With audio efforts, Blue has one primary goal: developing the best products. Blue are widely known for their quality microphones but recently they have decided to enter the headphone market. When designing their Mo-Fi headphones, they included a checked amp in the ear cup to ensure that they would sound their best when connected to a power-starved smartphone, computer or receiver. Even more, the company developed a better headband. Now, Blue has adopted a traditional approach. Their most recent Blue Satellite Headphone is wireless and features a quality inside-the-ear-cup amp and active noise cancellation (ANC) feature.
The Main Features of Blue Satellite Headphone
The Blue Satellite Headphone is among if not the most gorgeous headphone in the market. It shows off subtle beauty and does not feature the weird factor you expect with most wired headphones. Take the Blue Satellite to any event and you will not get the lingering stares. The manufacturer has framed its black ear cups in brushed aluminium with felt up gold accents. Immediately you plug the device into your wall socket, the small on/off button on the left ear cup will start flashing until the battery reaches a full charge.
Each ear cup features a perforated gold logo plate and recessed lighting. Immediately you pair the device through Bluetooth, the lights will flash. They will also flash to indicate ANC switching and the amp on/off. The lights are not as gimmick as those on the Ella or Sadie. Blue has arranged buttons around the plates. On the left ear cup, you will find the Bluetooth, amp on/off and ANC. On the right ear cup, you have the phone call, volume and play/pause buttons. To differentiate them, you might need to take off the headphone initially. However, that will become second nature after a few uses. For a better sound, you have to switch the amp on.
Headphones should be highly portable and the Blue Satellite Headphone is no exception. Blue had to forget their unique headband to adapt the traditional design which folds up easily to allow portability. However, they do not offer a carrying case or bag to facilitate the device’s transportation when folding. The product comes with a protective carrying case which you can only use after unfolding the phones. You will agree that most headphones come with microfiber carrying bags.
Nicely padded ear cups and headband
This is the device to go for if you need properly padded cups and headband. You are also likely to realise that the product’s clamping is tight and can be uncomfortable after several hours of continued use. The clamping pressure reduces with use and time.
The ear cups will feel solid on your hand. Moreover, the product is free of any squeaking or looseness from continued daily use. That is expected with quality products.
The Bluetooth feature
The Bluetooth works excellently. It will seamlessly pair and the signal will hold up to the standardised 30 feet. The Bluetooth connectivity lasts for 24 hours but it will reduce to 8 hours when the ANC feature is on. The headphone continues to work including when the battery is completely drained – you have to use the provided mini plug cable for longer listening.
The active noise cancellation (ANC) feature
In most headphones, the speakers (in both ear cups) perform two duties: they play music and cancel out the external droning noises. The ANC features cancels out the external noise on the Blue Satellite. It might alter the music’s sound and make the audio hollow or tiny. Some headphones handle the issue perfectly and it can be hard to tell when the ANC is off or on. Blue’s patented solution has allowed placement of two speakers in every ear cup. One speaker plays the music while the other cancels out the noise.
With the ANC on, music will sound like it is in acoustical chamber – you will not experience any distracting noise. The ANC works in any place and its effect is more useful and noticeable when working in office environments. When the ANC is off, music will sound like it is in room setting with the associated anomalies like sound reflections. Put differently, music will sound like it would in a real room. You might need to put the ANC off depending on the music you are playing.
Blue has always concentrated their efforts on sound. That is evident with both the Ellas and Satellites. Some people will definitely say that the sound is fine, but I will say that it is admirable. The headphones come with several technological flourishes like better Bluetooth range, noise cancellation and on-board controls. For connection, they boast Bluetooth 4.1 and aptX codec. The connective range is 10 meters. Obstructions such as walls and trees affect the signal quality.
The built-in amplifier is similar to that in Ellas. It will boost the 44mm drivers’ performance and push the music to your ears. Theoretically, that presents more details, and rich fuller sound. The contrast between switching the amp off or engaging it is large. You will possibly not use the headphones unless the amp is charged. The amp boosts the overall sound immediately it’s turned on.
There are some problems to expect with the product. First, the product does not have an auto-off function. Therefore, if you forget to switch them off, you will have to recharge them the next morning. The Micro-USB charger might not be ideal in office settings. Secondly, the Satellite automatically connects to the last paired source and will never connect other devices when it is present. You will also be forced to switch them off or turn off the initial source to prevent automatic connection. To connect a different source, you just need to switch off the first one.
The bottom line
The Blue Satellite Headphone is foldable and easier to stow. It will also produce better quality sound. To purchase the product, you just need $399.99. To buy flagship headphones from Sennheiser, Sony and Bose, you will need the same amount. With the noise cancelling feature on, you will listen to music for eight hours continuously before connecting the mini plug cable.
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