Published on January 31st, 2017 | by Sunit Nandi2
aLLreLi F5 Impact Wireless Bluetooth Over-ear Headphones Review: very comfy pair of wire-free cans
It has been quite a while since we last reviewed an audio product here at Techno FAQ, the last being the legendary VE Monk earbuds. This time, the team at aLLreLi sent us their newly launched over-ear bluetooth headphones for review. Given that I am a very avid music listener, I’m very concerned about the audio quality. That’s why I prefer wired headphones over wireless ones.
The past wireless headsets/headphones I’ve tried never met my expectations. The audio is often muddy or the singer feels like the he/she got a bad cold. Even branded headphones would something have compatibility issues with some devices and simply would not stream audio. Not having much to expect any wireless headphones pair, I decided to try it out anyway.
And therefore, today, I would make a detailed review of the product and pen down my experiences with it.
About the product
The aLLreLi F5 Impact Over-Ear Bluetooth Headphones is well, a full size over-ear pair of Bluetooth headphones (duh!). The main features of the product are listed below (taken off the Amazon product page):
- STRONG, THUMPING BASS: This wireless over-hear headphone maximizes the bass line for richer sound that makes every song sound amazing.
- A BETTER LISTENING EXPERIENCE: With APT-X Audio Technology, this wireless over-hear headphone enhances digital music, allowing it to sound the way the artist intended.
- NO MORE BACKGROUND NOISE: Enhanced noise reduction makes it possible for you to focus on the music, not what’s going on around you.
- TWO WAYS TO CONNECT: This wireless and wired headphone can sync with any device equipped with Bluetooth technology or be connected with a 3.5 mm cord.
- HOURS OF MUSIC: Our Bluetooth headset has a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery that’s capable of powering the music for 12 hours before requiring a charge.
Does the product live up to what it claims? Let’s try and find out.
The aLLreLi F5 Impact Over-Ear Bluetooth Headphones come in a well- (read damn-good) illustrated box. The front of the box has the name of the product on the top left and the product illustration in the centre.
One side of the box shows illustrations of the product features.
The other side has safety information and the brand’s contact information.
The back side of the box has the features listed in greater detail as well as the specifications of the headphones.
Now that we’ve seen the packaging, its time to open it up. Breaking the seal on the two sides of the box and opening up the lid reveals the headphones in all its glory. I must say that the presentation is absolutely mind-blowing. The metallic silver and leather black colour combination is fabulous.
Taking out the headphones, we see that it is foldable. Out of the box, it is folded.
Unfolding it, it looks absolutely beautiful and more expensive that it actually is. The faux leather gives it a feel of premiumness. The headphones not only look great to the eyes but also feels great to the touch.
The right cup of the headphones have volume-up and down keys as well as a call-and-power key. The bottom of the right cup also has a integrated microphones, a USB port and a 3.5mm audio-in jack.
Taking out the inner wall of the box, there is a user manual and a pouch containing a 3.5mm audio aux cable and a USB charging cable.
Now that we have unboxed this beauty, lets move on to the review and evaluate how it performs.
Usage and experience
I took out the headphones, put it to charge for 2 and a half hour and got it ready for testing. In this section, I’ll be listing out what I experienced while using these headphones. I’ll try to be as detailed as possible.
The most common issue that plagues most Bluetooth headphones and headsets, even branded and expensive ones, is compatibility. One Sony headset I tried would work with an Android phone, but will not stream audio after pairing with an iPad. You’ll also find similar issues with car stereos as well. I remember once connecting my Android phone to the audio system of a friend’s Ford Mustang, but music from my phone would simply not play. The same would work if he paired his iPhone with it.
Fortunately, I found out that the aLLreLi F5 Impact does not suffer from what is mentioned above. It pairs and plays music flawlessly from my Android phone, dad’s Android phone, mom’s feature phone, the family iPad, my laptop running Linux, dad’s laptop running Windows and my workstation (Hackintosh) running macOS. Moreover, it manages to do it at the maximum possible bitrate. Not a glitch anywhere.
But wait, it isn’t that yet. On our iPad (or any iOS device for that matter), the battery indicator in the notification area and the statusbar shows the battery power left on the aLLreLi F5 Impact.
Even KDE’s Plasma 5 on my Linux laptop, which is known to have glitches with certain Bluetooth headsets, works flawlessly. Sure, it did take some effort to get the audio out through the headphones by changing a lot of settings in KMix, but once that was done, all system audio streams loud and clear when the headphone is connected with the laptop.
Audio playback is stable for hours after hours. I have used it for 4-5 hour stretches, and there is not a single stutter or stop in audio playback.
Moreover, on phones and tablets with cellular capability, I was able to take calls and talk with great clarity. Skype and Hangouts calls are also perfect and both ends can hear one another clearly. The integrated microphone clearly works as expected.
The buttons on the headphones integrate flawlessly with the device it is connected to. The volume-up and down buttons can be used to adjust the volume of the player or system, depending on how you configure it. The call/power button can play and pause playback on a single tap when there is no incoming call and the music player is running. Plus, there are some interesting hotkeys. Long-pressing the volume-down key when connected to the iPad brings up Siri. Long pressing-up launches Apple Music. Same goes for Android, long-pressing volume-down brings up Assistant and long-pressing up launches the default media player.
All in all the headphone pair gels very well with any contemporary device it is connected to.
aLLreLi F5 Impact manages to stay connected even when you go beyond the rated 10 metres of wireless range. Even with thick walls in my home, the playback begins to stutter once you go beyond 13 metres when connected to my laptop. That’s somewhat better than the rated range.
With mobile devices like my Android phone and tablet, the range goes down to 8 metres, which is understandable because mobile devices have a lower transmit power due to battery power constraints.
aLLreLi F5 Impact has way higher battery life than the advertised 12 hours. The headphones have taken 2 and a half hour to charge to full battery capacity and I have run it close to 4-5 hours for 3 days and it still has a bit of power left. I suspect that the battery life is actually a little over 16 hours of playback time.
Audio quality is something that I usually least expect from a wireless headphone. But aLLreLi F5 Impact is something that changed my opinion today. This headphone blows every other wireless headset and some wired headphones I’ve listened to till now. Obviously, the audio is not “audiophile” grade like Sennheiser, Shure or Grado. It is impossible to expect so. But I can atleast assure you that it is better than most consumer headphones. It better than all the Philips, Creative and Sony ones priced equal to lower than aLLreLi F5 Impact. It also beats most Skullcandys hands down.
So where does it stand? Well, according to my opinion it is somewhere close to the entry-level Sennheiser products.
Coming to audio texture, here’s how I would describe it.
The treble is pretty clear. Hisses, shrieks and whistles are well pronounced. Cymbals and bells resonate very well and the resonance continues to a fraction of a second afterwards, like what you’d experience in real life. Treble levels are above average for this headphone.
The mids are mosty flat and undisturbed but there is a certain bias to the human vocal frequency as if it was designed for phone calls in mind. Male and female voices come through very smoothly. The rest of the spectrum, which is occupied with stringed instruments is mostly untouched. They sound complete but there is no warm or cool undertone to it. It feels like the headphones tries to be as bit perfect as possible in the mids.
The mid- and high- bass, consisting of bass guitar and percussion instruments sound punchy and have a warm undertone to it. The sub-bass is boosted, so it prominently growls like a subwoofer. But it is at a level that neither overpowers the mids and vocals (like you’d notice with certain Sony headphones) nor muddies the audio experience (which you’d often face with a JBL product). It is just at the balancing point.
Overall, this pair is a very neutral one and has no bias to any music genre. It is suitable to all listeners.
Soundstage and imaging
This is where the headphones score. The soundstage is wide and open and feels like concert inside your head when you close your eyes. The placement of voices and instruments are accurate, something which I usually notice only in gaming headsets.
Finally, I would like to add that using the headphones in wired more sounds slightly better than the wireless mode, but the different is too negligible to be realised by most people. The change in quality is only at the resolution/quality level and there is no change in the audio texture.
Also, when it comes to wireless, the Bluetooth device it is connected to matters a lot. I found that my phone streams audio at above-average quality, while my iPad and laptop stream to it at superb quality. The difference is so pronounced, that if you ever buy these headphones and are not satisfied with it, you need to try with a different audio source or Bluetooth chip.
Noise isolation and cancelling
The noise isolation is great. As soon as I put the headphones on my ears. Much of the outside noise is reduced. The cups seal the ears pretty firm, despite I have a big round face. This makes it ideal for listening at home or transport. But I would not recommend it if you are out walking in the streets, as it will impede your sensing of danger.
Noise cancellation seems to work great for both directions. During music playback, even at low volumes, outside noises cannot be heard at all. The same is true for the microphone. The other party claims they can hear my voice in a phone call crisp even in the presence of jarring background noise.
Finally, we come to the major deal-breaker.
Build quality and ergonomics
The headphones look and feel extremely great. The tasteful use of PU leather makes it look way more expensive than it really is. The headband are made of metal are pretty sturdy. The cups are made of ABS plastic and feel like they won’t break easily. The buttons are firm are not flimsy. They register a solid crisp click when pressed. Even when they are folded and unfolded, you do not notice any sign of flimsiness. The extendable arms have a chrome finish which also adds to the looks.
Coming to ergonomics, these headphones shine. The placement and padding on the cups and headband is so well done that the headphones press uniformly on the ears. The cups have enough flexibility in rotation to automatically adjust to the user’s ears. The headphones fit snugly and are extremely comfortable. There is no discomfort even after hours of usage. I have tried it for 5 hours at a stretch and it doesn’t feel like you have anything placed on your ears. Even after you take it off, it doesn’t leave you with any sort of fatigue. For a guy like me who spends hours in front on a computer, this is a godsend.
So, the aLLreLi F5 Impact turned out to be far better than I initially expected. This is somewhat unusual for a generic headphones pair.
Getting one for yourself
aLLreLi sells the F5 Impact on Amazon.com for $58.99 at Amazon.com. For that price, they are a good pair of wireless headphones because they check all the 3 boxes namely, they are of good build quality, are comfortable wearing for long periods and produce great quality sound.
- Wide compatibility with devices
- Superb build quality
- Classy looks
- Better than advertised Bluetooth range
- Better than advertised battery life
- Great audio quality for the price
- Superior listening and wearing comfort
I must say that aLLreLi F5 Impact changed the way I view Bluetooth headphones. From my initial perception of buggy, bad quality consumer electronics with poor sound, they made me realise that even Bluetooth headphones can be decent audio gear. I highly recommend these headphones to everyone who wants a decent pair without breaking the bank. Not only they produce good quality sound, but also are sturdy, have a good wireless range, good battery life, great comfort and fantastic looks.
What is your favourite Bluetooth headphones pair? Let us know in the comments below.