When Samsung asked us to review their line of “level” headphones we were a little skeptical. Headphones are back ! They are the high tech fashion statement – sound producing ear warmer of many hipster these days. It was only yesterday we relied exclusively on discrete form fitting ear-buds for our audio entertainment. Today it are the big over-sized headphones whose primary function seems to be to match our outfits/social-subculture and prominently display their brand logo’s on the side of our heads. The trouble here is that with all the attention going to the “looks” of your headphones, few (despite their exuberant prices) actually produce good audio. After traumatic experiences with a pair of Dr Dre headphones (They produce so much base they make a Vivaldi concert sound like Tomorrowland) we were skeptical for Samsungs products .. so we tried them on.
The Samsung “level on” headphones.
The Samsung “level on” headphones are ‘on’ your ears. A hard plastic bridge with foldable legs make the headset feel very sturdy and decent. The leather padding both on the earmuffs and underneath the “bridge” has a soft, high quality feel to it. The phones have a 3.5mm mini-jack connector for your cable so you can interchange the cables should they break (a problem with many headphones) or should they not match the color of your underwear (it happens !)
The Level on’s are slightly heavier then your regular run of the mill headphones, but the overall distribution of the weight when you have them on makes them feel very very comfortable. The leather on the earmuffs is very soft and there is hardly any noticeable pressure on your ears when wearing the set. A great bonus is that it warms up immediately to the body temperature of your ears making the entire headset a natural extension of your body.
Enough about the ergonomics : How do they SOUND ? Well , they sound amazing ! The audio is warm, crisp and “correct” . No over-boosting of non existing low range audio. Just a clear , well represented audio spectrum being pumped into your ears. We loved them (even after wearing them for 3 hours straight we found no signs of ‘headphone fatigue” or worse “sweaty ears”.
Looks ? They are white ! Just like with Dr Dre’s people will see you wearing them from 2 blocks away. Deal with it. (But they are also available in black … so deal with that too !)
The “level over” headphones.
The level OVER headphones go OVER your ears. The leather padding on the larger ‘cups” surrounds your ear and presses against your head , completely surrounding your ears and ‘isolating’ you from the rest of the world. Part of this is due to the excellent padding , the other part is because the level ‘overs’ are active noise cancelling headphones. They pick up noise from around you and send “anti noise” through the speakers so you can’t hear the noise. This means you will have to charge the headphones from time to time. Added functionality is the fact that you can use them as stand alone Bluetooth speakers so you don’t need a wire. But as a little bit of an audiophile we could not bring ourselves to use this functionality. The audio we wanted to test had to be as clear as possible so we went via the “analog wire”.
Using the “level overs” is like stepping onto the surface of the moon .. and then hitting play. The sound is warm, its everywhere, its crystal clear and there is no residual noise from around you. Samsung charges top dollar for these things but they are probably worth their price. Short of using duct tape this is the best way to drown out the noise of nagging kids and enjoying your favorite tunes. For the hefty price you might also be able to book a weekend cottage in the woods .. but when you get back from that you still don’t have any decent headphones.
Audio isn’t Samsung’s core business and these baby’s are no Sennheisers … but we are very happy that the Chinese company DID focus their attention on the quality comfort and AUDIO part of these headphones. This is not fancy overpriced bling .. the Level line does what it is required to do : Produce a very good headphone experience.
Samsung Level on : 165 USD (amazon)
Samsung Level over : 310 USD (amazon)
Samsung Level headphones (Site)