Sony h.ear on 2 Review - Better Than Beats Studio 3

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OK so this video has been heavily requested so here it is, these are the Sony H.ear on 2 noise canceling headphones…. Aside from the awful name…. They’re a more playful and slightly more affordable version of the Sony 1000XM2 headphones. Aside from their design, they do have some key differences and perform differently from their more premium counterpart. Don’t forget to like comment and subscribe and you can watch some of my other vides here after you’re done watching this video. 

Unlike the Sony 1000XM2’s which only come in 2 color ways, the Sony H.ear On 2 come in 3 color ways, twilight red, moonlit blue, and grayish black. And two more colors are supposed to be released as well, horizon green and pale gold. The H.ear on 2 are Sony’s attempt at going up against the Beats Studio 3’s. But the H.ear on 2 are slightly cheaper then the Studio 3’s retailing for $299.99, but I actually got these for $249.99. If you want to pick these headphones up I’ll have links in the description below and I’ll keep them updated so you can get the best deal possible. I suggest you check out the links cause sony products routinely go on sale. And it also helps out the channel. 

The Sony h.ear on 2 come included with a color matching carrying pouch and audio cable and they come included with a micro USB cable for charging. But if you plan on traveling a lot with these headphones then I suggest you invest in your own hardshell carrying case, the pouch is not going to protect your headphones. These headphones also don’t come included with an airplane adaptor which I personally don’t think is a big deal. 

Build quality is just as good as the Sony 1000XM2. They’re mostly made out of plastic and have the same stainless steel headband and synthetic leather covering the ear cups. And they’re heavier than I expected weighing in at 291 grams. I’m also assuming the H.ear on 2 is using the same plastic on the underside of the headband as the 1000XM2. Which I want to point out that after 3 months of heavy usage still haven’t cracked which was a pretty common problem on the Sony MDR-1000X. So hopefully the Sony H.ear on 2 wont have a headband cracking issue either. The ear cups on the H.ear On 2 have good amount of range of motion but they don’t pivot or swivel as much as the 1000XM2’s. And unlike the M2’s the H.ear On 2 can’t be laid flat, they can only fold up.  On the left ear cup you’ve got your NFC touch point, power button, noise cancellation button, micro USB port, and audio jack. And yes these headphones can be used passively. My only grip with the physical buttons is that they are very hard to find. I just wish they were raised more or textured. Just like the sony 1000xM2, the H.ear on 2 also use touch controls on the right ear cup to control your music playback. Swipe front or back to skip or go back a track, double tap to play or pause, and swipe up or swipe down to raise or lower your volume. And pro tip if you swipe up and hold then the volume will continue to rise until you let go. And the same goes for lowering the volume. And if you tap and hold you’ll activate your voice assistant, “cant want to see what siri gets wrong this time”. The touch controls are pretty intuitive and very accurate, I’ve never really had a problem with them even with wet fingers. 

When it comes to design and comfort, I personally prefer the look and some of the design elements of the H.ear On 2 over the 1000XM2. First the ear cups on the H.ear on 2 aren’t covered in synthetic leather like the M2’s which just gives them a cleaner look. But they do stick out to the sides a bit, not as bad as the Sony XB950N1’s but you might look like megaman with these on. They’re just not as low profile as the 1000XM2’s. But the biggest design difference between the 1000XM2 and H.ear On 2 are the ear cups. The ear cups on the H.ear on 2 do a far better job of encasing your ears and give your ears more room to breath. Which also means less sweat and heat build up after prolonged use sessions. The Ear cups on the H.ear On 2 are very similar to the ear cups found on the Bose QC35 and B&W PX. They’re not as comfortable to wear as the Bose cause they do have a little more clamping force and the padding isn’t as soft, but they are more comfortable than the PX cause they do have more padding. I feel the H.ear On 2 are going to fit just fine for most people. If you have a bigger head the clamping force isn’t going to cause you discomfort in the jaw area and if you have bigger ears the padding isn’t going to rest on your ears like the 1000XM2 or Beats Studio 3 do.

Battery life on the Sony H.ear On 2 is also almost as good as the Sony 1000XM2. With noise cancelation turned on I’ve averaged 28 and half hours of playback time and with noise cancelation turned off I’ve averaged  35 hours of playback time. These headphones have a better battery life than the Bose qc35 and beats studio 3 with noise cancelation turned on. But their quick charging is pretty weak, if you plug them in for 10 minutes then you’ll only get 65 minutes of playback time. 

These headphones are also using bluetooth 4.1 and their range and connectivity is very similar to the 1000XM2. They have a range of about 30 feet, very little delay so audio and images are synced when watching videos and they have a stable and clear connection. But just like the 1000XM2, the H.ear on 2 can not be paired to multiple devices at the same time, so you cant quickly switch from one device to the other as easily as you would with lets say Bose headphones that can be connected to 2 devices at the same time or Beats that use Apple’s W1 chips. So you cant hot swap. So switching from your phone to your laptop with Sony headphones isn’t as seamless like with other headphones which does get annoying after awhile. But if you have a premium android devices you can also take advantage of the APTX HD audio. 

When it comes to sound quality, the H.ear on 2 sounds identical to the 1000xM2 and they get just as loud. They’re both closed back headphones and they both have the same 1.57 inch dome drivers. And the H.ear On 2 connect to Sony’s headphones app and you can adjust their EQ depending on the type of music you like. They have a wide sound stage, and good instrument separation and they have a good amount of bass, but not as much bass as the Sony XB950N1. I feel these head phones sound better than the Beats Studio 3 and Bose QC35 2 but if you’re looking for even better sound quality then you might want to look into the B&W PX or something more high end.

But the noise cancelation on the H.ear on 2 is not as good as other headphones out there. First off the ear cups them selves do a poor job of providing passive noise isolation, so a lot of sound still manages to get in and you get a lot of sound leakage. The noise canceling mics on these headphones also like to pick up a lot of wind noise, just like the Bose or Studio 3’s. But at least they don’t have any cabin pressure. The noise canceling on these headphones is really only worth using in an already quite environment like at the office or at home and they do an OK job when on a bus.

These headphones also allow you to pump in some ambient sound in so you can be aware of you’re surroundings if you’re walking around in the city.

And these headphones also have my favorite feature from the 1000XM2 which is quick attention. If you cover the touch pad on the right ear cup the headphones will automatically lower the volume of whatever you’re listening to and pump in all of the surrounding sounds. So this way you can talk to someone without having to take your headphones off. And when you take your hand off of the touch pad they will set everything back to how it was. Quick attention is by far my favorite feature and you even have to sometimes explain to people that you can hear them even with the headphones on.

Now lets talk about Sony’s headphones app for the H.ear on 2. Its pretty solid and well laid out. From here you can turn noise cancelation on or off and you can choose from Noise canceling, Wind Noise reduction, and Ambient sound. I’ve already demonstrated noise cancelation and Ambient sound for you and when setting the head phones to Wind Noise reduction yes the Mic’s wont pick up that dreaded wind noise, but then they don’t cancel out any sound. Unlike the 1000xM2’s these headphones don’t have an atmospheric pressure sensor and you cant calibrate the noise cancelation to better fit your surroundings. In vernal you don’t have as much control over the noise cancelation as you would with the 1000XM2. But can also adjust the surround sound setting on these headphones but personally I just keep that off cause all it does is it distorts the sound. And you also have your equalizer settings. You can either choose from a few premade ones or you can make you’re own. And like I said, they have a good amount bass and if you set the bass to ten then they’ll have more bass than a lot of other headphones on the market. But they wont have as much bass as bass heavy headphones like the Sony XB950N1 or the Skull candy crusher. 

Sony’s H.ear On 2  noise canceling headphones perform pretty average when it actually comes to noise cancelation compared to other headphones on the market. But they do sound identical to the Sony 1000xM2 and thats a good thing, they sound good. Personally I prefer the design of the H.ear On 2 and I would really like to see the 1000XM3 adopt some of this design language. But what I really like most about the H.ear On 2 is the ear cup design, I really like the extra breathing room and openness of the ear cups without having the pads actually rest on my ears. I really think the Sony H.ear On 2 are a great alternative to the Beats Studio 3, they cost less, they sound good and their Noise cancelation is slightly better.