Engineered from decades of stage and studio experience, the AONIC 50 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones deliver premium listening with exceptional comfort and durability. Immerse yourself in an uninterrupted, world-class listening experience wherever you go.
Premium, wireless studio-quality sound engineered from decades of professional experience. No cords. No wires. Just pure listening anywhere you go.
Adjustable noise cancellation to eliminate distractions for a truly immersive listening experience.
Environment mode allows you to hear the outside world with the flip of a switch.
Long Lasting Battery Life
Up to 20 hours battery life provides uninterrupted audio wherever you go – on the train, on an airplane, at work or at home.
Comfortable and Durable
Long-wearing comfort and durability built to withstand the rigors of the road. Folds flat for portability with protective carrying case.
AONIC 50 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones
Environmental Noise Control
Manufacturer's Warranty - Parts
Every Shure® product comes with a Limited Warranty that in normal use the product will be free of any defects in materials or workmanship for a period of one or two years from its original date of purchase.
Manufacturer's Warranty - Labor
Every Shure® product comes with a Limited Warranty that in normal use the product will be free of any defects in materials or workmanship for a period of one or two years from its original date of purchase.
The Shure Aonic 50 headphone is a great headphone it’s very open great sound stage. it’s not bass heavy there’s enough bass without overwhelming you. The app works great you can really Custom tailor your sound, you can add more bass if your into a heavier bass response they are very comfortable to wear. I also have B&W PX headphones Studio beats some old Original akg which are great too. If you want Close back cans these are great
Shure has been known for making high quality headphones and microphones for a few years now, and I cannot think of any products really geared toward general consumers, until now. I was not sure what to expect from their new AONIC 50 but opted to give them a try to see what all the hype was about.
The packaging is a bit unique but designed in a way that properly secures the contents. Included in the round box, you’ll find a nice round semi-hard carrying case, which houses the headphones when not in use, a 3.5 mm headphone audio cable, a USB C to A cable for charging and digital listening, and a manual. There is also quick start guide in an inner envelope, attached on the inside of the box, that walks through pairing. The headphones came with about a 60% charge out of the box, which allowed for powering on, Bluetooth pairing, and immediate use. Using the USB C cable makes the unit plug and play on PC (in my case a Windows 10 Laptop) and were immediately setup by the OS for use. This did not require changing any settings, as my PC audio began playing through the headset immediately. It should be noted that the included cable is designed for use near the PC and will require a longer cable if your desktop or laptop USB port is a bit out of reach.
On the rear side of the right earphone you’ll find volume buttons, a center button used for various functions, including answering or hanging up a call, skipping tracks (FWD/Back), and for activating your personal assistant on iOS or Android OS. The power button is also used for initiating pairing, by pressing and holding down during power up. The voice prompts make the process easy, and for a built-in voice, it is clear and easy to understand. You can tell Shure wanted the experience to feel higher quality by not including a mono sounding voice for this process.
The power button can also be used to check the battery level by double tapping the button. This is useful for Bluetooth paired devices, like a Mac, which may not display the battery level on the Bluetooth menu. You will also find the toggle switch that enables Noise Cancelling, normal listening, and an “Environment” listening setting that does a great job amplifying the sound around you. On the bottom of the left earphone, you will find the 3.5 mm jack for plugging in older devices that may not have a USB connection or Bluetooth. This makes the device compatible with just about any listening device of your choosing.
The headphones are not terribly bulky, are light weight, have a very premium feel with aluminum like metal finish, and the top headband has a nice comfortable and soft feel, along with the headphones themselves. The headphones do fold inward, for easy storing in the case, and for placement in a bag and with the carrying case. It also has the added benefit of making it easy to adjust the headphones to you, for a better listening experience. Identifying right and left is made easy by looking either inside the earphone with a large “R” or “L” or on the metal portion of the headset with the same R/L on either side. The included case has a small pocket, with a Velcro tab, to secure the included cables and manual, along with an elastic strap that runs horizontally to hold the headphones in place when stored.
Having an iPhone, the pairing process was straightforward and quick. Hold the power button while the headphones are powered off, until you hear the pairing notification after they power on. Using the Bluetooth settings menu, you will see the Shure 50, and simply tap on it. There was no need to confirm any pairing codes, and the headphones connected right away. The other neat thing about this, is the ability to connect them to both your PC, using the USB C cable, and have it paired with Bluetooth to your phone. Should you get a notification on your iPhone, you will likely hear it over Bluetooth, and playing content on your PC will then play over the headphones while plugged in and your iPhone isn’t in use. You will, however, notice a pause of audio coming from your PC when a notification or music is played over Bluetooth while plugged in. This is a great way to stay connected at work on your PC with the cable, and on your personal iOS device over Bluetooth (not sure if Android will do this). While using the headphones with the USB cable on a PC, you will hear an audio notification when the battery is fully charged.
Having new Bluetooth 5 devices means better connection and coverage. If you are working from home or at an office, and step away from your desk a short distance, the headphones maintain a connection without any loss in quality. In my case, I was able to keep my iPhone in my bedroom and walk to my kitchen without any disconnection or distortion. Even with a Bluetooth 4.1 Mac, I was able to maintain a good connection, until I was at the far end of my home. While this is always dependent on your environment, I found a similar strong connection with every device I had paired and was actively using; in my case, an iPhone 11 Pro, MacBook Pro, Mac Pro (desktop), and a Windows Laptop with Bluetooth 5.
There is also a free app available in the App Store called “Shure Play” that can be installed on iOS, which allows you to adjust the environment mode volume, gives you basic battery, and also allows adjustment of the Noise Cancelling between “Max” and “Normal” options. When you launch the app for the first time, you’ll receive a few permission pop ups for Bluetooth discovery and for allowing access to your Apple Music library (for iOS users). You will find a Music button that provides you with your music library and allows for creation of custom playlists. While the app isn’t required for use, you will find various feature options, firmware updates, and changing prompt notifications will require the app.
It is important to note that any playlists you have saved in Apple Music are not imported over. However, you can search your music library using Artists, Albums, Songs, and Genres. It will also display any recently added tracks for easy selection. Any music played within the Shure app, is not played using the native Apple Music app. So, if you hit play on the Apple Music app at any point or the Shure Play app is closed completely (not simply minimized in the background), it will stop playback of the Shure Play selection. The Shure Play app will also not display the current playing track on Apple Music if you are using the native Apple Music app. It acts independently and provides a great listening experience if used on its own. Navigating the library was like using the native app and adding tracks to a playlist was also quite easy.
The Shure Play app also has some helpful settings, located on the settings tab for EQ audio presets. This is disabled by default and can be toggled on with 5 pre-set options available. You can also create your own EQ settings, which allows for a more personalized listening experience. The app makes this easier in landscape mode, using the touch screen to make fine adjustments. The EQ even allows you to adjust the gain, for those tracks that tend to be quieter. Even without EQ settings adjusted, the audio is clear and lows are at a good level, but with EQ the audio is amped up for an even better experience.
There are is also an option to perform a firmware updates, which does require the device is paired and turned on to complete. The process of updating the firmware only took a few minutes to complete and requires the app to be open. Even without the EQ settings, I would like to point out that the audio is clear, and highs and lows reproduced beautifully.
The headphones are amazingly comfortable to wear, and the various articulation points make for easy placement on your head. If the noise cancelling is toggled off, the headphones still do a great job producing a pleasurable listening experience, albeit with some background noise. Noise cancelling was quite effective, especially when set to the “Max” setting, and found that it does a great job cancelling out most background noise. Having a home full of small dogs that like to bark at the smallest noise, or squirrel movement in the back yard, make the noise cancelling (NC) feature really shine. I would imagine these would work well in busy airports, office environments, louder homes, and would even cancel out the ambient noise from my fan running in the background. Overall, I am really impressed with the level of cancellation that the headphones can produce and compare to most other premium headphones with similar features (having owned three other premium brands).
I am also incredibly impressed by the Environment mode. When toggled, it resembles microphone monitoring on some headphones, with environment sound amplified for easy listening. This is especially great if you are on a conference call but need to listen to your colleagues, or family members, conversing with you in the same room. The volume of the environment mode is also easily adjusted using the Shure Play app, and even on the lowest setting makes it easy to hear those around you. It has the added benefit of amplifying your own voice when you are speaking, or if you want the satisfying sound of clicking coming from your mechanical keyboard while you work.
Overall, I would recommend these for anyone looking for great sounding audio, those with high quality audio needs, remote workers and even those in a loud office environment. Shure has really done a great job delivering on the noise cancelling, while maintaining an excellent listening experience. The crisp clear audio, with deep bass, easily bests some of the other brands you have come to know, with a quality construction that feels solid while providing comfortable long-term wear.
USB Type C Charging and digital playback.
Bluetooth 5.0 supported codecs aptX, aptX HD,aptX Low Latency, SBC, AAC, LDAC
The multipoint connection allows you to connect 2 devices at the same time.
Driver Size: 50mm
Supported wired connections: 3.5mm audio and USB C digital audio connection.
Battery life rated at 20hrs with ANC on. Without ANC battery life can almost double. I have been using it a couple of hours each day with around 45mins of talk for the last several days since I received them and so far the battery is down to 45%. It’s been right around 7 days since the first full charge and this is including ANC on for most of the time.
6 microphones for excellent MIC quality. I tested on a Teams conference call and voice calls from my phone. No complaints from the caller and they said I sounded clear.
15mins of charge gives you around 4hrs of playback.
ShurePlus Play is an app that allows you to perform firmware upgrades, high-resolution file music player, and edit equalizer settings. You have your choice from 5 presets (De-ess, Flat, Loudness, Low Boost, Vocal Boost). You also have the ability to create custom equalizer settings. Problem is that it only works with local music files played through the Shure music player apps like Spotify or Apple Music are out of luck. It also allows you to adjust the ANC level from max to normal. The app also shows the battery percentage.
Environment Mode is also available to be aware of your surroundings for outside environments.
Shure provides a protective carrying case that looks like it's carrying a mini tire. (look at the pics you see why)
Charging cable and 2.5mm to 3.5mm aux cable for wired connection listening.
Build Quality and Style:
It screams luxury from a solidly built anodized aluminum frame surrounded by soft stitched faux leather. The earpads are thick that are soft are memory pillow. The soft feeling of faux leather helps in making them a comfortable headset to use. With the solid aluminum frame, they hug your ears with the con being after a while your ears will get warm. They’re comfortable to be used for people that wear glasses. The earcups themselves are made out of hard plastic with no squeaks at all. Adjusting the size provides this satisfying clicking feeling when sliding up and down. With this build quality, the headset should provide years of quality service. You definitely get your money’s worths on the materials and craftsmanship of the headphones. The style comes up as a cross between old school and new technology. without being over flashy.
One word I can use to describe the sound would be balanced. If you’re used to bass hitting headsets the sound coming out of the Aonic 50 will probably be more on the flat side for you. The low-frequency effects are perfectly balanced with the mids but with just the right amount of kick to contribute to the song. If you find the bass lacking you can compensate for this with a third party equalizer. For audiophiles, they will be satisfied with the sound reproduction as is without the use of an equalizer. For most genres of music, it sounded great. For songs that are known for strong bass is the only time I felt missing that strong bass hit that I get from other headphones. One of my go-to songs immediately for new headphones is When the Levee Breaks by Led Zeppelin. From the way, the harmonica sounds to the guitar riff accompanied by solid low frequency produced by the drums. It’s the extra details that these headphones managed to reproduce that makes it stand out against the competition. Even with ANC activated it doesn’t have a strong effect on audio reproduction. The only subtle effect I’ve noticed is on the low-frequency effects. Overall it falls more on a reference side of things a flat accurate sound profile. Like I said earlier if you enjoy the bass you most likely will end up being disappointed. For those that value a detailed balanced sound, the Shure Aonic 50 will exceed your expectations.
For me, the active noise cancellation performed very well. A lot of the low frequency sounds you get from the ac running or washing machine we’re considerably muted. Now it won’t work wonders for people talking and stuff like that. Overall I must say I was satisfied with how well it managed to cut down background noise.
Now it did take me a little bit longer to warm up to this style of reference sound. But in the end, I learned to appreciate what it accomplishes in bringing out those small details in the music that other headphones struggle to reproduce. The investment is high but in return, you get amazing build quality, a vast amount of support for High-Quality Bluetooth Codecs thus making it an excellent headset for Android and IOS users, If I had any small complaint would just be the ANC slider preferring the use of a single button to cycle through the ANC modes instead of having a hard time trying to toggle it between ANC On, Environment Mode, and Normal. At the end of the day, I highly recommend them if it fits your style of sound listening.
“Reviewers in this invitation-only program are provided products for the purpose of writing honest, unbiased reviews.”
Where to begin on these. The difference between these and my Bose QuietComfort is night and day. Literally makes the Bose sound like agerage Skullcandy headphones. The clarity is unreal. Paired with HiFi sub to Tidal and I'm speechless with how amazing these sound.
The Shure brand name strikes a note of expertise, respect and high quality. I was eager to see how they fared in the wireless headphone realm and was happy to try out these Shure AONIC 50 Active Noise Cancelling Wireless headphones. It's becoming a very competitive arena now in this category and the Shure's play with the best of them. The price is a bit higher than most but it pays off in quality.
The first distinction about the AONIC 50s is the packaging. It comes in a round box which stands out among the crowd. In the box you'll find the a high quality, round padded carrying case, the headphones, a 3.5 mm audio cable to connect to audio equipment and a USB A to USB C charging/connecting cable. One thing I thought was missing were the instructions. I went online to download a PDF but it turns out they are tucked in a pocket on the underside of the box lid, so keep an eye out before disposing of the packaging. There is also a companion Shure Plus Play app. You can control the level of ANC or environmental sounds allowed in or out. It also has a customizable equalizer function and several pre-programmed sound profiles. I got the app to work for a short time before it crashed but it may be due to the fact that my iPhone 12 Pro is running beta software. I tested the existing sound profiles in between several app/iphone restarts but for me, it's really unusable at the moment. I hope Shure has an update for the app soon so I can fully try it out.
The headphones are constructed of what appears to be solid aluminum and leather. I'm not sure if the leather on the earcups (both are removable/replaceable) and headband are genuine leather but it's very premium and plush regardless. The headphones are very light compared to my other wireless headphones which was a major plus but the headband seemed to have a tighter fit than I am used to. I'm sure in time, they will become more comfortable. The earcups are clearly marked L or R on the inside and fit very nicely over my ears. The left earcup has the 3.5 mm plug so you can use the included cable or an existing 3.5 mm cable to make them wired if you choose. The right ear cup has a few buttons on it that control power, play/pause, volume up and down and the on/off for the ANC function.With the ANC off, you can hear the sounds around you amplified so that you can talk or listen to people while still wearing them. It's a popular function now among the wireless headphone brands. The buttons are a little hard to locate by feel and I actually prefer the touch sensitive functions that other brands are incorporating. For me, it's harder to go back to actual buttons once I went down the touch sensitive route.
Setting up these headphones couldn't have been easier. Once powered on, they immediately went into pairing mode and I was up and running within 20 seconds. It was amazing. They are Bluetooth 5.0 so the range is around 30 ft., and they support a ton of audio codecs like apt X, apt XHD, apt X Low Latency, Sony LDAC, AAC and SBC. That is far more than my other wireless headphones and is much appreciated. The battery is listed at 20 hours with ANC off. I'm not sure how long they are listed to last with the ANC function on, but It seems they may not run as long as a few of their competitors. However, you do get 4 hours of use with just a 15 minute charge which is nice.
For me, the actual listening performance of these headphones is a bit of a mixed bag. I listened to a wide selection of music from Electronica, eg. Above & Beyond, all the way to Classical. The AONIC 50s sounded great with virtually everything I listened to. They have great spatial separation and robust bass without being too heavy. However, I did consistently experience some distortion in the bass, I believe, which was surprising. For testing the EQ profiles built into the Shure Plus Play app, I settled on Billie Eillish's No Time to Die. For me, it has a nice array of highs, mids and lows. I listened to it for each of the pre-programmed EQ profiles ( I believe there are 5 with the ability to modify them to create custom versions) and unfortunately, I experienced the same distortion in certain parts of the song. In general, they really do sound warm and spacious but compared to my favorite pair of wireless headphones I use most often, they fall a bit short and it was a little disappointing.
Overall, Shure has done an amazing job with their first foray into the wireless headphone arena. The AONIC 50s are light, constructed from very high quality materials and sound pretty amazing. Yes, I found a few small issues but I really am enjoying them and plan of using them much more. Hopefully the app issues will be resolved soon and I can tweak the EQ settings to help eliminate the distortion I experienced. I'm definitely looking forward to it.
I am always listening to music, so when opportunities to review headphones, earbuds and speakers come around - I jump right in.
Let’s do a quick pro/con list & then get to the details.
Great Material / Frame
Easy to control and use
Good reported call quality (Environmental mode)
App adjustments (Environmental mode) stored in headphones, not in App
Equalizer in App is only for uncompressed / raw files loaded INTO the App
No disconnection chime/message ('Bluetooth disconnected') when switching devices
When I opened up the quite stylish round box, I found a round case inside and the headphones well secured within. Initial impressions were … impressive: nice and clean. The headphones were secured with an elastic to hold the headset in place even when in the case to lessen shifting and likely for drop protection when unzipping the case. Included with the headphones is a USB cable and 3.5mm audio cable, both individually wrapped (see pics).
The aluminum used for the frame is sturdy and there’s a nice clean resistance in turning the headphones. I find this nice because most plastic headphones I own don’t hold their form while open, if they’re able to be made flat.
As I charge everything before jumping in, the first charge took around two hours. Thankfully, Shure has adopted USB-C, as I find it ever-so-frustrating when vendors keep putting out new products with Micro USB.
Holding the Bluetooth/Power button for two or so seconds, turns it on/off. For the first time power-on, the headphones are immediately entered into pairing mode. The voice prompt is crystal clear and for me, the AONIC 50 headphones synced up with a Pixel 4 XL without any problem. To pair it to another device, turn the headphones off, then hold the power button until you hear the “pairing mode” prompt that we all heard in the beginning.
First impression while using the headphones: comfortable! I had to extend them to the longest length to feel correct, and each ear piece could be pivoted ever so slightly for the perfect fit on my head. There isn’t much play above the ears, so wearing sunglasses for me wasn’t perfect but I survived (see pic). Even after a few hours of use, the battery level is still solid (75+%) and they are still very comfortable.
As far as weight goes, they are about as heavy as a gaming headset to hold in my hand, but I don’t feel any of that weight while wearing them.
Onto the sound. Well, it sort of depends on what mode you’re in! But it’s a sliding selector switch on the right ear piece that controls the mode: Active Noise Cancellation and Environment mode. Each of those modes have their place.
Walking outside or at a store? It may make sense to run Environmental mode so you can hear your surroundings. Walking through a parking lot and from parking space to the store, I paired another phone and started a stream and I was unknowingly in Environmental mode. Wind + leaves blowing loudly really caught me off guard; it definitely works and keeps you aware of your surroundings, given the volume isn’t cranked up. Big headphones walking around a supermarket show you’re on a mission, but a quick press of the ‘dot’ pauses music and Environmental mode allows you to talk to people without any impact to hearing.
How about the best mode while writing a product review? Active Noise Cancellation was perfect for me. I can barely hear the clacking of my blue clicky switch gaming keyboard.
The Shure Play App can tell you which mode you’re in, but you can only adjust the amount of outside noise you let in, as the physical switch on the headphones controls the mode. The buttons are pretty easy to memorize and therefore control audio and calls with ease. Fortunately, the adjustments made aren’t locked to the App, they’re stored on the headphones for any other connections you make.
In the Play App, you can’t adjust the sound of your streamed tunes; uncompressed audio files (flac, wav, aiff) need to be loaded onto the device and opened through the App. At that point, the EQ can be customized based on your preferences. I find this pretty lame, to be honest. I found some free samples online to test with. Even using an uncompressed file within the App to play with the equalizer, the bass on these headphones don’t impress me whatsoever. There are crystal clear highs and vocals and the mids are great. I have other earbuds and headphones that offer great bass so I was disappointed with the lack of bass.
When making calls, it seems like the person on the other end has different experiences based on the mode the headphones are in. Environmental mode was reported to sound the best and with background music at a good level, wasn’t noticed by the other person. Merely testing with sound recorder Apps didn’t reflect a multi-user experience.
From Rap to Reggae to Alternative Rock and even some violins and piano, everything sounds great, just with minimal bass.
So, do I recommend these headphones? I do. Do I wish there was more bass? I do.
Immediately upon opening the packaging box, my reaction was “Boy, this has got to be the biggest case ever!”. I mean, we are talking 10” in diameter! While I appreciate the fact that this case would protect this investment quite effectively, I do wonder who would tote this huge case around while commuting, rather than leaving it at home for proper headphone storage. However, upon taking the headphones out of the case, I was like: “Wow, these are some great-looking headphones!” At this point, the case’s size was no longer a concern.
The black AONIC 50 Headphones simply look stunning, with their sleek design, ionized metal arms, and chrome logo on the cups. It screams luxury and it is something I would be proud to take on a business class flight, a work meeting, or video conference. These seem very well built and durable. The headband is made of faux leather on top with sturdy stitching and is quite flexible. The earcups are made of a matte plastic, and, while they did attract some fingerprints, look great, nonetheless.
The right earcup holds all the controls. Personally, I would have liked the buttons to be dispersed between the earcups as this seems to me a bit too clustered. Once I got used to the layout, I am happy to say I was able to control with ease all functions -power, volume, play/skip/forward, and assistant from one side. There is also a slider that controls noise cancellation (ANC), which I think is a bit awkward and somewhat clunky, but still effective. There, you also have a USB-C charge/connection port, which I appreciate for future-proofing. On the left side, we have the 2.5mm to 3.5mm jack, which I think is odd, but Shure included a cable for it.
The most important factor, at least for me, is the sound quality. In this regard, I am very pleased with the default sound signature of the AONIC '50s. Having support for multiple codecs including Bluetooth 5.0 Qualcomm® aptX™, aptX™ HD, aptX™ LL and more, there is something for everyone. Without getting into audiophile territory, the 50mm drivers produce an even or flat-oriented sound with distinct separation and great soundstage. The bass is punchy, but in some cases may lack depth or resonance. Personally, I don’t mind this as I like the bass to be tight and not overbearing. The mids are clear and present and the high frequencies are not fatiguing or harsh. I found the sound great for easy listening, classic rock, classical music, live performances, and podcasts/audiobooks. Perhaps these may not be the best for hip-hop, EDM, or any deep bass-oriented music. Overall, I believe these provide an exceptional listening experience, which I expected from Shure.
When it comes to comfort, these cans are decent. The headband padding is good enough, with good clamping on the sides. I found that the headphones shifted often while walking -especially on a hike with uneven terrain. The earpads are super soft and do not rub against my ears (I will admit that I have small ears) and had no issues wearing glasses. After a couple of hours, the side of my ears did get a bit hot and sweaty, so keep that in mind, especially if you rock out to music as I do.
Call quality is good. I was told my voice sounded clear, a bit tinny and recessed, but clear. There were no hiccups or breakup. I did try calling in different environmental settings.
The noise cancelling (ANC) was not quite to the standard of other headphones I own, but I thought it was well implemented. It helps that the headphones themselves can block a lot of ambient noise passively. I tried this feature while washing dishes, walking on a heavily trafficked road, and while the TV was on. Again, while not overly impressed, the ANC did block most of the noise. Perhaps this can be improved through a firmware update later on.
The Environment Mode simply picks up the sound around you through the microphones. It’s a convenient feature when you need to be aware of your surroundings, like crossing a street or listening for the next train stop announcement. Again, it is nice to have but to me, it is a feature I really will not be using all that much.
If you do get these headphones, I recommend downloading the ShurePlus PLAY app. There, you can adjust and customize settings like noise cancellation, environment mode, the equalizer, and update the firmware. You can also play music straight from there, but I thought it was a bit unecessary in my opinion.
Other good things about the AONIC 50s include a 20-hour battery life (so far so good), strong connectivity throughout my medium-size apartment, experiencing no lag while watching videos, and high-resolution playback through USB-C, which I appreciated when gaming on my PC.
In the end, I believe the Shure AONIC 50 ANC Wireless Headset is a welcome and worthy addition to the world of premium headsets. So far, no ANC headset at this price range has been perfect for me, and this also is no exception. Having stated this, I highly recommend checking these bad boys before making any decisions on other comparable headphones from other well-known brands, and if you do decide to get these, you definitely will not be disappointed.
INITIAL THOUGHTS & SETUP:
When I first opened the shipping box, I got my first surprise – the product box was round…and, not just round, but large. When I say “large”, I’m talking almost 11” in diameter, and 3.25” thick. Upon opening the product’s box, I was greeted with my next surprise...a large (10” diameter x 2.5” thick) carrying case. In regards to being environmentally-friendly, this is probably the absolute best example I have seen, with absolutely NO ADDITIONAL packaging material. Yes, there’s a bit of included “literature”, and, yes, the headphones, themselves, were in a protective ‘bag’, but that’s it. HUGE “kudos” to Shure.
As for ‘setup’, Shure does have their ‘ShurePlus Play’ app (available on Android & iOS), but it is not “required”. While it does provide access to certain functionality, it is, for the most part, a music-playing app, similar to PowerAmp, Apple Music, Google Play Music, etc. I’ve used the headphones with, as well as without, the app, and I’ve noticed no discernable difference. As for the ‘setup’ part, it’s connected in the same manner as (pretty much) all other Bluetooth headsets.
I would venture to say that Shure has released the Aonic 50 headphones to compete directly against the Sony WH-1000XM4...Sony’s “latest & greatest” consumer Bluetooth headset. While I don’t have a pair of those, I do happen to have Sony’s MDR-XB950N1, which are quite good in their own right (even if they are 3.5 years old). In terms of overall sound quality, the Shure headphones sound extremely good…DEFINTELY better than the XB950s. Of course, coming from a company that built their name (and the quality backing that name) from producing high-quality products aimed at the highest-quality sound, it doesn’t surprise me – Shure has produced some of the best microphones & studio headsets known to television & movie studios, as well as the recording industry. Put another way, high-quality audio is “in their blood”.
Speaking of Sony, one thing I never liked about their top-of-the-line headphones was their use of “touch controls” – swipe your finger ‘this way’ for one thing, ‘that way’ for something else, ‘single-tap’ for this, ‘double-tap’ for that, ‘triple-tap’ for something else. It’s too much to remember, plus it doesn’t always work as perfectly as they would like it to. That’s why, 2-2.5 years ago, I purchased the XB950N1...it had physical controls. Sure (no pun intended), it doesn’t have all the “wiz-bang” wizardry of the WH-1000X series, or the advanced features, but it sounded extremely good for what it was – a lesser-expensive, little brother, that sounded almost as good, and had decent-enough noise cancelation. Move forward a few years, and Sony had advanced both the sound quality, as well as the noise cancelation, to be much better…but, STILL leaving room for improvement. Well, that “improvement” is here…except that it’s NOT coming from Sony. It’s coming from the premiere audio manufacturers, Shure. Shure, with their Aonic 50, have bested Sony at their own game, producing a Bluetooth headset that not only sounds better than Sony’s top-of-the-line headset, but also has (at least, in my opinion) better noise cancelation. The lows, mids, and highs, are miles ahead of any other Bluetooth headset in this price range. Heck…I’d even be willing to pit them against some slightly-more-expensive headphones.
Speaking of the noise cancelation side of things, Shure has not only produced a headset that sounds at least as good (personally, having listened, albeit, very briefly, to the WH-1000XM4 at a local Best Buy, the Aonic 50 sounds BETTER), but Shure has crafted a noise cancelation that “one-ups” Sony. How? First, I definitely prefer the controls on the Aonic 50…for one thing, instead of a simple On-Off, the Aonic 50 has a 3-way switch – noise cancelation off (middle), noise cancelation on (down), and “external audio passthrough” (up). Second, while Sony’s latest (1000XM4) has slightly better noise cancelation in the low end, Shure’s is much better in the midrange & high end, where people need it most. While watching a movie, when my wife came in the room and started talking to me, I couldn’t hear a word she said, even after pausing the movie (talk about the next best thing to having a “mute” button installed on the wife). Moving the switch all the way up (ie. “external audio passthrough”) amplifies external sounds, making it easy to hear someone talking to you (yea, sometimes, I do need to listen to something she says, even if I really don’t care to), and it works perfectly well.
In addition to being a Bluetooth headset, there is also a 2.5mm audio jack on the headphones, and they come with an audio cable, turning them into one of the best pair of wired ANC headphones you can find. Also, having Bluetooth 5.0, which translates into a highly-efficient battery life, you get up to 20 hours of listening pleasure. Additionally, it has “multipoint”, meaning the Aonic 50 headphones can simultaneously be connected to to different devices (such as watching a movie on your tablet, while still being connected to your phone for incoming calls). One of the best things about the Aonic 50 is their audio codec support – they support ALL major Bluetooth codecs – AAC, LDAC, aptX, aptX HD, and aptX Low Latency. Whether listening from an Android or iOS device, you’ll be getting the best sound possible.
Let’s not forget the materials. I’m not trying to put Sony down, but even their best Bluetooth headset is mostly plastic on the exterior. The Shure Aonic 50, on the other hand, are mostly metal. Even the Bose 700 can’t compare (they have more plastic than the Sonys). The only real “down side” to the Aonic 50 is the huge carrying case. This is, most definitely, NOT something you want to be carrying around with you on a regular basis. Other than this one “flaw”, the Aonic 50 is outstanding.
If you want “extra base”, then some of those ‘other’ headsets (you know what brands I’m referring to) might be more to your liking…but, if you prefer more accurate audio, especially across the entire sound spectrum, then the Shure Aonic 50 is an outstanding choice. I won’t go so far as to say its noise cancelation is the best…but, it certainly hold its own against “the best”. In terms of overall sound quality, again, not “the best”, but I’d put it in the same class…possibly even within the “top 3” for its price-range. Where it beats the others (in the same class, and price-range) is in build quality, material quality, and the company behind the product. Sure (again, no pun intended), Sony makes great audio gear, but they now rely more on their name than the quality of their products. Bose also makes great audio gear…but, again, their banking you’ll buy their stuff based on their name, and not the true quality of their products. I could continue on, listing other brands, and their “problems”…but, why bother. The truth is, Shure not only makes outstanding audio gear, and produces outstanding-quality products, but they have exclusively produced microphones & headphones their entire business-life. Shure is to headphones what Stanley is to producing thermos bottles, if that makes any sense.
So, would I recommend the Shure Aonic 50 Bluetooth Headset? If you can afford to spend $350-400 (or, if you’ve just spent a lot of time saving up that much for a quality set of Bluetooth headphones), then, the ONLY answer I can give is, “yes”. As for those who can’t afford spending so much, I’ll give you this little piece of advice: Save up your money, and get these…your ears will GREATLY appreciate what you did for them (I can’t say the same about your wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, etc).
Disclaimer: This product was provided free, or at reduced cost, for the purpose of reviewing the product. Nevertheless, the above review, be it positive, negative, or anywhere in-between, is a 100% honest review, and the price paid played absolutely no part in my review.
The analysis of all aggregated expert reviews shows that the reviewers are positive about treble quality, durability, reliability and comfort. Editors are less positive about size and soundstage and have mixed opinions about bass quality. Using an algorithm based on product age, reviewers ratings history, popularity, product category expertise and other factors, this product gets an alaTest Expert Rating of 88/100 = Very good quality.
Shure Aonic 50 review: ANC KingThe Shure Aonic 50 noise-cancelling headset is a premium solution to your work from home and commuting woes. Large removable earpads lengthen the lifespan of the headphones and are easy to clean. Noise cancelling is excellent as is functionality
T3Rating, 5 out of 55.0Simon Lucas on August 11, 2020
Shure Aonic 50 review: the best noise cancelling headphones for pure sound qualityShure Aonic 50 review: bulky and lacking in new-fangled features perhaps, but still among the very best noise cancelling headphones
techhive.comRating, 3.5 out of 53.5Theo Nicolakis on August 24, 2020
Shure Aonic 50 wireless active noise-cancelling headphone review: Beautiful sound, mediocre noise cancellationIf you value audio performance more than active noise cancelling, the Shure Aonic 50 headphones deserve a listen. Just be aware of a few
A:AnswerHello - The AONIC 50 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones feature Bluetooth 5 technology which is the latest Bluetooth codec and compatible with sources that require this type of wireless connection. Additionally, the headphones also feature a standard 3.5mm cable included in the box for use with older devices / sources that do not have a Bluetooth feature and require a standard wired connection.
A:AnswerHi - The AONIC 50 has Bluetooth 5 connectivity which is the standard for current wireless devices. It has a built in microphone for both phone communication and conference calls but would depend on personal preference to be used for activities outside of listening. We have several products available at Best Buy specifically designed for Podcasting. AONIC 50 could be used but again depends on personal preferences.