There was a time when headphone reviews focused on build-quality, design, comfort, and sound. Those remain relevant but headphones, particularly those with wireless and NFC, are now complex. That’s the case with the FIIL CANVIIS Pro Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones. They offer a ton of functionality and store up to 1000 songs in MaxWide 3D Audio; they’re awesome.
The FIIL CANVIIS Pro Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones aren’t inexpensive. At $349 they push the envelope for accessible, on-ear wireless headphones for all but the most devoted audiophile. But for that $349 you get a pair of headphones that look good, sound excellent, and pack pretty much every technology we have (at this point, anyway) seen built into headphones.
The unboxing experience was pretty much what you would expect from high-end headphones. An exterior sleeve slides off to reveal the internal box.
The lid of the box lifts off to reveal the hard storage case.
Inside the storage case, you will find the headphones in their folded for travel and storage position.
Beneath the headphones and case are two boxes.
In one, is a charging cable. It has USB-A on one side and micro-USB on the other. Worthy of note, however, is that the USB-A connector can be pulled off to reveal a second micro-USB connector. That kind of thoughtful flexibility reveals a good deal about how much thought went into every detail of these headphones.
The second box contains the wired audio cable for those times when you choose not to (or cannot) use Bluetooth. The inline controller is thoughtfully designed.
It works with iOS.
And it works with Android.
The issue here is that it is a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable. That means for anyone using a device that has dropped the 3.5mm headphone jack, such as my iPhone 7, this cable is worthless without an annoying dongle.
The headphones are made from plastic, metal, and “protein leather” (aka synthetic material that looks and feels like real leather.) The headphones have a refined look and feel, and they have a fit and finish that are worthy of their price tag.
The ear cups fold in for storage and transport. I love the fact that FIIL opted to make these hinges from metal. They are sturdy and should last a long time.
The headphone adjustments aren’t ratcheted as we often see, but they have enough tension so they will hold to whatever adjustment you choose.
The ear cups have enough movement that they will sit comfortably on pretty much anyone’s head. As the company notes, “We found that after hundreds of physical tests the optimal headband comfort fit was a clamping force of 4N and a 48° angle between the ear pads.”
All the controls are on the right ear cup.
There is a micro USB port for charging the headphones and for transferring music to the internal storage built into them. There’s a 3.5mm port for using the headphones in wired mode, and there is a power button that doubles as a Bluetooth pairing button; then there is the MAF Multi-Function Button.
This MAF button offers a great deal of functionality. There is so much that it requires a good deal of study before you can take full advantage of the controls.
There is so much complexity here that I’ll let the headphone manual delineate what is possible.
- One-key listening: Short press the MFB to play and pause (when Bluetooth is connected).
- On/Off : Long press the MFB until the green/red status light is on.
- Initiate reconnection: When Bluetooth device is paired but not connected, short press the MFB to send a connection request.
- Check Battery Level: Double press the MFB
- Switch the Fiil light on/off : Triple press the MFB
- Voice search: When Bluetooth is connected, Medium Press the MFB (hold for 2 seconds before releasing)
- Answer/End call: Short press the MFB to answer or hang up(when Bluetooth is connected)
- Reject incoming call: Medium press the MFB (when Bluetooth is connected)
- Use MAF Button to adjust your perception: Short Press MAF to switch On/Off My AudioFiilter function; When MAF is On: Toggle Up/Down MAF to adjust the filter 12 level of surrounding sounds; Double Press MAF to Switch On/Off Windy Mode (Apply to Windy Enviroment)
Of note is the fact that the headphone will remember last-time settings when powered on.
The physical buttons on the FIIL CANVIIS Pro are only half of the story when it comes to controlling them; the right ear cup also has Gesture Touch Control built into its surface.
To control the volume you swipe up or down. To control the track you swipe forward to skip to the next track and you swipe back to repeat a track. (Of course, this only works with Bluetooth devices that support this functionality.)
The touch surface also allows “step-less adjustment.” A long touch up or down the control pad moves increases or distressed the volume. A long touch on the front of the control pad fast-forwards the music while a long touch to the back of the control pad scrolls the music back.
Finally, the right ear cup has a smart sensor built-in. The headphones can sense whether or not the headphones are on the user’s head and “intelligently adjust its status” accordingly.
The FIIL CANVIIS Pro also includes active noise cancellation. It can eliminate as much as 96% of low-frequency noise in order to give you quiet in noisy settings; it works quite well. And, since there are a variety of ANC modes, there is something for pretty much every environment. As the product page explains:
- Noise-Cancelling Mode: FIIL CANVIIS can cancel as much as 96% of low-frequency noise in the Noise Cancelling mode. The built-in chip creates a noise-cancelling wave 180° out of the phase with the ambient noise, thus giving you quietness even when you are on a metro train or a plane.
- Monitor Mode: Dislike the noise on a bus yet hate to miss the station reporting? The monitor mode can block low-frequency noise but allow in mid-to-high frequencies for the human voice.
- Open Mode: Safety first! The Open mode allows you to hear all ambient noise so that you can hear everything clearly with your headphones on.
- Wind Mode: Wind mode removes noise caused by wind and gives you music clarity in windy environments.
As I said, the ANC works well. It works so well, in fact, that, as I was writing this part of the review while wearing the headphones, Raina came into my office and couldn’t get my attention until she tapped me on the shoulder. And yes, I jumped from my chair in surprise.
Local Mode: Canviis Pro has built-in HD audio player with 4GB of built-in storage. That may not sound like a lot but it is enough space to load plenty of your favorite songs and have them accessible from the internal memory. There’s no need for an additional audio source!
Accessing the local storage requires an initial learning curve but it is well worth the time it takes to become familiar with the system.
- Switch Local-Bluetooth source: Toggle up/down and hold MAF until a tone is heard.
- Switch Sequential/Shuffle play: Medium press MAF(Press 2s until a tone is heard.)
- Switch all songs/my favorite: Long press MAF(Press 4s until a second tone is heard.)
If you are an iOS user, the company instructs you to use a PC to connect to the headphone’s Micro-USB port to the computer; if you are an Android user, you are asked to connect either PC or to OTG to copy files.
Interestingly, when you use local mode, the headphones will disconnect the connection to music via Bluetooth but keeps Bluetooth telephony accessible. Controlling audio play, manage playlists and music storage is done through the il+ APP.
I’ve tried the local music and have been rather impressed. The audio coming from it sounds excellent! Better still, when I was first testing it out a call came in and, wouldn’t you know it, as promised, while Bluetooth audio is disconnected when you go to use local storage, the phone connection remains active. It was a telemarketer and, for once, a cold call from a stranger was actually useful. The music stopped, and the phone began ringing through the headphones.
The system supports a wide range of audio formats. But, there is a caveat to this onboard storage that shouldn’t come as a surprise. If like me, most of the music you have on your devices these days is there via a subscription service, you won’t be able to listen to it via the internal storage. That’s not an issue since my iPhone is pretty much always with me, but the fact that it is not a big issue for me reveals that fact that, at least in my case, the internal storage is cool but not necessary. I will be loading some of the music I own onto the headphones so I always have some tunes with me, but I don’t see making all that much use of it.
There are two other aspects of these headphones that deserve special mention.
The battery built into the FIIL CANVIIS Pro is impressive. When fully charged, it delivers up to 33 hours of playback. Better still, a five-minute charge can give you over three and a half hours of playback. And, when used in wired mode, the playback time far surpasses the 33 hours you’ll get from a full charge when used wirelessly.
Finally, when the headphones are connected to the FIIL+ APP and the mobile phone/tablet has internet access, you can activate voice search to do things such as let the headphones know what song you want to listen to.
- Voice Search: When CANVIIS Pro is connected with FIIL+ APP, and the mobile phone/PAD has internet access, the user can use Voice Search function.
- Touch Control: CANVIIS headphones have touch control. You no longer have to take out your phone every time you feel like skipping tracks or changing the volume to your music. FIIL CANVIIS has a built-in sensor in the right ear cup allowing you to adjust volumes and skip tracks simply by sliding your fingers on the ear cup.
- Auto Play / Pause: Take off your headphones, the music will pause automatically, all MAF modes will be terminated, and power-saving mode activates. Put on your headphones, the music will continue where it paused, and the MAF mode will be restored.
- MAF (My Audio Filter) Smart Noise Adjustment: Customize your listening experience with the MAF toggle button. This patented technology allows you to listen to what you want and block what you don’t want. Hearing is believing.
- Smart Sensor: Canviis Pro will detect whether a user is wearing headphone or not to Intelligently adjust its status.
- Noise-Cancelling Mode: FIIL CANVIIS can cancel as much as 96% of low-frequency noise in the Noise Cancelling mode. The built-in chip creates a noise-canceling wave 180° out of the phase with the ambient noise, thus giving you quietness even when you are on a metro train or a plane.
- High Style Technology: For creators who appreciate a more refined look with leading technology. FIIL CANVIIS’ streamlined design keeps a crisp, clean profile.
- Mastered Wireless Audio: FIIL CANVIIS uses Bluetooth 4.1 and supports aptX™ codec, which minimizes latency and delivers CD like quality audio. CANVIIS can also be connected to two Bluetooth devices simultaneously.
- 33 Hour Playback: FIIL CANVIIS can play music wirelessly up to 33 hours non-stop, when fully charged. A five-minute charge equals 3.6 hours of playback. The CANVIIS also comes with a wired cable for extended playback beyond 33 hours.
- Designed for Comfort and Long Listening: The FIIL CANVIIS design process started with hours of physical headband research. We found that after hundreds of physical tests the optimal headband comfort fit was a clamping fore of 4N and a 48° angle between the ear pads. We then added smooth protein leather and memory foam to the ear pads to make the FIIL CANVIIS listening experience matchless.
This review would not be complete, were I not to mention the FIIL+ app. There are an increasing number of headphones that have a companion app; some are little more than an added way to sell you on the headphones, and they don’t offer much by way of functionality or they are difficult to use. That’s certainly not the case here. The app is intuitive, filled with functionality and it actually makes a huge difference when it comes to the sound you get from the headphones.
It lets you…
Check the battery level.
Switch to local mode.
Change the sound and choose among prominent treble, balanced frequencies or enhanced bass
Control the ANC.
Alter the soundstage.
And if you forget how to use the controls it also has instructions.
In addition, the app aids you in getting wireless upgrades for the headphones so you will always get the most from them. It also offers what the company refers to as “Easy Burn-In.” This lets you “manage the headphone burn-in process to reach its peak performance.”
In all, I’m impressed with the FIIL CANVIIS Pro on-ear wireless headphones. They have a classy yet understated look, they have a solid build, and they are comfortable. They sound good and, once you use the app to tweak the settings, can sound even better. They offer active noise cancellation that really works and, as an added benefit, you get a good amount of control over the amount of ANC which is great for getting what you need in any situation. They get outrageously good battery life and can be up and running in just a few minutes of “top-off” time. They have intuitive touch controls and 4GB of onboard storage so you don’t even need a separate audio source. In other words, they are the total package, and they pack all of the best tech into a pair of headphones that sound, but don’t scream, “serious tech.” Check them out here.
Source: Company Supplied Review Sample of the FIIL CANVIIS Pro on-ear wireless headphones
What I Like: Look good; Comfortable; Great battery life; ANC that works and is customizable; 4GB of local storage; Touch controls
What Needs Improvement: Local music limited in a time of subscription services; Cable for wired connection is 3.5mm to 3.5mm only