It used to be that you couldn’t walk down the street without getting caught up in someone’s mess of wires attached to their smartphone while they were listening to a few tunes. These days though? Aside from those societal reprobates who play their music their phone speaker in public, wires are in the past!
Bluetooth headphones are all the rage, and while the likes of Apple and Huawei have brought out top-tier hardware for your ears, there’s a wealth of more budget-friendly options to be found in the wild from brands that you’ve never heard of before. Coumi is one such example, but with the company having sent me its Coumi ANC-860 headphones for review, I decided to give lend them my ear.
The elevator pitch is simple: Headphones, noise-cancelling features, and Bluetooth 5.0 all in one handy setup. The case it arrived in was lovely stuff, plastic with a matte finish. It’s admittedly a bit on the bulky side, but the rounded square shape provides a surprisingly ergonomic fit in your hand or your pocket so you hardly realise that you even have it. Like other models in this category, you can open it up easily enough and leave your headphones in there to securely charge when you’re not listening to Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy.
As for the earbuds themselves? They’re quite nicely designed. They’re not in-ear models like the last kit I reviewed from 1MORE, but they do straddle that line with a rubber tip that sits securely on your ear canal entrance. It’s not the most snug fit, but for those of us who prefer not to have a piece of nipple-shaped rubber rammed down our ear-holes, it’s a comfy design.
When it comes to audio, you’re pretty much getting what you pay for. The ANC-860 has a good sound, but it’s neither terrible nor exceptional. For budget purposes and easy listening, it’s superb stuff with a very clear midrange of sound and a rich treble to just about any track you throw at it. The bass isn’t overdone either, resulting in a balanced sound that provides a more than acceptable level of clarity to whatever you’re listening to.
Coumi’s other key draw with this headset is its ability to activate noise-cancelling. It’s…it’s alright I guess. Again for the price, it’s amazing that this is an option but it’s not going to rival Sony’s current selection of WHX headsets either. I tried it at gym, and while the ANC-860 couldn’t drown out the godawful music being pumped through the speakers at my local muscle-shack it did do a decent job at muffling ambient noise and spinning class instructors around me.
I even decided to emulate some airplane noise, by hopping on my bicycle and going for a few spins around the block, working up a sweat and some speed so that I could get a rush of air around me, to which the ANC-860 did a solid job at minimising that particular natural audio. There’s also a stack of touch commands that the headphones are capable of providing, with each touch command being surprisingly responsive and quick when activated. Again, not bad for a budget kit.
The battery life wasn’t too bad either, as I regularly got 4-5 hours with ANC switched on and around 6-7 hours when it was turned off. The carrying case provides a massive reservoir of power when fully charged, as I was able to grab a refill while on the move several times before I had to leave it for a few hours to recharge. The fact that it uses USB-C for its cable charging, is another point in this kits book.
If you fancy a pair for yourself, you can grab them here on Amazon. Use the code 3Y4TK863 and you’ll get a 40% discount as well.
Read our best gaming earbuds guide here.
Last Updated: November 3, 2021