The Wearhaus Arc headphones started off on Kickstarter, and despite the site’s iffy reputation, this project launched and is now for sale. It attempts to bring unique features like music sharing to the world of Bluetooth headphones.
Drivers: 40mm neodymium dual diaphragm
Impedance: 28.5 ohms
Bluetooth version: 4.0 with AptX
Battery life: 16 hours, 1200mAh
Where to buy: Wearhaus
The design of these headphones is very simple. There is a single button on the bottom of the left cup to turn them on and off. This button has to be held for 5 seconds, which is a bit long but nothing annoying. Alongside it is a microUSB port. I am disappointed by the lack of USB Type-C, but that port is still young.
On the right side is a 3.5mm jack. If your battery dies, you can continue listening with the included 3.5mm cable.
There are no button controls. Rather, you use the touch-enabled right cup to control the music. Swipe up and down for volume, left and right for song skipping, tap for pausing, and hold for the sharing feature. In practice, this method actually works pretty well and is easier than reaching for small buttons. It occasionally won’t register, but overall it’s a really good feature.
The Wearhaus Arc headphones are built really well. The frame is made out of a nice, lightweight plastic. There is no movement or creaking and no gaps between panels. The adjustment mechanism inside is metal and there are metal accents at the bottom of each cup.
They bend quite a bit and withstand a bit of abuse. I took them traveling and had no problem with them rattling around in a backpack full of other tech items.
They also come with a color-matched fabric bag.
The headband is lined with a plush pad covered in faux leather and the ear pads are ridiculously soft. The clamping pressure is a bit above average but not uncomfortable if they’re positioned right. In fact, they can be worn for hours without a problem. They’re also lightweight, so they won’t cause fatigue.
These headphones feature 40mm neodymium dual diaphragm drivers that do some great work. They’re clear up until maximum volume and they can really shake your head with good bass.
It really depends on preference, but these are very fun sounding headphones. They’re bass heavy without being annoying, rather just powerful. The lows definitely take over though. The highs are a tad muted compared to “audiophile” headphones, though, making vocals sound imperfect. Thankfully, they are not harsh at the top end.
Despite being oriented towards electronic music and rap due to their powerful bass, the Wearhaus Arc headphones are good for almost any genre. They won’t bring out every detail and blow your mind, but they’re a fun listen and something you can happily listen to on the go. They’re not all that loud at full volume, though.
The app has toggles for bass boost and cinema mode. The bass boost overboosts bass, so I didn’t like it. Cinema mode tunes the EQ for a more bright, “3D” sound that might be useful to a lot of people.
It seems that they get significantly louder when wired. You’ll see no obvious improvement using a DAC in wired mode.
A big draw of these headphones is the upgradeable firmware. Recent updates have added improvements like bass boost and a cinema mode, and more cool features are coming soon.
There’s also a mobile app that allows you to control features and lights. The rings on both cups have 3 LEDs each that you can customize. You can choose a solid color from a color wheel, three colors per cup, colors that match the album art, and a move where they pulse. Honestly, the LEDs seem like a gimmick but they’re a lot of fun and very charming.
A legitimate use I’ve found for the LEDs is walking the dog at night. I wear them around my neck with the lights on to be seen, as there are no sidewalks and street lights are few and far between. Wearhaus has accounted for this and allowed the headphones to time out a Bluetooth connection and allow you to just use them for colorful fashion. It may sound silly, but the feature is legitimately cool.
Another feature Wearhaus integrated is music sharing. You can wirelessly connect two pairs together to listen to the same music. It’s a neat idea, but I can’t find a common use case. It would be great for flights, but otherwise it just doesn’t seem so useful.
A big problem with the sharing feature is the delay. There is a fifth of a second delay between the two headphones, meaning movies are not going to be a pleasant watching experience for the second person. Wearhaus says that this will be fixed in a future update.
The battery is 1,200mAh and is rated at 16 hours with the lights off. Of course, music sharing and lights are going to drain the battery faster, bringing that number down to 10 hours.
In real use, it’s tough to kill these headphones. Getting over 10 hours with the lights on is easy even at high volumes. At low volumes, they’ll last even longer.
Some products excel in a specific way, like sound quality or build quality. Others check a bunch of boxes and then some. The latter kind of product is just a joy to use; charming and alluring. Even though the Arc headphones are a jack of all trades and master of none, I find myself consistently coming back to them. I wish the sound quality was flatter and better, but I still end up using them regularly.
They’re fun in more ways than one. The LEDs are fun, the sound signature is fun (especially for bass heavy music) , and they look great. This is the definition of a great product.