Cowin E7 Pro Review
Pros: Fairly portable
Cons: Mediocre sound quality, not very comfortable, poor noise isolation
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Cowin E7 Pro seems like a tantalizingly inexpensive pair of noise cancelling headphones, but we found that technology to be lackluster, to say the least.
The Cowin E7 Pro turned in average or below performances in all but our portability tests, resulting in one of the lowest overall scores in the group.
We've yet to test a pair of wireless headphones that truly sound bad. That being said, the Cowin E7 Pro is at the back of the bunch.
If we could use one word to describe the E7 Pro's sound quality, it would be flat. The clarity is acceptable, but you'll definitely notice a bit of 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 ok, but nothing you couldn't get from the earbuds that came for free with your phone.
If you're looking for a buget pair of headphones, the ~$35 Mpow Bluetooth Over Ear sound just as good, if not better. These headphones don't have quite the same clarity as the E7 Pro, but pack a bit more of a bass punch. It's certainly a personal preference, but at this level of sound quality, we'd generally prefer a bit fuller bass than a bit more clarity.
Additionally, the Slightly less expensive TaoTronics TT-BH060 sound much better than the E7 Pro thanks to effective noise cancelling, boomier bass, and significantly better clarity.
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 like the Mpow Bluetooth Over Ear and the Tribit XFree Tune.
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.
Bottom line, if you want active noise cancellation that can provide more noise-dampening than earmuffs, these aren't the headphones for you.
Honeslty, 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 really 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.
If you have average sized ears, the TaoTronics TT-BH060 will offer a much more comfortable fit. If your ears are on the larger side and you're shopping on a budget, the Mpow Bluetooth Over Ear is a great comfort option.
The E7 Pro offers the kind of user interface you'd expect from a pair of headphones and nothing more, earning it an average 5 out of 10 in this metric.
The E7 Pro has a simple switch to turn the headphones and noise canceling on and off. Two +/- buttons on the side of the right earcup 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 earcup lets you play and pause music.
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.
This is the one metric where the E7 Pro shines. A 30-hour maximum battery life, a light weight of 10.6 ounces, and a nice, semi-rigid carrying case make the E7 Pro realtively easy to take along with you wherever you go.
The Cowin E7 Pro sports a relatively low list price of $90, but failed to impress us in our testing. Overall, we feel both the $70 TaoTronics TT-BH060 and the ~$35 Mpow Bluetooth Over Ear are better headphones overall, making the Cowin E7 Pro a poor value.
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