Hong-Kong based manufacturer Infinix recently made its debut in the Indian market with a bunch of new smartphones. One of them, the Infinix Zero 5 Pro (Review) turned out to be a surprisingly good performer, so much so that it even made our list of best smartphones of 2017.
Today we'll be reviewing the company's active noise cancelling (ANC) headphones, which have also been launched in India. The Quiet X is an over-ear style headset which features ANC and promises day-long battery life. It currently sells at Rs. 8,999 (up from an introductory offer price of Rs. 4,999). There isn't much competition in this segment for ANC headphones, but can the Quiet X be the best offering at this price?
Infinix has gone for a simple design with the Quiet X. The headband feels sturdy and has a soft rubber texture lining the inside, so it sits comfortably on your head. The stalks for the ear cups retract into the headband and are easy to adjust. The ear cups themselves are built from an aluminium alloy, and feel quite rigid. We also like the matte finish. The ear cups have oversized lettering indicating ‘L' and ‘R' on the insides, making it easy to put the Quiet X on the right way. They also swivel inwards so you can tuck the headset away more easily when not in use.
The padding for the ear cups is very plush and felt comfortable over our ears. On the bottom of the right ear cup, we have the ANC button with its own LED, a power switch, and a 3.5mm input socket. These headphones can function as regular wired headphones too, which could come in handy when the battery is depleted. On the right ear cup, we have a Micro-USB charging port, a volume rocker, and the Play/ Pause button. The latter can also be used for answering incoming calls and skipping or going to the previous track.
In the retail box, you get a cloth carrying pouch, a Micro-USB cable for charging, and a stereo cable for connecting to a 3.5mm socket on any source device. However, you don't get an adapter for use on airplanes, which is something that's commonly bundled with ANC headphones. Overall, we're quite impressed with the build quality and finish of the Quiet X. It looks elegant, and the materials used seem to be of good quality. We didn't hear any unwanted creaks in the plastics when bending the headband or swivelling the ear cups.
In terms of features, the Quiet X uses Bluetooth 4.2, and has a frequency range of 20Hz to 20,000Hz and an impedance of 32 Ohms. It also supports the AAC audio codec, apart from SBC. Even though Infinix hasn't advertised this, the Quiet X seems to support Qualcomm's higher quality aptX streaming codec. We found this out when we paired the phone with a Google Pixel 2. The overall weight is also fairly manageable at 262g.
The Quiet X is extremely comfortable to wear, with just the right clamping force over your ears so that it doesn't move about. There are voice prompts to guide you through the pairing process and confirm when the headphones are connected to a device. You can have two devices connected with the Quiet X at the same time. The ear cups offer good passive isolation from ambient sound, but switching on ANC improves this. The effect is fairly good, but nearby sounds such as people talking or typing can still be heard when you don't have music playing. We found that the bass in audio tracks is a lot stronger with ANC on than off.
The headphones begin leaking sound once you push the volume level beyond 70 percent, which we didn't like. The Quiet X favours bass-heavy tracks, which sound really good. With ANC on, we were able to get satisfyingly deep bass, with good control in tracks such as Lock Doh by Giggs. Pushing the volume beyond 90 percent does introduces slight distortion in the bass, and there's quite a lot of sound leakage too. Mid-range performance feels a bit muddy and vocals sound a bit distant instead of being front and centre. In tracks like Movin' Out by Billy Joel, the impact of the bass drum can barely be felt and the sonic signature is far from exciting. Highs are handled well and don't sound piercing at high volumes. When watching videos, vocals are once again not too crisp, but the Quiet X does fare better with lower frequency sounds.
Plugging in the bundled stereo cable automatically turns Bluetooth off. Audio quality doesn't improve much (if at all) over a wired connection, but you can still use ANC. When the battery is depleted, you can continue using the Quiet X as a standard wired pair of headphones, but the audio quality is still very average. The built-in microphone works well in picking up your voice, and when we tested it, we didn't feel the need to shout for the other party to hear us clearly, even when outdoors. The buttons for volume adjustment and music playback are easy to reach when on the move.
Inifinix boasts of all-day battery life, but our findings were different. With ANC switched on all the time, we managed get just under 16 hours of runtime, over the course of two days. This included listening to music and TV shows, and making a number of of calls. The volume level was usually set at around 60-70 percent. There's no way to check the battery level except that when it's very low, the Bluetooth light flashes red intermittently and you get a 'low battery' voice prompt.
Noise cancellation works decently well on the Quiet X, and it does a good job with bass-heavy tracks. However, vocal performance suffers and performance is no better over a wired connection. Battery life is good, although it did fall significantly short of the claimed runtime when tested. The Quiet X leaks a lot of sound at higher volumes, which is a shame since the drivers tend to open up a bit beyond the 70 percent volume level. On the other hand, it is well-built, comfortable and good-looking.
The Infinix Quiet X was selling at an introductory price of Rs. 4,999, which is not bad at all for a pair of ANC headphones. However, this offer now seems to be over, and it's a little tough to recommend the Quiet X at its actual price of Rs. 8,999 when something like the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 retails for around the same amount.
Price (MRP): Rs 8,999
Rating (Out of 5)