MY BEST OFFICE & GAMING HEADSET FOR 2019
If you’re someone who works in an office and spends any amount of time on calls, having a decent headset is so essential.
The audio quality of software such as Webex and Skype for Business is excellent (particularly Webex…sorry Microsoft, but it’s true). Also, wideband so-called HD mobile calls are becoming more and more common. It’s so refreshing when you are on a work call where everyone is clear, crisp and loud. You don’t want to be the person who has a low bandwidth, poor quality headset. Worse still, you might even be the person who does heavy breathing from their nose throughout the entire call. Arghhh!
The Aria Pro AS90P are wireless headphones from Avantree. They are due for release between August and October 2019.
Avantree approached me about a couple of new products. As soon as I saw that these headphones included a boom mic for calls, I knew I wanted to try them out. They tick so many boxes if you are someone who wants just one headset for work.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of the Aria Pro headphones.
“The biggest strength of the Aria Pros is versatility. Low latency and the boom mic makes them great for gaming and office calls but their minimal design and audio quality means they can be used for music in the street without looking odd as some gaming headsets might.”
Good headphones for office use, music listening and gaming. They cover it all.
Decent audio quality for the price (when ANC is enabled). Deep bass from the 40mm drivers. Not up there with £200 headphones but they provide a nice neutral sound.
Neat, stylish and minimal design. The Aria Pros are not going to make a fashion statement, but they look good.
Excellent technical specs with Bluetooth 5.0 and support for apt-X LL and apt-X HD.
Pairing is fast and reliable.
Detachable boom mic audio quality completely blows away any other wireless headphones that rely on a microphone on the earpiece itself. These remove the need to have a second headset from, e.g. Plantronics.
Support wideband HD voice codec on calls meaning even standard calls can be high quality.
Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) performs well and creates a quiet environment for conference calls in an office.
Good battery life. I haven’t managed the quoted 35 hours, but they’ve lasted me a week of use in the office.
They can connect to 2 devices at once. I have them paired to my iPhone and my Windows 10 work laptop meaning I can jump on a ‘Skype for Business’ call without any reconnection.
Allow you to have just one device for everything. That really is the killer sales point here for me.
An LED shows the current audio codec being used. Bloody brilliant.
ANC is on a separate switch but does turn off when you power off the headphones. Thank God for that!
Audio quality with ANC disabled is boxy and a little bit muddy. It could do with some refinement.
The boom mic could use a foam pop filter. I have attached one, but it would be nice if it were supplied.
I experienced some glitching when using apt-X Low Latency. Avantree insist that the transmitter they have tested with does not cause this. I have tried with 3 different Bluetooth transmitters and they all show this problem to a varying degree. It’s worth checking for compatibility on the Avantree website or through their technical support.
The buttons on the headphones are too easy to press. Handling the headphones meant I was pushing the buttons when I didn’t want to.
The all-plastic design (except for the hinge which has been strengthened with metal) makes the headphones lightweight but also makes them feel a little cheap.
They are comfortable, but I can’t deny that switching back to my Sennheiser Momentum 2 headphones really shows that ‘protein leather’ is never going to feel as lovely as the real thing.
CONCLUSION & RECOMMENDATION:
With an RRP of $99.99 these aren’t the cheapest headphones out there. Considering the spec, quality and the fact that these can replace a headset for work (which could easily set you back half that) they offer excellent value.
If you are after ultimate audio quality, you will need to spend more, and these probably won’t float your boat. Make no mistake, though. These are pleasant to listen to for most average headphone users.
The biggest strength of the Aria Pros is versatility. Low latency and the boom mic makes them great for gaming and office calls but their minimal design and audio quality means they can be used for music in the street without looking odd as some gaming headsets might.
If it makes any difference, I will be continuing to use these as my primary office headphones.