Sennheiser is one of the big boys in the audio segment, however, very few are familiar with its sub-brand EPOS that made its debut globally a couple of years ago. The Denmark-based company recently launched a slew of audio products in India and among the lot was a premium offering – the EPOS Adapt 560.
Since EPOS is a relatively new name in the market I was intrigued about what the Adapt 560 had to offer. I got to spend a considerable amount of time with it and here’s my review of the EPOS Adapt 560.
– Great mic audio
– Compact design
– Dedicated controls for calling
– Could have been priced better
– ANC not that effective
– Average audio quality
Let’s start with something that hits the eye almost instantly. The design is nothing out of the ordinary. The overall real estate borrows some of the design elements from other headphones like the Adapt 660 and overall ergonomics is pleasing to the eyes and ears.
The overall build quality is quite premium and the company hasn’t shunned from using high-quality padding on the foam pads and the control buttons. Top marks there.
At 229 grams, it is lightweight and portable and doesn’t feel like one of those bulky headphones that you have to lug around with you. Despite a lot of moving parts, the Adapt 560 feels solid.
It comes with a dedicated mic that’s tucked nicely on the right side of the headphones and somehow I derived a lot of pleasure flicking the mic every time I wanted to attend a call. It would have been great if the flicking mechanism auto-picked the incoming call. Something for EPOS to consider for its next product perhaps?
I liked the fact that all the controls and buttons on the headphones are placed on the right ear cup. I will admit that familiarising myself with the controls initially took time. Each button has multiple functions; like the rocker can be used to change the volume intensity and also to shuffle music. Same way, the button in the middle can be used to answer calls and play/pause music.
I recommended you read the user manual thoroughly before you start to use the Adapt 560. Then again, that something you should do with all the gizmos you start to use!
What surprised me is that the company decided to go with physical buttons for control rather a touchpad. Most competitors in the same price segment offer touch controls for their headphones. When quizzed about the same, the company said that its “customers have a bigger ask for manual/dedicated buttons that are easier to access rather than touchpad combinations that they have to remember.”
There is also a dedicated purple button to activate Microsoft Teams on the headphones. You don’t another clue to realize that this a headphone meant for the professionals. But, to restrict the option for the button just to Microsoft Teams is a questionable call. What about Zoom and Skype?
The voice quality via the mic is excellent. There is a dedicated boom mic on the headphone that cuts the ambient noise during calls; a must-have feature in all premium headphones.
The company has also given a dedicated USB Bluetooth dongle in the box that you can connect with your desktop. It’s a great option that helps you do away with wires for your office or home desktop’s audio needs.
It also offers the option to connect with multiple devices at the same time which is a great feature for multitaskers.
Battery life on the Adapt 560 is more than satisfactory. I was able to get more than 2 days on a single charge while toggling the ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) on and off intermittently. What is a bummer though is the charging time for the headphones and I feel that EPOS should have added fast-charge technology to the Adapt 560.
It took me almost four hours to get a 100 percent charge. Definitely not something I’d recommend for people who’re always on the go and looking for an hour’s playtime with 5-6 minutes of charging.
The EPOS Adapt 560 let me down in the sound department. ANC, which is supposed to be the big selling point for most headphones in this category is like the Achilles heel for the EPOS. The on-the-ear design for the earcups wasn’t a good idea. Over-the-year earcups not only help seal the area around the year helping boost the ANC but also lend that extra comfort when you wear them.
With the Adapt 560, one swivel of the head displaces the earcups and most of the ambient noise then leaks inside.
Ostensibly, ANC on the EPOS Adapt 560 is lacklustre as I have experienced better noise-cancellation on rival headphones like the Bose QC-35 and the Sony WH-1000 XM4.
As much as it is a great device for voice calls and maybe even watching movies, music isn’t its strong suit. What comes as a shocker is that even the engineering prowess of a pioneer like Sennheiser doesn’t put the Adapt 560 close to its competition in the music department and it loses a lot of points there.
I am not saying that the sound quality is bad. It manages to deliver a decent amount of bass but sidelines the vocals which is underwhelming. You could be listening to music on the Adapt 560 for hours but the experience isn’t as immersive.
To make things worse, there isn’t any app support nor software customizations available. A native app for customizing sound and with present equalizers would have helped its cause. Sadly though, the Adapt 560 misses out there also.
Also, these headphones don’t give you the option to connect them using a 3.5mm headphone jack which for many is a deal-breaker.
Should you buy it?
It’s very tough for me to recommend the EPOS Adapt 560 to someone. Unless you want a good pair of headphones for office work and frequently attend audio and video calls then the Adapt 560 is a good option. You wouldn’t have to worry about charging the battery for a few days and that also is a big advantage with this audio device.
What works against the Adapt 560 is its exorbitant price tag. At Rs 29,990, it’s competing head-to-head with the Sony WH-1000XM4 and is dangerously close to the Bose 700 Noise Cancelling headphones.
Great mic quality is the highlight of this headphone and that’s something that its competitors are missing. If mic quality is on the top of the must-have features on your headphones, then, by all means, go for the Adapt 560.