I have been promising for a while to let you know about the new wireless version of the startlingly good £149 Even H1 headphones I reported on in last October’s travel edition. Even’s H2 headphones came to Technopolis Towers a convenient fortnight before I set off on an Australia trip. I did the two-minute “ear print” calibration process at home – it’s needed to adapt the phones to your hearing and you have to find a quiet room to do it – but I didn’t actually listen to the H2s until I was well into the first leg of my Sydney flight.
Somewhere over western Russia, I got the neatly collapsed (and beautifully built) H2s out of their case and turned them on. Except, first surprise, they were already on, and seemingly had been on for a long time. An early lesson – they’re too easy to switch on accidentally, so be careful. They should work for 20 hours plus, except I only got four hours out of them.
That was still enough time to realise how fantastic they are. The headphones have been designed principally to make music from a smartphone sound better than it should – hardly a purist hifi mission. Yet they really do seem able to dig out musical detail from unexceptional recordings and add a feeling of, for want of a better word, juiciness. I would be surprised if these don’t make you enjoy your music all over again. I found the experience of hearing old favourites reinvigorated quite emotional. They are also pretty comfortable.
Caveats? They are not noise-cancelling, so the best way to mute engine racket is by turning them up. It works – the H2s transform the puny output from an iPhone into a great, glorious wall of magnificent sound. Another niggle – the plethora of buttons on the right earcup is not easy to navigate blind in a darkened aircraft cabin – the most important button feels different, but not different enough from the others. But don’t let that put you off: just concentrate on the sound.