Zvox has announced its latest active noise canceling (ANC) wireless headphones, the $70 AV52, which offer better reduction of outside sounds versus the earlier AV50 model, according to the company. The headphones come in black, white, blue, and rose and are available starting December 21 at Zvox.com.
The AV52 include Zvox’s AccuVoice technology, which it has adapted from hearing aids. It’s the same dialogue-enhancing tech that Zvox used on its first headphones, the AV50, and its many TV speakers. Zvox’s algorithms attempt to identify speech and vocals so that they can be emphasized over the background sounds, making them easier to hear.
With support for Qualcomm’s aptX Bluetooth codec, latency should be kept at an acceptable 3 milliseconds to 6 milliseconds when using the AV52 with a compatible smartphone or Bluetooth transmitter.
The AV52’s design mimics that of the Sony WH-1000XM4, with folding hinges and a well-padded headband. The two products also offer the same light weight — just over half a pound. But instead of touch controls, the AV52 uses physical buttons, like the Bose QC 45 ANC headphones.
The AV52 offers three key improvements over the AV50, according to Zvox: Better noise cancellation and call quality, plus longer battery life. The AV52 use a hybrid ANC system as compared to the single-mic system employed by the AV50, which Zvox says should give the AV52 about 15% better performance when reducing ambient noise.
The onboard voice mic is now able to cancel out most non-voice sounds so that your callers will be better able to hear your voice, and not distracting background sounds. Finally, battery life has been substantially increased. The AV52 can get a claimed 24 hours of playtime with ANC enabled — much better than the 15 hours offered by the AV50.
Included in the box is a zippered carrying case, a USB-C charging cable, an an analog cable for those times when you need to plug in instead of going wireless.
We won’t know how the AV52 compare to other ANC headphones until we try them, but at $70, even if they can’t quite compete with the likes of Sony or Bose, they could still be an excellent set of affordable noise-canceling cans.
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