Shure’s first noise-canceling headphones get tested.
Some of you may know Shure as one of the premier audio brands. The company has mostly shifted to professional audio equipment in the past years, but they’re making a comeback in the consumer scene with their first noise-canceling headphones. Competitively priced at 1,499 AED, the Shure AONIC 50 pits it directly with other headphones in its price range that include the Sony WH-1000XM4 and the Bose QC 35 II.
Upon seeing and holding the AONIC 50 for the first time you’ll be impressed with the exquisite detail Shure has done to this headphone. The leather-covered earpads are comfortable to wear, which made me enjoy listening to them for hours without any strain on my head or ears. The earpads are also removable, making them easy to replace when needed.
The metal arms of the AONIC 50 feel solid and gives the headphones a more premium feel (in addition to the sweet-smelling leather). The earcups can be twisted so you can lay the headphones flat when putting them inside the case. Speaking of the case, the carrying case that came with the AONIC 50 comes in a larger size, which doesn’t exactly make it easy to carry. Compare that to its competitors, where it can be folded for easy storage and transportation.
The left earcup houses only one port for connecting the 3.5 mm cable if you feel like using wires. The rest of the controls are located on the right earcup that includes the power/pairing button, volume rockers, playback controls (where you can also access Google Assistant or Siri), a toggle for turning Active Noise Cancellation off and on plus an ambient mode which Shure calls ‘Environment Mode’, and a USB-C port to charge the headphones.
I normally don’t like installing extra apps for my accessories but for the AONIC 50, the ShurePlus Play app (available on iOS and Android) offers a straightforward way to configure the headphones. You can check how strong noise cancellation is or choose if you want to hear voice prompts when using the headphones or a simple tone. There’s also an EQ system that you can configure, as well as checking the battery levels and updating the firmware. In setting up the AONIC 50, it took no more than 5 minutes to fully configure the headphones to my iPhone.
This is where it gets interesting: I used the AONIC 50 in different environments that include my room, outside on the street, inside a busy gym, and inside a bus with a loud engine. The AONIC 50 perfectly canceled out noise from each and every one of these environments, which we can assume will work great when used on a flight.
With much of the outside noise canceled out, it means that you can fully enjoy your music and movies the best way possible, and the AONIC 50 certainly didn’t disappoint. With support for nearly every available codec that includes Qualcomm aptX, aptX HD, aptX Low Latency audio, Sony LDAC, AAC, and SBC, every song we listened to sounded clear, crisp, and just perfect.
Vocals are detailed and don’t get drowned by the background instruments. Bass is exceptionally strong but doesn’t overwhelm. Even with movies, there was a great stereo separation that was enough for me to enjoy what I’m watching. Since we already know Shure to make great microphones, the one found on the AONIC 50 meant that you’re getting crystal clear voices when making calls.
Shure promises 20 hours of battery life when using the AONIC 50, and our own usage yielded about 19 hours and 40 minutes. While that doesn’t compare to the competition that provides more hours, it was personally more than enough for me to enjoy my tunes during a busy commute or a long haul flight.
Overall, the Shure AONIC 50 impresses on every level from the design, sound output, and of course noise cancellation. The replaceable earpads also mean you can use this pair for a couple of years and make the 1,499 AED worth it.
The Shure AONIC 50 is now available in black and brown at Dubai Audio.
+ Excellent sound quality
+ Top-notch noise cancellation
+ Support for multiple codecs
+ Wireless and wired listening options
We Didn’t Like:
– Hinges couldn’t be folded and the carrying case isn’t really compact
Final Rating: 4.5/5