PLAYGO BH70 ANC Headphones Review: Premium Experience at a Not So Premium Price
Democratising the ANC!
If you’re someone who travels a lot or you sought solace in isolation from what’s going on around you, noise-canceling headphones are your holy grail. Just play your favorite tracks, let the ANC kick-in, and the crying baby on the flight is no longer annoying. However, the luxury of having ANC or Active Noise Cancellation on your headphones comes at a price. ANC headphones from Sony and Bose, both of which are famous for their noise cancellation technology cost upwards of Rs. 20-25k in India which can be heavy on your wallet.
Play, an Indian startup emphasizing on making quality accessories and gadgets are trying to make this beautiful tech reach the masses with the PlayGo BH70 AI Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones. It works the same way as the big names in the market, but costs considerably lower at Rs. 14,999. Is it worth your time and money, and is the experience right up there with the established ones? Let’s find out.
Design and Build Quality
The BH70 is well-constructed and feels solid when held in the hand and when worn. The materials used are evidently premium which is justified given the price you are paying. It is, however, plastic so usage marks will start showing up eventually especially on the glossy areas. The headphones may seem a little heavy when held in hand, but you don’t feel the weight while wearing the headphones over your head which is good.
Speaking of wearing the headphones, there’s memory foam on either side which is soft and comfortable. In fact, the comfort level on the BH70 is fantastic. We had absolutely no problems wearing the headphones for a prolonged period and did not feel any sort of discomfort even after having them on for 3-4 hours on the trot. The headband also has some cushioning of the same material for added comfort.
Play has also been kind enough to include a carrying case within the box which also has a pocket for the charging cable. The cups fold inwards to become flat and can then be store in the case easily. The headphones themselves, however, cannot be folded to reduce the size while storing, something that we see in more premium offerings. The case also has a good feel and offers basic protection.
PLAYGO BH70: Sound Quality and Experience
The sound output from the PlayGo BH70 is rich and bass-heavy. The vocals are clear and instrument separation is great. You’re going to love the sound signature of the headphones especially if you listen to a lot of hip-hop. Volume levels can go up pretty high and when combined with the ANC, you are sure to cut yourself off from any sort of ambient noise. There is a slight reverb that you may or may not like depending on the song you are listening to. The BH70 isn’t particularly great for calls as the voice often sounded muffled.
Speaking about noise cancellation, there are three modes that you get on the headphones – ANC on, ANC off and a Transparency mode. With ANC on, you are essentially cutting off ambient noise and it works quite well even when you’re traveling by public transport or you are on a long flight. We used the PlayGo BH70 on a flight with the seat being right above the wing and while it did not completely silence the engine noise, it brought it down to a large extent. You can just wear these headphones and keep the ANC on without listening to any music which is handy when you just want to relax.
The transparency mode is the one that we found to be really interesting and helpful. What it basically does is instead of cutting of the ambient noise like in the ANC mode, it amplifies it so that you can hear your surroundings better. This is helpful if you are in public and you need to be aware of what’s happening around you, especially while on the road. It’s also helpful if there are people constantly talking to you and you don’t want to ignore them. However, one thing we noticed with the transparency mode is that it increases the pitch of the ambient sound considerably making it sound slightly robotic.
PLAYGO BH70: Connectivity and Features
The BH70 connects to your phone through Bluetooth 5.0 and has aptX support. There is also an app that can be used to configure the headphone available on both Android and iOS. The app isn’t very feature-rich and only has a few equalizer settings. You can also custom tune the audio as per your genre.
While there’s not much on the software side of things, the BH70 has got some cool tricks on the headphone itself. For starters, there’s what seems to be a proximity sensor on the left earcup which either plays/pauses your music when you wear the headphones or remove them. This is very handy when you quickly want to pause the music temporarily without reaching out for the buttons or your phone. This isn’t even the coolest trick though. When you cup the left-hand side of the headphone while a song is playing, it automatically reduces the volume and switches to the transparency mode which is really smart because you can have a quick conversation with someone around you or listen to an announcement or something of that sort without having to stop your music.
Apart from these smart features, you have your conventional buttons for play/pause, next/previous track with which can also vary volume, a power button, and a dedicated button to toggle between the ANC modes.
PLAYGO BH70: Battery Life and Charging
The PlayGo BH70 has a claimed battery life of 24 hours with ANC on and while we could not measure the exact numbers, the headphone lasted us a complete week without having to charge, including two 2-hour flights so that’s impressive. Thankfully, the BH70 charges over USB-C and takes just about 1.5 hours for a complete charge.
PLAYGO BH70 Review: Verdict
More than just the sound quality, the Play BH70 offers a premium experience with the ANC, transparency mode, sensors to detect when you cup one side, and the comfort offered by the memory cushioning. The only major caveat in our opinion is that there’s no 3.5mm jack to use the headphones as wired ones in case you run out of juice. This is something we find even on much cheaper headphones and adds to the convenience. Also, the company has emphasized a lot on AI on its website and on the box, but there seems to be no real use case of AI while using the headphones. Other than that, the Play BH70, for the price of Rs. 14,999 offers a good overall package and if you want to try out ANC technology without spending too much, you will certainly not be disappointed with the BH70.
- Great ANC
- Transparency mode
- Battery life
- No 3.5mm jack
- Not great for calls
|Design & Build||
ANC on PlayGo BH70 works the same way as Bose or Sony but costs considerably lower. Is it worth your time and money, and is the experience right up there with the established ones? Let’s find out.