As the trusty old 3.5mm headphone slowly disappears from many portable gadgets more and more of us are turning to wireless headphones. And for those looking for a lightweight option, rather that a large set of "cans" options like the Yamaha EPH-W53 Wireless Headphones inevitably make it to many shortlists. After testing these nifty in-ear headphones I'm quite impressed.
Fit and comfort
For me, the biggest issue with in-ear headphones is fit and comfort. There are plenty of options with great sound but unless they can sit comfortable in my ears they're useless.
The EPH-W53 headphones come with several different tips so you can fit them precisely to your ears. I needed the smallest tips as, it turns out, I have quite narrow ear canals. But once I'd sorted that out I was able to pop them in comfortably. A small "fin" on each bud made it easy to secure the buds so they didn't fall out when I turned my head suddenly or was walking.
Wireless headphones have undergone a revolution over the last couple of years with the cable tethering the left and right sides disappearing from many of the options on the market. Yamaha's EPH-W53 keeps the cable, which also houses an inline controller for play/pause and volume control. That works as expected and there's a built-in mic for taking calls as well.
Although the EPH-W53 lacks active noise cancellation, I found they created a decent seal in my ear that blocked out the worst of the ambient noise around me. For example, while listening to some tunes in a busy coffee shop, I could immerse myself in the music I was listening to, licking up instruments that I miss when listening though speakers.
Bass response was solid and other instruments such as brass and woodwinds came through clearly.
Yamaha's catchphrase, "Natural Sound" seemed to be a good reflection of what I heard.
The Yamaha’s EPH-W53 in-ear headphones charge via a micro-USB connection to the inline controller with about seven hours of playback time.
Price and reccomendation
The Yamaha EPH-W53 in-ear headphones retail for $149. I think that's great value for this level of quality in wireless headphones but the battery life might be an issue for travellers looking for an option to cover them on a long-haul flight.