Have you ever heard of the Huawei UltimoPower AM180 with active noise canceling? Probably not, but of these interesting in-ear headphones we present today our full review!
Le Huawei UltimoPower AM180 are available for purchase on AliExpress with prices that normally stand between the 40 and 50 euro depending on the seller, most often with free shipping China Registered Mail (the correspondent of our registered mail).
Are you curious to find out how they sound? Then do not miss the review below!
Huawei UltimoPower AM180, the review of GizChina.it
Introduction to Active Noise Canceling
The rush for the latest news and information leaking into the world of mobile telephony is now daily and all this generates an ever greater concentration on the future and on what still has to be marketed or even presented.
This continuous and seemingly endless marathon, of which we are sometimes "victims" and which also represents the mirror of our society (but for this reason a separate and very long discussion should be made), very often it even makes us lose sight of some products presented in a not so distant past, which can "still have their say" and which, even in view of the drop in price generated by the time passed since the launch, can be considered truly interesting products and, perhaps, almost best-buys.
Without this introduction, let's now give an overview of the situations that accompany us on our typical days: by metro or bus for the journey home-work, sitting in a lounge at the airport or on the train or in the plane itself, how many times we would wished to be completely isolated from what surrounds us so that we could fully immerse ourselves in listening to our favorite music?
To help us ensure that this idyllic situation can materialize, we are helped by a technology that is implemented in some audio products and that is precisely in the in-ear headphones Huawei UltimoPower AM180. This technology is called ANC, or theActive Noise Canceling.
Very often we read on the specifications of some headphones the words passive noise cancellation and this refers only to the insulation capacity of the headphones (as an object inserted inside the ear cup), while theActive Noise Canceling, or active noise cancellation, is in fact a "active" technology that, through ad hoc components, acts on the "noise sound" to cancel its effects.
The idea, developed around the 30s and improved over time, proved to be successful and very simple: a sound wave is characterized by oscillations, with peaks ranging from a maximum to a minimum. Inverting maxima and minima and adding the sound - said in opposition - thus obtained with the original sound, a null sound is ideally obtained.
Returning to Huawei UltimoPower AM180, the headphones were presented simultaneously with the H at a close price, if not in some cases higher, ai 100 €.
Headphones Huawei UltimoPower AM180 they are now available at a lower price than the one being presented, we bought them on AliExpress at the price of dollars 46 approximately 42 euro approximately at the current exchange rate including shipping with China Registered Mail.
Huawei UltimoPower AM180: the sales box
The sales package of the LastPower AM180 is larger than those of other classic in-ear headphones. The carton of the sales box is white, with a slight background texture, with the name of the manufacturer and the model in gold and, finally, with a magnetic side opening.
At the opening of the box we find the in-ear headphones in the upper part in plain sight, while in the lower part there is a second small box containing the accessories, or other adapters for the ear cups and the special charging cable from USB to 3.5 mm, all protected by a rigid and thick transparent plastic.
Unfortunately it is not present, but would have been very welcome, a protective bag for carrying headphones when not used or a package to roll them up so as to keep them always tidy.
Huawei UltimoPower AM180: design and build quality
Once the transparent plastic is removed, we find ourselves in front of the object of our review, le Huawei UltimoPower AM180.
Examining the overall appearance of the headphones is immediately evident the high level of quality and the attention of Huawei in the choice of materials and the care taken in constructing these headphones in-ear.
Furthermore, this feeling of quality is also favored by the touch, as the metallic materials offer a feel of greater solidity than standard headphones made of plastic.
The actual earphones have a circular external body made of metal with a very light internal texture (also circular), while on the innermost part, made of plastic material of good quality, it is possible to insert the soft silicone adapters for the auricles.
The cable of the Huawei UltimoPower AM180 is made of soft rubber in the part that goes from the earphones to the control box (for calls and the progress of music) and in an elegant anti-tangle cord up to the gold-plated 3.5mm jack.
Furthermore, the microphone is located on the right earphone cable.
The difference between the Huawei UltimoPower AM180 and common in-ear is highlighted by the presence of the small metal box containing the system ANC for active noise reduction, the small battery that should guarantee its operation for about 2 hours, as well as the on / off button for activating the same.
Finally, there is a circular button for answering calls and for playing music.
Too bad for the absence of a button for volume control, which, therefore, must be performed directly from the connected smartphone (or tablet).
A particular technology resides within the jack from 3.5mm that, if inserted into theHin addition to offering all the typical functions of the earphones, it also guarantees the contemporary charging the ANC module.
The headphones can still be recharged with the USB / 3.5mm cable supplied (recharging also starts in OTG).
Huawei UltmoPower AM180: comfort
As anticipated above, in the endowment of the Huawei UltimoPower AM180 there are several silicone adapters for the different ear cups and therefore such as to ensure good comfort for all users. Furthermore, the part of the cable closest to the earphones passes inside a small slot which, forming a headband, guarantees stability to the earphone once worn.
Finally, to guarantee further comfort also with regard to the small metal box, where the main controls reside, there is a clip thanks to which we could easily hook it onto our jacket or shirt.
Huawei UltimoPower AM180: some technical data
The technical specifications of the Huawei UltimoPower AM180 position these in-ear in the medium-high range of the market, even if today it is possible to buy them at a much lower price than the launch price and much lower than most of many other solutions, which are not equipped with active noise reduction.
Here are the complete specifications of Huawei UltimaPower AM180:
- Impedance: 32Ω;
- maximum power: 10mW;
- rated power: 5mW;
- noise cancellation system: ANC (Active Noise Cancellation);
- active noise reduction: 15-30dB;
- integrated 19mAh battery;
- jack: 3.5 mm + USB / 3.5mm charging adapter;
Thanks to the low level of nominal impedance (32Ω), with the Huawei UltimoPower Am180 good volume levels can also be reached when used with smartphones or other "portable" devices; moreover, the ANC system guarantees greater cleaning from the whistles during calls.
Huawei UltimoPower AM180: audio performance
As repeatedly highlighted in our other reviews, it is fundamental for the overall judgment of the use of both an adequate audio source and digital media with features such as to highlight the merits and defects of the tested headphones.
It is also true that not everyone, for example, is in possession of a smartphone equipped with a professional audio sector, which obviously guarantees a better listening quality, just as not everyone uses music in FLAC, which, while guaranteeing less data loss, are characterized by dimensions in terms of megabytes very "demanding" and, therefore, such as to exhaust the internal memory of the "host" device much more quickly.
To test the Huawei UltimoPower AM180 we chose to use well three devices representing three different market ranges, namely the entry-level, the mid-range and the "Top".
For the entry-level smartphone range we have relied on the Meizu M2, an inexpensive device equipped with technology alone Dirac HD, as well as the possibility of equalize the sound on pre-set levels plus a manual mode (with which you can choose the equalization levels to your liking).
As for the mid-range we used the Xiaomi Redmi Notes 2 Prime, with seven-band equalizer and of the function "Mi-Sound" which allows you to choose the optimal audio configuration based on the type of in-ear (Xiaomi brand) used.
Finally, for the Top of the range we carried out our test with the Meizu Pro 5, or a smartphone equipped with a high-profile audio compartment, consisting of a dedicated audio chip ES9018K2M (the same as the Meizu MX4 Pro and the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro) and a professional amplifier OPA 1612, which guarantees a powerful, clean and balanced sound in headphones.
The songs that were heard for the test are the ones that follow, all in FLAC format (Free Lossless Audio Codec) a 44khz and 16-bit (CD quality):
- Marilyn Manson - The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles;
- Coldplay - Adventure of a Lifetime;
- Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne - Rather Be;
- Duke Dumont ft. Jax Jones - I Got U.
What did we find during listening using the three different devices?
Starting from the "upper floors" and, therefore, starting with the Meizu Pro 5 it is certainly evident that the implementations of the audio system of this smartphone show a decisive impact on listening to music: the sound is warmer, it is very balanced and in any gain setting condition Hi-Fi and even with the volume at maximum there is absolutely no distortion phenomenon. Furthermore, the power in terms of sound emitted by the device is clearly perceptible, so much so that by placing, for example, the headphones on a table and bringing the volume to maximum, it is possible to clearly hear the song played in the environment in which there you are.
As regards the Meizu M2, however, despite the different range of belonging, the "small" of the Chinese manufacturer has still impressed positively and even in this case with the maximum volume there are no distortion phenomena, although the sound is less clean and even less full-bodied. The general level of "sound power" is instead decent, but still acceptable if we consider the price range of the device.
Lo Xiaomi Redmi Notes 2 Prime it is instead the device with which it is most difficult to find the right mix between sound quality and power. The latter, for example, despite being higher than what was found on the Meizu M2, it is indeed difficult to manage. Let us try to better explain this "concept".
Activating the "Mi Sound" (ie an optimization of the sound for the various models of headphones Xiaomi) the best compromise is obtained by activating the option relative to "Piston 3", while with all the other presets when the volume is increased there are phenomena of sound distortion, which obviously does not occur with the function "Mi Sound" disabled. Furthermore, on the Xiami Redmi Note 2 Prime, in addition to a standard equalization mode, are also present 10 pre-set levels.
Among the 3 devices tested, therefore, the Redmi Note 2 Prime is the one with which we must devote ourselves more to the search for the right compromise to obtain a good quality level in listening.
In general, the audio performances of the LastPower AM180 guarantee a good level of maximum power, not emphasizing a particular tone. The bass is not very powerful and, therefore, these headphones are not recommended for those who prefer to perceive the body and power of these tones.
However, in most listening conditions it is not necessary to turn the volume level to maximum to get good power output.
It must be said that the Huawei UltimoPower AM180 they can also be used without ANC (they are indeed equipped with switch on / off) and even in this mode of use they are very balanced in all listening conditions.
Finally, again in relation to the system ANC, it is important to underline that in order to clearly perceive the benefits, one must be in conditions of high level of external noise. Just to give an example, using headphones with active ANC in the car and in the queue in urban traffic you can perceive a feeling of total isolation from the outside, which, from some points of view, could also be dangerous.
Surely what is most appreciated about these interesting in-ear is the general cleanliness of the sound in all listening conditions, in particular when theANC.
Huawei UltimoPower AM180: photo gallery
Huawei UltimoPower AM180: conclusions
In conclusion, we really appreciated these in-ear headphones, not only for the overall quality of the construction and the materials used, but also for the very nice design.
During the official presentation, the UltimoPower AM180 were compared to the Bose QC20 and, according to what was declared by Huawei, are considered better than the latter in terms of sound distortion and noise reduction capacity.
However, as already briefly anticipated, we can tell you that they are not headphones for those who are "sick people" of bass; the sound is engaging, warm and certainly balanced, which makes them suitable for listening to songs of any musical genre. What is certainly an advantage to date is the price, as the Huawei UltimoPower AM180 can be found on AliExpress at a price that is around the 50 € (except customs), or a "quotation" which, considering the quality with which they are built and the system ANC, can make them a best buy in the category, especially if we consider i 299 € necessary for purchase (su Amazon.it) of the Bose QC20.
Alternatively, the Huawei UltimaPower are also available on Amazon.it (sold and shipped from Amazon) for the price of 119 € with Amazon Prime shipping included.