There are a lot of advantages to using noise cancelling headphones, especially for those that travel a lot and who like the ability to block out outside noise. Only one problem — great noise cancelling headphones are still relatively expensive, often coming in at over $200. Cowin, however, thinks it has the solution — the $150 Cowin E8 noise cancelling headphones.
But are the headphones worth shelling out for at all? Cowin isn’t necessarily a known brand, and as such you might be skeptical as to whether or not headphones like this are worth buying. We put them to the test to find out.
The first thing to notice about the Cowin E8 headphones is their design, and they’re a bit hit and miss in that regard. Some of the build materials seem to be relatively strong — like the metal band that runs over the top of the headphones. Other aspects, like the plastic that’s used in other parts of the headphones, seem a little cheap. The gold accents on the headphones, for example, seem like a good idea — but the gold is a cheap-looking yellow-gold paint, which doesn’t bode well.
The left swiveling earcup is bare, but on the right earcup, you’ll find a slew of controls. There’s a power button, along with a noise cancellation switch and volume controls. There’s also a MicroUSB port for charging, and an aux port to use the headphones in wired mode. We wish Cowin would have adopted the USB-C port — there’s no excuse in 2018 to continue using the old standard. The fact that all the controls are on the right ear cup also introduces a little confusion. It’s hard to tell what button you’re pressing before you press it, and that can lead to unwanted button presses.
Overall, the headphones look fine, but they’re very bulky. That comes into play when it comes to comfort, but it also effects how the headphones look. Including the padding, the ear cups are around two inches thick, which is a little much.
In the box, there’s a slew of accessories, including a MicroUSB charging cable, an aux cable, a 1/4″ to 1/8″ adapter, and a nice carry case. There’s also a plane adapter, which might come in handy to some. All the accessories seem well-built and strong, and we love that the headphones come with such a nice case.
As mentioned, the headphones are very bulky — and they’re also very heavy. That does end up having quite an impact on the overall comfort level of the Cowin E8 headphones. Still, in general, we found that the headphones were quite comfortable, despite the fact that they’re so heavy.
The headphones boast plenty of padding in the ear cups, and it’s quite plush padding too — which is helpful. Perhaps the main downside of the comfort of these headphones is that despite the padding under the headband, the heaviness of the headphones does cause some discomfort on the top of the head — but only really over long listening periods.
Ultimately, the most important thing to consider is the sound quality of the Cowin E8 headphones — but unfortunately, they don’t have the best sound out there.
Let’s start with the bass, which is probably the best aspect of the sound quality here. The headphones offer a decent kick, but it doesn’t go over the top at all. The low end could be described as a little lazy and slow, but still powerful enough to deliver decently smooth bass guitar tones.
The mids are a bit of a mess. The low mids are quite pronounced, helping deliver a decently warm tone, while the high mids are quite cut. So much so that things like vocals and guitar solos really seem to take a back seat to other things.
The highs are the worst part about these headphones. There’s little clarity and detail to go around, giving the headphones a slightly cheap sound to them. We definitely don’t recommend these headphones to those who value a great sound quality.
That said, the noise cancellation on the headphones is quite good. It’s good at cutting out drones and background noise, meaning that those who fly a lot might appreciate it.
The Cowin E8 headphones connect to your listening device through Bluetooth, and as such you’ll get a listening range of up to 10 meters, or 33 feet. We found that even when close to the listening source there were some skips and jumps to the headphones, which we found a little frustrating.
The battery life on the headphones comes in at 20 hours, which is fine — but not amazing. We would expect to get a longer battery life from a pair of headphones this bulky.
The Cowin E8 headphones have some things going for them — but at $150, they’re ultimately not the best choice. We did like the comfortable padding and the high-quality noise cancellation, but the sound quality realy is sub par — plus the headphones are quite bulky.
Looking for a pair of great noise cancellation headphones at $150 or under? We recommend going for the JLab Audio Flex ANC headphones, which boast a better sound quality and are much lighter. Alternatively, if you’re willing to shell out a bit more cash, then the $200 Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC headphones are the way to go.
|Frequency response||Unknown||Active noise cancellation
|Driver size||Unknown||Noise attenuation||Unknown|
|Sensitivity||Unknown||Earpad material||Memory foam|
|Total harmonic distortion
|Rated input power
||Unknown||Battery life||20 hours|
|Maximum input power
||Unknown||Wireless distance||10m (33ft)|
||Yes||Case type||Hard case|