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Cowin E7 Pro Review

Sound quality and user experience doesn't live up to those of other, comparably priced models
Cowin E7 Pro
Credit: Cowin
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Price:   $90 List
Pros:  Fairly portable
Cons:  Mediocre sound quality, not very comfortable, poor noise isolation
Manufacturer:   Cowin
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Feb 12, 2019
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47
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 15
  • Sound Quality - 30% 5
  • Noise Isolation - 25% 4
  • Comfort - 25% 3
  • User Friendliness - 10% 5
  • Portability - 10% 9

Our Verdict

In our testing, the Cowin E7 Pro failed to leverage its active noise cancellation effectively, produced only average sound quality, and was deemed uncomfortable by the majority of our testers. These headphones aren't a total miss, but if you're willing to spend this amount you can get a much better noise canceling pair by choosing another product.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Cowin E7 Pro
This Product
Cowin E7 Pro
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award  
Price $90 List$350 List
$348.00 at Amazon
$250 List
$202.16 at Amazon
$60 List
$49.99 at Amazon
$40 List
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Pros Fairly portableSuperb active noise cancellation and overall sound quality, multipoint Bluetooth pairing, auto-pause, relatively comfortable for most peopleGreat sound quality, great noise cancellation, comfortable, user friendly featuresInexpensive, powerful bass, effective active noise cancellation, comfortableIn inexpensive, reasonably good sound quality, portable
Cons Mediocre sound quality, not very comfortable, poor noise isolationExpensiveExpensive, both sound quality and noise cancellation fall just short of being the best in the fieldLacks some brightness in mid and vocal ranges, headband may be to large for smaller headsPoor noise isolation, not comfortable for large ears/heads
Bottom Line Sound quality and user experience doesn't live up to those of other, comparably priced modelsTop-notch in terms of both noise cancellation and sound quality, it's hard to find a better listening experiencePremium cans that offer unique features on top of great sound quality and noise cancellationImpressively inexpensive given the sound quality, active noise-canceling performance, and comfortOffers a decent listening experience for a relatively low price, but certainly doesn't stand out in any aspect
Rating Categories Cowin E7 Pro Sony WH-1000XM4 Jabra Elite 85h Soundcore Life Q20 Tribit XFree Tune
Sound Quality (30%)
5.0
10.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Noise Isolation (25%)
4.0
10.0
8.0
6.0
4.0
Comfort (25%)
3.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
User Friendliness (10%)
5.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
Portability (10%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
Specs Cowin E7 Pro Sony WH-1000XM4 Jabra Elite 85h Soundcore Life Q20 Tribit XFree Tune
Type Over-ear Over-ear Over-ear Over-ear Over-ear
Noise cancelling Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Manufacturer reported battery life (hours) 30 30 36 40 40
Measured weight (ounces) 10.6 8.8 10.5 9.3 10.3
Included case Semi-hard case Semi-hard case Semi-hard case Lined drawstring pouch Semi-hard case
App No Yes Yes No No
Earcup padding cover material Synthetic protein leather Foamed urethane/leatherette Leatherette Leatherette Leatherette
Charging cable length (inches) N/A 7.9" 12" 40" N/A
Microphone for voice? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bluetooth version 4.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.1
Onboard buttons Volume, play/pause, forward/back Volume, change track, take/make calls Volume, play/pause, forward/back, noise cancelling, voice assistant, power/bluetooth, answer/decline/mute calls, toggle between sound modes Volume, multifunction, power, NC Volume, play/pause, forward/back, noise cancelling

Our Analysis and Test Results

The E7 Pro seems like a tantalizingly inexpensive pair of noise-canceling headphones, but we found that technology to be lackluster, to say the least.

Performance Comparison


This Cowin model failed to live up to the level of performance that...
This Cowin model failed to live up to the level of performance that other produts offer in this price range.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Sound Quality


We've yet to test a pair of wireless headphones that truly sound bad. That being said, the E7 Pro is at the back of the bunch.

If we could use one word to describe the sound quality of the E7 Pro, it would be flat. The clarity is acceptable, but you'll definitely notice some distortion, especially with acoustic numbers or when listening to podcasts. The bass is on the weaker side of things, which does little to balance out the poor clarity. The overall sound is okay, but nothing you couldn't get from the earbuds that came for free with your phone.

We weren't particularly impressed with the E7 Pro's sound quality in...
We weren't particularly impressed with the E7 Pro's sound quality in our testing.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Noise Isolation


Of all the headphones we've tested with active noise cancellation, the E7 Pro offers the least amount of noise isolation. In fact, it is even with non-noise canceling models in this metric.

In practice, we found the E7 Pro's active noise cancellation almost completely ineffective. With that feature turned on, ambient noises and nearby conversations only seemed to be muffled as much as you'd expect from simply covering your ears with headphones. When we then turned that feature off, we didn't notice any change in how much ambient noise was getting through to our eardrums.

In fact, the active noise cancellation sometimes had a negative effect on our listening experience. At least once or twice an hour the noise cancellation would seem to get confused and emit a deep, vibrating bass noise for a few seconds.

The E7 Pro's noise active cancellation leaves a lot to be desired.
The E7 Pro's noise active cancellation leaves a lot to be desired.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Bottom line, if you want active noise cancellation that can provide more noise-dampening than earmuffs, these aren't the headphones for you.

Comfort


Honestly, we don't know why so many headphone manufacturers seem to be convinced that human ears are perfectly round. The E7 Pro's round and shallow ear cups are only suitable if your ears are on the very small side of the spectrum. If not, you're probably going to experience some uncomfortable hot spots. Because of this, the E7 Pro earned one of the lowest scores in our comfort testing.

Shallow, round earcups make for a relatively uncomfortable fit...
Shallow, round earcups make for a relatively uncomfortable fit, unless you have smaller ears.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

User Friendliness


The E7 Pro offers the kind of user interface you'd expect from a pair of headphones and nothing more. These headphones have a simple switch to turn the headphones and noise canceling on and off. Two +/- buttons on the side of the right ear cup adjust volume with a short press, and skip tracks forward and back with a long press. A small button on the bottom of the right ear cup lets you play and pause music.

The E7 Pro's volume buttons.
The E7 Pro's volume buttons.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The E7 Pro missed out on a higher score because it lacks some of the extra features other headphones offer, namely an app that can fine-tune the noise canceling and EQ settings.

Portability


This is the one metric where the E7 Pro shines. A 30-hour maximum battery life, a low weight of 10.6 ounces, and a nice, semi-rigid carrying case make the E7 Pro relatively easy to take along with you wherever you go.

Value


The E7 Pro doesn't compare well to products within its price range, nor with some products that cost less. We cannot recommend this product as a good value.

Conclusion


The Cowin E7 Pro doesn't live up to its noise-canceling pedigree and offers only average sound quality. They're not a bad pair of headphones, but they don't quite live up to the competition.

Max Mutter and Steven Tata