Over the ear headphones seem to be all the rage again these days. While the new Marmitek BoomBoom 560 Bluetooth headphones may lack the street cred of having that red ‘b’ on the side they’re certainly worth considering if you’re in the market for some wireless cans.
What’s in the Box – Open the packaging and you’ll find the BoomBoom 560 headphones and a mini USB charging cable. No mains adaptor is included but it’s no chore for most these days to find a computer port or phone charger etc to use. A full charge takes 3 to 4 hours and provides around 8 to 10 hours of use. Thoughtfully Marmitek have also included a 3.5mm male to male jack cable so you can continue to use your headphones even if the battery runs flat. This has the added bonus of enabling you to use them whilst flying too, as you’re not normally allowed them on a plane when in wireless bluetooth mode.
Setting Up & Using – Setup is the usual BT pairing process (the PIN is 0000) and the flashing LEDs on the side help to identify pairing mode. The LEDs are a bit large and unsubtle for our taste, and they flash every few seconds when using them. Usefully the 560’s can remember up to 8 different paired devices and the Bluetooth v2.1+EDR harware supports the A2DP, AVRCP, HSP and HFP profiles. Range is quoted as 10m in open air and we found we could walk a couple of rooms away before they started to break up.
Marmitek recon they’re ideal for all your Bluetooth-enabled audio sources (think iPad/iPhone, Blackberry, Android smartphones, tablets and laptops) and remember you can add bluetooth to any audio device with a headphone jack with an inexpensive adaptor like this.
Once paired you can control your device from buttons on the sides of these headphones. Audio functions available are Volume Up, Volume Down, Next and Previous Track.
The headphones feel substantial, but not heavy (210g) and have plenty of articulation and adjustment to allow any user to find a comfortable fitting for the faux leather ear pads. The 40mm 32 ohm drivers have a quoted frequency response of 20Hz to 20KHz although being a sell-confessed bass lover these sounded a little thin on the bottom end for our tastes.
During testing in our house they were used mainly on the sofa, providing the family with a private laptop listening experience whilst not disturbing anyone else in the room. A keen podcast listener they also got a good workout during my weekly lawn mower duties where their over-the-ear nature helped to block the pesky internal combustion distraction. They were just about loud enough to be heard over the engine, but not as successful in this role as our normal in-ear buds.
As a Brucie Bonus these incorporate a built in omni-directional microphone so if you’re paired with your mobile phone you can take calls without even having to remove it from your pocket. Buttons on the sides allow you to answer and end a call too.
A smaller, cheaper BoomBoom 540 version is also available. The main difference is that these are a smaller and lighter (135g) on-ear design and they don’t have hard wired option.
Both designs are on sale now and represent great value with an RRP of €42.95 for the 560 and €34.95 for the 540 and are definitely worth considering if you’re after an inexpensive pair of wireless headphones.