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GeekDad Review: PuroPro ANC Wireless Headphones

Puro Sound Labs is one of my favorite headphone companies. The company has a knack for delivering high-quality audio at a reasonable price, but it does so while protecting your hearing with noise-limiting technology. This makes Puro headphones—like the PuroQuiet ANC wireless headphones I reviewed several years ago— a great choice for kids. Puro also makes headphones for adults, like the excellent BT2200 Studio Grade headphones (see the review here). The company’s latest and most ambitious entry in this market is the $199.99 PuroPro ANC wireless headphones.

These headphones arrive in a wooden box. (Photo by Brad Moon)

First Impression

Puro clearly wanted to make an impression with the PuroPro headphones. Instead of the usual cardboard packaging, these arrive in a wooden box. I’m not sure if that counts as “green” packaging, but it definitely stands out from the pack.

Inside is a hard, protective carry case. Not everyone includes one of these, often substituting a cloth bag instead. The headphones themselves fold compactly into the case, which also holds an audio cable (with an 85dB sound limiter) and a micro USB charge cable. It would have been nice to see USB-C instead, but it’s far from a deal-breaker.

The headphones themselves look like a lot of other wireless headphones that are on the market. (They reminded me a lot of some of Sony’s ANC headphones.) There’s a lot of matte black plastic, along with black protein leather padding. The look is in stark contrast to the company’s previous headphones that featured rounded, metallic earcups with contrasting padding. The company’s logo is across the top of the headband instead of being printed on the cups. Basically, they don’t stand out visually as being something different, which I suspect is what Puro is going for. Teenagers especially can be reluctant to wear something that is obviously different. The last thing many of them want is headphones that are easily identified as being designed for ear protection.

These headphones fold up into a compact, hard travel case for easy carrying and storage. (Photo by Brad Moon)

These headphones are adjustable, with pivoting earcups, and are hinged for folding. They feel a little loose compared to the BT2200s with their metal construction, but those don’t fold and the hinge adds a lot to the “loose” feel. They seem well-constructed.

Key Specs

• 40mm dynamic drivers with “Puro Balanced Response Curve”
• Dynamic range 20Hz – 20kHz with <1% total harmonic distortion
• Toggle 85dB and 95dB max volume
• 5 microphones
• Dual-level ANC
• Protein leather ear cushions and headband cushion
• Bluetooth 5.0
• 28-hour battery life with ANC, 32-hour without ANC (micro USB charge)
• Includes hard carry case, noise limiting 3.5mm cable, USB charge cable
• 30-day money-back guarantee, 1-year warranty

Audio Performance

The audio specs for these headphones are similar to those of the BT2200s, and that’s not a bad thing. They’re equipped with 40mm drivers, which are tuned using Puro’s “Balanced Response Curve.” What that means in practice is that these headphones offer a very studio-like listening experience. They’re not tweaked to deliver pumping, energetic, music—instead, you get more of a “what the artist intended” delivery. That being said, they offer a solid bass response, but it’s far from overpowering in the mix. It adds just a hint of warmth to the tone as well. I should note that, like many headphones with ANC that I’ve evaluated, these sound best with the ANC on. Turn it off, and the low end tends to drop off.

During my testing, I listened to a wide range of music ranging from classic rock like The Doors to the electronic sound of Kraftwerk. The PuroPro headphones were very comfortable to wear (and more forgiving of large heads than the BT2200s are) and offered a very enjoyable listening experience. There are other wireless headphones in my collection that sound slightly better, with more detail and a wider soundstage—but they also cost two or three times more. At $200, I think the PuroPro headphones offer a great value in terms of audio quality.

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Of course, I should mention that this is despite being sound-limited. By default, the PuroPro headphones cap music playback volume at 85dB. That makes them safe for listening with the volume cranked up for eight hours. The included cable (you can plug in and listen even when the battery is dead) is also limited to 85dB. That makes these headphones a great choice for teenagers.

I was fine with the 85dB volume limit—I usually kept the music volume at 50% and that was plenty loud enough for me. If you want things a little louder, pressing both ends of the volume rocker switch simultaneously toggles between 85dB and 95dB. However, at 95dB, listening with the volume cranked is safe for 50 minutes. You don’t have to tell your kids how to make that change…

For a point of comparison, headphones regularly hit volume levels of 105dB to 110dB. And remember, the dB scale is logarithmic, so every decibel makes a big difference.

ANC Performance

The PuroPro headphones are equipped with five microphones. Two on each ear cup are used for active noise cancellation.

There are two levels of ANC offered. Puro says the first level provides deep noise reduction of 32dB, while the second level provides a more general noise reduction of 15dB. Cycling through the ANC levels and turning ANC off is managed through a dedicated button on the right ear cup.

How well does ANC work? To start with, these are over-ear headphones, and that means they passively block a lot of background noise. However, the ANC helps when things get loud. With ANC active, I wasn’t able to hear myself typing with my mechanical keyboard. Both levels of ANC blocked out the noise of kids talking on the floor below my office, but neither could do much more than muffle sporadic loud noises like the dogs barking. In short, the PuroPro headphones make for a pretty quiet working from home experience.

With ANC active and no music playing, there was no giveaway hiss.

You’d never guess these were sound-limiting headphones. (Photo by Brad Moon)

PuroPro ANC Recommendation

If you’re buying a set of wireless over-ear headphones with active noise cancellation, there’s really nothing to recommend the PuroPros over other headphones in the $200 range. They are certainly competitive, offering high-quality audio, decent ANC, good battery life, and decent looks. But if you care about the potential for hearing loss, the PuroPro headphones’ dual-level volume limiting is a must-have feature and puts these headphones in a class of their own.

Disclosure: Puro provided headphones for evaluation but had no input into this review. As an Amazon Associate, I earn affiliate fees from qualifying purchases.

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This post was last modified on March 18, 2021 3:07 pm

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