Review: Wicked Audio Enix Bluetooth Headphones
Wicked Audio expanded its line of Bluetooth headphones this year to include the over-the-ear Enix. This inexpensive pair of cans skips advanced features in favor of focusing on the basics. Do they provide the sound you seek? Find out in Phone Scoop's full review.
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If the idea of spending two or three benjamins on a set of headphones seems silly to you, brands such as Wicked Audio are ready to sell you simple models that deliver decent performance at affordable price points. The Enix headphones from Wicked Audio are just such a product.
The Enix are over-the-ear headphones, which are meant to wholly cover your ears. This form factor is normally good at isolating your ears from the outside world. The Enix are just shy of big enough (for my ears, at least) and feel more like on-ear than over-the-ear.
The Enix have a hard plastic headband with not-enough padding where it sits on the top of your head. The plastic band itself has plenty of flexibility and comes across as strong.
The ear cups are affixed to the plastic band via metal stalks. Each stalk has about 1.5 inches of travel so you can adjust the fit. The cups themselves have dual hinges, meaning you can rotate them so the headphones lay flat, or fold them up into the headband for something more compact overall. The hinges feel solid. The leather ear cups are stuffed with padding, which helps provide both comfort and a sound barrier.
While the ear cups were comfy against my ears, the whole experience of wearing the Enix left me feeling claustrophobic thanks to the pressure against the top of my head created by the band. The Enix are certainly tight enough to wear when walking vigorously, but I had to talk them off after about an hour due to fatigue.
Wicked Audio located all the controls along the bottom rim of the right cup, where they're easily reached by your thumb. The most forward control is the on/off switch. It slides back and forth and works well. An LED next to the power switch lets you know when the Enix are charging (orange), charged (green), pairing (flashing red/blue), paired (blinking blue), or dead (red).
Wicked Audio opted to include a 3.5mm aux port so you can use a regular headphone cable to connect to your music player should the Enix battery be dead. Sound via the 3.5mm headset jack varies a bit depending on the power of your phone's audio circuits.
Next is a dedicated play/pause, answer/end call key. This button is rather small and situated right next to the volume/track controls. The button is hard to find by feel, making it all too easy to accidentally hang up on someone when you want to adjust the volume. Travel and feedback could be better, too.
Annoyingly, Wicked Audio carried over the crummy volume/track controls from last year's Endo headphones. The separate volume keys are hard to tell apart and they work the opposite way you expect. A quick press will jump forward or backward a track. If you want to adjust the volume, you have to press and hold. I can't tell you how many times I accidentally jumped a track when I intended to change the volume. This is simply not a good set of controls.
The Enix ship with a headphone cable, USB cable, and cheap storage bag.
While the Enix offer a basic set of features, they could be better. I'm not sold on the feel of the headband and the controls are a turn-off. The headphones feel as though they're made well enough to handle traveling in a backpack, but it's clear these are low-cost headphones. The Enix is available only in black.
It was simple enough to pair the Enix to several different phones. The Enix automatically enter pairing mode when turned on, which I find helpful. The Bluetooth connection stretches the standard 33 feet (10m). When tested, the connection between Enix and phone tends to fray at the 25-foot mark and sever completely right at 33 feet. The Bluetooth radio did well enough with respect to seamless playback when close to the phone. I did experience a few quick drops here and there, but they were short. It weakens noticeably when you begin to wander.
The Enix have a fairly standard set of electronics, with 40mm drivers and a frequency response range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz.
The box boasts of "high fidelity" and "enhanced bass." I disagree. The bass sound I heard was flat and lifeless. There was no thump in it at all. I tested a number of different musical styles and came away unimpressed with each. Nothing sounded great, or even good for that matter. Highs, mids, and lows were muted and dull.
There is no app from Wicked Audio to adjust the EQ. You'll need to rely on the sound-shaping tools of Spotify, Google Music, and iTunes if you want to tweak the audio profile. Even then, I wasn't able to get the clarity and punch I wanted from the Enix.
The over-the-ear design is supposed to help block a fair amount of the outside environment. Here, the Enix do better than Wicked Audio's on-ear Endo headphones, but you'll still hear plenty of the surrounding din. I found I needed to boost the volume to fully drown things out.
I found the battery lasts the advertised 10 hours; the Enix pushed through the full 10 hours each and every time I tested them. Ten hours is plenty long for a full day of commuting, working, and playing. It takes only about 1.5 hours to fully charge the Enix, which isn't too bad.
There's no question that the Wicked Audio Enix Bluetooth headphones are entry-level cans. You won't find many options at the $45 price point of the Enix. I'd say these are for general listeners only, or maybe for teens who want to go wire-free, or for those who can't/won't wear ear buds. The Enix are not for anyone who truly cares about how their music sounds.
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