Harry Smith, Hifi Pig’s very own Millennial Scribbler takes delivery of a pair of Beyerdynamic Lagoon ANC noise-cancelling headphones, shuts the world outside off and gives us his thoughts on this £359 pair of cans.

When you’re thinking of noise-cancelling wireless headphones, two brands come to mind. Sony and Bose have ruled the roost for a while now with their Quietcomfort and WH series of headphones. Beyerdynamic has put itself in direct competition with them with their new Lagoon ANC wireless noise-cancelling headphones at a similar price point.

The Beyerdynamic Lagoon ANC retail for £359 and have many of the same features as Bose and Sony’s offerings but can they dethrone the two giants of the wireless noise-cancelling head-fi industry? 

DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION AND FEATURES

The Lagoon ANC headphones are very well built overall. High-quality plastics teamed with real leather gives them a premium feel. Plenty of cushioning has been used in the headband and earcups making them comfortable. In fact, wearing these headphones over long periods wasn’t a problem as they fit perfectly for me. Weighing in at around 280 grams makes them pretty light considering the large 1100 MAh battery, but they don’t feel at all flimsy.

I got the dark grey and brown leather option for my review unit and I was a big fan of the look of the Lagoon ANC. They are professional looking without being boring.

The included hard case is also very well built, providing plenty of protection without being bulky. Unfortunately, the included cables are a little generic and don’t reflect the same levels of the build quality of everything else in the box. Some braided USB C and 3.5mm jack cables would have been a nice touch at this price.

Beyerdynamic has opted for a combination of button and touch controls. I feel I’m getting the best of both worlds with this and I found them intuitive to use. Skipping tracks is simply a swipe on the right ear and pausing and playing tracks works with a double-tap. Being able to increase or decrease the volume without having to take my phone out of my pocket is also quite handy. Cycling through the 2 levels of active noise cancelling is handled by a switch on the same ear. You are also able to adjust the level of sensitivity of the touch controls from within the MIY app which is a great feature.

A light system on the inside of both earcups is used to indicate battery levels and when the headphones are pairing to your device. Personally, I never found myself using this feature as the voice prompts gave plenty of information when cycling through the different levels of ANC and jumping between connected devices. I enjoyed the light show but it feels a little gimmicky and not having the feature could have knocked a bit off the price and maybe slightly improved the battery life. Being able to disable the feature from within the MIY app would be a great addition as some people might find it a tad distracting.

Regardless of the light show, battery life is fantastic. Beyerdynamic boasts up to 45 hours with ANC off and 24.5 hours when using the active noise cancelling. Their claims are pretty accurate and I found myself getting within an hour of the times. If you do happen to run out of battery (which is unlikely), there is a 3.5mm headphone jack that can be used to listen to them passively. Charging is handled over USB-C and takes around 3 hours to fully charge.

They use the older Bluetooth 4.2 standard meaning that only one device can be connected at a time but the inclusion of aptX Low latency support is a welcome one making the Lagoon ANC great for watching videos as well as for music playback. (they also support the AAC and SBC codecs)

SOUND QUALITY

The active noise cancelling on the Lagoon ANC is fantastic and split into two levels, blocking out most unwanted sounds during music playback. You can still hear the odd background noise and I could notice a very faint hiss with no music playing but these are unnoticeable when listening to music at moderate volumes. The lower level of the two ANC modes does what you would expect lowering the volume of the sounds around you rather than blocking them out.

Whether it was with noise-cancelling on or off, the sound quality was very impressive.

Clear highs with punchy bass and rich mids. They perform well with all genres of music.

Considering they have a closed-back design, they are quite immersive offering great separation.

“Weird Fishes/Arpeggi” by Radiohead sounded fantastic on these cans. The layered guitar parts played well off the fast drum beat and I was able to tell every instrument apart as the track grew in complexity.

On “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish the funky bassline and thumping kick drum sounded very deep which is a testament to the bass performance of the Lagoon ANC. Eilish’s spooky echoey vocals giving the illusion that someone is whispering in your ear.

On more acoustic tracks like “Kooks” by David Bowie. The Acoustic 12 string guitar sounded bright and natural.  The strings and trumpet in the background didn’t sound artificial at all.

The bottom line is that the balanced nature of the Lagoon ANC headphones lends itself to all types of music.

Beyerdynamic recommended that I download the MIY companion app (Available on IOS and Android) to use along with the headphones. After going through a series of hearing tests the app makes your very own custom profile. I was quite apprehensive of this feature but it did improve the overall listening experience boosting the mids and overall volume. It’s not a necessity to install the app, but it did offer a slight improvement from the out of the box listening experience.

CONCLUSION

The Beyerdynamic Lagoon ANC are a great pair of wireless headphones. They are stylish, well-built and offer great noise cancelling without sacrificing sound quality. If you don’t mind the £359 price tag, they are definitely a good option for audiophiles on the go and a great alternative to both Sony’s and Bose’s offerings.

AT A GLANCE

Build Quality: High quality plastics and leather, great overall build quality. The included carrying case is also of very high quality.

Sound Quality: Well balanced with great noise cancelling

Value For Money: Slightly more expensive than the competition but the price is definitely justified.

Pros: Intuitive controls, great sound quality and impressive noise-cancelling what’s not to like?

Cons: The use of the older Bluetooth 4.2 frequency means that you can only connect one device at a time.

Price: £349

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Smith

Review System: Google Pixel 3 (using Qobuz and Spotify)

 

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