I love music, but I generally have issues with headphones. I have 3 kids at home and they have broken almost every pair of headphones that I have ever had. The problem with most headphones is that they are made with cheap plastic and my kids are not gentle with anything, let alone a pair of headphones. A-Audio’s Icon headphones do a great job relaxing my concerns.
When I received my Icon headphones in the mail, the first thing I noticed was the packaging. The box that they came in had a magnetic clasp that kept the box closed, but it still opened easily. Inside the box was a carbon fiber case with the A-Audio logo on top. At this point, I am simply amazed at all the tiny details that they put into the packaging itself. My expectations for the headphones are sky high at this point.
The Icon did not disappoint. As I opened the carbon fiber case I continue to be amazed at the quality. The frame is made of steel and the hinges of zinc. I can tell that these headphones can take a beating. With my kids, they’ll need to.
Not only are the hinges and frame made of metal, but the ultra soft leather and memory foam ear pads give it a very luxurious feel. So at this point I’m practically drooling over these headphones and I’m really hoping that they sound as good as they look and feel.
Unfortunately, I would have to wait a few hours before I could test them out. The quick start card that comes in the box tells me to charge them fully before using them. So, I begin looking through the pouch inside the case and find the charger, two 3.5mm audio cables, a micro USB cable, and a small external battery pack. Of course, I plug in the headphones and battery pack and get things charged. It takes about 2 hours to fully charge.
After they are fully charged, I pair them with my phone and immediately begin listening to music. The music coming from the headphones is extremely crisp and clear, and I can’t hear a thing other than the music. It’s now late at night and I can only spend 30-40 minutes listening to music, but luckily the following day is Saturday and I have all day to listen to them.
And listen to them all day is exactly what I do. One of the things that impressed me was the battery life. The Icon headphones went all day from 7 am to about 11 pm on a single charge. Even when I took them off, I left the music playing to properly test them.
The headphones were very easy to setup. The longest part was charging it first, but once charged the pairing process was very simple. Within 1 minute, I was up and running.
I’ve already gushed on the build quality, now let me gush on the sound quality. It is superb. There are songs that I gained a new appreciation for listening to them on these headphones.
Now I don’t recommend that you turn them up full blast, unless your intention is to kill your eardrums, but I can tell you that you that even at full blast, the headphone’s sound remained crisp and clear with no distortion. Not only can it handle the highs, but it can handle the bass as well. I purposefully searched for bass-centric music on Google Play Music and again even at full volume, there was no distortion of any kind.
The headphones also feature a built-in microphone. When I asked, callers reported to me that they could hear me loud and clear.
One of the things that I liked is the ability to listen wired or wireless. In fact, the wired sounds even better in my opinion, especially of your using a service like Tidal with lossless HiFi audio. Unfortunately the controls one the wire do not work with Android.
The Bluetooth controls were very discrete and I liked them except for one thing. What bothered me was, why they would integrate a double and triple click system to move the songs back and forward when you have two perfectly good nubs to the left and right of the A-Audio logo. In fact, it makes more sense to me that they would do it my way when I consider that the two nubs above and below the logo also double as volume buttons.
Another feature that I wish they would have added is the ability to initiate a voice call from the headphones. To me, this is Bluetooth 101. In fact, my 1st generation LG Tones have that ability for 8/10th the price. Of course, my LG’s sound nowhere near as good as the A-Audio Icon headphones, but that’s not the point. The point is that these cheap little headphones have a feature not found on these high dollar headphones.
What we liked
- Superb build quality
- Amazing sound reproduction
- Packaging / carbon fiber case
What could be better
- Bluetooth controls
- Voice command integration
In the end, I found that these headphones are amazing. They are not perfect by any means, but if you’re looking for great sounding and long lasting headphones and a $379 price tag does not deter you, then look no further than the A-Audio Icon Bluetooth headphones.
Until the end of the month, you can use promo code androidguys25 for an additional 25% off at checkout on A-Audio’s website. That would effectively reduce the price by almost $95.