The Edifier WH950NB is the newest over-ear headphone from this reputable Chinese brand, and features the kind of smart tech and design flourishes you’d expect from more expensive, established products from Sony or Philips.
Dimensions 193 x 169 x 82 mm
Charging Time: 90 minutes (10 mins for 7 hours)
Playtime (ANC Off): 34 hours
Playtime (ANC On): 55 hours
Driver 40mm dynamic driver
Microphones 4-Mic ENC
Modes Music, Game and Theatre
App Edifier Connect for custom EQ
Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 5.3
Input: 5V ⎓ 1A
Frequency response: 20Hz - 40kHz
These headphones feature Bluetooth 5.3, are able to wirelessly connect to two sources at once, and offer 34 hours of use with noise cancelling. If you turn off ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) you can get 55 hours of audio playback from these headphones. (Read our guide to the best noise cancelling headphones.)
For tech-fans these support SBC (a specialist a digital audio encoder and decoder) and hi-res certified LDAC audio codecs (this enables streaming of high-resolution audio over Bluetooth). There's the option to customise the EQ via an app too, this means you can fully adjust the audio frequency ranges.
Now, honestly, you can throw as many acronyms as you like at me and I’ll nod along earnestly like Alan Parsons admiring a new Moog, particularly when the headphones sound this good. What really makes the difference with the Edifier WH950NB is the tactile comfort on offer; just picking them up is a super-soft sensation. The earcup’s inners mimic soft leather and my fingers sink into them as these are placed on my head. The faux leather padding offers a cushioned, cosy and almost airy feeling - truly, my ears are being treated.
Edifier WH950NB review: design
The build quality is second to none; the outer casing is made from hard plastic mottled with a subtle texture, with metallic edging and sturdy metal hinges made to last. The buttons are hidden nicely but as with many headphones they are only on the right earcap, which is a little irritating for left-handed users. My review pair come in a soft cream colour with rose gold metal trims, but a black and silver pair are also available.
The steel headband ensures the headphones remain secure, too, and adjusts with a smooth and satisfying click. These headphones also come with a hardshell case and there’s a 3.5mm cable, USB-C charging lead and plane adapter included.
Overall, the Edifier WH950NB is subtle and effortlessly designed. It’s very easy to get sucked into its cushiony elegance, but are my ears being deceived? Are these headphones more than an ear spa and can they deliver the audio experience a $179 / £180 set of headphones demands?
Edifier WH950NB review: features and performance
The good news is, these Edifier WH950NB headphones sound as good as they look and feel. The companion app - Edifier Connect - enables you to select from four noise-cancelling modes: high, low, wind reduction and ambient sound reduction. On the high setting noise is massively reduced (not cancelled), with outside sounds such as the hum of the train I'm riding limited to a distant mumble (I’m testing these on a commute to London). Pressing play on America’s Lonely People and background noise is noticeably gone - just smooth 70s classic rock all the way to work.
The app enables you to adjust the audio to how you like it, swiping left you find the EQ section and here are two options, Classic and Dynamic. Here you can really dig into the audio balance of the headphones, directly adjusting frequencies to affect bass, mids or treble.
The other three modes work nicely too, and are welcome as often you don’t want to completely close yourself off from the outside world. I particularly like the wind reduction mode that handles gusty weather perfectly, great for when you’re out walking and need to hear directions or just get lost in a podcast.
Each ANC mode can be selected via the app or by using the on-headphone button (it’s a little hard to find) and is a novel approach to noise cancelling, as most headphones automate the process. If you appreciate customising your tech, the Edifier WH950NB is great. It's also not overwhelming if you prefer to let the tech take control.
There are also three audio presets to select depending how you use the headphones; choose from music, game and theatre modes to ensure you get the audio delivery that's best for you. Interestingly you can fiddle and adapt even these three modes to best suit you, for example noise cancelling can be removed.
As a gamer, I tested these on PS5 and was wowed by the performance. Is it enough to make me ditch my PS5 Pulse 3D headphones? Possibly, but for long marathons as they are so comfy. When listening to music some of the deeper bass tones lacked clarity and power, but overall performance remained excellent.
Edifier WH950NB review: price?
The Edifier WH950NB retails for $179 / £180 and sits just below brands like Sony and Bose for deeper audio quality but offers similar EQ customisation and comfort. Given the price to quality balance don't expect too many deals on these headphones. If you are looking for cheaper noise cancelling headphones, the Bose QuietComfort 45 SE are excellent and have £130 off; or take a look at our 1More Sonoflow review for a sub-£100 set of headphones.
Edifier WH950NB review: should I buy one?
If you're looking for a new pair of noise-cancelling headphones then the Edifier WH950NB is an excellent choice. The audio quality is great and while these aren't the cheapest headphones, they're also not as expensive as other brands in this category, especially when it comes to the best headphones – and these are so comfy they can be worn for long periods. (There are safety features to limit excessive use.)
Dedicated audio fans may want more, particularly from noise cancelling, but for everyday use I found these to be excellent. I like how the Edifier WH950NB eases you into tweaking settings and making adjustments, as someone who usually simply puts on headphones and accepts the status quo it's interesting to be able to easily customise the experience.
I found sound quality to be excellent for everyday use and mixed use, moving from work to music to gaming (read our guide to the best headphones for PS5 for more choice). If you're after headphones that are incredibly comfy, sound good and won't break the bank, too much, the Edifier WH950NB are a good option.