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Edifier W820NB Plus Review

Last updated: 3 months ago
11 min read
Editor
rating
3.9
Edifier W820NB Plus headphones

Edifier W820NB Plus are a strong contender under $100, especially in sound. However, at this price point, Edifier had to take some shortcuts.

The new Edifier W820NB Plus are the upgraded version of the non-Plus model. While both share the same body, the Plus is almost brand new internally.

You get Hi-Res audio certification even for wired listening, stronger active noise cancelling, better noise reduction during calls, and (looks like) new 40mm titanium-coated drivers.

Best of all, Edifier is asking for $80 for W820NB Plus, the same price as for the non-Plus model.

However, to achieve that price, build quality had to suffer. While it keeps the weight down, the fully plastic body doesn’t feel reassuring (with some very sharp corners). More on that later.

So, can the pros outshine the cons? Are Edifier W820NB Plus worth it? Let’s find out.

Price:

We test and evaluate headphones using a standardized 9-point methodology. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Pros & Cons:

  • Balanced, natural, and decently detailed sound
  • Long battery life of 33.5h per charge with ANC
  • Strong indoor Bluetooth range of 65 feet
  • Comfy with removable earpads
  • Splendid call quality in quiet enivornments…
  • … but muted and distorted in louder environments
  • All-plastic design, no protective case

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CONTENTS (show more)

    Edifier W820NB Plus related: Best budget Bluetooth headphones

    Sound

    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    Edifier W820NB Plus have a relatively balanced and non-fatiguing tuning out of the box with decent detail retrieval. However, they sound best in Ambient sound mode.

    Check the Edifier W820NB Plus – A/B sound test:

    Edifier W820NB Plus Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Learn how to understand sound comparisons.

    Almost all Bluetooth headphones require some custom tuning to sound better. Edifier was bold enough to offer its house tuning without the option to customize the EQ (despite saying otherwise on the website).

    Fortunately, the default sound signature is nicely balanced with smooth bass and midrange. There are some issues in the upper ranges, but more on that in a sec.

    Edifier W820NB Plus Frequency Response

    Edifier W820NB Plus ANC On vs. Off vs. Ambient
    As seen from the graph, using Ambient Sound mode (green) gives the most balanced bass and midrange.

    Bass: Well-controlled but lacking sub-bass energy

    Lower frequencies have a very neutral response, with some differences depending on which ANC mode you use.

    Leaving ANC off boosts the sub-bass, contributing to extra punch and warm sound. In contrast, enabling ANC does the opposite and even slightly lowers the bass below the neutral line.

    Interestingly, if you want the most accurate low-end, you must enable Ambient mode. It results in only a slightly elevated bass that sounds natural, but you lose some of the sub-bass rumble.

    Overall, the bass feels tight and controlled, perfect for music genres like metal, while giving a decent rumble to hip-hop and pop songs. But if you want to rattle your skull, look at the best bass headphones instead.

    Midrange: Balanced and natural

    The midrange is also neutral, which gives instruments and vocals a very natural tone. Everything sounds just the way it should.

    Edifier W820NB Plus driver
    The aluminum-coated dynamic driver inside Edifier W820NB Plus.

    Vocals are smooth and free of sibilance, regardless of the vocalist’s gender. Even “Lift Me Up” by Rihanna, which tends to show harshness in upper ranges, sounds passable on the W820NB Plus.

    Likewise, instruments, acoustic and electric, sound how they should. Though, they’re a bit on the bright side due to the lower treble peak at 8kHz.

    Treble: Good clarity but lacking refinement

    Edifier decided to stay away from elevating the upper treble above 10kHz to increase resolution and air (just like in other Edifier headphones) and boost the 8.5kHz region instead.

    That creates a sense of clarity but adds unnecessary shimmer and brightness to the sound.

    Detail retrieval is decent, and cymbals sound textured enough if you want to enjoy some smooth jazz. However, the high-hat hits get easily lost in the mix during busy instrumentation.

    Changing EQ presets doesn’t do much apart from “Classical,” which further boosts the treble region. Therefore, we advise you to use the “Classic” preset and Ambient mode for the best sound quality.

    Edifier W820NB Plus EQ presets comparison
    For the most accurate tuning, it’s best to keep using the “Classic” preset.

    As for the soundstage, it is pretty intimate. Sounds don’t feel trapped in your head, but you also don’t sense as if the music floats around you.

    Furthermore, imaging could be slightly more accurate. Sounds are still placed where they should be, but some headphones can pinpoint their location more accurately.

    Nonetheless, Edifier W820NB Plus should satisfy any budget audiophile who wants headphones for travel without breaking the bank.

    Moreover, W820NB Plus’s midrange sounds more natural than on their flagship Edifier WH950NB. The latter sound smoother and more textured, but not necessarily $70 better.

    For around $80, Edifier W820NB Plus are definitely worth checking out.

    Does wired mode change sound?

    Instead of a 3.5mm jack, W820NB Plus use a USB-C port for wired audio. Since it uses internal DSP, the sound and volume don’t change compared to Bluetooth.

    Edifier W820NB Plus wired
    You must buy a separate USB-C to USB-C cable to run Edifier W820NB Plus wired from your smartphone.

    However, the connection doesn’t work everywhere. Windows 11 refuses to recognize them as an audio playback device, only as a mic. Though, they worked okay on Windows 10 and Android smartphone.

    It’s worth noting that Edifier included the USB-A to USB-C cable and not the USB-C on both sides. That’s fine for computers, whereas you need to buy a separate cable to run them from a smartphone.

    Check out similar headphones:

    Comfort & Fit

    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    Edifier W820NB Plus have a lightweight design with soft and decently plush earpads, which are only adequate for shorter listening sessions. In contrast, stability is suitable even for exercising.

    These W820NB Plus use over-ear pleather earpads. They’re filled with memory foam to increase plushness and to even up the pressure from clamping force.

    Unless you have big ears, the earpads on these over-ear headphones should cover them entirely. They aren’t the deepest, so you might feel the back of your earlobes touching the sides.

    Overall, headphones are pretty comfy. But compared to Edifier WH950NB, which are much plushier, so they’re a better fit for long listening sessions.

    Edifier W820NB Plus vs WH950NB
    Edifier WH950NB are in every way comfier, better built and performing headphones. But they also cost more.

    Moving to the fit, the headphones arrive with a relatively strong clamping force. While that’s great for stability, it’s terrible for comfort.

    We advise you to leave them overnight, stretching over some books to ease up the clamp and become comfier. Learn how to make them more comfortable from our in-depth article.

    You can safely use them during workouts if you seek stable headphones that don’t fall off your headphones after every movement (note that they lack sweat resistance).

    A slightly annoying thing is the air pumping in and out every time you readjust the earcups. It’s something that isn’t present in other headphones.

    Another design oversight worth pointing out are the sharp plastic corners around the headband. You can scratch yourself if you accidentally hit the corner.

    Edifier W820NB Plus sharp edges
    Headband’s edges are designed to form a uniform shape of the headphones, but they’re also sharp as a result.

    Here are headphones that provide better stability during workouts:

    Durability

    Star Rating
    3.5 Almost Great

    Edifier W820NB Plus have an all-plastic build that doesn’t look too reassuring, with no included bag or case for added protection. But you can at least change the earpads if they ever become stiff.

    The new W820NB Plus use the same body as the non-Plus version. That means a fully plastic design; even the headband extension is plastic. It isn’t the cheapest nor the most premium one.

    Headphones are still quite flexible, but we don’t have the same confidence stretching them compared to headphones with an aluminum frame. There’s even an exposed wire inside a headband connecting the two cups.

    Edifier W820NB Plus headband cable
    You can see the cable connecting the 2 earcups running inside a plastic headband extender.

    Furthermore, headphones lack a case or a bag to store them in (despite coming in a bigger packaging as the WH950NB, which have a carrying case).

    On the other hand, earpads feel pretty good. They’re made of soft memory foam and faux leather and are relatively plush. But, with regular use, they’re bound to stiffen up.

    Fortunately, these headphones use snap-on earpads with a plastic frame similar to the WH950NB, which makes them user replaceable. We’re unsure if Edifier sells the replacements, but you can buy third-party ones for $19.

    Edifier W820NB Plus earpads
    Earpads can be easily swapped for new ones.

    It’s worth mentioning that while Edifier W820NB Plus are stable enough during exercise, only 2 layers of tiny mesh stands between your ears and the driver.

    Meaning that moisture from sweat can quickly get into your headphones. Since they lack an official IP rating, be cautious if you plan to use them during workouts.

    Battery

    Star Rating
    4.5 Almost Perfect

    Edifier W820NB Plus’s battery life of 33 hours and 20 minutes per charge places them somewhere in the middle, which is solid. Thanks to fast charging, you get another 7 hours in just 10 minutes.

    Edifier W820NB Plus Battery Comparison

    Edifier W820NB Plus battery comparison

    Premium headphones have difficulties reaching 30 hours on a single charge. Meanwhile, affordable offers like the W820NB Plus can do that with ease.

    More accurately, during our test at 50% volume and ANC enabled, Edifier W820NB Plus had a battery life of:

    • 33 hours and 20 minutes

    That places them somewhere in the middle compared to other ANC headphones. While they’re still far away from outstanding 1MORE SonoFlow, 33 hours is still suitable enough for long trips.

    Furthermore, if you ensure to charge them during pauses, fast charging can quickly juice them up:

    • Adding extra 7 hours of playtime in a 10-minute charge.

    Features

    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    Edifier W820NB Plus have all the features of premium headphones but at a lower price. We just miss more customization options.

    It would be a surprise if Bluetooth headphones under $100 wouldn’t come with features like active noise cancellation, ambient sound mode, and even a companion app.

    Edifier W820NB Plus noise cancelling
    App’s front page (on the left) and selecting multifunction key functionality (on the right).

    The Edifier Connect app packs a good selection of extra features, like:

    • Soothing sounds
    • EQ presets
    • Low-latency Game mode
    • Shut Off feature

    Unfortunately, you can’t customize the controls. Also, you need an app to enable turning ANC/transparency off with a button under the right earcup.

    Otherwise, you can only switch between ANC and ambient mode, just like in Apple AirPods Max.

    EQ presets

    The app offers 4 sound profiles: Classic, Classical, Rock, and Pop. There’s a very tiny difference between them.

    Edifier W820NB Plus EQ presets
    There’s no custom EQ option like on the rest of the Edifier headphones we’ve tested.

    Despite saying you can customize the equalizer, we can’t find the option. Not even after updating the app a few days ago. Maybe they will add the custom EQ in a later update.

    Soothing sounds

    You get 32 different relaxing sounds of nature, animals, fire crackling, and even some abstract tunes like “3D Soundscape”. They vary in length from just 23 seconds to 4 minutes and more.

    Make sure to open the in-app player and select if you want to have the sound playing on repeat. Otherwise, the sounds will keep on changing.

    Edifier W820NB Plus soothing sounds

    The audio samples are indeed very relaxing. A minor complaint is that they start with a fade-in and end with a fade-out, which can be distracting, especially on shorter sounds.

    Microphone Quality

    Microphone performance in Edifier W820NB Plus has 2 sides; it goes from excellent to mediocre just by changing the environment.

    Edifier W820NB Plus microphone test:

    As mentioned, these headphones perform differently depending on the surrounding noise. When you’re someplace quiet, they pick your voice really well.

    However, moving to a noisier place changes the whole picture. While background noise is successfully removed, your voice gets muffled and occasionally difficult to understand.

    We advise you to stay away from noisy places during phone calls for the best call quality.

    Noise Isolation

    Star Rating
    2.5 Average

    Edifier W820NB Plus use a relatively thin plastic shell that doesn’t block much noise outside or keep it in. They do have some sound leakage.

    Measured average noise isolation14,57 dBA

    You might think that firm clamping force and over-ear design result in great passive isolation. Well, not if the earcups are made of thin plastic.

    Edifier W820NB Plus passive isolation comparison
    It looks like there’s some resonance between 200-400Hz that actually boosts this region by simply wearing the headphones.

    The plastic used in W820NB Plus doesn’t absorb ambient noise that effectively. You can hear most of what’s happening around you, just slightly muffled.

    As a result, active noise cancelling is a must if you want to enjoy music peacefully.

    Here’s a table of how effective is Edifier W820NB Plus’s passive noise isolation at blocking specific frequencies:

    FrequencyNoise reduction
    dB SPL
    Noise reduction
    dBA (A-weighted)
    100 Hz+0,1 dB-19,1 dBA
    200 Hz+3,3 dB-14,1 dBA
    400 Hz+3,7 dB-8,5 dBA
    600 Hz6,3 dB4,1 dBA
    1 kHz10 dB10 dBA
    2 kHz18,6 dB19,8 dBA
    4 kHz30,3 dB31,3 dBA
    6 kHz32,6 dB32,7 dBA
    10 kHz32,4 dB29,9 dBA
    15 kHz23,9 dB17,9 dBA
    Average14,57 dBA
    A-weighted values from the International standard IEC 61672:2003

    Noise Cancelling

    Star Rating
    3.0 Good

    Edifier W820NB Plus don’t live up to the promise of reducing -43 dB of ambient noise. But their active noise cancelling still makes your commute a little more peaceful.

    Measured average noise cancellation6,22 dBA

    Edifier W820NB Plus active noise cancelling test:

    Edifier W820NB Plus ANC Test – HeadphonesAddict

    The new W820NB Plus supposedly have all new ANC tech compared to the non-Plus variant, reducing down to -43 dB of environmental noise compared to -38 dB.

    Based on that, these headphones should be on par with the best. However, in reality, their bigger brother, WH950NB, beats them in every area.

    Looking at the graph, Edifier W820NB Plus can reduce down to -35 dB of background noise and not -43 dB. And even that is done passively, not actively. The latter is truer for the more premium Edifier alternative.

    Edifier W820NB Plus ANC comparison
    Based on the graph, the WH950NB are better than the W820NB Plus across the entire range.

    Strangely, the lower frequencies is where these headphones perform worse. They can only reduce them by -10 dB, which means you can still hear some cabin noise during a flight.

    The performance improves in the midrange and treble. So they can mute the speech to a reasonable degree.

    Here’s the table with Edifier W820NB Plus ANC test results:

    FrequencyNoise cancellation
    dB SPL
    Noise cancellation
    dBA (A-weighted)
    30 Hz+1,9 dB-42,5 dBA
    50 Hz1,3 dB-29,0 dBA
    70 Hz8,8 dB-15,7 dBA
    90 Hz10 dB-10,6 dBA
    200 Hz12,5 dB1,7 dBA
    400 Hz10,6 dB5,8 dBA
    600 Hz12,2 dB10 dBA
    800 Hz13,8 dB13 dBA
    1 kHz12,2 dB12,2 dBA
    2 kHz18,3 dB19,5 dBA
    Average6,22 dBA
    A-weighted values from the International standard IEC 61672:2003

    How about ambient sound mode?

    Ambient sound mode or transparency mode boosts bass and lower midrange up to a natural level but starts going down after 1kHz.

    Edifier W820NB Plus Ambient Sound intensity comparison
    To get the most out of Ambient Sound mode, set it to +3.

    The performance is overall better than WH950NB, but not nearly as good as some true wireless earbuds like 1MORE Aero or EarFun Air Pro 3, which boost frequencies up to 3kHz.

    This means that you can have a conversation while wearing the W820NB Plus, but the voices sound muted.

    Bluetooth

    Star Rating
    5.0 Perfect

    Edifier W820NB Plus offer class-leading Bluetooth connection stability on top of supporting LDAC and Game mode. Sadly, no multipoint.

    Headphones come with Bluetooth version 5.2, which isn’t the latest. That could lead to Bluetooth interferences if you use them in a room full of wireless devices.

    At least in our experience, we haven’t encountered any issues, despite having 2 Wi-Fi routers and at least 6 other wireless gadgets. Moreso, headphones actually showed outstanding connection range.

    Edifier WH820NB Plus controls
    Edifier W820NB Plus only use physical controls.

    In our indoor test, we left our phone and walked on the other side of the house, passing at least 2 brick walls to see when headphones would start stuttering. Edifier W820NB Plus offer a range of:

    • Up to 65 feet (or 20 meters)

    That’s on par with Apple AirPods Max and TrueFree F1, both offering class-leading indoor Bluetooth range. Most Bluetooth headphones and earbuds can reach around 40 to 45 feet.

    Sadly, headphones don’t support multipoint, so you can forget about multitasking capabilities.

    How to pair Edifier W820NB Plus?

    1. First-time pairing requires you to turn the headphones on, and they immediately go into pairing mode.
    2. To pair them to a second device, turn them off and back on while holding the power button. You will hear a “Pairing” prompt from the speakers.

    What Bluetooth Codecs Do They Use?

    Headphones under SBC, AAC, and LDAC Bluetooth codecs. You must activate the latter inside the Bluetooth menu’s settings.

    Furthermore, you can select the audio sampling quality when using LDAC, from 44.1kHz/48kHz to 96kHz.

    Edifier W820NB Plus LDAC quality
    You have to select the best audio quality setting inside the app to get the most out of LDAC.

    Is There an Audio Lag?

    You don’t need to worry about audio lag during videos on YouTube or social media since these apps are already optimized to sync the audio with Bluetooth headphones perfectly.

    On the other hand, there’s a bit of delay in mobile games. Interestingly, Game mode doesn’t seem to reduce it, at least to the naked eye. There may be a bug in the firmware that will get fixed eventually.

    Should You Get Edifier W820NB Plus?

    Star Rating
    4.5 Almost Perfect

    Edifier W820NB Plus definitely deserve attention due to their excellent default tuning, which is rare to see in Bluetooth headphones under $100. Otherwise, you always have to make some adjustments.

    Edifier W820NB Plus headphones front
    If you enjoy a great sound without paying a premium, Edifier W820NB Plus are a worthwhile pick.

    Overall, we highly recommend these headphones for anyone who wants to take excellent sound quality on the go for under $100. We hope Edifier can make the sound equally good with all modes and not just in Ambient mode.

    On the other hand, people expecting a high level of customizability and ability to block outside noise should look elsewhere. ANC performance and build quality could be better, but at $80, that’s a worthy trade-off for what you’re getting.

    How do Edifier W820NB Plus compare to the competition?

    • Edifier’s have a more accurate sound out of the box, while most competitors aim for an extreme bass boost.
    • Headphones have an outstanding Bluetooth indoor range, easily surpassing similarly priced rivals.
    • They offer replaceable earpads, whereas most competitors come with glued ones.
    • They have an average battery life of around 33 hours per charge, with most competitors lasting a few more hours.
    • ANC performance is nothing to write home about, which is on par with most competitors.

    Edifier W820NB Plus Alternatives

    1MORE SonoFlow

    1MORE SonoFlow headphones

    You can fix their slightly muted sound with some EQ, but the Edifier’s are more natural overall. The same goes for Ambient mode, which sounds very thin in SonoFlow.

    Both have mediocre passive isolation and ANC, but 1MORE’s are better built and have a protective case.

    Furthermore, SonoFlow have an incredible 60-hour battery, making them a better pick for longer voyages.

    1MORE SonoFlow review

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 in a bush

    Expect a more energetic and bright sound that you need to tone down in the app if you want a more natural music listening experience.

    The Q30s have a slightly cheaper-feeling build (due to rattling) but come with a carrying case. Their app is also richer with features.

    Also, headphones offer multipoint, the same rock-solid Bluetooth, and a battery life that’s 10 hours longer than Edifier’s.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 review

    Edifier WH950NB

    Edifier WH950NB headphones with a laptop

    They have a more relaxed sound that isn’t necessarily more natural but feels more mature. You also get some custom control over the EQ.

    Build quality and comfort are definitely on the WH950NB side, with plusher pads and headband, aluminum frame, and carrying case.

    ANC is also a significant strength of the premium option, outperforming the W820NB Plus in every aspect. But they cost around $150.

    Edifier WH950NB review

    What’s in the Box?

    Edifier W820NB Plus accessories
    • Edifier W820NB Plus Bluetooth headphones
    • USB-A to USB-C audio and charging cable
    • User manual

    Specifications

    Type: Over-ear
    Connection: Bluetooth 5.2
    Back design: Closed-back
    Drivers: 40mm dynamic
    Frequency range: 20-40.000Hz
    Impedance: n/a
    Weight: 7.8 ounces (221 grams)
    Mic & Controls: Yes
    Water resistance: None
    Battery life: 33.5h (with ANC), 49h (without ANC)
    Charging time: Quick charge – USB-C
    Active noise cancelling: Yes, hybrid
    Bluetooth codecs: SBC, LDAC
    Wireless range: 65 feet (20 meters)
    Microphone: DNN noise cancelling tech
    8 Comments
    1. I play Valorant. Can I use it in wired mode for Gaming? Will it show as an audio output device in wired mode? Windows 11 user here.
      Kindly let me know. Will help to take a purchase decision.

      Reply

      1. It will show as an audio output device. So you can hear the game. But the mic won’t work, so won’t be able to chat with other players.

        Reply

    2. is it possible to use the earpads of the plus version on the non-plus version???

      I’m planning to replace the earpads of my Edifier W820NB and i wanna know if it fits or not

      Reply

      1. Hello, wilan

        sadly, I don’t have the non-Plus model to confirm whether they fit or not, nor do I find satisfying info on the internet about it. But, from what I’ve learned is that there are subtle differences, primarily in the height in the cushioning, which could affect the sound.

        Reply

    3. Hi
      I’m trying to make a decision based on sound quality only, WH 820NB PLUS VS WH 950NB. I do not mind spending the extra $ if sound quality is better on the 950nb.

      Please advise.

      Thank you1

      Reply

      1. Hello Joseph,

        you’re definitely getting sound quality boost by going for the WH950NB. The tuning is smoother but slightly more detailed than in the W820NB Plus.
        Also, the more expensive model has great ANC and comes with a box for easier transportation. But, they’re also bulkier in comparison. Just for some extra info, I know you’re only curious about sound. 😉

        Reply

    4. I’m totally torn between this and Sennheiser HD 350BT. My only asks are best sound detailing and imaging in that price. And next is comfort, say continuously listening for 1.5h – 2h (outside and inside of the house). I don’t care about other features. I listen to Classical to Metal; from Folk to Sufi; I completely hate english Pop, and I definitely am not a basshead. I want to start listening to some clarity and feel the soundstage (perhaps I’m asking for a lot in this price but I’ve only used $30 Chinese IEMs so far, haha) from some decent headphone, then making the journey up with time.

      Reply

      1. Hello, Trideb,
        I haven’t tested or heard the HD 350BT in person, but from the frequency measurements on the internet, they’re probably even smoother than the Edifiers, while have a dip around 4kHz, which takes away some of the energy from electric guitars. However, smoother treble might not pair that well with metal, so Edifiers are probably a better pick.
        That said, you can use Flat Equalizer app from Google Play to further tweak the sound (if you have an Android phone).
        Comfort-wise, Sennheisers are probably plushier, but again, I haven’t tried them, so take my guess with a grain of salt. 😉

        Reply

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