Cowin E8 Wireless Headphone Review

E8 wireless ANC headphone

I’ve got another wireless noise-canceling headphone review to continue muddying the waters on what makes a valuable listening experience. This time it’s another Cowin review. I previously reviewed the SE7s here on Major HiFi and compared the Strauss and Wagner BT501 to the E7 Pro. I’ll be honest, I haven’t been a huge fan of what I’ve heard from them so far, however, some elements make Cowin headphones a worthy consumer product. And in the noise-canceling department, Cowin has a mighty upper hand compared to some other brands. In the sound quality department, these headphones have never struck me as a prestige product, but that’s it has become apparent that Cowin isn’t going for that. Now, they’ve released the E8, which allows Cowin to demonstrate what makes them a major competitor in the wireless noise-canceling field. 

E8 package contents

What You Get

A bigger box than I’m used to with Cowin, which made me expect a more complex build than other models. The first piece of the packaging is the hard shell, protective carrying case containing the E8 itself, as well as a few other accessories. The net pocket includes a UBS charging cable, an eighth-inch cable with a quarter-inch adapter, an airline adapter, and a velvet drawstring bag for all these accessories.

E8 laid down flat

Look and Feel

When I first set my eyes upon the Cowin E8 I was pleasantly surprised. Past models haven’t looked ugly or anything, but maybe a little plain. I found the E7 Pro to look a little cheap, and the SE7 to appear minimalistic. The E8 is a huge upgrade aesthetically, and they look like the real deal. The E8 sports a pristine build quality that screams high caliber. The headphones feature a sleek black finish and gold rings around the headband adjustments, which also come in silver, orange, and rose pink. The black matte includes a glossy plastic on the bottom end of the cups that give the E8 an eye-catching look. They look nice, but how do they feel? Pretty good! The E8 has large, leather ear cushions that wrap around your ear, and softly press up against your head, securing your ears nicely. 

Cowin E8 interface ANC

Design and Functionality

The Cowin E8 keeps things rather simple in its button interface. The power button is used for multi-functional playback and pairing. The pairing was smooth and uninterrupted, and the button response is consistent. Volume controls sit next to each other on the bottom of the right cup and are easily accessible. You’ll also find your 3.5mm headphone jack and USB charging port here as well. 


One of the first low points of the Cowin E8 is the use of Bluetooth 4.0 instead of the superior 5.0 found in a lot of other wireless headphones. This makes the E8 seem less up to date with, but it may not concern the listener looking for a headphone for travel. Despite not presenting the E8 with the latest in high bandwidth Bluetooth Technology, the signal is still clean at short ranges. 

Battery Life

Unfortunately, the E8 only supports 20 hours of battery life, which might be enough for some, but compared to most wireless headphones in this price range it could be considered lacking. Most wireless headphone brands sport 30 hours of battery life, but again, 20 hours at a full charge could be enough for your car or plane rides.

E8 gold head adjustment

Output and Noise-Canceling 

I found a stark contrast in both ANC and non-ANC output levels. ANC is activated by a switch on the right earcup. Switching on the ANC reveals a powerful masking signal that more resembles the effect of a high-pass filter than you’d usually hear in other noise-canceling headphones, which feature more subtle approaches at ambient sound masking. The E8 gives you 38dB of cancelation level, which may seem the norm for a headphone, but it’s a very strong signal. It’s sure to cancel out any airplane ventilation, or car engines, and the vent currently beside me disappeared. This obviously will affect sound quality, but if you’re looking for an affordable headphone that’ll get rid of all those annoying distractions, the E8 makes a statement. The impedance level stands at 32 Ohms and features a frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz, which is standard for most wireless headphones. 


In the past, I found nothing too special about Cowin’s products in terms of their soundstage, but I’m happy to say I thought the E8 was a significant improvement. Spatial imaging representation is much more intact, and the separation of sonic elements has been developed considerably. Though there is some messiness in which the frequency bands themselves, the bleed is a lot more minimal, and it doesn’t have the “one sound” effect that other models have. Bass sections sit well in your jaw, while mids and highs work more in tandem, but never clash together. However, when ANC is activated the sounds start to thin out, and some power is lost.

Low End

With ANC turned off there are some great characteristics to look at in the bass response. There’s a prominent sub-bass feel when listening to Hip-hop, and electronic tracks, but some heavy rock tracks appear a little hallow especially in the lower mids. Kick drums do have some nice punch and deep resonances, but other instrumentations could be heard as muddy sometimes. It’s a mixed bag but gets worse when ANC is active. As I mentioned in the output section, the low end takes on a filtering effect that’s unlike a lot of noise-canceling headphones. Any depth or resonance gets completely canceled out, and the timbre takes a honkier shape.


I didn’t find the mid-range offensive in any way, and I don’t believe it ever takes on a v-shape, but there’s a lot of mess here. The boosted low mids without ANC sometimes makes for a warm tonality in more contemporary tracks, but other times bring an unwanted hollowness to vocal ranges. This is where ANC gets more complicated because I found that vocal clarity improved a bit with it turned on, but the rest of the tracks lost a significant amount of amplitude, leaving an inconsistent mid-range even more conflicted. This may work better for talk podcasts or audiobooks, as they just let the voice stand out as the ANC silences everything else, but some music gets messier. 


Probably the biggest low point of the E8 is the highs. They’ve weak with or without ANC, with their low amplitude and resolution. The ANC especially exposes the thinness of the highs, revealing their feeble nature. While some high mids show some grace, and female vocals get to be a spotlight in this range, the overall timbre is sluggish and telephone-like.    

E8 side plates and cups


So there are some improvements Cowin makes that make these headphones stand out as a player in the noise-canceling headphone market while making some upgrades to sound signature. Even if some aspects of the aural response still fall flat, the strong ANC might be enough of a sell for some, especially for the affordable $149 price tag.

Pros and Cons

Pros: Build and presentation, comfortable, improved soundstage

Cons: Bluetooth 4.0, inconsistent timbre, battery life              

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Alex S. is a sound designer and voice-over artist who has worked in film, commercials, and podcasts. He loves horror movies and emo music.