Indiegogo staffers are putting crowdfunded products to the test in our new series of honest reviews. In this edition, our very own email marketing and lifecycle strategist Karisa Hunt tried out NTT-sonority’s nwm MBE001, the wireless headphones that our crowdfunding community is talking about. Does it live up to the hype? Read on as we put it to the test!
I’m always listening to something, whether it’s music, a podcast, or an audiobook. I’ve tried out a lot of headphones but I’ve never found my Goldilocks pair: one that fits well, has amazing sound quality, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. When the NTT sonority team revealed that they were going to launch their nwm MBE001 headphones on Indiegogo, I knew I had to give them a try.
Our Japanese backer community is no doubt already familiar with NTT sonority–they’re a well-trusted brand in Japan. For anyone who hasn’t heard of them, though, NTT sonority is always finding the next big thing in sound. They’re working on technology that they call the Personalized Sound Zone (PSZ), which means that your headphones don’t leak sound to others around you, making them ideal for co-working spaces or busy public areas.
Packaging and Unboxing
The box that the MWE001 headphones came in is very compact. It isn’t complicated to get into–just open the box and there you are.
I like the design of the inside of the box, too. It’s a unique way to ship the headphones while making sure they don’t get damaged. The headphones are in the charging case, and the case is securely encased in the cardboard packaging. All you have to do is lift the cardboard insert out via the finger holes, and then bend along the line–the headphone case pops right out into your hand.
Charging the nwm MBE001 headphones is easy: just place the headphones into the case (they will snap into the exact position via magnet) and plug a USB-C cable into the back. The headphones do come with a cable. If you don’t see it right away, pull the box apart a little more—it’s tucked in there!
There’s nothing complicated about setting up these headphones. They work with standard Bluetooth, so all I had to do was remove them from the charging case, put them on my ears, and open up the Bluetooth section on my phone. They appeared right away, and the connection was quick and painless.
It’s a good thing they were intuitive, too, because there were setup instructions in Japanese and French… but none in English. Luckily, the quick setup guide insert was illustrated, so I was able to figure it out pretty quickly. Honestly, anyone with a familiarity with Bluetooth technology won’t need the instruction booklet.
The headphones have an interesting earpiece. It’s ear-shaped, with padding on the part that goes behind the lobe and a speaker that hovers over your ear. I was a little hesitant about the shape before I put them on, because I wasn’t sure how the padding would fit.
My worries were totally baseless. These headphones are so comfortable to wear.
The earpiece itself is surprisingly flexible, making it easy to get on and off. The headphones stay right where you put them, so I’d feel comfortable putting these on and going for a walk without worrying about the headphones jostling around or falling out.
The speaker piece of the headphone sits outside of your ear; on me, it actually rests above the open part of my ear, similar to where over-ear headphones would be. Once they’re in place, they’re comfortable enough that you don’t even feel them after a very short period.
Now, onto the part I’m sure people are most curious about: the sound. I was easily able to hear music, meetings, and an audiobook when I tested them out. They’re not the highest-clarity headphones I’ve ever used, but they do have good sound quality. What’s more, the ability to still hear what’s going on around you while wearing them is exactly as advertised. Not only was I able to hear everything going on in my house, I was able to have a conversation with a neighbor while listening to some nice background music.
The PSZ technology, however, was way better than I had hoped for. Even with the volume relatively high, my family was unable to hear what I was hearing while I used these headphones. If your primary use for these would be taking work meetings in public spaces, then these would fit the bill quite nicely–and you can easily use them to catch on up a podcast on your way to your coworking space, too.
These are very solid headphones at a great price. They’re not quite my Goldilocks pair, but they’re a lot closer than a lot of other headphones I’ve tried. It’s great to have headphones that deliver sound while still letting you remain aware of your surroundings. The PSZ technology makes them great for meetings in public or just listening to music in the grocery store, and their comfort is pretty much unparalleled. If the sound quality was a little crisper, I would give these a 10/10–and even with the sound slightly less clear than I was hoping for, they’re still a 9/10, and I’m excited to travel with them soon!
To learn more, check out the campaign for NTT sonority’s nwm MBE001, now live on Indiegogo.