Hone Kong-based Origem is a relatively new player in the headphone game, and not a company I had heard of until recently. The company recently launched the Origem HS-3 headphones, which the company claims offer “HDR sound.”
HDR tech aside, do the headphones actually perform? We put the Origem HS-3 headphones to the test to find out.
The Origem HS-3 headphones are wireless headphones built for sports, and they feature an adjustable ear hook with a hinge to adjust the overall fit of that ear hook. It’s an interesting concept, but we’re not sure if it ends up working overall — the ear hooks are basic wire, and felt very fragile during our use of the headphones.
The earbuds themselves are relatively large, though the ear hooks should help make that not as much of an issue. Part way down the right side of the cable, you’ll get a three-button remote with a MicroUSB port. We really wish companies would hurry up and start adopting USB-C. It’s 2019, and MicroUSB has no place on any new products.
The build of the headphones seems fine, though nothing special. As mentioned, the ear hook seems pretty fragile, and we think that if the headphones broke, that would be where they break.
In the box, you’ll get the headphones, four pairs of ear tips, a MicroUSB cable and a clamshell case for the headphones. It’s a decent selection of accessories — we wouldn’t really have expected more.
As mentioned the earbuds of the headphones are a little big, but thankfully that doesn’t detract from the overall comfort too much. Thanks to the adjustable ear hooks, it’s easy to ensure that the headphones fit relatively well — simply swivel them to your ear size, and you should be good to go. The headphones are still a little heavy for in-ear headphones, but they’re not too bad.
That said, it’s worth spending a bit of time to find the right ear tips for your needs.
Of course, ultimately all that matters is how the headphones sound, and they’re actually not too bad. We’re not so sure about the so-called “HDR” technology here — but Origem claims that helps ensure that all frequencies sound balanced. Companies often employ compression algorithms to change the dynamic range of headphones a little. Technicalities aside, these headphones do, in fact, sound pretty good.
Let’s start with the bass, which is relatively deep and powerful. Kick drums punch nicely through a mix, while bass guitars and synths are smooth, solid, and thick — without getting muddy.
The mids are pretty well-tuned too. The low mids are warm without adding too much mud, while the high mids are well-placed to ensure an enjoyable listening experience.
The highs aren’t incredible, but they’re pretty good. It’s safe to say that these headphones aren’t necessarily audiophile-level headphones, but cymbals still sizzle nicely, and detail is good. A little more high-end extension would have been nice — but the way they are is perfectly fine.
The Origem HS-3 headphones are wireless, and they connect to your listening device through an unspecified version of Bluetooth, and as such you’ll get a listening range of up to 10 meters, or 33 feet.
The battery life on the headphones sits in at 6 hours, which isn’t great. 6 hours is more along the lines of what we would expect from true wireless headphones, not standard wireless headphones like this.
The Origem HS-3 headphones were a nice surprise for us. Sure, the design is a little different, and aspects of it are a bit fragile, but ultimately the headphones deliver on sound quality, which is the most important thing to consider.
But are there better options? Well, yes. Our top pick for wireless headphones in this price range are the JLab Audio Epic2 headphones, which are a little better built and still sound great.
Still, the Origem HS-3 headphones are high-quality, and have a lot going for them — which is why we’ve awarded them the Headphone Review Bronze Medal.
|Frequency response||Unknown||Active noise cancellation||No|
|Driver size||Unknown||Noise attenuation||Unknown|
|Driver type||Dynamic||In-line controls||Yes|
|Rated impedance||Unknown||Magnet material||Unknown|
|Total harmonic distortion||Unknown||Water resistance||IPX5|
|Rated input power||Unknown||Battery life||6 Hours|
|Maximum input power||Unknown||Wireless distance||10m (33ft)|
|Wireless connection||Bluetooth||Cable length||N/A|
|Wired connection||No||Case type||Clamshell|
|Weight||Unknown||Colors||Black, Silver, Red|