As music services become more popular on mobile devices I find myself using my smartphones and tablets as a primary source of music on the go. In the past, I always used earbuds, but since I usually always have a backpack with me on my commute and flights I find myself moving to a better listening experience through larger over-the-head headphones. BlueAnt is known for fantastic Bluetooth headsets, like the Q2, so I was a bit surprised when they announced and then sent me the Embrace stereo headset to check out.
The BlueAnt Embrace stereo headphones have no wireless radio and are an attractive and comfortable option for listening to music and podcasts or watching movies on the go. Check out my image gallery and thoughts below to see if you may want to consider these headphones for yourself.
In the box and initial impressions
The BlueAnt Embrace headphones come in sturdy retail package with everything you need to enjoy music from any device with a 3.5mm headset jack. The retail package includes the BlueAnt Embrace headphones, carrying case (nice leather feel to it and compact to hold folded headset), cable with remote and mic, straight-through audio cable, OMTP adapter
, and a simple user manual.
When I first pulled the headphones from the retail package I was impressed by the extremely soft leather material on the earcups and over-the-head center support piece. The black brushed aluminum, rotating end pieces where the earcups are mounted also give the headphones a very high quality feel and distinguished look.
The BlueAnt Embrace headphones are fairly light, yet also feel rock solid. Each earcup support post rotates 90 degrees in one direction so that the headphones can be folded flat and put into the carrying case. The rotation mechanism is smooth and once put into the position lock up and into place. It definitely feels like you can rotate the earcup piece thousands of times over the life of the headphones. The post is labeled with a R and L to let you know which way to place the headphones on your head.
The outside of the earcups are coated in the black soft touch material we see today on many phones and makes it feel great. The soft leather pad that rests against your ear, it does not go over or cover your ear, is extremely comfortable. I have tried headphones that have large earcups and if they are too big they press against my ear cartilage and cause pain when using for an extended period. I never had that feeling with the BlueAnt Embrace headphones as the earpiece wasn't too big and did not have too much inward pressure. I read that some people have felt the pressure and it is really a factor of your head size and ear placement.
The earcup end posts slide up and down about a full inch to adjust for the fit of your head. I found I only needed to extend the post about 1/4 inch to fit my ears and head.
Specifications for the headphones include:
- Frequency Range: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
- Max Power: 15mW
- Driver Diameter: 40mm
- Sensitivity: 103 dB SPL at 1 kHz
- Impedence: 24 Ohms
You get two cables with the headphones, plug into bottom of left earcup, with the cool blue one having an inline mic and remote control. The device you are using has to support this capability to function, but you can still use the blue cable with other devices even if the remote does not work. The remote works well with iOS devices and lets you control the volume, answer and end calls, play or pause a song, skip to the next track (double press of middle button), use voice control functions (hold down middle button), and more. All of the options are found in the small user guide included in the retail package.
The carrying case has a leather outside finish and soft material inside with a pocket to hold the cables. You rotate both earcup pieces 90 degrees and fold the headphones flat before sliding them into the carrying case. You then close the top flap and secure with the magnetic button closure.
Experiences, price, and availability
I am not an extreme audiophile, but I can tell when I enjoy listening to a set of headphones. The BlueAnt Embrace has a very nice bass level and I found the sound to be very enjoyable and "true". The headphones do not squeeze my head and I was able to use them to listen to music and watch movies on my iPad for hours in comfort.
I like that you can remove the cable and easily store the headphones in a convenient case too. The case doesn't add much bulk over the size of the headphones, but does a good job of protecting them and keeping the cable together when you commute or travel. I don't make a lot of calls with headphones like this on, but if I am on my commute and a call comes in then it sure is convenient to take the call. Callers said I sounded fine with the headset on, but they could tell I was talking through something other than just the phone.
I attended Nokia World a couple of weeks ago and personally found the brightly colored Nokia Purity Monster headphones to be a bit bold for my tastes. The BlueAnt Embrace headphones do not "stick out" and are a professionally looking accessory. The price is also reasonable for a high end set of headphones and if you compare to headphones like the
You can purchase the Embrace headphones for $199.99 from the BlueAnt direct store, but I have also seen them on sites like Buy.com for around $165. You can also buy all the separate pieces if you lose or wear out things over time. These pieces include the headphone cables, earcups, and OMTP adapter.
Other online reviews
I recommend people always check out more than one review when looking for electronics and here are a couple of other BlueAnt Embrace reviews to read: