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 wireless 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.Editor's Note: This headphone review was updated to provide more details on the products we would buy. This update occurred on January 18, 2022.
Cowin E7 Pro Review
Pros: Fairly portable
Cons: Mediocre sound quality, not very comfortable, poor noise isolation
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Cowin E7 Pro
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|Pros||Fairly portable||Excellent sound quality, field-leading noise cancellation, comfortable||Superb active noise cancellation and overall sound quality, multipoint Bluetooth pairing, auto-pause, relatively comfortable for most people||Great sound quality, great noise cancellation, comfortable, user friendly features||Inexpensive, powerful bass, effective active noise cancellation, comfortable|
|Cons||Mediocre sound quality, not very comfortable, poor noise isolation||Expensive||Expensive||Expensive, both sound quality and noise cancellation fall just short of being the best in the field||Lacks some brightness in mid and vocal ranges, headband may be to large for smaller heads|
|Bottom Line||Sound quality and user experience doesn't live up to those of other, comparably priced models||Pillowy comfort and one of the best personal listening experiences we've enjoyed from any device||Top-notch in terms of both noise cancellation and sound quality, it's hard to find a better listening experience||Premium cans that offer unique features on top of great sound quality and noise cancellation||Impressively inexpensive given the sound quality, active noise-canceling performance, and comfort|
|Rating Categories||Cowin E7 Pro||Bose Noise Cancelli...||Sony WH-1000XM4||Jabra Elite 85h||Soundcore Life Q20|
|Sound Quality (30%)|
|Noise Isolation (25%)|
|User Friendliness (10%)|
|Specs||Cowin E7 Pro||Bose Noise Cancelli...||Sony WH-1000XM4||Jabra Elite 85h||Soundcore Life Q20|
|Manufacturer reported battery life (hours)||30||20||30||36||40|
|Measured weight (ounces)||10.6||9.2||8.8||10.5||9.3|
|Included case||Semi-hard case||Semi-hard case||Semi-hard case||Semi-hard case||Lined drawstring pouch|
|Earcup padding cover material||Synthetic protein leather||Leather||Foamed urethane/leatherette||Leatherette||Leatherette|
|Charging cable length (inches)||N/A||42"||7.9"||12"||40"|
|Microphone for voice?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Onboard buttons||Volume, play/pause, forward/back||Volume, play/pause, forward/back, noise cancelling, voice assistant, power/bluetooth, answer/decline/mute calls||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|
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.
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 E7 Prosound quality, 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 the poor clarity. The overall sound is okay, but nothing you couldn't get from the earbuds that came for free with your phone.
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.
We found the E7 Pro's active noise cancellation almost completely ineffective in practice. 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 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 hurt 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.
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.
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 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 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.
Should You Buy the E7 Pro?
The E7 Pro doesn't compare well to wireless products within its price range, nor with some products that cost less. 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.
What Other Wireless Headphones Should You Consider?
For less money, the Soundcore Life Q20 is a better value and the one we'd choose if budget is a concern. The Q20 earned a higher score overall and offered better performance in every testing metric over the Cowin. We understand that not everyone can afford the higher-end models with prices in the several hundred dollar range, but if your wallet has a limit, then the Soundcore is the one we'd choose.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata
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