By Paul McNeil
As mobile phones are advancing more and more these days, so is the industry of ear buds and head phones. These phones also demand our attention, while the world around us becoming more hectic than ever before.
Recently, I had the opportunity to review the new OVC H15 earbuds with the all-important noise cancellation feature. For those familiar with OVC, this is not an upgrade of the OVC H1 model and it has a number of interesting features, mainly not being wireless which goes against OVC history.
H1 was a music earphone but H15 is an active noise cancelling earphones. H1’s main feature is bass adjustment through a mechanical method.
Unlike the shocking price tags of other models that range at around $200 to $300, the OVC H15 can be purchased at $80 at Amazon, and you can also receive a 50% discount if you are an Amazon Prime user. The main reason behind this price tag definitely has to be the noise cancellation feature.
The OVC H15 is compatible with most main-stream smartphone brands like Huawei, Samsung, Apple iPhone, One Plus, etc.
Of course, the noise cancellation is the main feature that we should discuss. I’ve mainly checked this with my mobile phone while walking to work, on the metro or a bus, in a flight and even at work. The noise cancellation was great at deafening street noises and car horns, people yapping on busses or metros, and most importantly, at work when some of my colleagues just wouldn’t stop their chit chats. (You just need to keep on nodding to pretend you are listening 😉
And of course, my friend’s wife borrowed my OVC H15 hoping it would help her sleep despite her husband’s snoring (LOL). And the result? Yes, she was relatively satisfied, but sometimes nothing can silence a man’s snoring…
However, for those who love to jog like me, the OVC H15 is not specifically designed to be sweat-proof for workouts or sporting exercises.
For me, when you need to concentrate, I truly consider a quiet atmosphere to be priceless. That’s when the OVC H15 does its magic. This means you no longer need to search desperately for peace in a decent atmosphere. In whatever situation you maybe when you want to mute the outside world, just toss in these headphones and enjoy your comfort zone.
If you play your music at around 40% to 45% and with noise cancellation on, that virtually provides you the quiet space you’re looking for. There is also a bass function, but as I read in a company-provided FAQ, the two functions should not be used simultaneously, and I found it to be even counterproductive at times.
While we are here on the bass function, I did find the small control panel to be a bit too close my chin. If it were lower I thought it would be better. And to be honest, I’m a bit tall and I thought if the entire chord was about 15 cm longer, it would have been just perfect.
Of course, the upcoming Bluetooth version, BH15, will probably solve such an issue as extending the OVC H15’s cord would also be considered too long for most users. A very impressive feature is how OVC uses braided cables to make them very rugged.
You can control your songs with the control panel, pause, skim forward or go back. The inboard microphone is also placed in the control panel.
And the sound, wow! I found it to be very high quality. I’m quite sensitive of listing to news while at work, and sometimes colleagues talk so loud that I miss certain details of a report. OVC H15, however, provides lows in a nice and bassy fashion, while cutting a bit to also maintain quality for the mids and highs.
Here’s a cool feature. Even if the battery goes out, you can still listen to music, of course, but you won’t have noise cancellation. And speaking about the battery, I found it pretty amazing that it lasted about 60 hours before the next charge, which only takes an hour or so. I used the noise cancellation at night and literally fell asleep with music in my ears… and when I woke up in the morning I would find my phone nearly dead, but the OVC H15 still going on and on and on… (you remember those Energizer bunny commercials… no?… oh, come on!)
Anyways, I did expect a more durable little bag than the one provided by OVC, but no biggie, you can always place everything in your briefcase or gym bag.
And to be honest, I went a bit rough on these earbuds. Throwing them around in my room, in a variety of different bags and literally pulling them a bit viciously out of my ear. As mentioned above, the braided cables are very endurable. They haven’t budged a bit and I actually expect them to maintain their new look for a while because I can sense the quality going behind the manufacturing is top grade.
The feeling of the earbuds in my ear I found it to be a bit strange at first. Well, that is more due to the fact that I am more of a headphone guy. So, you may say my expectations were too high. But after a day or two I got completely used to it and would actually forget the earbuds were on after I began concentrating.
Now, I know, there might be some users who may find it somewhat strange to get used to the dangle at the end of the wire. However, if you can tuck it aside with your phone, it will all go in place as it should and meaning it is really worth the noise cancellation.
So, if you want my advice, it is definitely worth the purchase especially for those seeking to get some quiet concentration and simply blank out the outside world, audio wise.
Paul McNeil is a tech blogger and analyst. He reviews state-of-the-art technology trends, as well as the political and moral implications of the technology that is changing our world. Follow him on Twitter and read his blog.