GRANDO BH519 Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones

Priced at just less than under £52 these are the most inexpensive over-ear Bluetooth Active Noise Cancelling (ANR) headset I have yet tried and were much better than I expected them to be.
The headset was supplied packaged in a plain and simple robust brown cardboard box inside of which was the headset, carry case, carry bag, audio cable, a USB charging cable, and User Guide. It is a pity the budget packaging did not reflect the quality of the product as poor presentation reduces the appeal of the item as a gift and the perception of the product as a quality item. The headset is quite compact, sits over the ears and looks rather upmarket and sophisticated. The two cables are both well made if rather lightweight. The fanfold User Guide is well written and easy to read if rather unnecessary.

The headset feels quite lightweight and comfortable to wear but this is by no means a headset to go jogging in. It is padded, although not over generously so, on both the cups and headband and is no strain to wear even for extended periods. The build quality seems first rate and although for nearly £52 I did not expect a cheap feel nevertheless they exceed my budget range expectations. The cup supports which swivel but not fold are extendable and do so do so with a smooth and secure feel. The cups and frame are all robust and have a quality feel about them. On one earcup are the Active Noise Reduction (ANR) Off/On button and status LED, on the other are the usual track and volume buttons, audio in and micro-USB charging ports and a separate power Off/On switch – an important feature often omitted even from some high end headsets. All the buttons are of a decent size, well marked and easy to find and identify by touch and by sight. I get heartily fed up with recessed and unmarked buttons but no such problems here. The carry case is a of the semi rigid type, robust enough for day to day protection – but don’t sit on it – and large enough to easily secure the headphones cables and other bits and pieces and with an internal mesh pocket and strap. The carry bag is useful for when space is at a premium and you still need protection for the headset and peripherals.

The most important feature of any headset, the audio quality, and bearing in mind that this is priced as a low end device in fact I was impressed by the sound. The bass is full and detailed but not overpoweringly so. Mid tones are clear and detailed and the sound is very warm and comfortable. This is a distinctly above average headset for the price as regards sound quality even leaving aside the ANR features. The headset can also be used with a cable as a normal headset and there is little difference in audio quality between the two modes of use.

What about the noise reduction? Well as with every ANR headset the emphasis should be on the word reduction. No headset can fully cancel outside sounds but this one does a very good job and when I tried it in several situations it worked very well indeed. Like with all of them it coped better with low constant noise, the roar of a jet, car engines, traffic rather better than with sudden bangs or high pitched screeches. The light construction and on ear form factor (as opposed to larger over ear headsets) means that this headset misses out somewhat on passive noise reduction – akin to putting your fingers in your ears – but the on board ANR system which generates noise to cancel out external sounds is very effective. Unlike with many rivals when switching on ANR there was no major degradation in audio quality, there was a difference in the bass response and mid tones were slightly muffled but not enough to be annoying.

Not everything is good. It only uses rechargeable batteries. Rechargeables are cheaper to use but for travel use I like the reassurance of having back up batteries in my pocket. Maybe that is just me as GRANDO claim up to 10 hours of use between charges which is good but less than that claimed by some rivals. It is a pity too that no airline adapter was included to allow the headset when in cable mode to be used with a two prong airline socket.

This is a excellent sounding headset, looks great too and with several non extras included. The budget price coupled with the sound quality and presentation makes it a five star buy for me bearing in mind the issues listed above. A few corners have been cut to achieve this price but nothing that impinges on the key functions of the headset or in their build quality. I doubt you will find a better ANR headset for this price.

Full Disclosure: I received this product free or at a discount in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Good
Great price
Attractive design
Good sound quality
Comfortable to wear
Fold flat design
Bluetooth 4
Good ANR function
Carry Case
Carry Bag
Power button
Easy use controls

The Bad
Lightweight cables
No spare battery option
No Travel Kit
Cheap packaging

More info and purchase