Edifier W820NB Plus review: Fabulous fidelity for the price

At a glance

Expert’s Rating


  • Great sound
  • Support for Sony’s LDAC codec
  • Long battery life
  • Effective, transparent active noise cancellation


  • No support for the aptX or AAC codecs
  • No carrying case
  • No user definable EQ (only modes)

Our Verdict

The W820NB Plus headphones are a great value: comfortable, stylish, and sonically competitive–including effective, transparent ANC–with many pricier headsets.

Price When Reviewed


Best Prices Today: Edifier W820NB Plus


Given Edifier W820NB Plus headphones’ $80 street price, I had assumed I’d experience just middling audio performance. The hollow-sounding female voice informing me they were powered on did nothing to alter that perception, but my skepticism was misplaced.

The W820NB Plus’ voice cues were the only aural aspect that wasn’t spot on. Indeed, these headphones sound like they might cost much, much more. We’re not talking best-in-category performance, but certainly the best I’ve heard for the price. They’re also very comfortable, they look good, they deliver long battery life, and their active noise cancellation doesn’t color the sound to any noticeable degree.

This review is part of TechHive’s in-depth coverage of the best noise-cancelling headphones.

Edifier W820NB Plus feature set

The closed-back, over-ear Edifier W820NB Plus are available in in black, two-tone dark gray, and two-tone cream/tan (the variation reviewed here). They’re outfitted with 40mm titanium-coated diaphragm drivers. There’s a Bluetooth 5.2 radio onboard, and the headphones support Sony’s excellent hi-res LDAC codec if your smartphone or high-end digital audio player supports the same. But there’s no support for the aptX family of codecs increasingly found on Android smartphones or Apple’s AAC codec, supported on the iPhone.

The W820NB Plus are available in three colors: Off-white/beige, dark gray and black.

There are two ANC mics (prominent on the outside of the ear cups), plus one mic on the bottom front of the right-hand ear cup for making phone calls. This is also where you’ll find the physical multi-function controls (volume, power, Bluetooth pairing, etc.), as well as the ANC mode selector (on/ambient/low-latency game mode), and a tiny status LED.

I’ll get into the weight, construction and comfort in a bit, but overall the W820NB Plus looks good. That said, there is a slightly parsimonious aspect to this headphone’s all-plastic construction, especially the controls, when closely examined.

That also contributes to their light weight, of course; and if anyone comments, hand them over for a listen–they’ll shut up soon enough.

Like most modern battery-powered headphones, the W820NB Plus are equipped with a USB-C port for charging, but these are unusual in their ability to also perform as a USB audio device. Plug them into a computer’s USB port, and you can listen to music and charge them at the same time. If you plan to use them with an analog playback device, however, know that they’re not equipped with a 3.5mm jack.

How do the Edifier W820NB Plus sound?

I already let the cat out of the bag on aural quality, but I can tell you that to form my opinion, I A/B’d the W820NB Plus with some very good headphones including Edifier’s own planar-magnetic Stax Spirit S3, Sony’s wired MDR-7506, as well as Marshall’s over-ear Monitor II and on-ear Major IV.

Shockingly, the W820NB Plus held their own. I still prefer both of the Marshalls, thanks to their persistent, onboard, user-definable EQ, but those headsets cost four times as much. The W820NB Plus have several EQ presets, but you can’t define your own. Regardless, I found the sound from these puppies most pleasant on the ears.

Most pleasant means well-defined mid-range, plenty of oomph (bass), and enough treble to let the sound breathe. The lower registers aren’t as tight as the Stax Spirit S3 those cost a cool $400. That’s not to say the W820NB Plus sounds flabby, they match up well with the Marshalls in terms of low-end.

Edifier’s active noise cancellation is both effective and it doesn’t screw up the EQ of the source material. I had a difficult time picking out any changes to the timbre of material at all. If there is any, it’s oddly in the lower registers–perhaps reducing bass response.

Do the Edifier W820NB Plus offer long battery life?

Edifier says the 400mAh battery in the W820NB Plus will last nearly 50 hours without ANC engaged, and almost 40 hours with it on (using the vanilla SBC codec, that is). I was around 10 hours in with ANC active and the headphone had plenty of juice left.

The controls on the W820NB Plus headphones.

Are the Edifier W820NB Plus comfortable?

Constructed almost entirely of plastic, the W820NB Plus’s weigh in at a mere 8.4 ounces. That, plus the substantial padding on the headband and ear cups, make for a very comfortable fit. In fact, they’re one of the most comfortable headsets I’ve experienced. If I have to trade out-of-box impressions of sturdiness and quality for light weight, light weight seems like the better option over the long haul.

The ear cups are deep, though my auricles did barely touch the driver grills, which are covered in a soft fabric. I never really felt the harder parts of the grill, however, so all’s good on that front.

The plastic headband take as much abuse as a metal one would; but if you’re gentle with it, it should last. As a general rule, a light touch with your equipment (especially in today’s world of planned obsolescence) will serve you well.

Should you buy the Edifier W820NB Plus?

Anyone looking for top-quality noise-cancelling headphones at a superb price will want to audition the Edifier W820NB Plus. You could spend more–a lot more–to get more robust construction, fancier features, and accessories–such as a carry case. But after listening to these cans, , my thought on that is–why? Just be aware of the lack of a 3.5 mm connection.


  • Drivers: 40mm, titanium-coated
  • Bluetooth: 5.2
  • Codec support: SBC and LDAC
  • Battery life: 33 hours with ANC on/49 hours with ANC off (SBC codec used in both claims)
  • Sound pressure level: 91dB ± 3dBSPL(A)
  • Frequency response: 20Hz – 40kHz
  • Accessories: USB charging cable (no case)
  • Warranty: 2 years (USA and Canada only)



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