Xqisit headphones
Cool factor 4/5
Usability 5/5
Value for money 4/5

Whether you’re a music fan who wants to enjoy your tracks in peace, or someone who simply needs to dampen the drone in an open-plan office or on a flight, noise-cancelling headphones are the gift that keeps giving.

Fortunately, there are many options on the market that offer the magical sounds of (near) silence and a solid audio experience. An option you may want to consider is Xqisit’s oE400 ANC (active noise cancelling) wireless headphones.

These headphones don’t just rely on the soundproofing qualities of the materials sitting on your ears; they actively produce sounds designed to eliminate most ambient noise. To enable this, you have to switch on the noise-cancelling function (on the left ear cup), which affects battery life somewhat.

Most ANC headphones carry quite a price for this functionality, so decent noise cancelling at about R2,000 is a good deal.

The oE400s come in the only colour you really need — black — and are made to sit over the ear. The ear cups are large and comfortable, made of faux leather over soft cushioning foam. They have good range for wireless headphones (up to 10m) and come with a 3.5mm audio cable for nonwireless listening. They charge via a micro-USB charging cable (also in the box) and offer up to 12 hours’ wireless listening from a full charge. They’re fully charged after an hour on power.

The headphones have an incorporated microphone, so you can make calls when connected to your phone. The rest of the controls — including the volume and skip (forwards and backwards) buttons — are on the right cup.

Xqisit isn’t a household name — the German brand has a limited footprint in SA — but it produces quality devices that don’t come with an added celebrity-endorsement tax worked into the price tag. The oE400s are available from certain MTN stores and online sellers such as Amazon, Celcom and Ubuy, from about R1,700.