Blaupunkt, popularly known for by its car audio systems and speakers, now has a fairly extensive portfolio of products including 4K televisions. Today, we're here to check out the company's budget-friendly Bluetooth headphones, called the BH-01 EQz. The primary feature is the EQz button on the headphones, which promises to amplify the bass. With a street price of roughly Rs. 1,499, can this pair of headphones deliver good enough audio quality to make it worth recommending? Let's find out.
The Blaupunkt BH-01 EQz headphones are packaged well and ship with a Micro-USB cable as well as a 3.5mm auxiliary cable so this device can be used as a wired headset. There's no case or cloth pouch for storing it, unfortunately. The BH-01 EQz only comes in one colour, which is black. It's light, weighing just 181g, and is built using ABS plastic. The matte finish doesn't look too premium, and the feel of the plastics isn't great either, but then again, you get what you pay for.
The ear cups can fold inwards making this device relatively easy to stow away. They are attached to metal clips, which have the ability to slide up and down the headband, depending on the size of your head. Unfortunately, the ear cups have a very small tilting angle and can't be swivelled at all, which made the fit uncomfortable for us. From the moment we put this pair of headphones on, we were constantly trying to adjust the ear cups as it's hard to find a comfortable fit. Also, due to the clamping force being a bit strong, these headphones get uncomfortable really quickly.
The ear cushions are soft and sit on your ears, rather than around them. The leatherette texture made our ears sweaty after a bit, especially in a warmer climate. The headband feels sturdy and is covered by the same material as the ear cushions. The right ear cup has nearly all the controls. There are two volume buttons and a play/ pause button, which is also the power button. After that is the LED light, microphone, and 3.5mm headphone socket. The EQz button is placed on the other side, and is supposed to boost the bass frequency range. Finally, we have the charging port on the left ear cup.
The BH-01 EQz features a 40mm driver in each ear cup, however Blaupunkt doesn't specify the frequency range of these drivers anywhere. The headphones use Bluetooth 5 and have the ability to pair with two devices at once. The 300mAh battery is said to deliver around 15 hours of play time on one charge. Finally, these headphones only support the standard SBC streaming codec.
We tested the Blaupunkt BH-01 EQz with an Apple iPhone XR (Review), a Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Review), and a MacBook Air as source devices. When used with Bluetooth, the BH-01 EQz doesn't have a very high maximum volume level, and we had to bump it up to about 90 percent or even the full volume most of the time to enjoy our music. If you're listening at a low volume then be prepared to hear a lot of ambient noise, as these ear cups don't do much to isolate sound. Even wind noise is a problem, when you're travelling. Thankfully, with a wired connection, the headphones sound much louder, and we were comfortable at around the 60 percent volume level.
The controls are within easy reach, and can be identified by touch alone since the play/pause button is raised higher than the volume buttons. A long-press of the volume up or down buttons will skip the track or go to the previous one, respectively. The Blaupunkt BH-01 EQz plays voice prompts to tell you when it is powering on, connecting, or disconnecting to a device.
Sadly, there's no prompt to tell you when the EQz mode is active or disabled, which we would have liked since it's hard to make out any difference in audio quality. There's a mild improvement in the thump from bass notes, and the lower-midrange gets a bit more expansive, but you have to really pay attention to notice this.
When it comes to audio quality, the Blaupunkt BH-01 EQz sounds alright for what it costs. Soundstaging is decent, vocals are loud, and there's a subtle but present punch to the bass. The bass sounds better with a wired connection. Zomboy's Nuclear, which is a fairly complex track with lots of instruments, was handled fairly well. We didn't notice any distortion at very high volumes and the bass was quite punchy for an on-ear style pair of headphones. The highs were slightly repressed, and we missed some of the sparkle and pop that this track has in the treble.
Listening to Stan Kolev's Troubled (Croatia Squad Remix), the BH-01 EQz simply wasn't able to deliver the energy and drive of the track when connected over Bluetooth, even with the volume maxed out. However, the same track sounded much better when using a wired connection with the headphones. Bass was tighter, and we perceived slightly better clarity in the mids. Overall, dynamics were improved as well. In vocal-led tracks such as Adele's Someone Like You, the vocals can overpower the background instruments and end up sounding a little jarring.
We tested these headphones with videos too, and didn't have any audio-video sync issues over Bluetooth. The quality of voice calls isn't great, but this device is passable. The battery is rated for an average of 15 hours, and in our experience, we easily managed to go past that. With the volume set to 90 percent and connected to a Galaxy Note 10+, we managed to stretch a full charge for 19 hours and 3 minutes of continuous playback, which is very good.
The Blaupunkt BH-01 EQz can be found online for Rs. 1,499, and for this kind of money, you can't expect the world. We like the fact that sound is clean without distortion even at full volume, there's an acceptable amount of bass, and the soundstaging is decent. The highs are missing a bit of sparkle and often feel a little low, which makes the sound a little unbalanced. Quality suffers when using Bluetooth, the fit gets uncomfortable very quickly, and the ear cups don't swivel, making this device inconvenient to wear around your neck when not in use.
On the bright side, battery life is very good, This headset doesn't weigh much either, and you can have two simultaneous active connections. Keep in mind that the Blaupunkt BH-01 EQz sounds much better with a wired connection. If you're looking for good Bluetooth audio performance in this price range, the Ant Audio Treble 900 offers better value.
Price (MOP): 1,499
Ratings (out of 5)