Recording engineers, home studio owners and performing musicians know the PreSonus name from their line of mixing boards, studio and live sound speakers, microphones, Studio One DAW, outboard gear and more. It’s a trusted name with dedicated loyal users and the company smartly has its own eco-system of products working together seamlessly for an enjoyable user experience.
Their new Eris HD10BT are a stylish, comfortable and studio-sound quality set of over the ear headphones and marks the Baton Rouge-based manufacturer’s entry into the wireless headphone territory (via Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity). Naturally, they also work in a wired setup. Home recording studio enthusiasts and casual music listeners will find use for these professional headphones in multiple applications. The Eris name is borrowed from the company’s speaker monitor family, which also includes wired and Bluetooth sets.
I didn’t realize what a sucker I was for beautifully designed packaging, but the box containing the Eris whetted my appetite right away. It’s solid and sturdy with a slight magnetic latch to close the box. It opens up to a fold-out panel with a handy visual breakdown of the functions of the left/right ear control setups. The headphones themselves are contained in an equally solid portable hard-shell carrying case. They fit snugly inside the case, along with the included accessories: a micro-USB charging cable, 1/8 to 1/8” cable, 1/8” to ¼” adapter.
The control buttons serve dual functions. The power button turns the headphones on but also lets you pause your music with a quick tap. The plus/minus raises and lowers the volume but also serves to change songs. The minus moves to the next song queued and plus moves it back. It’s a little counter-intuitive, in my opinion, and a few times the same song would play again when pressing plus. My general pattern, though, is to just use the device itself to change songs so this wasn’t a big deal for me.
The power charge connection is on the left side, along with the headphone charging indicator light (red is charging), while the Bluetooth light is on the right with the on/off and volume up/down. There’s also a built-in microphone to answer phone calls and, by holding the button down for two seconds, redial the last number. Another nice feature is the Active Noise Canceling (ANC) switch, which reduces ambient noise by up to 18 db (according to PreSonus) and focuses in on the music being played.
Battery life is estimated at 16 hours before a recharge is needed, which would come in handy if you’re pulling an all-nighter trying to finish a marathon session. I didn’t fully test the limits of the battery life though it served me without issues for a full 8-hour day, at which point I recharged it with the included micro-USB cable and plug. But if the charge does run out, you can simply switch to a wired connection and you’re ready to go in a flash.
Testing the Bluetooth wireless strength and distance, there were no issues walking from the home studio through the hallway to the kitchen. When I got into the living room, which was about 15 feet away and two walls in between, is where the sound cut out, as expected. But I can’t imagine much need to be on wireless headphones and listening to music from another part of the room for an extended amount of time anyway, least of all in a recording session. In fact, without a phone or music-playing device in my possession I actually felt a disconnect with the song being played. I need to be near the source, which is perhaps a psychological association with the music.
Using these headphones in a recording studio session, you’ll want to connect the cable to your interface. The 1/8” to ¼” adapter lets you work with either type of connection needed. The detachable cable itself measures 50” and should suffice for any laptop studio setup for a solo user. But if you’re standing up and a few feet away from the recording setup to record vocals you may want to have a longer, compatible cable on hand.
The downside to a Bluetooth headphone set is, of course, if you own any older pieces of gear, like a CD player, vintage turntable/preamp or another piece of gear that doesn’t have Bluetooth capability, then you’ll need to use the included cable if you want to listen straight from those sources. In a recording studio setup, of course, you can run those into a mixer, send a stereo submix to a Bluetooth transmitter, and you’ll be set. But that’s an observation on Bluetooth in general and not on PreSonus’ end.
For a music listening experience, we ran through a variety of genres and artists, including Brandi Carlile, Kendrick Lamar, Led Zeppelin, Howlin’ Wolf, Doc Watson, Byrds, Bob Dylan, Zedd with Maren Morris and Sia. I’m not a heavy bass fan to begin with, so the response felt tight and natural without overwhelming the sonic spectrum of each song.
I will say that I have not tested many other competitive brands that offer Bluetooth or Advance Noise Canceling (ANC) so I can’t offer a ‘Brand X crushes Brand Y’ analysis in this area. But I do like all that the HD10BT offers, so I would call these a winner.
A short handle or strap on the carrying case would be a nice addition for on the go situations. The case itself is thick (to accommodate the headphones) and a little slippery, but I was still able to wrap my hand around it and haven’t once dropped it. A pocket to hold the cable and adapters in the case would be nice too. But these are small deduction points.
If you’re buying strictly for sound, the PreSonus HD10BT provide great value at a competitive price. In. fact, you may be able to find some price buster deals below the street price of $129.
Bluetooth® 5.0 wireless for mobile use, plus wired connectivity for use with professional devices, when wireless operation is prohibited, or when battery life is low (cable and ⅛”- to-¼” adapter included)
Active Noise Canceling (ANC) to reduce environmental noise
Closed back, over-ear design for superior isolation
Easy-to-use level and track navigation controls
40 mm drivers for studio-quality sound reproduction
Single-button call functionality with built-in microphone.
Answer the phone without missing a beat
Up to 16 hours of continuous battery life
96 dB sensitivity (±3 dB)
Balanced frequency response (20Hz – 20kHz)
Micro USB charging cable and hardshell carrying case included