Pioneer Rayz Plus
Clever and capable cabled headphones
$150 From Pioneer, pioneerrayz.com Features Lightning connector, passthrough Lightning port, HearThru ambient sound mode
These Lightning headphones solve a problem that iPhone 7 users have been dealing with for a year now – how to listen to wired headphones and charge your phone at the same time. Here, it’s easy. You plug their Lightning connector into your device, then plug power into them, and you’re all set. Of course, Lightning means they only work with suitably equipped iOS devices.
But that’s not all these headphones do. They’re packed with extra smarts that make them great headphones even beyond that feature. There’s active noise cancellation that rivals the Bose QuietComfort range – our gold standard – for cutting out sound, plus a very smart auto-muting mic feature that cuts out all sound from your end of a call when you’re not talking, so the other person doesn’t have to talk over background noise. They also auto-pause your music when you take them out of your ears, just like Apple’s AirPods. The Rayz app includes the ability to set the action of the inline remote’s Smart Button to toggle noise cancellation, mute/ unmute calls, or open an app of your choice.
The headphones come with a wide range of in-ear tips to make sure you get the best sound out of them too, which is great, since they don’t skimp on audio quality either.
The sound is pretty punchy, filling the mid and bass with richness, without forgetting to pack the high end with detail and precision. Those who are particular about a very open and natural sound won’t find them totally to their taste, but we think just about everyone else will love them, especially for the price. the bottom line. Charge and listen at the same time, enjoy great sound, and count on top-notch noise cancellation. A top buy for your iPhone if you don’t mind wired headphones. MattBolton