Facing a long 16-hour flight to Thailand, I finally caved and bought some nice over-the-ear headphones. The Cowin E7 Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones claim to be worthy competitors, but is it true? Could these $60 headphones really beat Bose headphones? Read on for my review after using these on planes, buses, trains, and even boats.
Cowin E7 Overall Thoughts
The Cowins do not disappoint on quality, and this is reflected in the 8,366 Amazon reviews with a 4/5 star rating! The head strap is soft and comfortable while the ear pads are so squishy I didn’t mind them resting on my ears for 16 hours. The headphones came with a soft pouch which was helpful but I wish it was more substantial in case of falls or luggage being squished.
Overall, I would recommend these headphones for anyone looking for solid over-the-ear
Pro: Actually Noise-Cancelling
I wore these all across Thailand (and the Pacific ocean!) and these helped drastically cut down on the amount of noise in planes and boats alike. It dulled the sounds of babies crying, people coughing, foghorns blaring, and most importantly – loud chatter from large travel groups! Even without playing any audio the Cowins really do cut remove some of the noise around you, so much so that I never used the earplugs I brought.
Pro: Versatility of Use
One feature that led me to the Cowins was that you can use them both corded and via Bluetooth. On the plane I would switch frequently between watching the in-flight entertainment and using my iPhone X (No headphone jack, RIP). Having the cord meant that I could easily plug the headphones in and switch the mode while I switched media devices.
Pro: Long Battery Life
These headphones boast up to a 30-hour play time! I’m not sure how many of us would actually be wearing headphones for that long but this is a great feature if you’re traveling without easy access to electricity. I used these headphones for about 17 hours without charging and they worked great.
Con: Bad Microphone
Once I returned home from my Thailand trip, I decided to use my Cowins for a work conference call (via Bluetooth) where I had to speak for about 15 minutes. This turned out to be a bad idea because according to my colleagues, I sounded like I was a million miles away. Turns out that the microphone isn’t great quality, and this is the biggest downside that I found to these headphones.
Con: Large Size & Lack of Fold-Ability
With big pillowy ear pads comes a large-sized headphone. I’m realistic and I know that sometimes things have to be bigger to be more comfortable. I think the size is fine, however, I wish that these headphones would fold up so they were a bit smaller. They took up a good amount of space in my suitcase and for that reason, I probably wouldn’t bring them on shorter trips. My earbud alternative recommendation would be for the Anker SoundBuds, which I use almost daily for conference calls.
Pro: Sound Quality
The sound is pretty good for all kinds of music and doesn’t seem tinny at all. I am not a professional musician by any means (except for solos in the car) but I feel that these headphones would be fine for the average person’s music quality requirements.
Alternative Headphone Options
Cowin is releasing a new version of the E7 which is currently $110 that is foldable. Check them out below as well as some other alternative headphones with
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