If you’ve been shopping for a pair of wireless headphones with premium sound and good looks as chief priorities, you may have experienced a bit of sticker shock — the premium Bluetooth headphone tier is filled with options exceeding $250. The trouble is, many budget-friendly options tend to lack in the style department and don’t do much to instill confidence that they’ll sound much better than they look. Enter the Böhm B66 wireless headphones. These on-ears are crafted from aluminum, garnished with fine beveled edges, accented with plush leatherette material, sport smooth, clean lines, and sound far better than you’d expect for their under-$100 asking price. Oh, and let’s toss in some decent active noise-cancelling in there just to up the ante.
The Böhm B66 offer better sound quality than you might expect, with clearly rendered midrange and treble, and enough weighty bass to satisfy. Don’t expect to hear the lowest of the lows — these on-ears aren’t miracle workers — but there’s plenty of punch here, and the B66 stop short of overbearing bass. Music sounds rich, and watching movies is a treat thanks to low latency and clear dialog, even among the din of explosive sound effects. Certainly, a more refined sound signature can be had from pricier headphones, but we think owners will be pretty happy with the price-to-performance ratio.
The B66 utilize Bluetooth 4.0 with a claimed 33-foot range, though that changes quickly as you move around corners and restrict line of sight. Böhm claims the headphones take three hours to charge and will last 18 hours per full charge, though the louder you listen, the shorter the listening window will be. Still, a respectable run-time at this price point, and if your battery runs out, a headphone cable with inline microphone is included.
We were surprised to see active noise-cancelling included with this set of relatively inexpensive headphones, a feature usually left only for the premium tier. During our time spent with the B66, we found the noise-cancelling to be effective and minimizing light background noise associated with day-to-day life, though frequent flyers and commuters might want something a little more advanced. Bear in mind that using active noise cancelling will reduce battery life some, and, in this case, reduces the max volume level a bit.
Pairing is simple, but somewhat awkward. Hold the power button in for a full five seconds to turn the device on, then another three seconds to put into pairing mode. Once in pairing mode, though, the headphones paired up with our iPhone, iPad, and Mac quickly and held a stable connection.
The Böhm handle phone calls pretty well, pausing music when a call comes in and resuming it when the call is ended. As for comfort, we wore the headphones for extended periods of time with no notable fatigue, though individual experience may vary.
The headphones do come with some quirks — for instance, Böhm packs the B66 in a sturdy carrying case, but the company’s logo sticker looks like it’s about to fall off, something that feels out of place for an otherwise premium-feeling product. — but frankly they’re a great value you might not expect from an unfamiliar brand.