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Top-down view showing the W820NB Plus from the side.
Dave Carr / SoundGuys

Edifier W820NB Plus review

A bit pedestrian, but get the job done.
By

Published onMarch 26, 2024

7.4
The bottom line
While the Edifier W820NB Plus has a comfortable fit, decent sound, and plenty of features to offer the casual listener on a budget, the lack of foldable design is a big downside for commuters and travelers.

While the Edifier W820NB Plus has a comfortable fit, decent sound, and plenty of features to offer the casual listener on a budget, the lack of foldable design is a big downside for commuters and travelers.
Product release date

May 18th, 2023

Price

$79.99

Dimensions

Headphones: 165 x 191 x 82 mm

Ear cup: 57 x 35 mm

Cable length: 1.2 m

Weight

221g

Model Number

EDIFIER-W820NBPLUS

What we like
Decent sound
Comfortable fit
Good isolation
Audio over USB
What we don't like
Non-folding design
No customizable EQ
No continuous power light
Heat builds quickly in the ear cups
7.4
SoundGuys Rating
7
User Rating
Rating Metric
Our Rating
User Rating
Isolation / Attenuation
7.3
7.0
7.0
Active Noise Cancelling
8.4
-
0.0
Durability / Build Quality
5.0
-
0.0
Value
7.3
-
0.0
Design
6.5
-
0.0
Connectivity
9.0
-
0.0
Portability
5.0
-
0.0
Feature
7.5
-
0.0
Comfort
6.4
-
0.0
MDAQS rating
Learn more
Timbre
4.8
Distortion
4.2
Immersiveness
3.8
Overall
4.8

There’s an ocean of overwhelming choices to wade through when it comes to budget-friendly, over-ear ANC headphones. The Edifier W820NB Plus aims to make the decision easy. With everything we expect, like quality sound, active noise canceling (ANC), long battery life, and a comfortable fit, let’s see if the W820NB Plus is the audio life raft we’re looking for or if it gets lost at sea.

Editor’s note: this is the first version of the article. Updates will follow as the market changes.

About this Edifier W820NB Plus review: We tested the Edifier W820NB Plus over 2 weeks. The headphones ran firmware version 1.0.1, and the Edifier Connect app ran version 7.8.25. The company provided the unit for this review.

The Edifier W820NB Plus is for commuters and casual listeners who are looking for a pair of over-ear, ANC headphones for under $100.

What’s it like to use the Edifier W820NB Plus?

Side profile view of a man wearing the Edifier W820NB Plus headphones
Chase Bernath / SoundGuys
The Edifier W820NB Plus is also available in black, ivory, blue, and green.

The Edifier W820NB Plus headphones sport a smooth, simple matte grey finish. Commuters beware: while the ear cups can rotate to a flat position, they don’t fold up, and these headphones don’t come with a carrying case either. There is also no IP rating, meaning they’re not ideal for the gym or rainy climates.

The roomy ear cups and cushy headband have good padding for a comfortable fit and create a quality seal around the ear, which noticeably helps with passive isolation. But another word of caution: watch out for the corner edges that appear on the plastic headband adjustment sections while fitting these to your head.

While the Edifier W820Nb Plus are indeed comfortable, heat build-up is one downside to the well-fitting ear cups and their robust seal. It’s not a big deal if you’re mostly sitting still, but after roughly 30 minutes of walking with these headphones, my ears became quite warm, and sweat began to build up on the ear pads.

How do you control the Edifier W820NB Plus?

Top-down view of the ear cup controls on the Edifier W820NB Plus
Dave Carr / SoundGuys
All physical controls and the USB-C charging port are on the right ear cup.

You control the Edifier W820NB Plus via the right ear cup’s buttons, which give a satisfying click when pressed. There is also a dedicated ‘Mode” button for switching between listening modes. You can cycle through ANC on, ANC off, and Ambient, Edifiers’ “Transparent” mode, allowing you to hear more of the outside world. Below is a breakdown of how the buttons operate.

Actions Power button Volume +Volume - M (mode) button
Actions
One press
Power button
Play / pause / answer / end call
Volume +
Volume up
Volume -
Volume down
M (mode) button
Cycle listening modes
Actions
Long press
Power button

Volume +
Next track
Volume -
Previous track
M (mode) button

Actions
Two presses
Power button
Mic assist / reject call
Volume +

Volume -

M (mode) button

Actions
Press and hold for 3 sec
Power button
Power on / off / BT pair
Volume +

Volume -

M (mode) button

Actions
Press and hold for 5 sec
Power button

Volume +
Clear BT pairing records
Volume -
Clear BT pairing records
M (mode) button

You can find further control options like switching EQ modes in the companion app.

Should you use the Edifier Connect app for the Edifier W820NB Plus?

Screen shot of the Edifier connect app. Showing listening modes, eq modes, and various settings.
The Edifier Connect app offers you four EQ presets to choose from.

While downloading and installing the Edifier Connect app is helpful, it feels more like an online storefront for other Edifier products than a dedicated headphone companion app. Avoiding the “Discover” and “Mall” sections, “Headphones” is where you can change listening modes, select between the four EQ presets, and modify some of the headphone’s default settings.

How does the Edifier W820NB Plus connect?

A hand pressing the control buttons on the W820NB Plus headphones.
Chase Bernath / SoundGuys
The W820NB Plus supports audio over wired USB-C.

The Edifier W820NB Plus connects via Bluetooth 5.2, which supports LDAC, AAC, SBC codecs, and Hi-Res audio. While they don’t offer multipoint, they feature audio over wired USB-C and supply a lengthy cable for connection. You can listen to music, take Zoom calls, and charge the headphones over a wired connection.

Pairing the Edifier W820NB Plus headphones follows the usual steps.

  1. Press and hold the power button on the headphones for 3 seconds to enter pairing mode.
  2. Open your Bluetooth settings and select the Edifier W820NB Plus
  3. Download and install the Edifier Connect app for further control

Press and hold the Volume – and Volume + for 5 seconds to clear any previous Bluetooth pairings.

How long does the Edifier W820NB Plus battery last?

Edifier advertises 33 hours of playback with ANC on. The W820NB Plus lasted 31 hours and 49 minutes in our standardized battery test.

Edifier states a 10-minute charge will give you 7 hours of additional playback.

How well do the Edifier W820NB Plus cancel noise?

While not the best noise canceling headphones on the market, for the price, the Edifier W820NB Plus offers decent passive noise isolation thanks to the well-fitting ear pads. This helps keep other people’s conversations at bay when commuting with these headphones, while the active noise canceling does an excellent job of nulling out the low-end rumble of the city bus.

Loading chart ...

The chart above shows how the headphone’s noise blocking abilities were measured in our lab. The passive isolation is shown in pink, and the combined passive isolation and ANC in blue — higher values equal better performance. As expected, passive isolation is most effective at blocking external noise in the higher frequencies above 1kHz. Active noise canceling works best at canceling out low-frequency noise below 1kHz and appears to have been tuned to clamp down on noise around 100Hz, making it very effective at reducing engine noise, for example.

How do the Edifier W820NB Plus sound?

The Edifier W820NB Plus has an excellent sound that most listeners will enjoy.

Multi-Dimensional Audio Quality Scores (MDAQS)

The chart below shows how the sound of the Edifier W820NB Plus was assessed by the Multi-Dimensional Audio Quality Score (MDAQS) algorithm from HEAD acoustics.

This chart shows the MDAQS results for the Edifier W820NB Plus in SBC default mode. The Timbre score is 4.8, The Distortion score is 4.2, the Immersiveness score is 3.8, and the Overall Score is 4.8).
The Edifier W820NB Plus scores impressively well for MDAQS.

With an overall score of 4.8, the Edifier W820NB Plus punch well above their price. This score is close to more premium over-ear headphones, like the Bose QuietComfort Ultra, which are over four times the price. Not bad for less than $80.

Timbre (MOS-T) represents how faithfully the earbuds reproduce the frequency spectrum and temporal resolution (timing information).

Distortion (MOS-D) represents non-linearities and added noise: higher scores mean cleaner reproduction.

Immersiveness (MOS-I) represents perceived source width and positioning: how well virtual sound sources are defined in three-dimensional space.

See here for an explanation of MDAQS, how it works, and how it was developed.

Reviewer’s notes

Since no graphic EQ is available in the Edifier Connect app, your sound is limited to only four EQ presets: Classic, Pop, Classical, and Rock.

Listening to Chamber of Reflection by Mac Demarco, the Classic and Pop presets are very similar and reasonably safe-sounding presets without being sonically flat or lifeless. These presets provide enough satisfying low end without overpowering, and the character of the vintage synths on this track can still be heard. Still, both presets noticeably lack any “biting” mid-range and exciting treble frequencies when listening to the epic composition Pull Me Under by progressive metal/rock outfit Dream Theater.

Doing its name justice and switching to the Rock preset is just what I needed to hear. While the boost in treble frequencies might be a tad much for some listeners, the “shimmer” of drummer Mike Portnoy’s elaborate cymbal setup is brought to life, along with a more audible “snap” from his snare drum. Of course, any Rock preset would only be complete with a mid-frequency boost, in this case, bringing John Petrucci’s heavy, distorted 7-string guitars to the front of the mix with some added separation between the left and right rhythm tracks.

While these presets are usable, a customizable graphic EQ would be a welcomed addition, considering many competitors offer it.

Objective Measurements

Loading chart ...

You can see how the frequency response of the Edifier W820NB Plus compares to our headphone preference curve in the chart above. You’ll notice the headphones follow our preference curve quite closely in the low end, and there is only a bit of deviation in the mid and high frequencies. Overall, it’s safe to say most casual listeners will enjoy the stock sound of the W820NB Plus.

We’re big fans of headphones that support audio over a USB connection. However, in this case, it does come with some sonic modifications. In the comparison chart below, the yellow dotted line represents the W820NB’s frequency response over a wired connection, and the blue line is a Bluetooth connection.

Loading chart ...

You’ll notice a boost in low-end and mid-frequencies, but the treble remains almost the same when using a wired connection.

Again, we see some changes in the sonic characteristics of these headphones once ANC is engaged. In the chart below, the yellow line represents the frequency response measured with ANC off, compared to the blue line, which shows measurements with ANC on.

Loading chart ...

You’ll notice you lose some low-end frequencies when ANC is engaged, and I found these changes noticeable while cycling ANC on and off, especially when it comes to things like the impact and “punch” of a kick drum while listening to any rock-based music.

Can you use the Edifier W820NB Plus for phone calls?

With a quick press of the power button, you can take an incoming phone call with the W820NB Plus; however, in our demonstrations below, while the voices are mostly clear, we did experience some clipping in the audio.

Edifier W820NB Plus microphone demo (Ideal conditions):

How does the microphone sound to you?

3 votes

 

Edifier W820NB Plus microphone demo (Office conditions):

Edifier W820NB Plus microphone demo (Street conditions):

Edifier W820NB Plus microphone demo (Windy conditions):

Edifier W820NB Plus microphone demo (Reverberant space):

The microphone does a decent job of keeping any office noise at bay, with the occasional background noise making its way in, but like most headphones, they struggle in windy conditions. Aside from some clipping, you get a usable performance in most situations.

Should you buy the Edifier W820NB Plus?

Top view of the Edifier W820NB Plus headphones
Dave Carr / SoundGuys
While the ear cups swivel flat, they do not fold up.

The Edifier W820NB Plus aren’t the most exciting headphones on the market, but for less than $80, casual listeners will enjoy decent sound, a comfortable fit, and good ANC and isolation. If you’re primarily commuting, consider some headphones with folding ear cups and a more travel-friendly design.

Edifier W820NB PlusEdifier W820NB Plus
Edifier W820NB Plus
Excellent sound • Superior ANC • Hi-Res audio
MSRP: $79.99

What should you get instead of the Edifier W820NB Plus?

Top view of SonoFlow headphones slightly folded up
The 1MORE SonoFlow offers a stylish-looking design.

For just a bit more outlay, the 1MORE SonoFlow ($99.99 at Amazon) offer a few key features missing from the Edifier W820NB Plus. They have a foldable design and a protective carrying case, and there are also more options for sound. With the 1MORE Music app, you can select from 12 EQ presets, or if you like to tweak, you can take advantage of the 10-band customizable EQ to fine-tune your playback.

In the same price range, the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 )$79.99 at Amazon) are worth a look. The Life Q30 headphones also feature a foldable design, protective carrying case, and 9-band customizable EQ. Paired with a 46-hour battery life off a single charge, they make for a solid pair of commuter headphones for your travels.

Don’t forget, you can always check out our best Bluetooth headphones under $100 and best budget over-ear headphones lists for even more options.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, the W820NB Plus has active noise cancelation.

In our testing, they lasted 31 hours and 49 minutes of playback with ANC on.

Edifier states a 1.5 hour charge time.

No, there is no multi-point connection option with the W820NB Plus.

Yes, the Edifier W820NB Plus supports audio over a USB-C connection.

No, there is no water protection rating for the Edifier W820NB Plus.