lot with some Xbox Game Pass games via the cloud and had no setbacks. In short, it’s not the best product for the hardcore gamer, but it suits those who play it from time to time.

Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

Lately Edifier has been working a lot with Bluetooth version 5.2 since the input headphones. On the W820NB she decided to bring Bluetooth 5.0, which still has a satisfactory performance. Supported codecs are AAC and SBC; aptX, available in other models of the brand, was left out.

Sound Quality and Microphone

In sound quality, the W820NB isn’t as loaded as the Anker Soundcore Q30 and I can say this is one of the most natural headphones I’ve tested. Edifier arrived at an excellent compromise: it is capable of conquering that person who likes full-bodied sound and also pleases those looking for a neutral presentation, even without EQ. On the other hand, the intensity bothered me a little and I believe the phone could be louder.

Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

On some tracks, the bass might be more subdued, but the other frequencies sound so good that this limitation didn’t bother me. When music is loaded with beats, the W820NB doesn’t hide this track and lets it sound free and lively. That’s why pop, electronica, hip-hip and R&B will play with a lot of energy on this headphone.

The mids are very balanced and maybe this is the high point of the product. Vocal sounds steady, up and harmonic. The instruments in this region also play without interference and I didn’t feel any other limitations in this range. Moving on to the highs, the phone doesn’t give off a heavy glow, which I don’t really enjoy, and it maintains decent stability, meaning there’s no annoying screeching. In some songs though, I think the highs deserved a little more life, but the EQ can solve that.

Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

For the past few weeks the W820NB has been my companion in online meetings and luckily no one has complained about my audio. The microphone’s quality isn’t amazing, but it does the trick: Bluetooth compression interferes the most with communication and there can be wheezing while you talk. Even so, the person on the other end of the line will be able to hear you without difficulty.

Noise and battery cancellation

Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

This Edifier’s Active Noise Canceling (ANC) technology does generate some pressure, but when playing music, this effect won’t bother you. In terms of quality, I really liked it: it’s not the ANC of a high-end headphone, but the solution available here proved itself competent in inhibiting everyday external sounds. Note that I spoke everyday, which means that, in more complex scenarios, the W820NB can have a bit of difficulty.

For example, while I was using it to watch a series on HBO Max and to play the Game Pass via the iPad, the technology managed to push the voices away from those nearby and I was able to focus 100% on the content. However, in more bass sounds, such as the subway or plane, the phone may suffer more.

Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

In addition to the ANC, it has ambient sound mode, a feature that activates the microphones so that the person can hear what is happening around them. The solution worked well in my tests and, in the Edifier Connect app, you can adjust the intensity of the capture.

In terms of battery, the headphone delivers a very generous autonomy. On average, with noise cancellation turned on, the user can have up to two days of sound without worrying about power. According to the company, the phone can ring for 29 hours with the ANC or 49 hours without the noise reduction technology. These are excellent numbers and I managed to leave the product on for days.

Edifier W820NB: is it worth it?

Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

I’ve been reflecting a lot on the evolution of affordable headphones and the experience of using the Edifier W820NB made me even more reflective. It’s a mid-range headphone, however, when you look at the sound quality, I think the brand could easily sell it as a high-end. This reflection also opens the way for another important discussion: if you are not an audiophile and with a headphone as well resolved as this one from Edifier available on the market, is it worth paying almost R$ 2 thousand in a premium model?

Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Edifier W820NB (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

Currently, the W820NB directly rivals the Anker Soundcore Q30. And there’s no doubt that, in the mid-range category, these are the best noise canceling headphones on the market. Anker pleases me for the refined design; the W820NB is simpler in this regard, so it loses points. In the rest, both have everything to please the user. Interesting sound quality, good connectivity features and low price.

Edifier’s model is for you who want to have a relatively affordable headphone, with noise canceling and balanced sound. As a bonus, you’ll still have decent autonomy, which makes up for the lack of P2 connection. The W820NB is not a perfect mid-range headphone, but Edifier delivers an honest, attractive product that, in my view, is one of the best in the class.

Review Edifier W820NB

pros

  • Balanced and excellent sound
  • interesting autonomy
  • Dedicated application is a differentiator
  • Active noise cancellation is good

Cons

  • Finish could be more refined
  • I missed the cable connection (P2)

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