I spent three weeks with the new IRIS headphones to produce this IRIS Headphones Review. IRIS states that their headphones are “Revolutionary new headphones that deliver an audio experience that dramatically improves sound quality while simultaneously activating your brain. This is Active Listening.” and with its ‘Patented Algorithm “IRIS technology doesn’t take you back to the CD or vinyl era, IRIS takes you back to the room where the music was originally recorded.”
When it comes to headphones you’re spoilt for choice. From the cabled ones included with your latest smartphone through to the studio-quality over-ear headphones that let you sink into the latest album in your playlist, the choice can seem overwhelming.
With the recent pandemic forcing more people to work from home, away from the eyes and ears of management and the banter of peers, music has been a strong source of focus and allows you to zone in on your current task, and the IRIS headphones have been created with that in mind.
But for the premium price tag of £379, is it worth it?
The IRIS Headphones Review
The case that the IRIS headphones come with is nothing out of the ordinary, and to be expected from any over-the-ear headphones in today’s age.
“Revolutionary new headphones”
The case is made of a hard shell covered in a smooth fabric with the IRIS logo in the centre and a zip the runs around the edge. The IRIS headphones rest inside nicely with an accessories pouch containing the cables.
The build quality, for me, does leave something to be desired. With the price tag comes an expectation of better materials and I don’t feel like the IRIS headphones match up to this expectation. The extendable feature that allows them to extend or retract feel loose at in your hands and can be ‘rattled’ and the faux leather material that covers the earpieces and headband feel cheap to the touch and could benefit from being a bit thicker. The overall comfort of the headphones is good though when compared to the average consumer headphones.
When it comes to functionality and user-friendliness, the IRIS headphones have some room for improvement. I often found myself removing the headphones when wanting to trigger the Bluetooth search function and the audible trigger would sometimes not play so I was unsure whether or not I had done the right button. The layout of the buttons are ok themselves and can be reached easily with your right thumb, with a volume up, play/pause, and volume down buttons at the top in descending order followed by the confusing ‘toggle’ switch which needs to be flicked down for off, central for on and held up to trigger Bluetooth.
The Audio triggers when turning the IRIS headphones on and off, and when connecting and disconnecting to new devices is of a disappointing quality and are of very poor sound quality, the sharpness or the ‘Max Volume’ audio trigger also ironically disturbs focus and could do with a much softer trigger, if any at all.
The overall sound quality of the IRIS headphones is good, but it’s just that. It is hard to put on the headphones knowing the price tag and reading “Our patented technology brings you back to the room where the music was originally recorded. Experience rich, immersive sound from all audio—streaming music, video, spoken word, and more.” and not expect a superior and previously unheard audio quality, but for me, the expected level of audio quality just wasn’t there.
The sound quality is objectively good and boosts good bass levels that are enough to give the headphones a noise-canceling quality which certainly improves focus when you’re stuck into a task.
I did download the ISIS headphones app on the google play store but I was unable to get my choice of music to play on the app as it requires a premium Spotify account which I do not have and this appears to be the only way to listen to the true IRIS experience, which is disappointing as it when listening to some of the stock songs it appears to just be a toggle switch on the screen that improves the quality of the track so getting the full experience of the IRIS headphones from an online radio station of YouTube isn’t possible.
The IRIS headphones are solid headphones.
They are comfortable to wear, the sound quality is good and they are very stylish headphones but all of this is to be expected of today’s headphones, IRIS claimed to go above the standard and even set a new bar but I feel like this bar has been missed in the initial release of the headphones.
The price is too much to ignore when you use the headphones, the £379 price tag demands a higher level of quality both in build and sound, something that a pair of £129 Beats headphones hits with ease.
I applaud IRIS for attempting to push the boundaries on sound and look forward to what’s to come from the company in the future! Hope you enjoyed my IRIS headphones review.
>> For more information, see the IRIS official website!