• December 7, 2022

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Active noise cancellation is high on the feature list for headphones shoppers these days. The feature’s ability to virtually eliminate background noise made them a favorite with travellers, but over the past two years, ANC headphones have become indispensable when working from home. Popular over-ear ANC wireless headphones from market leaders like Sony and Bose are typically priced at $300 and up. Treblab’s Z7-Pro wireless headphones with hybrid ANC aim to deliver the same functionality — along with great sound and some advanced features like touch control – for around half that price.

A Comfortably Familiar Design

Unboxing the Treblab Z7-Pro headphones, the first thing that struck me is the familiar design. Treblab isn’t trying to stand out by looking different. From a distance, it would be easy to mistake these for a pair of Sonys. There’s a lot of plastic, but the build quality feels solid and weight is kept down. Protein leather covers memory foam padding on the headband and ear cups.

The expected adjustability is there including tilt and swivel ear cups, plus a headband that can extend a little more than many I’ve tried. The headphones are comfortable to wear for extended sessions, and when you want to put them away, they fold into the included zippered hard case.

Hybrid ANC Works As Advertised

The Treblab Z7-Pros use a hybrid ANC system. This means mics both inside the earcups and outside. The approach allows the system to anticipate audio (based on the outside mics) in addition to acting on the sound as the wearer’s ears hear it. Hybrid ANC results in better cancellation at all frequencies. The Treblab Z7-Pros are equipped with four mics for ANC, plus two external mics that also support ambient noise cancellation on voice calls.

It helps that these are over-ear headphones. That alone offers passive noise reduction that blocks a large amount of background noise. Turn on ANC and ambient noise largely disappears. In testing, I found it worked very well. My pounding away on my mechanical keyboard or the dogs barking downstairs would still register, but barely. Everything else — music playing in my office, the kids arguing, a TV in the background, and cars passing by my window — was silenced.

This ANC also includes a transparency mode. Turn it on and those external mics are used to pipe background sound in. Noise that you couldn’t hear because of the earcups’ passive noise blocking now becomes much clearer. It’s useful if you want to hear a conversation without removing the headphones.

There is a physical switch that cycles through the three ANC modes, with a helpful voice announcement whenever you make a switch.

Enjoyable Music Playback

ANC is great, but if the headphones sound terrible, it’s not much use. Fortunately, the Treblab Z7-Pro headphones sound pretty good. They use Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX and AAC support for wireless connectivity, or you can plug in with the 3.5mm audio jack. I found audio is dynamic, with plenty of energy and a solid (but not overpowering) bass. Therese are not claiming to be audiophile headphones, but I was happy listening to music with them for a few hours at a time.

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Treblab Z7-Pro Key Specs:

  • Over-ear headphones with protein leather-covered memory foam padded ear cups and headband
  • 40mm drivers with 20 Hz – 20 kHz frequency response
  • Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX, AAC, SBC
  • Hybrid ANC with 4 mics and transparency mode
  • 2 mics for voice calls with ENC
  • On-device touch control for music, voice assistant
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Button-controlled ANC
  • IPX4 water resistant
  • Battery life up to 45 hours with ANC off, up to 30 hours with ANC active
  • Charges via USB-C (2.5 hours to full, 20min fast-charge for 5 hours play time).
  • Weighs 8.68 ounces
  • Includes hard travel case, USB-C cable, 3.5mm audio cable

Battery Life

Wireless headphones have two key advantages over wireless earbuds. One is superior audio quality, and the other is battery life. There is a lot more room for drivers and batteries in an ear cup…

In the case of the Treblab Z7-Pros, that means up to 45 hours of use between charges. Cranking the volume will reduce that, of course. The biggest impact is ANC. Turn the feature on and it knocks the rated battery life down to around 30 hours. In testing, I didn’t have the volume particularly high, and I regularly topped 35 hours with ANC on.

Touch Controls

I want to mention the Treblab Z7-Pro touch controls. You can control basic functions like volume level, pausing, and skipping tracks with the on-ear touch control son the outer surface of one earcup. That’’s nothing groundbreaking. Many headphones and earbuds now incorporate touch controls.

However, I found these actually worked well, and that’s a win. I find that headphones touch controls are often unintuitive and fussy. Not the case with the Treblab Z7-Pros. Inputs almost always registered and I didn’t have to keep checking the manual to figure out the gestures.

Treblab Z7-Pro Recommendation

You won’t go wrong with a pair of Sony’s noise-cancelling headphones (like the 1000X M3s I reviewed in 2019). The same with a pair of Bose QuietComfort headphones. However, not everyone has the budget for these. You’ll find tons of cheap wireless headphones with ANC on Amazon, but ask yourself what kind of experience are you really going to have with no-name headphones priced at $50?

The Treblab Z7-Pro headphones find that middle ground. They’re not “cheap” but with an MSRP of $159.97, these headphones cost about half what the more expensive, better-known market leaders do.

Despite the substantial savings, you get a nice pair of wireless headphones with decent build quality, comfortable earpads, ANC that is very effective, great sound, long battery life, touch controls that work, and a hard carrying case. If you’re looking for headphones with ANC support and don’t want to spend $300, Treblab’s Z7-Pro headphones are a solid option.

Disclosure: Treblab provided headphones for evaluation purposes but had no input into this review.

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