OnePlus organizes a blind test with its new Icon headphones. Records reactions

OnePlus organizes a blind test with its new Icon headphones. Records reactions
Outside of producing value-for-money handsets, OnePlus is also in the business of making various smartphone-related accessories - cases and covers for their phones, powerbanks, and headphones. Last year, the company launched the first headset on the OnePlus store – the Silver Bullets, affordably priced at $14.99. Just a month later, it launched another set — built in partnership with JBL — the JBL E1+, which still seemed like a deal at $39.99, provided they carry JBL's signature quality. Today, alongside the brand-new OnePlus X announcement, OnePlus also unveiled a third headset — the most expensive it is to sell yet — the OnePlus Icons.

The new headphones will be priced at $49.99, making them the most expensive set to be sold by OnePlus. According to the promo page, a lot of work went into making them sound pretty good, but then again – of course it would say that. See, it's pretty hard to promote headphones, as they can't be judged by images and video. So what did OnePlus do? Well, it arranged for a blind test at the Helsinki Music Centre in Finland.

The test includes 3 sets of headphones – an unnamed €100 set, an unnamed €300 set, and the €50 ($50 in the US) OnePlus Icons. Of course, the video would show us that the Icons are unanimously approved, but we won't be calling this clip foul play. Not until we at least hear the Icons for ourselves. We'll just take it with a grain of salt, but still admit that our interest is piqued. Have a look!


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35 Comments

1. AlikMalix unregistered

For me comfort for long periods of time is more important than tiny differences in sound quality. Not saying anything about these, just generally speaking. If you can get both sound and comfort - you got a winner.

3. SamsungPhanboy

Posts: 765; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

I agree, but only if the differences are marginal as you stated. But, if I have to trade off some comfort for fantastic sounds headphones, I'll do that in a heartbeat. I'll take an advil while listening to my awesome sounding earbuds.

15. killerpollo

Posts: 89; Member since: May 15, 2015

What I want is a marriage between the comfy Bose headphones and the legendary Sennheiser sound/build quality

28. mixedfish

Posts: 1542; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

It's called Sony.

24. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

wait for the angry self-proclaimed audiphiles

2. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

"Blind" tests from OEM's about their own products is a big no. I will wait for real reviews from real audiophiles.

16. killerpollo

Posts: 89; Member since: May 15, 2015

They won't do very well there because listeners in the video said they have a sparkling sound stage, audiophiles love a flat sound stage that lets them play with external amps and EQ settings. Another story is that they are connected directly to a smartphone where the sound quality and volume output is no always very good (well, the OP2 did well in this regard according to GSMArena), I'm guessing these headphones have some sort of amp included (something I experienced on the included headphones of my old Nokia N73) and that might be the key here.

4. Landon

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 07, 2015

I'd like to hear how these compare to my Bose QC20 headphones.

10. ph00ny

Posts: 1976; Member since: May 26, 2011

Lol at bose

17. killerpollo

Posts: 89; Member since: May 15, 2015

Your comment was going well 'til u said the B word...

29. Landon

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 07, 2015

Don't knock 'em till you tried 'em. The noise cancelling is amazing, especially for in ear headphones.

30. killerpollo

Posts: 89; Member since: May 15, 2015

Sure I have, comfy as hell and probably the best NC out there but sound quality, uh uh.

31. Landon

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 07, 2015

I've been to many concerts in my short life so my hearing is not the greatest. I can't exactly pick out the fine details of the music like the people in this video probably can. Plus, NC is extremely important to me considering the atrocious noises going on all around me at the office on a daily basis.

32. killerpollo

Posts: 89; Member since: May 15, 2015

Funny thing with me is that when I'm wearing NC headphones I become paranoid, taking them of every 15 minutes or so and asking the people around if they asked me something.

33. Landon

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 07, 2015

I have a similar issue. When I sneeze, I take one of them out to hear if anyone says "bless you" so I can thank them. I honestly can't even hear my phone ring and wonder if there's ever a fire or tornado drill that I'll actually hear it and be able to react in time haha.

5. Baracus

Posts: 223; Member since: Sep 15, 2012

The best way I've found to improve audio quality in headphones is keep the cheap ones I'm using but plug a $1 USB audio adapter into the phone which massively improves audio quality.

11. ph00ny

Posts: 1976; Member since: May 26, 2011

If the DAC used in the mobile device is bad then you can get a USB DAC assuming it's supported.

20. Baracus

Posts: 223; Member since: Sep 15, 2012

It's always been supported natively in the Galaxy S & Note phones and there is talk of Google including support natively in Android.

6. BLSEOTB

Posts: 334; Member since: Mar 24, 2015

Maybe they changed the sound quality in Spotify's streaming settings? Going to wait for a review of these.

7. Oxygen

Posts: 125; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Meh! Get a Shure SE215 instead!

8. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

I tend to hate standard earbuds like this because they have a hard time staying in my ears. Apple's are the only real ones that can stay in my ear, I guess because of their odd shape. That said, I prefer actual headphones anyway.

14. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

Well this is in-ear not earbud.

18. killerpollo

Posts: 89; Member since: May 15, 2015

The shape of these is like the one on the headphones that Sony used to ship with the Xperia Z2 which unlike earbuds have a design element that makes them stay on your ears, very comfy and secure IME.

9. Af1rPA

Posts: 712; Member since: Jun 12, 2014

They do look cool though.

12. ph00ny

Posts: 1976; Member since: May 26, 2011

Source matters just as much as the earbuds

13. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

If you know how to parametric eq you can turn almost all cheap buds to a high-end earphone or headset.

19. killerpollo

Posts: 89; Member since: May 15, 2015

No, just NO.

35. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

Well I understand this reaction, I just saying to my self I dont expect people to agree.. I was not believer my self, until I tried to learn how to EQ ing myself. I can make my LG quadbeat as smooth as etymotic IEM with bass to my taste. Obviously frequency response is not all there about sound quality but it is the most obvious parameter of good earphone/headset. Not the amp or source whatever s**t..IMO

21. Oxygen

Posts: 125; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

That's the dumbest thing I've read this week so far!

22. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

u can use bass booster software, hear, poweramp or whatever.. indeed it change the sound output to have more bass kicking, but its limited to what your cheap buds can do and that still wont beat good quality headset

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