Koncen is a marketer of competitively priced headphones gaining a reputation for delivering a lot of performance for a great value. We’re going to have a look at some of their more popular models, the X7, X11, X17, and V4.1.
Bluetooth enables electronic devices to connect with each other over a very short distance, such as a few feet or several yards. Previous versions of Bluetooth caused a degree of interference with audio signals, particularly from smartphones, and diminished battery life.
The advantage of Bluetooth 4.1 is this: It eliminates the interference which was most noticeable on LTE networks and shuts down when not in use, thereby preserving battery life.
Let’s start with the Koncen X7 (MSRP$23.99) Billed as a sports headset, it goes inside the ear, not over, and is connected by a stiff wire that goes from one ear to the base of the neck and around the back of the neck to the other ear. The Koncen X7’s microphone and controls are on the right side. It has been on the market long enough to have used models for sale, so I would definitely recommend checking around for the current price before making a purchase.
Koncen says it works with all Apple and Android devices that are Bluetooth equipped including Mp3 players. That is not a differentiating factor as all the other Koncen models covered in this review have the connectivity functionality.
The downside is that it is not, strictly speaking, a noise cancelling device although it is billed as reducing white noise but sound quality is in the ear of the wearer. Consumer reviews are mixed on that score. Charging can take up to two hours for five to six hours of playing time and several days of standby time.
The Koncen X11 seems to appeal to the running crowd. Those who like it insist that it is comfortable on a two to four mile run while those who don’t insist that the earbuds fall out easily. Priced at MSRP $29.99 list, this is another item to check the current price before purchase-as there may be deals to be had. The Koncen X11 is a tad offbeat in one regard. The X11’s microphone is up on the right earpiece. My experience is that the closer the mic is to one’s mouth, the better the sound quality on the other end. Koncen claims that the X11 will provide a decent, high quality audio connection up to 10 meters from the gadget with which it is paired. Koncen also claims up to six hours of usage per one-hour charge and up to 180 hours on standby in addition to a noise cancellation feature. Again, sound quality is in the ear of the wearer, but most agree that it’s pretty good for the price.
The Koncen X17’s strength is also its greatest weakness. Unlike the first two we discussed here, the Koncen X17 is soft wired. The battery is a tad heavy according to customers, and it sits not in the center but just below one of the earbuds. It tugs and evidently it helps its adjacent earbud fall out.
The great thing about the replaceable battery is this: If you keep the replacement charged your headset is always ready to go when you are running out the door. All of these devices come with dedicated chargers, so juicing them up ought not to be difficult. Unlike the two above the X17 comes not in day-glow colors but in a more understated gray or black. As of this review they are running $26.99 at retail outlets, but certainly check comparison shopping sites for their latest pricing.
Also unlike the others the X17 boasts full noise cancellation technology, up to 220 hours on standby, up to eight hours of talk time, and does it all on a one-hour charge. It has one feature which appeals to me: One can answer or reject a phone call by saying “Yes” or “No.” It will pair with any modern smartphone, either iPhone or Android.
The Koncen V4.1 is currently priced around the same as the Koncen X7 with most retailers as of this review and the specs are pretty remarkable. Like the X17, Koncen claims that it can pair with two Bluetooth-equipped devices at once. The wiring is fairly stiff, so the V4.1 is less likely to fall out of the ear than the X17. Like the other models in this review it will work with iPhone and Android devices. The Koncen V4.1 does not include a rechargeable battery. The V4.1 has only one color scheme, white with gold earpieces.
Koncen boasts up to eight hours of talk or music play time as well as up to 150 hours’ standby time on a full charge. The V4.1 also has full noise cancellation technology as well as the ability, like the X17, for the user to answer or reject a call by saying “Yes” or “No.” Volume, phone, and music playback controls are all on the V4.1 earpiece. Unusual for a gadget at this price point is last number call-back, but like the other controls it is on the earpiece and may be a tad difficult to use by touch alone.
On the downside, at two hours it is the slowest to charge of all the Koncen sports headsets we reviewed. But like others near its price point, the Koncen V4.1 will work with its paired device up to a distance of 30 feet. The V4.1 also boasts sweat-proof construction, which is a plus for sports and exercise.