Over the last decade, lifestyle branding has become a trend for amplifier and speaker manufacturers, extending beyond keychains, T-shirts and other accessories into headphones and usable musician-specific products. Headphones make sense, of course. They’re bringing sound from an instrument through their amps to a user so why not offer quality sound and an enjoyable listening experience in a headphone?
The new Crest Edition Wireless Headphones from Orange is the revered guitar amplifier brand’s most recent foray into the wireless headphone marketplace. Right out of the box, they’ve come up with a nice product that offers a good value, comfortability and great sound.
Speaking of right out of the box, the packaging contains a clamshell carrying case which hold the foldable headphones snug and tight. There’s also a mini-USB cable for charging and a 3.5mm mini-jack to mini-jack audio cable.
These over-ear headphones run on Bluetooth as well as a traditional 3.5mm wired connection. Pairing was easy and it remembers previous devices. The wired cable has a straight end, which connects to the headphones, and a right-angle end which connects to your source. The Controls section and button are all on the right speaker. There’s an on/off button on the right side of the ear cup, separate from the other control unit, which pauses your music or video selection (one press) or advances it to the next selection (two presses).
In Bluetooth mode, the volume is also accessed on the right speaker ear cup via a flat, touch sensitive up/down volume pad. It definitely took me a few minutes and attempts to understand how this works. You need to swipe up/down, rather than press, to raise and lower the volume, and swipe horizontally to move to the next track. There’s also a very slight latency when pressing a command, but it’s not a make or break concern, and is fairly common in Bluetooth land. If you are more comfortable using the wired connection, the touch controls are not active- you work the volume from your source.
A single Bluetooth charge lasts more than 24 hours. I used these for several days in a row, averaging 3-5 hours each day and didn’t need a recharge so that claim is pretty on point. Realistically, though, in a normal workflow, I’m in the habit of recharging overnight with a USB cable (included) after using for a day or two so while 24-hour charge is a great benefit, that’s not what makes the sale for me.
Sound and comfort are key, and the Orange Crest headphones excel in both areas. There’s no active noise canceling (ANC) but I spent quite some time wearing the headphones without any music playing and it was bliss not hearing much outside noise. And I just about forgot I had them on a few times- they were that comfortable.
There’s a discrete, built-in microphone for video/phone calls, which works fine. But I’m more of phone to the ear person. For me, headphones are made for music and audio. There’s also access to Apple Siri/Google Assistant via the built-in microphone by double-tapping play on the headphone touchpad to activate. Not something I would necessarily use, and I did have a couple times when I wanted to pause a track and wound up accessing Siri instead, due to the latency. Call it being impatient, as I eventually worked my way into figuring out the right touch.
Regarding sound quality, Orange works from the point of view of the recording studio engineer when they worked for these headphones, working from the company’s fifty-year perspective of designing amplifiers. According to their literature, they’ve taken the flat EQ of top studio monitors and made careful adjustments to the whole audio spectrum, maximizing these new 40mm Voice of the World drivers for richer, nuanced bass response and good separation between instruments.
Add in a stylish look, with just the right amount of the color orange, and you’re set. The Crest Edition Wireless Headphones really do look great. There’s something warm and compelling about the Orange image. If you’re a fan of Orange Amplifiers, these will make a great addition to your studio. How can you resist owning a pair of headphones with their classic color scheme and logo? Just like wearing an Orange T-shirt or drinking from a coffee mug (which they also make) shows brand loyalty, the Crest Edition Wireless Headphones will let those around you know you’re in the know on good sound.
Street price: $123.58 (available direct)
Manufacturer website: https://orangeamps.com/product/headphones-crest-edition/
Style: Over-Ear Metal, Rubber Coated Plastic Body, Foldable Design
Driver Size: 40mm
Sensitivity:126DB (1KHZ 0.5VRMS)
Frequency Response:20HZ – 20khz
Weight: 256G (0.56LB)
Connectivity: Wireless Bluetooth and Wired with Smartphone Compatibility
Technology: Audio Codecs: AAC, SBC
Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 4.1
Included Extras: X1 Spare Audio Cable, 1 X Hard Padded Carry Case, USB Charge Cable