A solid pair of headphones can dramatically improve your media experience on your smartphone, whether you’re an avid music listener, movie buff, or hardcore gamer. And with more and more phones ditching the headphone jack, more users are opting for wireless headphones.
That’s where the Damson Headspace noise canceling cans come in. They’re a high-quality set of wireless headphones that boast active noise canceling and up to 16 hours of battery life, giving some bigger names like Sony and Bose some serious competition. But are they worth the $150 price tag? Let’s find out.
Damson isn’t as well known as a company like Bose, but they still have a pretty legit design team. The Headspace features a brushed aluminum finish on the ear cups with a soft leather material for the band. They’re not quite utilitarian, but they do nail a pretty simplistic design with the right amount of flair.
The left ear cup sports the Damson logo and the noise canceling switch that you’ll use to toggle the ANR on and off, and the right ear cup has your power and playback controls. There’s a micro USB port for charging, which means you’ll be able to use any of your old cables laying around to juice it up. There’s a 3.5mm port, too, so if you do run out of charge and you’re still rocking a phone with a headphone jack, you can plug in until you get a chance to recharge.
The pads on the ear cup are made of the same material that’s on the band of the headphone, and both pieces here are extremely comfortable. It’s a cushioned type of leather that breathes exceptionally well and fits to just about any ear shape or size with minimal discomfort. I’m still definitely an earbuds kind of guy, but I could easily wear the Headspace for hours without a problem.
I’m not an audiophile by any stretch, but I’m also not the type of person to tolerate a cheap $10 pair of earbuds just to get by. I’d rather not listen to music at all than listen to something that sounds bad, if we’re being totally honest.
With all of that being said, I was pretty happy with the Headspace without being totally blown away. For a set of headphones that aren’t aimed at music production or anything, they sound pretty flat with very little sound coloration. Of course, most people (myself included) have preferences for how they like things to sound, and a flat sound isn’t usually going to fit that bill.
Kicking the active noise cancellation on changes things up a bit, though. The bass gets kicked up and the mids are slightly more scooped, which falls much more in line with what most people expect out of modern music, especially in the rock genre. The low end is very clean, too, which is something that’s pretty tough to get out of headphones. Usually a focus on bass ends up muddying music more than it helps, but Damson did a pretty good job here.
I still wouldn’t use these without an EQ on the music mostly based on my own tastes, but once you get things set up you can get some pretty impressive results out of the Headspace, especially for this price range.
Besides slightly adjusting the EQ on the headphones, the noise canceling also works extremely well and without any hiss. Sometimes you’ll get a funky feedback from other noise canceling headphones, but the Headspace effectively and cleanly blocks most of the lower frequencies you’ll hear around you. With music or a movie playing on top of it, you’re pretty guaranteed to be able to ignore everything around you.
Damson pulls this off with two microphones and their “XD noise canceling” technology. I’m not entirely sure what voodoo they crammed in here, especially at this price point, but it’s impressive.
Damson also touts their multipoint technology on these, which is a pretty cool feature for users with multiple devices. It essentially allows the headphones to pair with multiple devices, like, say, a tablet and your phone. So even though you’re using the headphones for music or a game on your tablet, you’ll still be able to take an incoming call from your phone with them.
Damson claims you’ll get about 16 hours of playback on a single charge, and that’s with the noise canceling on. That claim ended up being mostly accurate.
I don’t need headphones all the time, so I could pretty realistically get away with charging these once a week with a few hours of usage every day. They’re still big headphones so it’s not something I’d take to work, but if you’re at a desk all day or you just prefer headphones to speakers, you’ll still be able to get a good chunk of usage out of them.
We’re still waiting for fast charge type technology to come to headphones and other gadgets, but the charge time on the Headspace definitely isn’t bad. You’re looking at a couple hours to fully recharge, and if you’re like me and charging them overnight, it doesn’t really matter much, anyway.
Ignoring the price tag, I think the Damson Headspace headphones fall into the “pretty good” category. I personally don’t need noise canceling very often, and just based on preferences I wasn’t completely crazy about how they sound compared to some other headphones that do fit my tastes a bit better. The noise canceling does work extremely well, however, and they’re extremely comfortable to wear.
If we factor the price tag into the equation, I think you’ve arguably got the best pair of headphones on the market in its price range. At just $149, these things are seriously undercutting Bose, the de facto noise canceling headphone brand, and you’re easily getting more than $149 worth of sound quality and battery life here. If money was no object, sure, I’d probably still go for the Bose QC35, but for anyone that does care about price-to-performance, Damson has a winner on their hands with the Headspace.
Buy it now: Amazon