KitSound District Bluetooth Headphones Review

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I don't want to talk to you, can't you see I'm wearing the internationally recognised symbol?

by Greg Hook Jan 22, 2019 at 4:51 AM

  • Hi-Fi review

    9

    Recommended
    KitSound District Bluetooth Headphones Review
    SRP: £99.99

    What are the KitSound District Bluetooth Headphones?

    If you are travelling somewhere, whether on your own or with friends and family and want to let everyone else know that you want no part of any social interaction, nor are you interested in any small talk but don’t actually want to verbally tell them, then plonking a huge pair of headphones on your head is the way to do it. You could of course get a pair of wireless earbuds but then you might actually have to talk to someone when they don’t immediately notice you are listening to music.

    If the above describes you, then keep reading (well if it doesn’t keep reading anyway) as our product for review here is the District Bluetooth Headphones from KitSound who are an award-winning British audio brand who produce headphones, speakers and audio accessories. Hot on the heels of our KitSound District Wireless earbuds review, these completely wireless Bluetooth headphones retail at £99.99 and offer Qi wireless charging technology, up to 20 hours battery life and active noise cancellation. If you want to shut yourself off from the world and be immersed in wireless music then these could be the headphones for you. Read on to see how it fares during our tests……

    What about the Design and Controls?

    As headphones go these are reasonably compact and restrained in their design. They aren’t gaudy looking like the red Beats Studio3 for example. They are completely black with just two mirrored stainless steel bands each side above the earcups. The KitSound logo features on the outside of both earcups which have a black mesh finish to them. If you want a pair of headphones but don’t want them to look like you are making a statement, then these would fit the bill nicely. They are also lightweight coming in at just 258g.
    Kitsound District Bluetooth What about the Design and Controls?
    Inside the earcups are printed a large L and R, just in case you can’t work out which way round they fit. The earcups are circumaural in design meaning they cover the entire ear and they fold in on themselves for convenience when storing or charging. The headband is adjustable so these should fit most head sizes.

    On the right earcup, which features the QI charging facility, we have the Micro USB charging port, Aux-in port, microphone and the various controls for changing volume and track, turning the active noise control on and off and the multi-function button. Along with a couple of LED indicators to show if ANC is on or off and the headphone LED indicator, which will be red when charging and off when fully charged.

    The Wireless Qi charging pad is again all black and features the KitSound logo to the top. It has a single Micro USB port for connecting to a power source. As this is Qi you can use the charging pad to charge any Qi compatible devices such as the latest Samsung and Apple smartphones or even the Blackberry Priv (yes Blackberry are still going). You can of course charge them traditionally via the included Micro USB cable if you think that wireless charging is still the work of the devil.

    Specifications and Features

    • Bluetooth Technology: v4.2
    • Bluetooth connectivity distance: Up to 10m
    • Drivers: 40mm
    • Sensitivity: 113dB
    • Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
    • Play time: Up to 20 hours
    • Battery type: LiPo, rechargeable
    • Max charge time: 2.5 hours
    Kitsound District Bluetooth Specifications and Features
    The multi-function button on the right earcup can be used to perform a wide range of functions by simply changing the length or number of presses. Such as changing the volume, moving to the next track, pausing a track, accepting a call and using your voice assistant. For example, quickly pressing the MFB would pause the music, you can then press the MFB for one second to activate the ever-helpful Siri or Google.

    Setup and Performance

    Apart from turning the headphones on and pairing them to the Bluetooth on your chosen device, that is all the setup that is required. As with most Bluetooth devices they can only be paired to one device at a time.

    Following our review of KitSound’s District Wireless earbuds where we found them to lack bass, our initial impressions of the District Headphones were much more encouraging. We tested with both the active noise cancellation on and off and much preferred it with the ANC on. With it set to off the music sounded as if the drivers had just been cut in half, then sliding the switch back to on it much improved the feeling of a full soundstage with the music clearer and sharper. This was most noticeable during music with a full orchestra such as the amazing Hans Zimmer Live in Prague.
    Kitsound District Bluetooth Setup and Performance
    With the ANC set to our preferred on position, the headphones did have slightly too much bass for our liking. It wasn’t overpowering, we just felt it could have been lowered just slightly. If you like your bass, then you won’t have an issue with these. We were happy with the audio in general with these headphones, a good strong sound with clear vocals and a quality presentation for a set costing under £100. It’s worth pointing out that whilst we much preferred ANC set to on, with it off the bass level was more to our liking.

    As for the active noise cancellation itself, apart from negatively affecting the audio quality when it was turned off, we didn’t find it that noticeable in cancelling the external noise, but that's not a bad thing as the headphone design, which covers the whole ear and sports soft cushioning on the earcups, did a good job of cancelling external noise anyway. Technically, ANC works by the device using an inbuilt microphone to measure the ambient sound, then generating a waveform that is the exact negative of this ambient sound, then mixing it with the audio you are listening to. With no audio playing you could notice a sound being generated, like a very low level bass.
    Kitsound District Bluetooth Setup and Performance
    With headphones, comfort is probably the most important factor along with the audio quality. No good having the best sounding headphones in the world if they are painful to wear. With the KitSound District set we found them very comfortable even after long testing sessions. The circumaural design means the whole ear is covered and the earcups are nicely cushioned with a soft fabric style headband. The headband is adjustable so should cater for all head sizes.

    We tested with a variety of sources and genres from rock, pop and our favourite Hans Zimmer album and with all the audio quality was excellent, just a tad bass heavy.

    Conclusion

    9
    AVForumsSCORE
    OUT OF
    10

    Pros

    • Qi Wireless Charging
    • Very comfortable to wear
    • Excellent quality sound reproduction
    • 20 hours listening time
    • Good value for money
    • Call handling

    Cons

    • Bass a little too heavy
    You own this Total 0
    You want this Total 1
    You had this Total 0

    KitSound District Bluetooth Headphones Review

    Should I buy the KitSound District Bluetooth Headphones?

    The KitSound District Bluetooth Headphones retail for £99.99 and for that you get an impressive package including Qi wireless charging, over 20 hours battery life and active noise cancellation. They are very comfortable to wear, even during long sessions thanks to the over ear design, adjustable headband and soft cushioning on the earcups.

    The audio quality was very good for a pair of headphones costing under £100. Strong clear vocals, excellent audio reproduction and with a good treble level. We did find the bass level set just a little too high for our liking, although this could be reduced by turning the active noise cancellation off, but we felt that negatively affected the audio quality too much and negated the benefit of having the bass reduced.

    What are the alternatives?

    Headphones are one of those products where you really do get what you pay for and whilst you can spend significantly more on the likes of the Beats Solo and Studio range, or the Bose Soundlink, there aren’t too many options for around £100 that offer a package as impressive as the KitSound District, perhaps Sony’s CH700N come close at £110.

    Overall, despite the slightly too heavy bass we were very impressed with the KitSound District Bluetooth headphones and are happy to award them our AVForums Recommended Award.


    Suggested retail price when reviewed: £99.99

    The Rundown

    Build Quality

    9

    Ease of Use

    9

    Design and usability

    8

    Sound Quality

    9

    Value For Money

    9

    Verdict

    9

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