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By Mike Joubert 8 April 2022

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FULL DISCLOSURE. WINX HEADPHONES WERE RECEIVED FROM SYNTECH AND NOT RETURNED.

With an RRP of R1200, the Winx Vibe Pure ANC wireless headphones do what not many active noise cancelling headphones can – come in at a decent budget friendly price. For the most part, active noice cancellation (ANC) headphones were expensive affairs, at the same time providing quality build and decent sound.

The Winx Pure offers solid noise cancellation, which can be turned on with a button at the bottom of the left headpiece. I’m blessed to work next to a nursery school across the street, and during their breaks the kids get loud. With the Winx Pure on my ears, the amount of noise generated by the kids decreased significantly, and if there's music playing through the headphones their racket is for all sense and purposes a non-issue.

Once switched on, there is that familiar ‘pressured’ feeling in the ears, but not as strong as I’ve felt from other brands. While good with managing lower-end bass noise, it’s the high frequency noises that tend to slip through, so be mindful that not all noise will disappear. The vacuum cleaner, for example, remains a persistent spot of bother. You can use the Winx Pure with only the noise-cancelling turned on, and your Bluetooth connection turned off, which saves on battery life. Talking of which, this was solid, with the brand claiming 20 hours uninterrupted playtime, at 80% volume with ANC on. I think it came pretty close, and throughout testing I only had to recharge once.

Comfy too

The Winx Pure headphones are comfy over the ears with the ear cushions luckily providing a decently large cup so that no protruding ear lobe is trapped underneath, while it also doubles as an extra layer against outside din. The headband extends far enough that I could wear the Winx with a cap on, and it comes with its own hard case for travelling purposes. They were comfortable enough to wear over an extended period of time, which makes me believe they should manage on any future flights you might be planning.

Design a bit meh

The overall design of the Winx is perhaps where a few bucks were spared, coming across as too plasticky in parts. It’s that hard plastic that’s mostly used, creaking when putting them on. The material protecting the cushioning looks thick enough to not wear through after only a short while, although you're never quite sure when it comes with headphones. The buttons (play/pause, ff, rewind) on the right and the ANC on/off switch further contributed to the plastic look and feel.  

Sound on

If the design was a let-down, the sound does better. For general purpose, most will be happy with music played on the Winx, but it’s not the one for audiophiles. Overall, it lacked a sense of clarity, with no strong distinction between low, mid and high tones when the volume is at a sensible volume. I found the Winx only delivering when turning the volume higher, providing more of a kick overall, but still the sound was muddled.

To buy, or not?

Overall, the sound quality on the Winx Pure is good enough to pass as solid for day-to-day listening. It’s the active noise cancellation you’re actually buying the headphones for, and in that department, it passes with flying colours. With music on mid volume and with ANC on, there were quite a number of times I missed my partner calling from just outside the room.

Yes, the built quality is not the same as higher-end headphones, but the Winx Vibe Pure ANC wireless headphones are comfortable, and wearable for extended periods of time without starting to hurt the ears.

Taking all this into account, it’s difficult not to give Winx a solid recommendation for anyone looking for a more affordable ANC solution. The headphones come with an RRP of R1 200, and I’ve seen it for as low as R830, which makes it a steal. It’s available from Syntech

PROS
Solid ANC, comfy over extended periods of time, decent price
CONS
Plasticky build quality, sound okay but not great
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