Enjoying audio from content is a boolean affair. You are either sharing the music, TV or other content with others, or you’re on your jack jones. In the latter example, many might choose to use headphones when listening to music, but how many will do the same when watching TV? It might sound like a weird concept but more and more people are enjoying a more immersive experience by using their hi-fidelity headphones instead of their barely acceptable tweeters on the ever shrinking TV chassis. Let’s take a look at the Noontec Hammo TV Headphones in our review.
Noontec reached out and we were happy to oblige. I’m one of those people who likes their alone time as much as they like spending time with others. When I’m in my man cave, I often stick the cans on and ignore the outside world to some extent. Up until now watching films on my PC monitors with my headphones is the only real way I’ve had of getting some real immersion. With the Noontec Hammo TV headphones, I can lie in our conservatory, and kick off with Guardians of the Galaxy 2 at full volume, whilst my Wife sits and crafts – it’s all good!
Let’s take a look inside the box. It’s actually quite a bit. Firstly, there’s waxy-yet-velvet type carry bag for the headphones themselves which is always nice. Along with this you get a USB charging cable with AC power brick, a couple of 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cables (in a nice purple colour as well), an RCA to 3.5mm cable along with the transmitter stand, and the headphones themselves. There’s also a 3.5mm to USB cable to charge the headphones whilst on the stand.
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Votrik HD500 speaker
- Resistance: 32Ω
- Battery: Up to 50 horus continuous playback – 3 hours charging
The transmitter stand is the important bit here as everyone has seen headphones before right? The cables are used to easily connect this stand to your TV/set-top box, and then once powered up, it transmits the audio signal to the paired headphones. Pairing the headphones to the stand is easy, once you’ve charged the headphones, something I neglected to do and didn’t realise for about 15 minutes. There are a few different options for connecting the stand to the TV in question; 3.5mm aux out, or RCA jacks to 3.5mm. Meanwhile, a 3.5mm cable to USB is used to charge the headphones whilst not in use. It looks a little messy when it’s all connected up, but you can hide the cables with a bit of tidying.
On the stand, there’s a microUSB charging port, a Type A USB out port alongside a reset button and an 3.5mm AUX port. The metallic stand slots into the top of the base with ease and towers above the power button which is on the top of the base and is used to pair to the headphones.
Once paired, sit back, turn on your favourite movie and get watching without having to worry about interruptions.
The headphones themselves are predominantly plastic based with PU leather-covered cushioning. There is a small amount of movement on the ear cups, just about sufficient to get a comfortable fit. I’d personally like a little more rotation.The cups do fit over the ear easily and are lightweight enough to be comfy for an entire movie without issue. Volume can be controlled directly on the headset as well as by your TV remote of course. If listening to a device with music playback, the volume controls double as a long pressed track selection button which is nice.
Audio wise the Noontec Hammo TV headphones don’t disappoint either. These have some low-end to them, but that low-end doesn’t overpower the mids at all. When watching films with this headset I was as happy with the action sequences and shoot outs as I was with the quiet exposition. The high-end is a little hidden, by the inflated mids but nothing to worry too much about. Overall I think this is the sort of sound-stage that most would enjoy and look for in a device capable of immersing them fully in the entertainment at hand.
If, like me, you have a TV that has Bluetooth connectivity already, you can save yourself a bit of fiddling and just pair the Noontec headphones directly to the TV itself and bypass the stand altogether. Yes, that kind of negates the need to purchase this device when you can go ahead and just purchase the headphones separately. Sure. For those that don’t have Bluetooth enabled TVs or monitors though, this provides a great a great all in one set.
I also took these units out and about and used them as conventional Bluetooth headphones and I enjoyed them just as much when paired to my smartphone as I did when connected to my TV at home. They don’t give the same isolation when you’re out and about, but pump the volume up a couple of notches and you’ll never know! In all seriousness, this is something to be careful of with this, and indeed any device. When I first paired these headphones the volume on my TV was way up. Just be sure you set them and the TV at a low volume prior to connecting and then you can ramp up. No use killing your ears before enjoying the device is there?
So, to sum up, are these worthwhile? Do they bring enough to the table to warrant the £120 they go for? Personally, I’m on the fence. I have a number of Bluetooth headsets I can connect up and use with my TV instead. Then again, I’m not the target audience. This package is specifically aimed at people who want to enhance their viewing experience with wireless audio when they don’t currently have the option. To that end I’d have to say that this package in its entirety is a pretty nifty one.
The only downside I could find is the microphone quality. Depending on your use case this may or may not be a factor in your buying decision, but if you want to make some calls regularly whilst using this device, there are better options; basically don’t. It sounded like I was trapped in a dungeon when recording audio through the microphone.
Are there better sounding Bluetooth headphones than the Noontec ones on offer here? Yes, of course, but these are still pretty good for the price, utility of the overall package and the 42 hours of playback they brought me during testing. I’d recommend this to those without the setup to support Bluetooth headphones currently.