"Crank & # 39; em to 11. With the built-in volume limiter, your ears will thank you."

  • Very convenient

  • Very good sound quality

  • Healthy volume limitation

  • Good battery life

  • Mediocre ANC

  • No multi-device pairing

  • No fast charging

What do you look for when buying new wireless headphones?

Good sound? Obviously. Long battery life? Yes, please. Active noise cancellation (ANC)? Yes of course. I mean it's 2020 isn't it? What about hearing protection?

Say what?

Exactly.

Puro Sound Labs has focused on one idea since its inception: Preventing Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) by developing headphones that automatically limit their maximum volume to safe levels.

The company rightly received props for its kid-friendly Puro headphones, but is now targeting an entirely different market: those looking for high-performance ANC wireless headphones.

Can his $ 200 PuroPro deliver all the bells and whistles we're used to while taking care of our overworked ears? Let's find out.

What's in the box?

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Before we discuss what's in the box, let's take a moment and appreciate the box itself. I'm going to assume it's balsa wood, it's incredibly light, and easily deals with the question of what with What to do with the packaging of the headphones is: just use it as you wish.

It looks pretty good, and while it obviously doesn't require much abuse, it could be a handy place to store charging cables, pen drives, or any number of other digital accessories that have taken over our lives.

In this box you will find the PuroPro in its hard-shell carrying case as well as a micro-USB charging cable and an analogue cable for volume limitation. Apart from the cardboard sleeve with which the wooden box is wrapped, the PuroPro does not contain any materials that have to be disposed of or recycled.

design

One look at the PuroPro and you will know exactly what inspired its design. They are a real eye-catcher for the wireless headphones WH-1000XM4 from Sony. That's not a bad thing. If you want to copy someone, you can copy the best too.

The resemblance goes deeper than the looks, although they are clad in matte black plastic, they really look very similar. The sleek, pivoting ear cups are held in place with forks that blend seamlessly with the headband. These can be rotated a full 45 degrees so that the ear cups lie flat around the neck and can be folded up on the integrated hinges for easier storage.

The ear pads are very plush and super comfortable. But because they're so well padded, there's a fair bit of leeway. Move too fast and you can feel the PuroPro shifting on your head. Those with larger heads may not notice this as much, but my noggin was already on the smallest headband setting so people with smaller heads might find it problematic.

As long as you don't plan on using them for jogging, I wouldn't worry about that. I certainly wouldn't forego an ounce of their impressive comfort for more stability.

The fork vertebrae move with virtually no resistance, and while that sounds good, it reminds me of mechanisms on cheaper models – it's the only thing that detracts from an otherwise high-quality design.

Battery life

PuroPro headphonesSimon Cohen / Digital Trends

After 32 hours of claimed battery life with the ANC turned off and 28 hours with the ANC turned on, the PuroPro are spot on with some of the best wireless ANC headphones. It's roughly the same as the Sony WH-1000XM3 or XM4 and much better than the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700, which only lasted 20 hours.

There is no quick charge option that virtually all headphones have these days.

It takes two hours to fully charge them from an empty state, but strangely enough, there is no quick charge option that virtually all headphones these days have.

The charging process takes place via a micro USB connection. Depending on your smartphone, you may need to carry two cables with you when you travel.

Control and ease of use

PuroPro headphonesSimon Cohen / Digital Trends

You will not find any fancy touch controls on the PuroPro. Instead, you get a simple and easy-to-use set of physical buttons on the bottom of the right ear cup.

It's a pretty typical arrangement: a rocker button is used to change the volume and track skipping functions, while the power button acts as a multifunctional control for power, play / pause, answer / end calls, access to voice assistants and Putting on the headphones is used in the Bluetooth pairing mode.

With a third button you can switch through the three ANC modes (two ANC levels plus one off mode).

Once you remember the keystroke sequences, using the controls becomes effortless.

At just $ 200, you can't expect the PuroPro to have all of the features that more expensive headphones have, but I wish it had two: a wear sensor that some wireless headphones use to automatically stop music when you remove them from your ear and Bluetooth Multipoint, which means you can pair the headphones with two devices such as a phone and a computer at the same time.

Sound quality

PuroPro headphonesSimon Cohen / Digital Trends

Although these are headphones that intentionally limit the volume, the PuroPro makes an admirable contribution to maintaining sound quality.

Their EQ is remarkably neutral and mostly avoids playing favorites with low, medium or high frequencies. The bass is clear but never overwhelming, and both vocals and instruments have a chance to shine.

There's both warmth and definition, and although the PuroPro doesn't place individual sounds around you with great precision, the soundstage itself is still comfortably wide.

Their EQ is remarkably neutral and mostly avoids playing favorites with low, medium or high frequencies.

In order to hear the PuroPro at its best, you must activate the ANC function at least on level 1. Without the ANC switched on, low-end sounds suddenly lose their power and the mids and highs turn up uncomfortably. This has the effect of overemphasizing the singing, most noticeable in male tenor singers. On The Doors & # 39; deeply haunted Riders On The Storm, Jim Morrison's voice is more sharp than smoky.

Fortunately, this bizarre ANC requirement doesn't affect the PuroPro's analog wired performance – you get all of the sound quality even when these are turned off.

Volume limit

Not only are the PuroPro really decent wireless headphones, but their main attraction is the volume limiter too.

If you're using the headphones wirelessly, you can choose between the default 85dB maximum volume or switch to the more liberal 95dB by pressing and holding the volume buttons for three seconds. If you use the supplied analog cable for wired listening, the volume is limited to 85 dB.

Overall, the ANC function does not do justice to the term "noise suppression" – it is more similar to noise reduction.

You can always work around these limitations by using your own headphone cable. However, I strongly recommend adhering to them. If you are used to being free to rule your volume, there is a good chance you will exceed 85 dB. I don't see myself as someone who routinely turn up the volume, but I was still surprised when I hit the max of 85dB – it's quieter than I expected.

I think that's a good thing – it means the PuroPro gives me the opportunity to revert my listening habits to healthier levels. According to Puro Sound Labs, 85 dB is the maximum safe sound level recommended by organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) and allows for up to 8 hours of safe hearing.

Noise cancellation

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

As mentioned above, turning on the PuroPro's ANC while wirelessly listening is a must if you want decent sound. Overall, however, the ANC function does not do justice to the term "noise suppression" – it is more similar to noise reduction.

According to Puro Sound Labs, the ANC at level 1 offers a deep noise reduction of 32 dB, while level 2 offers a more general noise reduction of 15 dB.

Level 1 was able to reduce the noise of a nearby bathroom fan, but not by an amount that made it fade into the background. Level 2 sounded identical to me.

And while ANC performance is mediocre, neither Level 1 nor Level 2 introduce unwanted noise – a characteristic of poorly executed ANC – so at least your music quality won't be affected, even if you can't eliminate as much external sounds as possible you would like .

In contrast to some headphones with ANC, the PuroPro does not have an ambient mode for introducing external sounds.

Call quality

Call quality on the PuroPro tended to vary widely and it was difficult to get a consistent result. It was easy for the headphones to walk up and down a street with the occasional car passing, and my caller sometimes didn't even notice the vehicles passing by. Then, as I sat in a very quiet room in a garden, my caller noticed a decrease in call quality, with the microphones apparently picking up noises that I wasn't aware of.

I wouldn't rate this performance as abnormally poor, but like many wireless headphones, call quality isn't one of PuroPro's strong points.

Our opinion

While not spectacular for noise cancellation, the PuroPro are comfortable wireless headphones with good sound quality and a unique volume-limiting feature that is designed to protect your hearing from the long-term damage that can result from exposure to loud music.

Is there a better alternative?

The volume limit can be found on several models of children's headphones, including those made by Puro Sound Labs. However, the PuroPro are the only model I've seen that is aimed at adults. As such, they are in a class of their own. However, if this feature isn't a must have, check out our list of the best wireless headphones for some great alternatives.

How long will they last?

The PuroPro comes with a one-year warranty from Puro Sound Labs. Their overall build quality is good, as are the materials. You can expect them to last as long as most products in this category if you take care of them.

Should you buy them

Yes, but only if volume limiting is a must.

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