The market for wireless headphones is booming. Adding to the fact that more and more mobiles dispense with the headphone jack, the current situation in which teleworking is more frequent than ever makes us consider the use of new headphones, ones that allow us to spend our day comfortably, with good sound quality and the necessary insulation. The Kygo Xenon aspire to solve an increasingly recurring problem.
Among the multiple brands, we have spent several weeks working with the Kygo Xenon, one of the latest models of the X by Kygo brand, a Norwegian DJ and producer who, beyond taking advantage of their brand to sell any headset with their name, shows that they are one more option to consider beyond the typical ones. We tell you about our experience.
Kygo Xenon, specifications and features
- Driver size: 40mm.
- Sound pressure level: 98 ± 3dB.
- Response frequency: 20Hz-22KHz.
- Impedance: 32Ω ± 15%.
- Wireless connection:
- Bluetooth 5.0.
- Audio codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX LL.
- Distance range: 10 meters maximum.
- Capacity: 250 mAh.
- Up to 24 hours of playback.
- Charging time: 2 hours.
- Weight: 320 grams.
- Ports: USB C and 3.5mm jack.
- Battery percentage indicator on compatible iOS and Android.
- Active noise cancellation with physical switch.
- Charging case, USB C cable and 3.5mm jack with microphone included in box.
A recognizable and illuminated design
It is very difficult to reinvent the wheel with headphones, and this is very clear to the manufacturers. In the case of headbands, what is most valued is comfort, and although style is often in the background
The use of LEDs is very risky in this type of headphones, and the market is highly polarized between the more sober-looking models and the gaming, with colored lights that can be scandalous. Isn’t there a middle ground?
Well, apparently yes, and to go back to this we would have to see the Macbooks until 2015, those that backlit the apple logo, showing the company’s logo in a neat and striking way.
Without knowing if it is intentional or not, Kygo have taken a rather elegant approach to what Apple did with its logo, lighting the X of Kygo when the headphones are on.
The led is white and the X with one line thicker than the other is easily recognizable, even if you don’t know the Norwegian artist. A logo so minimalist in our view is a good design decision, since if you don’t know who Kygo is, it will seem like a logo that is not at all unpleasant, but if you do know it you will instantly identify it.
The design of each earphone follows a structure in which it is attached to the headband through two sticks in which the earphone has a margin of rotation to fit comfortably to your ear. There is also a fabric braided cable that connects with the headband.
While the left earphone does not include any interactive elements, in the right we appreciate the volume buttons and change song, power and a physical switch to activate or deactivate active noise cancellation. Also a led indicator that will blink in blue when we turn on the device and in blue and red when they are in pairing mode and two connection ports, USB C to charge it and a 3.5 mm jack to connect to our mobile or PC if it includes the port.
Regarding comfort, both the ear pads and the top of the headband are very comfortable and you can spend several hours using them without problem. In the event that your head is large, the sensation can become uncomfortable in prolonged sessions of more than two hours with them, a price to pay for excellent insulation.
Something that does not convince us is that the ear pads are not replaceable, something that should be mandatory in this type of headphones premium. Not that we doubt the quality of these, since they are extremely comfortable and look like they will be very durable, but we think it would be a great addition to considering headphones as a very long-term investment.
Sound and accessories included
Sound quality in these types of products is usually a factor of great importance, although due to the nature of wireless connections they are not usually products made to satisfy the most demanding ears. However, given the limitations of Bluetooth technology, we find a balanced sound, perhaps with slightly weaker highs and slightly boosted bass.
Unlike the A11 / 800 that we already tested a few months ago, these do not have a specific equalization application, although as we mentioned in their review it was not a feature that we ended up using a lot due to the noticeable differences compared to a traditional equalizer. . In this sense, we continue to miss a dedicated equalization application to solve a little the factory settings in case you wish.
The included carrying case, as well as the charging and jack cables are a good addition, especially since the jack cable has a microphone that greatly improves the experience when speaking.
The jack connection on the other hand offers us the possibility of connecting the helmets to a mobile that has the port, a PC or even a sound card and thus obtain better quality, lower latency and the possibility of using them without spending battery.
A headset with various comforts
In addition to playing music, the Kygo Xenon have three physical buttons that, depending on whether we press, double or hold down, perform one function or another.
- Switched on:
- Press: Play / pause.
- Hold down for a couple of seconds: Turn on / off.
- Press and hold for 5 seconds when off: Pairing mode.
- Double press: Voice assistant (Siri on the iPhone, Google Assistant or whatever we have as default on Android).
- Top volume:
- One touch: Increase volume.
- Double tap: Next track.
- Lower volume:
- One touch: Volume down.
- Double tap: Previous track.
But the most interesting thing about these headphones is undoubtedly the switch for active noise cancellation. This technology uses microphones to analyze external sound and emit a reverse wave that is capable of analyzing part of the ambient noise.
Although the technology is not the most sophisticated that we have seen in the industry (in this respect Sony and Bose are well above it) the combination between active noise cancellation, pads and music at medium volume is capable of isolating us greatly. part of scenarios with sufficient guarantees.
During these weeks I have had to take several trips by train and plane and the experience has been very satisfactory, getting to notice slightly the bustle of the trip, but soft enough to disturb our comfort. Teleworking at my mother’s house during the summer has been an experience that has left me isolated enough, not noticing the presence of my relatives until they gave me a scare.
The best thing about the active noise cancellation of the Kygo Xenon is that it is activated by means of a physical switch, and we can use it both when connected by Bluetooth, as by jack cable or even without being connected to any device, with the aim of isolating ourselves without need to listen to music.
The most versatile and convenient active noise cancellation
The Kygo Xenon are good quality headphones at a not so affordable price, so your key factor in knowing if they are made for you is to analyze their strengths and weaknesses.
At the audio product level, its sound quality is average in its category, and its 24-hour battery life, without being the best, is a more than acceptable figure. Nor does it highlight its active noise cancellation, which works well even on trips and does not degrade sound quality, but which could offer a more aggressive noise filter. We miss features of the A11 / 800, such as the NFC connection or a touch panel, but in the end they are small additions that add up to less than the star feature of the Xenon.
The added value of Xenons would be the comfort and versatility. Having a switch to activate or deactivate active noise cancellation is not only extremely intuitive to understand, it is also extremely useful since it does not matter if we want to use them with cable, on our mobile or simply to feel silent. If you like to be in control, this is the key feature that Xenons are going to love.
- Kygo Xenon on Amazon.
- Kygo Xenon on the official Kygo website.
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