Beyerdynamic is the oldest audio company in the world that still remains active today. That’s not an exaggeration – the German audio equipment manufacturer has been family owned since 1924 and is still going strong, a handful of years shy of its century anniversary. Over the decades, Beyerdynamic have remained a reliable choice for customers looking for excellent sound quality and craftsmanship. These qualities have successfully transferred over to the company’s latest offering – the Lagoon ANC Explorer, Beyerdynamic’s first attempt at wireless noise-cancelling headphones which pack some nifty features hidden behind its lavish presentation.
The Beyerdynamic Lagoon ANC Explorer comes stowed in a matte black triangular hard case. It’s a great first impression; the hard case is rugged enough to withstand a careless toss into a backpack, yet remaining reasonably chic in its countenance. The colour scheme is absolutely gorgeous on the Explorer – the inclusion of dark brown stylishly complements its shades of grey and black.
The headphones are mainly constructed from plastic and bolstered with aluminium for the headband and earcup extenders. The cushioning on the Lagoon ANC Explorer almost feels like memory foam; when depressed, it takes a moment for the pad to fully recover. The bottom portion of the earcup cushions are slightly thicker than the top, allowing for an excellent natural seal when in use.
When first switched on, an LED ring hidden inside the earcups’ interior glows to life, and an automated voice informs you about the remaining battery charge and the currently selected noise cancellation setting. The lights intelligently correspond to whatever action the headphones are currently performing. When pairing, they slowly pulse blue and white. I really can’t stress enough how slick this is – tiny external LEDs are now simply tacky in comparison.
Initial impressions on sound quality were excellent; these cans instantly painted an incredibly wide soundstage, with a certain punchiness in the lower mids. Beyerdynamic are well known for their stunning clarity in the bass end, and the Lagoon ANC Explorer firmly reinforces that notion. The midrange and top end both performed impeccably and never felt too compressed or shrill. Freddie Gibbs and Madlib’s Bandana presented booming kick drums and thumping basslines, while Thom Yorke’s ghostly, glassy vocals easily pierced through the synth-heavy haze on Anima.
The controls are located on the right earcup and are simple enough to operate. One governs the power and pairing, while the other selects between the ANC (automatic noise cancelling) stages. The noise cancelling feature works adequately; while it doesn’t provide complete isolation, it does a great job at eliminating almost all unwanted frequencies. Two levels of ANC filtering are available; I found level one to be perfect for daily commuting.
Touch controls located on the surface of the right earcup were a breeze to use. The swipe gestures were incredibly responsive, and touch sensitivity could even be modified in the Beyerdynamic’s MIY mobile app. The app itself offers an intriguing six-minute hearing test, examines the results, then produces a personalised EQ that claims to give you a “near perfect” sound experience. Furthermore, the MIY app tracks both the volume and amount of time you listen to music, warning you to take a break if your listening session has the potential to damage your hearing in the long run – how considerate.
All in all, I was overly impressed by the Lagoon ANC Explorer. From its stylish looks to its excellent sound reproduction, it seems like Beyerdynamic have knocked this one out of the park. It’s a brilliant choice if you’re looking for a durable, good-sounding and good-looking pair of wireless headphones.
Hits and Misses
Excellent build quality and aesthetics
Great sound reproduction