A friend of mine started working for LeEco a few months ago, so I’ve been introduced to this curiously-named, but wildly ambitious Chinese company who is entering the US market in various categories (mainly audio and TVs for now – Android bikes and electronic cars may come later). Oh, they also make smartphones. LeEco sells their products via LeMall, a site where their already-affordable products often go on “Flash Sale” for 50% off, meaning these Leme Bluetooth Headphones that are already cheap at $39.99 go for a simply-crazy $14.99 (which is what I paid for them). So how do they stack up? Here’s a quick review.
- LeEco did something quite impressive: they created attractively designed headphones made of excellent materials that sell for an affordable price – these look and feel like $99+ headphones. I have never used any product at this price point that looked this good.
- They have extremely good audio quality – I’ve only had one set of Bluetooth headphones before this pair, so I don’t have a wealth of comparison data, but I can say that both music and movies sound as they should. Because these are on-ear, you’re not going to get that booming bass, but overall music sounds great. Movies sound excellent – spoken audio is crisp and clear, unlike the other set of Bluetooth headphones I have where audio is extremely muddy.
- Strong battery life – they last for at least six hours of audio. I tend to charge them every third day (when I actually use them that is – see below). I should note that I didn’t benchmark this as I never want them to run out of power mid-movie, so I’m unsure of how long they’re supposed to last. LeEco only mentions 26 days of standby time; there’s no mention of usage time.
- LeEco sells them for an affordable price (INCREDIBLY affordable if you wait for the flash sale and get them 50% off).
- Black, white, and a glorious red. LeEco knows how to pick great colours; so many headphones like this from other companies come in grotesque colours.
- Simple audio controls for volume up, down, next and skip. They work well.
- The headphones also have a built-in mic. I never tested this, nor would I use it day to day, but it would be handy for some people.
- These headphones are too small for my North American adult male head (I’m 6’1″). I use them fully extended and they barely fit my head. My wife uses them un-extended (she’s 5’10”), so they are sized for someone between her head size and mine. Apparently I have a big noggin’?
- If you’re anything like me, your brain pronounces the product name as “Lame Bluetooth Headphones”. LeEco’s focus on putting “Le” or “La” in front of every product name comes across as peculiar, especially to someone like me who has a bit of French language in his background. Everything sounds like a French gourmet dish.
- They are quite painful to wear; after 30 minutes, they start to hurt a bit. At the end of an hour’s use, my ears hurt quite badly. If I use them now, every few minutes I lift them off my ears to relieve the pressure. This does not make for an enjoyable experience. Also worth noting here: I have no other on-ear headphones, only over-the-ear headphones, so I have nothing to compare them with. Maybe all on-ear headphones would cause me pain? My wife used them for an evening and they also hurt her head – so the discomfort comes from pressure placed on the ear and is not specifically from a sizing issue (since since wears them un-extended). I don’t know how extensively LeEco tested these, but they need to do more testing in the real world and talk to customers.
If LeEco can figure out the comfort issue, these would be 5-star headphones for the price. At the moment, I can’t reccomend them to anyone due to how much physical discomfort they cause. At $15 on sale, you can roll the dice and see if your pain threshold is higher than mine, or your ears are immune to pain…