Wait, Who Are Libratone?
The Libratone mission is to liberate sound – a brand that’s defined by its slogan to “Adjust the world to your music”; following a number of audio products that have won them awards and grabbed them plenty of attention, they’re now moving into the realm of personal audio.
The brand new, Bluetooth Q Adapt earphones are their flagship product – a first of what may well be a long line of products that aim to re-define the status quo for audio enthusiasts. The world of iPhone 7 headphone options is looking truly bright indeed..
Besides the On-ear cans reviewed here, they also make an in-ear or “earbud” version of the Q Adapt with a lightning cable which look AMAZING.
Make no mistake, these are not your “typical” headphones.. they’re more like “the future” of where all headphones are headed.
The Q-Adatp On-ear Cans Overview
In a nutshell, the Q Adapt earphones have been universally well received – noted in reviews for their adeptness at noise cancelling, innovative features and sleek looks. They come in two versions – in-ear or on-ear, with each boasting a slick, contemporary design; on-ear color options include stormy black or cloudy white, whilst the in-ear boasts further options, with elegant nude and rose pink.
Chic City-Ready Style and Design
If you think that these earphones have a touch of European style and build efficiency about them, you’re right – the design of this product owes much to the Scandinavian heritage of the three entrepreneurs behind the brand (not to mention that Danish acoustic engineering is amongst the most renowned in the audio industry).
Reviews have noted this signature slickness, and many have also mentioned the comfort that comes with both the in-ear and on-ear Q Adapts.
There’s a Lighting Cord In-ear Version
For the in-ear, there are earbuds that come in four varying shapes (great news for those who get frustrated at the generic fit that never actually fit and only fall out). The design is then completed with a touch of the tactile – a textured cord that leads to the phone jack. Understated, slick, imposing. All of which is packed into a super lightweight 0.64 oz. package.
This is the On-ear Bluetooth Version
The on-ear headphones feature super-soft material covering a significant cushion in the headband, coupled with slick metal hinges and memory foam ear cups.
They’re wireless, but you also have the option of an audio cable with the same tactile cord as features on the in-ear version. The hinges have style and substance, and are completely free from dead-set notches, allowing for a perfect fit.
Always one for the finer details, Libratone have included their signature bird on the earphones, which elegantly lights up during powering-up.
Q Adapt On-ear’s Unique Features
So, that’s the style stakes ticked off – and if you’re more interested in how feature-packed and audio-clear your headphones are, then the Q Adapt gracefully impresses here too.
The on-ear headphones are Bluetooth enabled, and are comprisable with the solid quality of APT AUDIO Codec. You’ll find a 3.5mm cable in the box just in case your battery runs flat – though with a staggering 20 hours of listening time, you may never need to connect your headphones at all.
Fully Adjustable Noise Cancellation
Now for the best part – Libratone have got noise cancellation down to a fine art. So fine in fact, that they’ve patented their tech. Known as CityMix™, both the in-ear and on-ear Q Adapt features noise cancellation that has been heralded as revolutionary – and it can be adjusted as according to your needs.
There are four core levels of noise cancellation (on the on-ear version, you can find the toggle for this on the left ear cup). So, if you need to hear your music, and your surroundings, the Q Adapt has you covered.
App Based “Smart” Multi-Touch Control
Multi-Touch lets you: Adjust CityMix™; play/pause sound; make/take phone calls; adjust volume and activate the “Hush” function (which pauses your music); it even allows you to control Siri on iOS.
You’ll find this control on a four button remote for the in-ear, and on the outer of the right ear cup for the on-ear, which is designed as a touch pad – intuitive style and unobtrusive design, where you can up the music by dragging your finger clockwise, or tapping to activate Hush mode.
Innovation Personified, The Future of Smart Headphones
Note quite impressed yet? Well we’ve saved the most impressive and innovative features until last. Take the automatic pausing for the on-ear headphones whenever they’re removed from your head (they’ll pick up right where you left off when you put them back on). Or how about the stream sharing between any other Libratone headphones set with Bluetooth – anyone for watching the same device, listening to the same audio?
If these are the future of headphones, at least for Apple lovers, let’s dig into the technical nitty-gritty a little shall we?
Q Adapt On-ear Specifications
0.08" X 1.6" neodynium
Earcup diameter: 2.4"
Weight: 7 oz
4 Adjustable steps of CityMix active noise cancellation
Battery play time more than 20 hours
Charged via Micro USB
Charge time: < 3 hours
Controls for volume, play, pause, skip, forward/backward on ear cup. "Hush" gesture detection
Bluetooth 4.1 AptX
Noise isolating microphones
Works via Bluetooth
|In the Box
USB 2.0 charging cable
3.5mm audio cable
|Materials & Finish|
Headband wrapped in Coolweave mesh fabric
Superior Sound Quality for Bluetooth
Sound quality is super sharp and crystal clear, with the on-ear 40mm drivers providing for plenty of deep base. Mids are well balanced whilst the overall sound features a warm tilt. Libratone has also perfected imaging – with the sounds of individual instruments being audible around you – rather than merely jumbled amongst other sounds.
However, perhaps the most impressive thing about the Q Adapt sounds is the ability to control the headphones from an App (on Android and iOS of course). This app allows you to do all that you can from the controls, but it also allows you to create a bespoke sound profile – so you can change and tweak your treble, or boost your bass on a whim.
Reception Amongst Tech Freaks & Audiophiles
The Q-Adapt On-ears have been receiving a lot of buzz on social media, popular tech blogs and mainstream news outlets as well. Some of this is a result of Libratone’s direct marketing efforts, and the rest is natural interest in their innovative product. We selected a few of the more famous quotes regarding this headset to give you a better idea of what the critics are feeling..
Lewis Leong from Tech Radar says:
The Libratone Q Adapt On-Ears are a unique set of noise cancelling headphones that look great and sound good. The Q Adapt On-Ears offer useful features like adjustable ACN, auto-play/pause and Hush mode, making them a good choice for audiophiles and fashion lovers alike.
Editors from PCMAG gave it a solid 4/5 stars and said:
The attractive Libratone Q Adapt On-Ear headphones deliver above-average noise cancellation and quality Bluetooth audio at a relatively affordable price.
Serious Time…Let’s Talk About Price
The Q Adapt in-ear headphones come in at $159, whilst the on-ear version is priced at $224. As standard, you receive free shipping and free returns (though with such impressive specs and build quality, we’d be surprised if anyone, anywhere, had made use of their free returns).
Libratone have excelled themselves with their first foray into personal audio – it’s quite clear that this is a brand with a track record for innovation and superior quality behind them. For the audiophile, these boast beautiful form and incredible function, making them a genuine must buy audio experience.