A few weeks ago, I reviewed the Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 headphones with active noise cancelling; they were an excellent cheaper alternative option to the Bose wireless headphones which cost around £100 more. However, at £229 they are still going to be a significant investment for many people.
The Groov-e Elite is a possible budget alternative costing just £69.99 direct from groov-e.co.uk. Groov-e does have products on Amazon (including cassette players!) but sadly not these headphones.
The Groov-e Elite features:
- 40mm Neodymium drivers for premium sound
- Active noise cancelling which can be enabled or disabled
- 10 hours of wireless playback
- Built-in microphone for hands-free conversation
- Controls on the ear cup for full control of your media
- A removable 3.5mm cable
- Folding design for convenience when travelling
The folding design makes these similar to the budget August EP650 I reviewed last week. While these also have an all plastic construction with PVC coating foam ear cups, the overall build quality feels a lot better. They are a long way off the Bose QuietComfort 35 or the Backbeat Pro 2, but for the price, the build is decent for the price.
Design-wise, they are very generic, being all black with a groov-e logo in the right ear that lights up when switched on.
The headband can be expanded to cater for various sized heads, and the earcups fold inwards reducing the overall size. Once folded up you can place them in the supplied hard case so transporting them around is quite safe.
As with most Bluetooth headphones you have all the controls you need on the headphone, plus the option to turn on or off the ANC via the button on the right earcup which has the logo on it. When the ANC is on the LED around the logo glows green, with it off it glows blue. There is no volume control on the headphones themselves.
It is worth highlighting that the power and ANC appear to be completely separate. So if you have ANC on when listening to music and power them off, the ANC stays on, and if you then forget to switch this off, you will likely have a flat battery when you come back to them.
The sound quality is OK, there is nothing glaringly bad about them, but they are a little flat. There is no tininess or harshness to the mids or trebles. Bass is reasonably well presented but not dominant, and it can be a bit muddy, these are certainly not a pair of cans for a bass head.
For whatever reason, there is a noticeable improvement in sound quality when you switch noise cancelling on. The bass sounds more well balanced.
The noise cancelling isn’t class-leading, but for the price, it is reasonably impressive. These won’t drown on chatter in a busy office, but the combination of the ANC and music should allow you to get on with your work distraction free. As with many ANC headphones, the main noise cancelling comes from the low ends and the block out the low-end hum from engine noise quite well. For example, if using them on a plane, you should be able to listen to music or movies without too much background noise.
Overall, if you are looking for a cheap pair of active noise cancelling headphones, these are a viable option. Based on the pricing the perform well but understandable struggle to compete with the more expensive and established ANC headphones on the market.
These would be good for someone that does flies abroad occasionally, especially long-haul flights, but not often enough to justify the cost of the Bose/Plantronics.
For regular daily use, I would be inclined to invest in some good quality none active cancelling headphones. For example, I found the August EP650 had better overall sound quality, and these cost less than half the price.
Groov-e Elite Wireless Headphones with Active Noise Cancelling
Product Name: Groov-e Elite Wireless Headphones with Active Noise Cancelling
Offer price: 69.99
Build and Design - 70%
Audio Performance - 65%
ANC performance - 70%
Price - 80%