With a characteristic minimalist design typical of the Scandinavian world, these headphones promise superior sound supported by an efficient external noise cancellation system. Do they comply?
Do you know who Kyrre Gørvell-Dahll is? And Kygo? They are the same person, with real and artistic name. Yes, it is the famous Norwegian producer and DJ who, in addition, has been managing since 2016 a company specialized in headphones and clothing: Kygo Life. Of the first business branch, in which prestigious Swedish engineers collaborate, are these A11 / 800, supraaural headphones (also called over-ear) with a simple design, which for some were born in northern Europe; eye, simple design but nothing of ‘simplon’ Because Kygo Life products are designed in Scandinavia, although they are manufactured in China. Today, the A11 / 800 are the most advanced headphones of the firm.
Design and functions
Starting, as it should be, at the beginning, the careful packaging of the product is striking: a hard case with magnetic closure inside which we find a high quality case to store and transport the headphones inside. These are folded, this being one of its peculiarities. The model tested is black; We reconfirm that it is an example of Scandinavian minimalist design. No frills or aesthetic adventures.
The consistent headband, with upper padding, is divided into three sections, which slide over a metal structure for vertical adjustment. Below, it opens in two tentacles that hug the speakers. In general, they are medium sized supraaural headphones; cover the ears of an adult well, without slacks or tightness. The rest of the mechanisms transmit durability. The pads, of imitation leather (in fact it is viscoelastic material), shine for its softness and memory adjustment; We will tell you its status after a couple of months of intensive use, friction and different temperature changes.
The right panel is tactile, with icons to increase / decrease the volume and advance / rewind track. Its dynamic is to slide your finger in the desired direction. In addition, a touch in the center plays / pauses the song, while two touches activate the voice assistant on the mobile, Siri or Google Assistant, as long as you have headphones on. Ah, the X that distributes the icons of the mentioned touch panel is, together with the letters KYGO – which are not here – the commercial symbol of the DJ.
On one side of this same headset we find three physical buttons: enable / disable noise cancellation technology; change its mode; and general on / off plus bluetooth pairing. Following the lower zone, the 3.5 mm audio port, since these headphones can be plugged in, even when the battery has run out. However, if they lack power, the Kygo A11 / 800 will not have a noise cancellation system nor can they be used in hands-free mode. On the other handset is the USB-C charging port. Two-color LEDs report the product status: on / off, charging, etc.
It is very easy to identify which speaker goes on each side of the head because R and L enromes paths are stamped inside each headphone. Inside the aforementioned case is a zippered pocket with velcro to carry the USB-C charging cable and the AUX cable with a 3.5 mm connector on both ends. At the moment, the Kygo A11 / 800 are only available in black and white.
The A11 / 800 have an advanced external noise cancellation technology. Apparently, Dj himself had in mind long ago to create headphones with this flag feature to, as he has pointed out, "block any unwanted distraction when traveling on tour." The configuration of this noise cancellation system is carried out through the Kygo Sound mobile application and allows three profiles to be established: in the Conscious Mode, the ambient noise is reduced to 50% but it allows to perfectly hear the external human voices; In Ambient Mode, the external sound environment is completely heard; and finally, the selector so that the cancellation completely isolates you.
For attractive and intuitive, for the possibilities it offers to customize the sound and for its simplicity, we have been excited about the mobile app paired with these headphones. In the main interface four cities are named – Bergen, Los Angeles, New York and Ibiza -, each arranged in a margin. Sites that, apparently, have marked Kygo's professional and personal career. And the crux of the matter is that each city equalizes in a certain way the reproduction of music. Thus, Bergen (where he was born) softens the tones; Los Angeles brings depth; Ibiza is ideal for electronic and house music; and New York, how can it be otherwise, is the appropriate mode for hip hop, RnB and urban rhythms. With your finger, you slide a virtual button across the screen, taking it to the destination / equalization that you like the most, the path during which the background of the screen changes color. But it is not mandatory that you go only to one city, all traffic between them is a different equalization record. More on a whim and detail can not be.
You can find the Kygo A11 / 800 for about 300 euros (price as of August 28, 2019). Depending on their performance, they are more advanced than average headphones, and as they fulfill what they promise, their PVP is justified. The problem is that within this price step you will find dozens – without exaggeration – of equally recommended options. Because, yes, the A11 / 800 are fully recommended, here are the reasons. But before this, we describe a detail that attracts attention, and that is that these headphones tighten, but based on good, the ears. They do not bother but it is so. Undoubtedly, it responds to a practical criterion: less noise will be penetrated, that is, a sound environment reduction system through physical means that will help the digital system that has the same purpose.
The Kygo A11 / 800 can boast without any look that offers excellent audio quality. The medium and high tones show a great naturalness. Although their equalization is fully customizable, they start from an extremely well configured base. The bass are also vigorous when necessary, always without exceeding. Do not look in these headphones for a platform to vibrate physically to the rhythm of the music, neither for themselves nor even if you configure them for this purpose. In short, the sound balance is the best global definition for these headphones. That you can also adjust everything through the app, is another great point in favor.
In this scenario, two other factors take on special importance: the incontestable quality of the microphone and the reproduction of the voices. Regarding the first one, filter any hint of noise while you're chatting on the phone; The voices, both precisely in a mobile conversation, as in a song or in a movie, are also natural, with no signs of artificiality. Some member of the Gadget Lab has indicated that they even perfect the origin.
And finally, the section in which the Kygo A11 / 800 literally goes out: the noise cancellation system. He fulfills his mission with absolute diligence both in serene and excessively noisy environments; we liked it even more when you use them in a means of transport (which generates noise, of course).
So, responding to the approach of why to look at the Kygo A11 / 800 within the jungle of models with similar features and price range, the reason is simple: they offer, meet and function technically according to their price, something that does not It happens in many other headphones of direct competition. And add a detail that can unbalance the balance in your favor: according to our tests, up to 18 hours of continuous reproduction with the anti-noise technology activated and up to no less than 38 hours if it is deactivated.
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It goes for tastes
Kygo A11 / 800: main technical characteristics
- Driver size: 40 mm.
- Sensitivity (1 kHz): 110 ± 3dB.
- Frequency response (± 3dB): 15 Hz – 22 KHz.
- Charging time: 2 hours. *
- Autonomy: 18 hours with ANC and bluetooth; 38 hours without ANC and bluetooth. *
- Battery: 950 mAh
- Bluetooth 5.0 (15 m range) and NFC.
- Proximity sensor.
- Compatible with aptX, aptX LL and AAC formats.
- Touch panel.
- Weight: 250 gr.
Kygo A11 / 800: 299 euros (price as of August 28, 2019)