Puro Sound Labs BT-5200 Headphones Review
by JD Retzer for The GolfBlogger
Puro Sound Labs sent in a pair of their BT-5200 headphones, a higher-quality set of Bluetooth headphones with a few extra features.
Initial impressions for the Puro BT-5200 were good, with a nice box with magnetic snaps. Most boxes are designed with the same glossy printed cardstock and plastic windows, so it’s nice to see a company put a bit more effort into the packaging than usual. Inside, the headphones had their own case, which included a micro USB cable for charging and a 3.5mm male to male stereo audio cable. The case has a mesh pouch with an elastic band on the edge for storing something extra, as well as a rigid divider to keep the headphones in place.
Sound quality on the BT-5200 headphones is excellent, even with Bluetooth, although there is a dip in quality from the wired connection. I did not notice any difference between using an HTC One with AptX and a 5th generation Apple iPod. Being closed-back headphones, the soundstage is much smaller. The sub-bass is quieter than other closed-back headphones, but much more present than open-back headphones. These headphones tend to focus on the mids, with the highs being quieter. These headphones have a range of 20-20k Hz on their custom 40mm drivers. The drivers are louder when wired than most of the other headphones used to compare.
Puro Sound Labs BT-5200 headphones use an advanced microprocessor to continually monitor and accurately report the volume levels measured in decibels. The multi-colored LED indicator offers guidance for listening:
GREEN (85 dB or less) = Go ahead and enjoy safe listening for up to to eight hours.
YELLOW (85 – 95 dB) = Caution, limit use at this level to no more than two hours.
RED (over 95 dB) = Stop, or limit to fewer than 15 minutes a day.
The headphone volume indicator works when wired as well as in Bluetooth, so you can keep you ears safe wired and wireless. However, the volume LED is slow to respond. I’ve found myself adjusting the volume up and down to try and isolate as much noise as possible without going over. The noise indicator LED is a clever feature otherwise.
The headphones have an all-aluminum construction, including the buttons and the chrome accents just before the headband. They feel quite solid, but are not too heavy.
The ear pads on these headphones are generally comfortable. They are, however, pleather, and so become hot and sweaty if you use these for exercise. I prefer velour or even foam to pleather, since velour and foam breathe better, and velour is much softer and seems to hold up better over time. The ear and headband cushions also had a very plastic-y smell that hung around for a few days.
Battery life is solid. Using the BT-5200 bluetooth headphones straight from the box, they went several days for about eight hours a day without needing a charge. There is, however, no battery indicator on these save for a beep tone when the battery gets low, so it can be hard to tell how much power they have. The power switch seems to be made of chrome-plated plastic, so maybe for later versions they could put a multicolor LED behind it to show how much power is left.
The Puro BT-5200 bluetooth headphone’s physical design had a few oddities. The swivels on the headphones only allow a little over 90 degrees of rotation, as opposed to 180 degrees on other headphones that allow the earcups to swivel from side to side. In addition, the swivels are designed such that when they are placed around the neck, the swivels only allow the earcups to face open side up, rather than down like the ATH-M50Xs. This has a few side effects, such as hiding the brand and showing the left and right labels inside of the earcups, as well as having your chin run into the pads when you look down. This also means that rather than allowing your ears to stay closer to their natural angle, these headphones tend to flatten your ears. Another potential issue is the pads seem to be non-removable, which leads me to wonder about the options you have when you wear them out.
Overall, these are a good set of bluetooth headphones for a variety of applications.
You can also buy the Puro BT-5200 headphones on Amazon.