It’s always fun being able to review Bluetooth headphones over here at Gear Diary, so it was exciting to be able to review 808’s Over-The-Ear Audio Performer BT Bluetooth Headphones.
I will be the first to say this…I hate cords. Wearing a sling bag daily to and from work, I really despise having to pull my phone out of my pocket to change a tune or check a notification. Yes, first-world problems. The 808 Audio Performer BT’s are able to be used wirelessly for those of us who enjoy being cable free, or if you just have to have a cord attached, there’s that option for you as well. When you see the price ($99) you realize it’s a good buy from a good company, but in all honesty, there’s good and bad to that.
Straight out of the box, pairing them was easy, as they showed up after 4 seconds as 808 Performers. I’d like to think of the Performers as DJay headphones, mainly due to the size and style. If you’re a fan of Beats By Dre, but wanted a little bit of individuality to your headphones, these are certainly it. Which is where my problems started.
Although the 808 Performers look and feel like headphones you’d see a mixer like David Guetta rocking at your favorite party, the brushed metallic band with the combination of the wired/drawstring that fits the headphones for you on top of the rubber squares at the top and in the inside of the headphones are very rugged looking, which apparently makes the phone bendable and flexible, according to 808. There’s a black and silver version of the headphones, however I had the opportunity to review the white/gold version. And honestly, I would’ve preferred the silver/black model.
The white version in all honesty doesn’t look nearly as sleek, or “perform” like it’s sister color. And sitting around my head, the color makes even MY head look small. This may not be a problem for some, but I commute to work daily, and even though these are Bluetooth headphones, they are so huge they almost look silly to wear out in public. Couple that with the sound quality, which we’ll get into later, these are some…interesting pair of cans.
Although lightweight, I couldn’t be bothered wearing these in public without the three-foot detachable cable that came with it. I was surprised that the cable plugged into my left ear, since I’ve always been used to seeing these types of headphones come with the cord being able to be plugged into the right. Honestly it was a bit of a surprise. The volume controls come on the cord with the option to play/pause or to adjust the volume. The cable itself is not tangle free, but for cans less than $100, I was not expecting that at all. No biggie.
The listening experience for me varied. If you’ve read my reviews of headphones before you know I’m not an official “audiophile”, but I like quality to my sounds. The 808 Performers are simply those headphones where you “get what you pay for”. Obviously listening to them with the cord attached come off with better sound, with lows sounding a bit better and bass being a bit more heavy. However, the Bluetooth option was a bit different.
With Bluetooth, the sound quality was a bit low for my taste, even at the highest setting. Listening to The Cardigan’s “Lovefool”, the instruments sounded very muddy, and the vocals I could not really hear at a normal listening setting. Turning up the volume essentially meant turning up the bass, since these are “Performing” headphones designed for DJ’s. The upside though is the fact I could walk from room to room, up to around 30-40 feet without my sound getting choppy and eventually going out on me. If you are someone who listens to music through Spotify’s “Normal” stream or downloaded option you might find a bit of trouble, and I suggest changing the audio quality to “High”. The Performers have volume buttons on the back of the right ear, which sounds good in theory, but when running on the treadmill with them on, I would prefer to have the buttons physically on the cans where I can simply tap and go instead of trying to figure out my “next/previous” buttons.
While I do like the overall look and flexibility of the 808 Performers, as well as the price of them being great. But having to deal with mediocre audio quality and if you’re stuck with the color choice of white, which you’ll probably regret, these may not be for you. I personally suggest getting another set of Bluetooth headphones unless you would like to use the included cable.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit
What I like: Pricing, the black/silver colorway option
What Needs Improvement: The audio quality is less that what I expect from 808’s products.