Symphony 1by Definitive Technology

  • Symphony 1
  • Symphony 1
TECHWALLA
VERDICT
Recommended, but seriously flawed. There are probably better alternatives.
73%
TECHWALLA SCORE
based on the following sites

PROS

  • These over-ear cans deliver superb active noise cancellation.
  • The Symphony 1 gives you a rich listening experience with a powerful bass and a smooth mid-range.
  • The unit's elegant design provides a comfy fit.

CONS

  • When using the included cable to listen in passive mode, the sound tended to distort--particularly with the highs.
  • The controls, which are housed on the right ear cup, are not intuitive and it's easy to press the wrong control until you get the hang of things.
  • The headphones may feel tight on extra-large noggins.
Creative Technology is known first and foremost for its top-quality loudspeakers. Its debut in the world of wireless headphones blends great sound quality--thanks to the 50 mm drivers--with dual-mode active noise cancellation and stylish design. The Symphony 1 is constructed of lightweight aluminum. The headband and the over-ear pads offer plush padding, which allows for a super-cush fit. Controls for volume, playback, Bluetooth on/off and noise canceling on/off are built into the ear cup. The Symphony 1 also works in passive mode, and it is advertised to run on a single charge for up to 15 hours. The bundle includes a protective case with carabiner and a separate soft travel pouch.
NameSymphony 1Zik 2.0P5 WirelessUrbanite XL WirelessLevel Over
ManufacturerDefinitive TechnologyParrotBowers & WilkinsSennheiserSamsung
Techwalla Score
73%
87%
80%
78%
75%
List Price$399$400$400$300$350
80%

The sound quality is well beyond any other pair of wireless headphones I have tried and better than just about all the wired headphones I ha…

The sound quality is well beyond any other pair of wireless headphones I have tried and better than just about all the wired headphones I have tried with the exception of some of the very high end Sennheisers (HD 700 & HD 800).

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70%

[T]he thick padding on the headband and ear cup makes for a very comfortable fit, and one that you can wear for hours without discomfort. Th…

[T]he thick padding on the headband and ear cup makes for a very comfortable fit, and one that you can wear for hours without discomfort. They look quite nice too, simple and understated, although there are some oddities. There’s a gap between the outer panels and the earcups that exposes some of the interior parts.

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70%

The Symphony 1's active noise cancellation is among the better examples we've tested in recent years. It's not as good as Bose's QuietComfor…

The Symphony 1's active noise cancellation is among the better examples we've tested in recent years. It's not as good as Bose's QuietComfort Technology, but it does eliminate a wide swath of ambient noise. The high frequency hiss that most active noise cancellation circuitry creates is only barely audible here.

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My smile faded…when I powered the Symphony 1 off and went into fully passive mode. Suddenly, the highs became uneven, the blobby quality of …

My smile faded…when I powered the Symphony 1 off and went into fully passive mode. Suddenly, the highs became uneven, the blobby quality of the lows became even more pronounced, although the bass volume itself was reduced. In addition, there seemed to be a sonic donut hole that formed somewhere in the mids.

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The active noise canceling has no hissing or pressurized feeling and the plush leather ear cups naturally block out noise, too.

The active noise canceling has no hissing or pressurized feeling and the plush leather ear cups naturally block out noise, too.

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They’re well balanced and have a wide-open sound stage, like listening to a pair of large speakers — which isn’t surprising considering Defi…

They’re well balanced and have a wide-open sound stage, like listening to a pair of large speakers — which isn’t surprising considering Definitive Technology’s long-lauded roots in home speakers.

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We loved the sound by Bluetooth, the slight brightness of the active circuitry compensating for any softness through the Bluetooth link and …

We loved the sound by Bluetooth, the slight brightness of the active circuitry compensating for any softness through the Bluetooth link and delivering a lively, balanced and energetic performance…[They] passed the congestion test of kd lang’s The Air that I Breathe, its tricky layers and rising dynamics remaining smooth and information-rich.

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There are no perfect noise-canceling headphones -- all make certain sonic compromises -- but Definitive Technology’s Symphony 1s sounded bet…

There are no perfect noise-canceling headphones -- all make certain sonic compromises -- but Definitive Technology’s Symphony 1s sounded better than average. To my ears, they sounded more vivid and detailed than Bose’s QC25s, and in most cases I think the Symphony 1s’ bass tuning and level were just right for my taste.

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