iTeknic Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones review: The affordable Surface Headphone alternative

iTekinic's over-the-ear noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones are a comfortable and affordable alternative to Microsoft's premium-priced Surface Headphones.

Image Credit: Lemuel Burton Photography

Image Credit: Lemuel Burton Photography

iTeknic is not as popular a brand as Sony, Beats, Microsoft and other big names in the audio accessory arena. Still, this somewhat obscure company is building quality accessories at reasonable prices that I believe will satisfy the needs of most consumers.

Last month I reviewed iTeknic's Bluetooth earbuds that provide all-day usage and great sound, in a durable package with few compromises that won't break the bank.

Does the company's over-the-ear noise canceling headphones continue the legacy of a great product, with great design and a great price?

What you'll like about iTeknic Noise-cancelling Bluetooth Headphones

Image Credit: Lemuel Burton Photography

Image Credit: Lemuel Burton Photography

One of the first things you will notice about these headphones is the aesthetically attractive sleek black design. They have a quality build and, despite their affordable price tag, a premium look. This premium quality extends beyond the headphone's visual appeal in that they have premium comfort as well.

The soft cushion of the ear cuffs and the padded portion of the headphones that rest atop the head elicit comparisons to a pillow. They're just that comfortable. They are light and feel great on the head and over the ears. The engulfing of one's ears by the ear cuffs creates an immediate and natural obstruction to external sounds. This immerses the wearer in whatever media he/she is listening to with little (or muffled) external sounds (depending on the environment) leaking into his "world."

These headphones are as comfortable as a pillow.

The headlining noise-canceling effect is activated by a switch on the right headphone that glows blue when on. This active noise-canceling can be described as the "overlaying" of a thin veneer, or barely audible, but effective layer of white noise over the wearer's ears. It is effective in further muffling external sounds, complementing the physical barrier to sound achieved by the headphones themselves. The effect is good but not as satisfying as the granular noise-canceling control Microsoft's Surface Headphones provide with their "dial" control versus iTeknic's single switch.

Also, the noise canceling effect of Microsoft's Surface Headphones is more profound. But, one would expect a better experience from a pair of $300 headphones versus the still applaudable performance of iTeknic's $48 alternatives. Anecdotally, I find it very difficult to work with a television on in the background. But just to be in the room with my wife, I donned the iTeknic noise-canceling headphones while she watched TV, and I was able to focus on my task.

I am no audiophile, but the sound quality for music on these headphones is excellent. Additionally, voices coming across on phone calls are crisp and clear. And like the iTeknic Bluetooth earbuds, these Bluetooth 5.0 headphones will last you all day. They even have a fast charge feature that will give you hours of use after just a few minutes of charging; An hour of charging sets you up for over a day's use. I've gone for a couple of days without charging with my primary usage being for phone calls and watching some videos.

Finally, if you like to travel light, I was impressed with the folding design, which makes these headphones very easy to slip in a bag, even without the attractive carrying case they came in.

What you'll dislike about iTeknic Noise-Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones

Image Credit: Lemuel Burton Photography

Image Credit: Lemuel Burton Photography

One thing you may not like about these Surface Headphone alternatives is the "leakage" of sound you will likely experience. While I was on a call in the car, my wife was able to hear the person on the other end. Being mindful of your device's volume level will be essential to ensuring your privacy with this headset.

I enjoy that the headphones can connect with more than one device simultaneously. I do find, however, that sometimes if I turn them off and turn them back on, though my devices are still paired, I have to put the headphones in "pairing mode" so that my Surface or smartphone will detect them and reconnect. That's a nuisance I didn't experience with the iTeknic Bluetooth earbuds.

The microphone on these headphones is good most of the time. I have had experiences, however, where people on the other end had difficulty hearing me. Also, if you want built-in AI, like native Cortana on Surface Headphones, iTeknic's headphones will let you interact with digital assistants like Cortana, but she is not native to the headphones.

Finally, and this may be nit-picking, but in the time that I've had the headphones, the iTeknic label has rubbed off of the device after normal use.

Should you buy iTeknic Noise-Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones?

Image Credit: Lemuel Burton Photography

Image Credit: Lemuel Burton Photography

Yes, you should buy iTeknic's Noise-Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones if you want affordable noise-canceling headphones that will help immerse you in your work or leisure activities. The impressive battery life, premium comfort, and build and sleek aesthetic won't disappoint. If Microsoft's Surface Headphones' noise canceling feature got your attention (like it did mine), but the $300 price tag kept them out of reach (like it did me), the $48 price of iTeknic's alternative is accessible to most.

The iTeknic Bluetooth Noise-Cancelling Headphones, provide an immersive experience, reduce ambient noise, have a great quick-charge feature, and have all-day battery life.

Jason Ward

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!