DHRME Audio,Over-Ear Headphones Best ANC Headphones under $100? || KZ | 1More | Cleer | Edifier

Best ANC Headphones under $100? || KZ | 1More | Cleer | Edifier

If you’re looking for value ANC headphones – there are a lot out there. We’ve got a four-way today – the 1More SonoFlow, the Edifier W820NB. the Cleer Enduro ANC and the KZ H10.

Now before we started, for the purposes of this video, our criteria are: over-ear ANC headphones around the $100 range. 

⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯🛒 Links For Latest Prices⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯
🎧 Buy the 1More Sonoflow: https://geni.us/1MoreSonoFlow
🎧 Buy the Edifier W820NB: https://geni.us/EdifierW820NB
🎧 Buy the KZ H10: https://geni.us/KZH10
🎧 Buy the Cleer Enduro ANC: https://geni.us/CleerEnduroANC ⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯

Affiliate shopping and merchandise links above earn us commission.

Build

And at this price you would not really be expecting high-quality materials like leather and metal. But you’d be so very wrong. Ok, just a little wrong. We’ll get to the most premium built headphones later. What you can just about expect on the other headphones is decent quality plastic and looking at the cheapest of the bunch – the Edifier – well, I’m sorry but you don’t even really get that. It’s got some of the most magnificent creaking we’ve ever heard on audio products and we have dealt with quite a few cheap builds. At about $70, this is definitely showing its price. You know, like our old age – and creaky bones.

Edifier W820NB.

The Edifier is also not foldable and the buttons feel very cheap and loud and have this clackity quality to them. And as though that’s not enough you don’t get any kind of case with these headphones so it’s clear that corners have been cut in the build. Oh yeah – and there’s no way to use the Edifier wired – no headphone jack slot – just a USB C one for charging. 

The Enduro ANC has the most pronounced buttons for play and ANC and even while wearing oversized winter gloves, we were able to hit those buttons, so it’s cleerly the best on that front. The Cleer comes only with a soft pouch and it distinguishes itself with not only a 3.5mm and USB cable, but also the airplane adapter in the box. It’s not a big deal – just take a train instead. 

Cleer Enduro ANC.

When we reviewed the 1More SonoFlow, we said that the build quality wasn’t great – but it’s almost the best of the four. You also get a hard shell case. 

1More Sonoflow.

But the winner in our books is the KZ H10. It looks and feels the most premium. It comes with a metal headband. There’s no creak whatsoever but the black plastic on the ear cups do attract fingerprints and oil stains. The headphones don’t fold and the buttons are a little on the little side, but they have enough elevation and separation that they’re easy to find based on feel. The buttons have a satisfying click to them too. You get a solid hard shell case with a USB C and a 3.5mm audio cable and no airplane adapter.

KZ H10.

ANC / Transparency

And whether it’s planes or trains or just wanting to stay sane – noise cancelling can help you with those things. Take a listen for yourself:

CLICK HERE for the ANC tests.

Here – the Edifier is surprisingly good! For such an old device – it’s still the best on this list when it comes to cutting out sound, especially at the low end. The KZ also does a SHOCKINGLY good job at cutting out sound. There’s a MAJOR caveat though – due to it’s on-ear design – the slightest movement completely kills the ANC effect. You could be in complete silence and then you move your head to the left and BAM – for a second the ANC is completely GONE! It’s a real shame that the design has let it done because if you’re sitting still, the ANC is actually pretty DAMN good!

The ANC on the KZ H10 is shockingly good, as long as you stay still.

The 1More is also in the good category, but slightly worse than the Edifier. And then there’s the Cleer. Well – let’s just say don’t buy them for noise cancelling. The performance is pretty ordinary. However, when we switch to transparency mode…

CLICK HERE for the Transparency tests.

However, when we switch to transparency mode, that story flips. The Cleer is better than the Edifier and the 1More. I was able to have a short conversation about how I wanted my panini grilled and even though it was noisy around – the person was generally understandable – so I guess you could say – the voices were… Cleer? Now – the Edifier is also pretty clear, but the volume is a little bit lower and that’s why it’s in third place, whereas the SonoFlow does transparency well but scoops out the low end so you’re only left with voices and higher frequencies. We don’t really like this approach because it also amplifies things like coffee machines and drills unnaturally. The KZ’s ambient mode is really… weird? In addition to the head moving affecting the ambient mode, it sound rather muffled on the higher frequencies and we’d just prefer to use it without the ambient mode altogether.

The Cleer Enduro ANC score the best for transparency mode.

Comfort

All of these features are only worth it if you can bear to keep the headphones on. Let’s talk about comfort. Despite the lack of premium leather, the 1More ranks the highest of the four for us. The sufficient padding on the headband, comfortable clamping force, no creak and suppleness of the earpads make them the best on the list. Next is the Edifier. It’s less soft and flexible compared to the 1More, but the earpads are comfortable and definitely more comfortable on the crown compared to the Cleer. You’re going to have to Endure rather than Enjoy the Cleer. For us the headband pressed down on the crown and the cups were a little less roomy. Then we’ve got the KZ H10. The faux leather on the earpads and headband is plush but there’s very little padding on the earcups. The clamp is a bit tight, but maybe it will loosen over time. But in combination with the shallower earcups that press up against your pinnae, these quickly become the least comfortable on this list.

The 1More Sonoflow were the most comfy.

App

From the hardware to the software and here the 1More’s really the best. You can enable dual device connection, there’s an EQ, burn in – a bunch of options that you can customize. The Cleer app is more barebones but offers you an ANC / Transparency slider as well as EQ presets as well as a 5 band EQ. The infamous Edifier connect app has pretty much zero customization in the app. You got an ANC / transparency toggle and a gaming mode toggle and that’s it. Just as well – Edifier’s app also is the most annoying of the bunch. But KZ takes the “no app, no problems” approach. It does keep things simple since ‘what you see, is what you get’, but that won’t sell you tweakers out there. 

The 1More app is the most extensive.

Call Quality

Would we recommend any of these for phone calls? It would be too easy if we gave you the answer straight away. So go ahead and listen to some samples first. If you’re still undecided, we’ll give you the low down after.

CLICK HERE for the microphone samples.

Ok, we’re not going to lie. The Edifier shocked the pants off of us! The cheapest on the list kicked ass! Especially in the windy conditions, it took it like a champ, you barely hear the wind and the voice is undeterred. The next best in windy conditions is the 1More Sonoflow. The voice remains very clear, but you just hear a bit more of the wind compared to the Edifier. And then the Cleer isn’t terrible and can easily be used in a pinch, but compared to the others it pipes in the most amount of wind noise. In noisy conditions, you notice the heavy noise cancelling on the Edifiers which results in the voice cutting out at times, especially when speaking softly. The 1More Sonoflow has its own problems with the background noise being more audible and the voice sounds like it’s coming from afar and slightly processed. And the Cleer too isn’t perfect with a lot of the background noise being audible. But despite that, the voice remains the most clear and loud. So for that reason the Cleer edges out by a hair.. Or two. The KZ also was pretty decent compared to the rest in this list and we can see ourselves using it for calls.

The Edifier is the cheapest on the list but it kicked ass!

And a vakman needs not just great calls, but also to be in control of those calls. Well you can answer, hangup and decline calls on all of these. Volume control and ANC control also work on calls, but that’s where the vakmanning stops. The SonoFlow lets you switch call to the phone with a double click, but other than that there’s nothing. No mute controls for example.

Battery

So how much juice is in these cans? The bottom of the barrel is the KZ with a mere 25 hours with ANC on. Not too far off is the Edifier with 29 hours with ANC on. We exaggerate, 25 or 29 hours is plenty for most people. But on paper it pales in comparison to the other two. Next up is the 1More giving you 50 hours of use with ANC on. And the stamina awards goes to the Cleer for a whopping 60 hours with ANC on. Not that the ANC is any good.. Hm maybe that’s why it gets more battery life. And maybe that’s why it’s called the Enduro. Enduro.. Endurance.. Uh, where were we? Oh yeah, fast charging. The Cleer does also support fast charging; 10 mins gets you 2 hours of use. The 1More tops that with 5 mins giving you 5 hours. But if you’re not in a rush, then the Edifier supports normal charging. 

The Cleer Enduro ANC wins the numbers game: 60 hours!

Dual device / Multipoint

And yes, normal can sometimes be boring. That is definitely the case for the Edifier and the KZ in the multipoint department. They don’t support it, so take it easy – one device at a time. You can’t pull the connection from a previously paired device either, so you’ll need to enter pairing mode every time you feel like using another device. The third best or worst is the Cleer. It can connect to 2 devices at once but it had some issues in our testing. The audio kept cutting out sometimes when it was connected to an iPhone and Android phone. It appears that the first device you connect to has priority and playing audio from the second device causes the audio skipping issue. And the 1More was again the best of the lot and had no issues with staying connected to two devices. Even though it’s listed as an experimental feature. Go figure!

1More had the most stable multipoint support.

Sound

Edifier might have taken a beating on multipoint, but it gets multi points when it comes to sound. It sounds good and has an easy, fun tuning. We really enjoyed the Edifier the most but it does have some flaws. It isn’t the most resolving and the treble is a bit thin and lacking detail. Funnily enough – the website states Edifier supports the SBC codec only, but maybe because we have a slightly older model, it plays over AAC. Overall – I thought these were very musical and even though they don’t sound very hi-fi, it’s one of those sound signatures that works across genres surprisingly well. But buyer beware – you get what you get – no EQ tweaks. Speaking of EQ tweaks, the SonoFlow has the most things on paper – LDAC support, custom 10 band EQ and EQ presets. You can even see what the EQ presets exactly do – and all this was added over the air via a software update after the 1More was released. 

However the Cleer tries to catch up with its APTX Adaptive support, similarly sized 40mm drivers and a 5 band EQ in the app. The Cleer does slam harder on the bass, especially the mid-bass out of the box and you may or may not like that. That elevated mid-bass can sometimes bleed into the mids, but again with the EQ – that’s something you can adjust. It also has a wider soundstage than the 1More. 

And then there’s the KZ! This is a completely different beast from the rest. Another set with 40mm drivers, this is the most ‘audiophile’ of the bunch here – the sound signature isn’t warm and bassy, but mid-forward. It’s ironically the clearest of the bunch. Sub bass is lacking, mid bass is a bit recessed too – so EDM / hip-hop are not these cans’ strengths. But you get crystal clear mids without being sibilant, but treble heavy tracks can be fatiguing. The treble can also come across a bit thin at times. You’re going to suffer the same problems with this as with the ANC – if you don’t get a good fit, moving your head around is going to affect the sound, especially the bass performance. But DAMN these sound good at this price! I’d say easily the best of this bunch but you bassheads won’t agree – these are very light on bass. And if you wanna use any of these weird – by far the KZ is the best sounding of the group. 

So guys – which one is it? Well all headphones here are surprisingly good sounding for the price. The KZ has some solid strengths and is the most balanced of the bunch if that’s what you’re looking for. But from the other three – we’re finding it very hard to pick a winner here, but given that the 1More is newer, supports LDAC AND has a more tweakable EQ, we would recommend it to most people. But we found ourselves reaching for the Edifier – since it was very well tuned and the timbres sounded so much better on rock and metal tracks. It lacks that extra bit of resolution, but it still does remarkably well. The Cleer is also good and has plenty of customization to go around. And compared to the Edifier, it has that 5-band EQ. So these are three different headphones with their own strengths and weaknesses and we think all of them sound decent for the price.

Conclusion

The Edifier and the KZ are kinda opposites in many ways. One has comically creaky build and insanely good ANC and microphone performance – the other has a surprisingly premium build. Both are also similar in the sense that they sound good and have pretty much next to no customization. Also, knowing Edifier there might be something new coming round the corner. So maybe skip on the Edifier for now. The KZ is EXCELLENT value for money – with that stylish build and really ‘hi-fi’ sound. However the on-ear design affects its performance on ANC and sound too – so these are a better choice if you’ll be sitting still most of the time as against being very active with these.

Have you ever had a random uncle ask you for good noise cancelling headphones for casual use? Well, the 1More SonoFlow passes the uncle test – a great balance of performance and features. Dual device that works, a good customizable app and good sound quality. What else could uncle ask for? The Cleer has better battery life, easier to hit buttons, a good transparency mode and that punchy bass, but it doesn’t really offer anything that the 1More doesn’t. And it does not even exceed the Edifier’s performance on a few aspects. So overall while we can’t recommend it over the 1More, we must say that it’s still a very good product – and the most expensive of this list. 

So that’s it guys – hope you guys had fun – do subscribe, like and do all the YouTube things: you’ve been cheaping out and we’ve been DHRME. Namaste!

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