Zenvo Headphones Review: Zenvo Headphones, gear readers’ special offer: get $5 ($25 off) 1-year membership to WIRED. This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine. Subscriptions help finance every day’s work. Ony’s flagship noise-canceling headphones are now in their fourth iteration. The WH-1000XM4 (9/10, WIRED Recommendations) has 30 hours battery life, Reviews ergonomic design, and some of the highest sound quality you’ll find owing to the DSEE Extreme upscaling engine from Sony.
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I prefer outside target shooting, therefore I’m always interested in testing new hearing protection earmuffs. I have ear wax build-up difficulties with earplugs, therefore over-the-ear muffs are required. I’ve never heard of the Champion brand before, so I figured I’d try.
Champion offers three types of Vanquish hearing protection muffs: Standard, Pro, and Elite. All include electronic hearing protection so you can hear what’s happening around you and immediately block gunfire. The Pro version includes a Bluetooth connection so you may link the headphones with any Bluetooth device, such as a mobile phone, and listen to music and/or answer phone calls via an ear muff push button. The Elite version has the same features as the Pro version but includes built-in Lithium-ion batteries for power. Standard and Pro models need four AAA-replaceable batteries. The version given for evaluation was the ear muffs Champion Vanquish Pro set.
The earmuffs are packed in easy-to-open packaging. You want to make careful to remove all the packing from the box since there are four alkaline AAA batteries inside a leather-like storage bag that is folded beneath the bottom of the package. Only instructions are written on what appears like first is a product brochure card placed against the box’s rear wall and easy to ignore. I usually prefer to download a pdf version of the instructions for future reference when I buy a new product, but you won’t be able to do so with this product since Champion doesn’t supply it on their website. Save the card since not everything is apparent.
First, to install the batteries, squeeze the thin foam area in the center of each ear cup to reach the battery compartment. Two AAA batteries must be installed individually in each ear cup, a tight fit. Then push the foam insert back into place. All headphone controls are on the left ear cup. Their location is unusual and it’s simple to touch the incorrect button when wearing headphones. Power is switched on by pushing the power button. While wearing headphones, an audible tone plays to indicate they’re on, and you’ll hear ambient noises around you that may be magnified or lowered using the volume controls at either end of the elongated power button. Bluetooth located in the center, slightly above the power button. Bluetooth may be switched on or off by pressing and holding Bluetooth for a few seconds. Once associated with your phone, a simple push of the Bluetooth button allows you to answer phone calls.
Headphones fit well. I don’t have a big head, but I had to modify the headphone strap to suit my head adequately. But if they suit your head, wear them comfortably. Headphone wings are so interfering with shooting a rifle. So, they’re ideally suited for shooting handguns. The music listening quality is not spectacular, but definitely passable. I’d never distracted myself by listening to music while shooting, therefore I don’t really care. But headphones magnify ambient sound quite effectively, and I can plainly hear what’s going on around me.
These headphones’ noise protection rating is 24 dB. That’s typical of most electronic ear muffs I’ve ever seen and fine for outside shooting, but you’ll definitely want stronger indoor shooting hearing protection, particularly larger-caliber rifles.