$200 Puro Pro hybrid over-the-ear headphones are almost perfect

Final December, a consultant for Puro Sound Labs provided me a assessment pattern of the corporate’s flagship Bluetooth hybrid headphones. Her timing could not have been higher—I had surgical procedure scheduled for January 8 that may put me on the sofa all day, on daily basis, for 2 weeks straight with nothing to do however watch films and tv (ideally with out driving my spouse and children insane).

The Puro Pro is an over-the-ear design, which could be related to audio sources by way of Bluetooth 5.0 pairing or a easy headphone wire. It affords nearly any characteristic you would possibly dream up for a pair of headphones: security quantity limiting (configurable for both 85dBA or 95dBA), 30+ hour battery life, content material management by way of buttons on the left can, lively noise cancellation, and even an inline mic for cellphone calls.

At $200, the Puro Professional prices greater than I might usually spend on a pair of headphones for watching late-night TV and flying on the occasional airplane (my two major use circumstances). However after spending a number of hours per day with the Puro Professional for a few months, I might drop the money in a heartbeat.

How I examined

Puro Sound Labs PuroPro Hybrid Energetic Noise Cancelling Headphones

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The vast majority of the time I spent with the Puro Professional was on my sofa, watching content material from YouTube Music, Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix, together with some regionally saved TV and flicks. Each my Roku Premiere+ 4K UHD media participant (for streaming content material) and my custom-built HTPC (for native content material) are related to my Denon AVR-S510BT receiver and from the Denon’s headphone jack to a Boltune low-latency Bluetooth 5.0 transceiver.

This setup was my most vital check state of affairs for the headphones, however I additionally gave them extra demanding checks of musical accuracy by connecting them (wired) to the Scarlett Solo preamp I exploit in my podcasting studio. The Scarlett Solo is related to my workstation; its main “work” perform is offering an XLR enter for my RE230 mic, however it does double obligation as my system’s fundamental audio output interface, by way of its 1/4″ headphone jack—usually related to a pair of Sennheiser HD 280 Pro studio headphones.

I must be very clear that my testing is subjective—I really used the headphones and in contrast them to a number of units of reference gear, and I am sharing my impressions right here. With that stated, I am a reasonably demanding listener; I grew up with a broadcast engineer for a dad, and I’ve spent the final 30 years attempting to purchase private audio gear that straddles the road between “that is among the finest you should purchase” and “that is wallet-draining audiophile nonsense.”

The competitors

I am an evening owl, however my spouse is an early riser, so quiet late-night film and TV watching is important on the Salter family. Wi-fi earbuds turned out to be a no-go for me. I attempted a number of fashions that I favored the sound of, however—whereas I discovered them comfy initially—all led to repeated ear infections after long-term, each day use. Battery life was additionally lower than ideally suited—the LG Tone HBS-510 earbuds I used essentially the most solely received about eight to 10 hours of play time, with related outcomes for quite a lot of lesser-known manufacturers.

Subsequent, I attempted a set of Monodeal on-ear Bluetooth headphones—at $35, they’re an unimaginable worth, and I ended up getting a second pair for my spouse (who additionally cherished them). However I nonetheless had consolation points; after a number of TV episodes in a row, the on-ear design would get a bit ouchy. The battery life additionally left one thing to be desired, at round eight hours—not dangerous for the worth, however not lengthy sufficient to get you thru cross-continent airplane journeys with out cautious husbanding.

Lastly, I used a $200 pair of JBL Live 650BTNC over-the-ear Bluetooth headphones. Their over-the-ear design was much more comfy for long-term use than the Monodeal pair, and the playtime of 20+ hours was an enormous enchancment. The audio high quality was additionally just a little higher than the Monodeal. They nonetheless weren’t one hundred pc comfy for long-term use, although, as a result of weight, stability points, and the mixture of very agency padding and important clamping stress on my head.

Though the JBL headphones weren’t good, they had been workable sufficient that I wasn’t actually available in the market for a alternative.

Evaluating Puro Professional

For my main use case—watching TV and flicks late at night time on the sofa with out disturbing my spouse—the Puro Professional headphones are far and away the perfect factor I’ve tried. I additionally discovered them wonderful for listening to all kinds of musical genres, together with classical, acoustic, a capella, and hip-hop.

The one flaw I might discover with them—apart from the cost port not being USB-C—is an annoying background buzz artifact produced when the headphone quantity is at max and a staccato sound (for instance, the “click on” when transferring give attention to the Roku interface from one merchandise to a different) is produced. That flaw is well labored round: simply flip the headphone quantity down a single click on and no extra buzz.


The padding is extraordinarily tender and cozy, and the headphones present simply sufficient clamping stress to remain agency with out getting ouchy after a couple of hours.

Though the burden of the JBL and Puro headphones is analogous, the stability is completely different. This is not one thing I discover immediately when placing both set of headphones on—however after a number of hour-long episodes of a binged present (or one Lord of the Rings film), the JBL telephones go away my neck feeling just a little strained, whereas the Puro Professional telephones don’t.

The lighter clamping stress and softer padding on the Puro Professional headphones additionally leaves me with considerably much less “sweaty ear” feeling after a number of hours of prolonged use than I received from the JBL headphones—or, for that matter, from my Sennheiser HD 280 Professional studio telephones after recording a podcast.

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