Paww Wavesound 3$99.99
Audio - Treble9.0/10
Audio - Mids8.0/10
Audio - Bass6.0/10
- Excellent mid and high range reproduction
- Solid metal build quality
- Aesthetically pleasing design
- Strong bluetooth connection
- Premium materials are quite heavy in long term use
- Bass response a bit muffled
- Headphones don't get as loud as competitors
- Noise cancelling causes treble to be muffled
The Paww Wavesound 3 has decent sound, a gorgeous design and premium materials, but the metal build comes at a price: extra weight.
Build Quality & Appearance
The first thing I noticed about the Paww headphones upon unboxing them is how well built they are. Their frame is almost entirely metal, with a few plastic highlights. Because they are made from metal their heft is immediately noticeable compared to other headphones in their class. The control buttons are found on one earphone, and on the other is the power switch for the active noise cancelling. The headphones fold up for travel and a hard case is included.
The audio quality of these headphones with active noise cancelling off is generally fantastic. The response is similar to my Audio Technica ATH-m20x wired headphones that I use for video recording – meaning the Paww has neutral sound. It is a nice change from many mid-range Bluetooth headphones which overemphasize the bass. These headphones have a balanced sound with warm and pleasant mids and clear high tones. This results in rock, classical and country sounding fantastic. Since the bass response isn’t as strong as some other headphones it left something to be desired for electronic, dubstep and rap music where deep pounding bass is essential. It felt like the bass dropped out in the lowest tones and at no point did I feel my head pounding no matter how loud I turned up the headphones. If clarity is important, these headphones deliver, but the lowest bass tones are just a little too soft for my tastes.
With active noise cancelling on the audio quality changes for the worse. The active noise cancelling acts as an amplifier: the bass and overall headphone volume are increased with it enabled. Despite this the lowest bass tones are still somewhat lacking, and with ANC turned on the treble becomes severely muffled. I found the noise cancelling to be effective for tuning out the low pitched rumble of the old diesel buses, but on the electric bus the high pitched engine whine was actually increased. I wouldn’t suggest buying these headphones if noise cancelling is your top priority.
The battery life on these headphones are great. With mixed use of the ANC, I got at least 24 hours of playback before I became paranoid that they would die on me midway through my commute and require recharging. That should last for a few long flights.
Since these headphones are so heavy they take some getting used to and certainly aren’t for everyone. I didn’t have trouble with comfort myself, but my typical day was wearing them for an hour at a time riding transit around the city. After a few days of wearing them I didn’t notice the weight any more and any other headset I tried was notably light feeling. The padding around the ears is nice and soft and the top of the headphones has just enough for comfort. I wish it had a little bit more padding on the headband, as I do notice the headphones resting on top of my head more because of the extra weight, but it was a concern that went away after a few days of getting used to them.
Connectivity & Signal
The signal from these headphones is strong. They worked across the room and through one wall, which is about average. Thankfully the metal build doesn’t appear to hinder the Bluetooth clarity and consistency.
The active noise cancelling switch rattles. That is annoying. Since the ANC is on a switch it can be turned on and off as required.
I love the build quality of these headphones as they feel like they will take lots of abuse, but that comes at the expense of weight. For the price they have good sound even if the lowest bass tones are lacking. Bluetooth is strong and steady and the active noise cancelling works OK. I would suggest these headphones to someone who values clarity over bass and primarily listens to rock, pop, classical and country. If your primary concern is active noise cancelling, spend the money on Bose headphones and don’t look back because the ANC on these don’t live up to premium headsets.