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Today, we’re going to take a closer look at the SuperEQ S1 Bluetooth Headphones. These close-backed headphones come with some pretty impressive features packed in a discrete yet attractive design.
Lately, I’ve been spending time getting acquainted with the SuperEQ S1s. These headphones were sent to us, for free, by SuperEQ for an honest, unbiased review. And today, we’ll be reviewing them.
So, can you enjoy high-quality audio on a budget? Keep reading to find out.
Opening the Box
After taking the box out of the postal packaging, I was immediately impressed with the design. The headphones are displayed in profile on top of the box superimposed in front of a multicolored background. Wrapped around the sides is some kind of trippy postmodern art. And on the bottom, printed in hard-to-read white over cyan text, are all the specs which read as follows:
- Product Name: SuperEQ S1
- Bluetooth Version: V5.0
- Impedance 32Ω ± 10%
- Noise Resolution Depth: 28∼33dB
- Charging Time: About 2.5 hours
- Using Time 1: 40 hours (ANC+BT)
- Using Time 2: 45 hours (BT only)
- Using Time 3: 50 hours (ANC only)
- Bluetooth Range: 10m/33ft
- Driver Diameter: 40mm
- Net Weight: 280g
- Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
- Sensitivity: 98 ± 3dB
Opening the box, I was presented with the carrying pouch draped over the headphones folded neatly inside. The carrying bag is nice but will offer little to no actual protection.
Upon further investigation, I found a 10” micro-USB charging cable, a four foot 3.5mm audio cable, and an airplane adapter.
I don’t travel, like ever. So I’ve never had a chance to use the airplane adapter, but I am sure many of you will appreciate this feature.
Additionally, it comes with a user manual with the warranty information in the back, an FAQ guide, and safety information. Thanks to the illustrations, the user guide was easy to follow and got me going in no time. SuperEQ offers a two-year extended warranty, and the instructions on how to register are easy to follow.
I also like the FAQ booklet they include because it has the answers to some of the common issues people might have.
Furthermore, the safety information paper. It is repeated in English, German, and Japanese and full of what not to do and other relevant information to ensure consumers use these headphones safely.
Overall, I was very pleased with the unboxing experience; the box was cool, easy to open, and everything was neatly arranged within. I hate when companies package their product so intensely, I need a chainsaw to open it, so this was nice.
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I am not gonna lie to you folks; I was impressed! The SuperEQ S1 performed beyond my expectations. It has a nice deep bass that really rattles your eardrums and is decently responsive. For a budget pair of headphones, these really bump!
The highs, however, are a little too sharp and pronounced. I found myself wanting to wince at times, especially during songs with a lot of snare drums. I had hoped the bass of these headphones would help mellow out the highs, but that is, unfortunately, not the case.
Surprisingly, there is little to no sibilance despite the sharp, high notes. I listen to a lot of Audible while doing household chores or working in the garage. I’ve never had an issue with the harsh S sounds plaguing many budget headphones.
The Mids were excellent, however. Listening to acapella and primarily vocal tracks was a sublime experience. Having the vocals come through so clearly, it was like they were in the room with us and with binaurally recorded songs– Ugh, what a delight!
This brings me to our next point: soundstage. While it’s not as spacious as the more expensive headphones, it’s there. I was surprised when I listened to these the first time that there was any depth at all.
Everything sounds much closer and a little less refined than some higher-tier headphones I’ve used. It’s like you are at a small indoor concert versus one at a high-end outdoor venue or stadium. There are bigger speakers, better acoustics, and an overall wider experience at the stadium.
Whereas, the music is more confined at the indoor concert but still sounds great. That’s what the SuperEQ S1s are like. You’re not going to get that high of quality for this price, however, you’re still getting an excellent auditory experience.
Now, if you live in a loud bustling city or commute via train or subway and want to drown out the commotion, then the Active Noise Canceling (ANC) feature is precisely what you need.
The ANC technology uses the microphones built into each earcup to detect incoming soundwaves and neutralize them by inverting those soundwaves and playing them through the speakers. This works pretty well and cuts out about 80% of the external background noise, but not all of it. Any loud or sudden noises will not be totally blocked either.
Now supposes the situation calls for more awareness. In that case, you can turn on the Ambient Sound feature which, like the ANC, utilizes the microphones built into each earcup to feed external sounds into the speakers in real-time.
This also works really well and is handy when walking around town. The music coming through the SuperEQ S1 will not completely drown out the outside world, so you can still be alerted to any danger.
These features come with a drawback, however. When in use, ANC will cut the overall audio quality in half, and maybe more than that for the bass.
Ambient Sound will only cut the audio by 25% or so. With this feature activated, the sound stage opens up way too much and sounds very airy. This diminishes the audio quality and takes a lot of the life out of sound.
In my opinion, the best way to listen to the SuperEQ S1 is to push and hold the ANC button until you hear the words “Noise-canceling off.”. It typically took me two cycles of push-and-hold to achieve this setting after first turning on the headphones. This is the mode I used to write the body of this review.
Next, I would like to address the mic quality. It does a great job at picking up voices, even of other people in the room, unfortunately. While testing it using various VoIP applications, the overall consensus was: Meh.
It’s not terrible, but what little bass it picks up is almost drowned out by the treble. It sounds tinny and lacks body. It will work fine for taking calls while out on a bike ride or working at a computer. But I found that using it as my primary microphone was less than ideal.
While the SuperEQ S1 headphones would work as gaming headphones in a pinch, we wouldn’t recommend them. The spatial accuracy just isn’t quite there, so footsteps and gunshots are hard to pinpoint efficiently.
Additionally, the mic quality isn’t the greatest, but it’s there more as a convenient added feature, not a prominent focus like that of higher-end gaming headsets.
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Quality & Comfort
When I took the SuperEQ S1s out of their box and unfolded them, the first thing I noticed was how well made they were. The black plastic headband is high-quality and has a matte finish. It’s padded inside with red foam-padded imitation leather that’s soft to the touch.
Above the earcups on the headband is the slogan “Be Young” on the left and “Be Free” on the right. I am not exactly sure if I like that slogan– Be Young Be Free. It kind of implies to be free is to be young. Which, in a way, I guess that could be true? But I digress.
The earcups are backed by a chrome-ringed matte black plate with SuperEQ emblazoned in white. Inside is a soft fabric with L and R on the left and right cups, respectfully. Additionally, they have memory foam padding covered in super-soft black faux leather and form a good seal around the ear.
Maybe it’s because I have a big head, but these headphones are pretty clumpy. I had to get them in just the right spot by sliding the cups down the headband and wiggling them around, so they aren’t hitting a pressure point. But once I get them into place, they sit comfortably, and after a while, I forget I have them on.
However, my ears get hot and sweaty due to the fake leather, and that’s when I know it’s time for a break. This is typically after about 2-4 hours of continuous use and roughly coincides with SuperEQs wearing recommendations in the FAQ booklet, so it works out nicely.
There isn’t much adjustability with SuperEQ S1, however. These headphones only allowed us to slide the earcups and have a relatively poor amount of articulation as well. Furthermore, the headphone cups can not swivel, meaning they won’t lay flat on your chest while wearing them around your neck.
Apparently, to comfortably carry these headphones when not in use is to fold them up and put them in the included carrying bag. Which I doubt most people will do.
In my time using the SuperEQ S1s, I never used the pouch, mainly because I had no need to. Also, carrying around a pouch just in case I needed it seemed like it would be a hassle.
This may be nit-picky, but it bothered me that the stylized SuperEQ logo on the bag didn’t fit neatly on one side. The tail of the Q wraps around the bottom by about half an inch, which you can see in the picture above.
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All of the buttons and cable ports are on the right ear cup. You have the volume up, power, and volume down on the back. These are multifunction buttons. If you long-press the up-volume button for two seconds, the headphones will skip to the next track.
Do the same on the volume down button, and they will go back to the previous track. Single pressing the power button will pause the song, and long-pressing the power button for three seconds will turn off the SuperEQ S1s.
On the bottom is the 3.5mm audio jack, the micro-USB port, and the ANC button. If you press the ANC button, it will cycle through noise-canceling and ambient sound modes. Long-pressing the button will turn these features off.
Thanks to Bluetooth 5, the SuperEQ S1 headphones can effortlessly connect to your phone, PC, or game console. This is the latest in wireless connectivity and offers low latency connections at higher bandwidths.
Additionally, the connection is rated for a distance of 10m/33ft, and I feel like that’s a conservative distance. I was able to wander around my 2 story house with little to no connection issues. The only problem I had was when I was on the opposite side of the house. Outdoors I easily went 50 feet before I started getting connection drops.
The SuperEQ S1 has Multipoint Bluetooth technology which enables it to connect to two devices at once. This is good for listening to music on your PC while also being connected to your phone. This way, if you get a call, you won’t need to take off the SuperEQ S1s.
I started using these headphones immediately out of the package without charging them up first. They lasted over a week, and I used them constantly at varying volumes and tried all the modes during that time.
This battery is impressive and is another aspect of the SuperEQ S1s that has surprised me. Besides that, when they did finally die on me, it took almost three hours exactly to regain a full charge.
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Are The SuperEQ S1 Headphones Worth It?
On SuperEQ’s store page, the SuperEQ S1 headphones are listed for $55.99 and, if I’m interpreting this correctly, that price is 60% off the original at the time of this writing meaning these headphones would be $140 without the discount.
On top of the discount, you can also use the codes: “MORE20” or ”SAVE20″ to get an extra 20% off the purchase, which brings the final price to $44.80.
And for $44.80, hell yeah, these headphones are worth it! But no way would I pay $140 for these. I could choose from numerous other headphones with more options and better quality for that price.
If the price stays at $45-$60, I would recommend these all day long! I like them so much that I’d buy two for that price, but not for one. Luckily it seems SuperEQ always has some kind of flash deal going on, so I would gamble that it’s safe to say: these will be on sale for a while.
For the discounted price, this is a steal. The SuperEQ S1s have fantastic audio quality. But like I mentioned earlier, the highs are sharp and a little bitey. But the deep bass and refined mids pick up some of the slack.
The soundstage is decent without being overly narrow, as long as you don’t have them in ANC mode, and the battery life is phenomenal!
I found myself just getting lost in the music while wearing the SuperEQ S1 Bluetooth Headphones, and at times, they even gave me chills. The audio quality is truly unexpected, and these headphones perform above their current price.
So, for under $50, yes, you really can enjoy high-quality audio on a budget. Get yours before it’s too late! And make sure to use the discount codes ”SAVE20” or ”MORE20” with your purchase at the SuperEQ website.