Getting ready for the MajorHiFi Non-Denominational Wintertide Office Party, I actually missed a new headphone. But not to fear; I’m finally sitting down with the Status Audio BT One wireless headphones. Retailing for an affordable $99, this on-ear wireless headphone features a collapsible design and fast USB-C charging. But how does it sound?
Status Audio BT One Review
Status Audio refers to this headphone as the BT One, but packaging materials and the unit itself are stamped with “SAHD1-BT.” During this review I will refer to it as the BT One.
The BT One comes with a carrying case, as well as a USB-C charging cable and an aux cable.
Utilizing an on-ear fit and a collapsible design, this wireless headphone aims for ultra-portability. And it largely succeeds at this, reminding me of the PMX Sennheiser models of yore.
Once situated on my ears, it actually feels pretty comfortable – or at least much more comfortable than I was expecting, for an on-ear design. Normally small earpads fatigue my giant cartilaginous earlobes. But the BT One doesn’t deliver too much pressure, so it sits comfortably on my ears.
Battery life measures a solid 30 hours, though this headphone can also be used wirelessly. Charging is accomplished by way of the included USB-C charging cable. Bluetooth pairing feels easy and painless, and connection strength ain’t too shabby, either. During my tests, I didn’t experience a single dropout.
Volume reaches pretty high, but the detail heard (even over a wireless connection) also remains strong.
And that volume and detail definitely help with call quality. Usually I find myself having to project my voice a little bit more with on-ear headphones. But the mic on the Status Audio BT One easily picks up my voice. And my friend Rich has no problem hearing my voice, crystal clear, on his end.
Isolation works well too. While the headphones might leak a little bit of sound when sitting on my head, I can’t hear anything. It even blocks out the sound of my coworkers arguing about the best cover of “Last Christmas” by Wham! (it’s the Jimmy Eat World version, dammit).
Controls on the earcup allow for adjusting playback and volume – and the controls are physical buttons, so you don’t need to futz around with any hit-or-miss touch sensors.
For my review, I used these headphones wirelessly with my iPhone 8. I also tried them out using the aux cable with a modded iPod, which provided a marginal improvement in soundstage. Wired or wireless, the sound comes across as pretty impressive.
Status Audio BT One Review – Sound Quality
The BT One exhibits a pretty decent low end. Detailed enough for some critical listening, the sound handles bass guitars and drums well, giving way to a lifelike sound. But there’s also a bit of bass on display here, punctuating tracks and scaling well with volume. As such, this low end works well with a wide array of genres. Rock, hip-hop, electronica, pop, and others definitely benefit from this punchy low end. Yet, control prevents the sound from feeling too sloppy or haphazard.
I’ve been a fan of the Status Audio sound since I demoed their IEM 2X earphone a year ago. Since then I’ve come to swear by this earphone – a dual driver earphone that retails for less than $50. In fact, I use it daily when playing video games, watching movies, or listening to music. While not part of my Serious Listening Setup, it’s one of those gizmos I find myself repeatedly picking up and using. The hallmark of this unassuming earphone? A rich and intense midrange that overlooks no detail whatsoever.
Now I can hear the same level of midrange fidelity on the BT One. Slightly forward in its presentation, the sound doesn’t feel oppressive or overpowered. These mids routinely capture more subtle sounds that usually go unnoticed on cheaper earphones. And while the mids can handle jazz and classical tracks just fine, they also work well with the lows and highs, resulting in a slightly v-shaped sound.
In the highs, the BT One feels just slightly emphasized. Instrumentation feels more rolled off, but vocals feel just a little colored. Not bad, the sound just doesn’t feel perfectly accurate. However there’s still enough sparkle in the highs to keep things interesting on most tracks, whether listening to pop or classical or anything in between. Between these highs and the thick lows, the BT One feels just a little v-shaped, with a robust midrange that can come surging to life when you’re listening for it.
Soundstage can feel somewhat hit or miss – and this is my major misgiving when it comes to the sound of the Status Audio BT One. Instrumentation feels pretty dynamic, with some good depth. Their sounds rise and fall and remain relatively distinct at most times. However, the sense of space feels slightly cramped, and this feels most evident with vocals, which seem to be poured over the instrumentation to the point of almost smothering some very fine details. Is it a total mess? No. But it could be better, and really prevents this very good headphone from sounding truly phenomenal.
Status Audio BT One Review – Conclusion
Pros and Cons
Pros: Lightweight and comfortable, this portable headphone allows for wired or wireless operation anywhere you go. And you still get a very impressive sound that works well with practically any genre.
Cons: Soundstage could be a little more spacious.
At $99, the Status Audio BT One feels like a solid bargain. Even if you tossed out the 30 hour battery life, fast USB-C charging, comfortable fit, and portable design, you’d still have fantastic audio (for the price). While soundstage could be admittedly better, the overall impression of the BT One is a headphone that pretty much delivers above and beyond what you would expect from it’s price. And like thought-provoking ikebana or eye-arresting kintsugi, the Status Audio BT One, despite its flaws, still delivers an experience that seems to transcend any shortcomings.
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