No matter how much money you want to spend, headphones have a variety of applications for everyday use. I’m not saying you can slice an onion with them, but headphones can be used for professional, critical, and of course casual use. Most of us use headphones in our everyday lives, and sometimes you just need a cheap, noise-canceling headphone to get through the day. This is where the SuperEQ S1 comes in, a sixty dollar headphone you can get from Amazon. It’s abundant in features, but what about sound? I’m not expecting the cleanest or most detail-oriented sound signature, but the main question that should be asked is “will it get me through the day?” Do the noise-canceling and timbre offer enough to satisfy my needs for an everyday headphone?
What You Get
- 1x SuperEQ S1 ANC Headphone
- 1x Carrying pouch
- 1x Airplane adapter
- 1x USB charging cable
- 1x 3.5mm audio cable
- 1x User manual
Look and Feel
For what they are, I have little qualms with the build of this headphone. For its design, the makeup is relatively simple. The only unappealing aspect of the SuperEQ is its toy-like appearance. This is a sixty dollar headphone and it shows, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the quality is poor. The build is ergonomically consistent and compact. Most of the material is plastic, but the plates on the earcups have a nice metallic finish. I mainly used the white variation, but the S1 also comes in black which I feel gives the headphone a more sophisticated look.
The most important aspect of this headphone is its comfortability. The S1 uses memory foam earpads made from protein leather. With the size of the cups, the pads maintain a good grip on your ears for a tight and secure fit that doesn’t sacrifice comfortability. The swivel on the cups suit gives the S1 a freeing design, and all-around doesn’t add any unwanted pressure.
Design and Functionality
Inside the housing of the S1 is a 40mm dynamic driver system and a built-in microphone for stable and hands-free phone calls. The driver is a nice size that should deliver a strong image and some solid bass and the single microphone also captures outside noise for its noise-canceling and ambient modes. The three-button controls on the right earcup are immediately responsive and easy to feel around for. There’s also one last button for cycling through noise-canceling and ambient modes. Simple and consistent.
While no CODECs are specified, the S1 offers Bluetooth 5.0 support for a fast and stable connection with high bandwidth and range up to 33 feet. Impressively, the S1 features a multipoint connection that lets you connect to two devices at once.
There’s a pretty hefty battery supplied here, giving 40 to 45 hours of playback time depending on which modes you’re using. While the battery is diminished a bit when using ANC, it’s still a considerable amount of life compared to most wireless headphones in this price range. Considering two hours of charge time, this battery becomes a big win for the S1.
Only featuring one microphone, I’m not exactly expecting SONY levels of noise-canceling quality, but rather one that just does the job. While S1 can reduce ambient noise up to 33dB, I found the noise-canceling to be rather weak. Sitting next to a vent in my office, the S1 did a good job canceling out the low-end hum, but the higher end fuzz was still considerably amplified to the point of distraction.
When looking at the soundstage, all I ask for is a clear image with a semi-accurate sense of where everything is in a mix. Some noise-canceling headphones tend to squish the sound towards the middle, muddying the response and making your tracks appear bloated. Unfortunately, this is where the S1 stands. The imaging appears congealed to the middle, with rare elements breaking out to the left or right space. The stereo field only exhibits the bare minimum of space, with a multitude of layers struggling for clarity.
While some of the boomy response might win over some, for me they enter too much of the muddy territory. It certainly makes the first impression on the sound signature, but they bleed into too much of the frequency response and fail to showcase a ton of clarity. However, for the price, the bass is just enough to be passable, as bass elements receive some smooth coloration and resonance.
The midrange definitely reveals a more v-shaped response, as low and high mids show towards more of the front of the signature, while those fundamental frequencies are mainly scooped out. V-shaped isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and some wireless headphones can make good use of this timbre, but the S1 ends up just sounding a bit dull. Instruments don’t really get a chance to express themselves coherently, and vocals can’t really break out over the bloated resonance of the low-mids.
I noticed a surprising sibilance quality in some tracks. These frequencies never appeared bright or too harsh. Mostly they showcased a smooth timbral elegance that added to the S1’s overall warmth. The treble was definitely the highlight of this headphone for me. While male vocals struggle with clarity, certain female performances can sound quite sweet. You won’t find anything like sparkle here, but for an otherwise dry sound signature they really stick out for me.
From my description of the sound signature, you might think this one is a stinker, but with that price point and generous battery life, I see a lot of use for the S1. Not every headphone needs to be audiophile heaven, and SuperEQ offers just enough here to warrant the purchase. Say you just need a headphone to get you through your morning commutes to work, and you mostly listen to podcasts or audiobooks? What if you really need a headphone for phone calls or zoom meetings? With that, and considering the price, there’s no harm in the S1.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Smooth treble, battery life, price, multi-point connection
Cons: Dull timbre, weaker ANC
- Speaker Diameters: 40 mm
- Bluetooth Range: ≥33ft (10m)
- Bluetooth Range: ≥33ft (10m)
- Frequency Response: 20Hz~20KHz
- Using Time1: 40 hours (ANC+BT）
- Using Time2: 45 hours (BT Only)
- Using Time3: 50 hours (ANC Only)