Tong Zhang
(Senior Editor)
08/28/15 03:49 PM
Polk Audio Hinge Wireless Headphones Review

Polk Audio has been making speakers for home theaters and car stereos for over forty years and now they're bringing the rich audio heritage to wireless headphones for mobile. The Polk Audio Hinge Wireless Headphones feature a very durable and long lasting design, and are super comfortable to wear. But the thing that stands out the most is its excellent audio quality that's unmatched by any wireless Bluetooth headphones we have ever put over our ears. The Hinge Wireless comes in three color options: Black, Navy and Camel.



The Polk Audio Hinge Wireless Headphones are both extremely comfortable to wear and have a classic look. The sturdy aluminum frame is wide at the top, a design that ensures the headband never pinches regardless of the shape and size of your head. The foldable hinges are also made of metal and have smooth sliding action yet stay in place. The protein leather exterior feels smooth and soft, and it's hand-stitched in contrasting colors to the leather colors. The headband has adequate padding but the cups have soft and thick padding. The ear cups have a slight up and down pivot motion to enhance the comfort and secure the headphones on the ear.

The Polk Audio Hinge Wireless Headphones have a vintage classic car aesthetic thanks to the leather exterior with silver aluminum accents, yet they look clean and modern as well. The headphones have only one button, even though you can control media playback, adjust volume and pair via Bluetooth using the single button. The headphones have a port on each of the ear cups, one is a micro USB charging port that illuminates soft light in different colors to indicate battery levels, charging status, etc. and the other is an AUX jack for a wired connection. There's also a built-in mic for making phone calls using the Hinge Wireless. Each of the three color options work well with the overall design of the headphones. The black version has a gunmetal look with silver stitching; the blue version (pictured here) has navy blue outside and dark tan leather inside with silver stitching, and the camel version is off white on the outside and dark tan on the inside with tan stitching.



Polk Audio built these headphones for travelers who needed noise blocking headphones during their trips, but the Hinge Wireless headphones offer so much more! The audio quality tops any Bluetooth headphones we've recently tested and it seems that the Hinge Wireless achieves it all effortlessly but there's a lot of engineering expertise that went into the design. The Hinge Wireless has very good high, mid and low balance right out of the box, and this is thanks to the materials, the housing design and the tuning. The 40mm driver is made of lightweight PET and housed in a vented enclosure. According to Polk Audio, these drivers were developed using their Dynamic Balance design process that uses the variables of materials technology and diaphragm geometry to discover the right balance for the drivers' performance goals. With the Hinge Wireless, Polk has taken a new approach to headphone system design called POET, Polk Optimized Electro-acoustic Tuning.

Another characteristic of the Hinge Wireless is its outstanding clarity. Employing the company's SoundClear technology, the headphones offer very clear audio quality for outgoing voice calls. We tested it with various genres of music tracks, with movies and games, on mobile phones, tablets and laptops; and found the headphones performed admirably in every test.

For music and movie playback, the Hinge Wireless exhibits good separation with excellent dynamic range, setting a very good sound stage for a pair of wireless headphones. The bass in most music genres and movie sound FX is deep but not overwrought or muddying the tracks with dirty boom. Vocals are excellently clear, full and rich in all music tracks or movie dialogues. Orchestra pieces sounds particularly good, beating out some very high-end wired headphones via SPDIF output. The Hinge Wireless headphones present the full timbre quality in orchestra instruments and each instrument gets captured realistically.



The Polk Audio Hinge Wireless Headphones come with Bluetooth aptX and AAC that ensure the wireless stereo audio streaming sounds good on your phone or tablet. The headphones are easy to pair. If you have devices that support NFC pairing, simply tap the NFC spot on the Hinge Wireless to pair, or you can hold the single button on the headphones for a few seconds to pair with your phone or tablet via Bluetooth. The headphones offer audio feedback when you turn them on, off or into pairing mode. We paired it with several phones, tablets and notebooks, and had no trouble pairing them with any device. In our tests, we didn't experience any noticeable audio streaming delay via the wireless connection.

The Polk Audio Hinge Wireless Headphones has a built-in rechargeable battery and comes with a micro USB charging cable as well as a 3.5mm audio cable. The headphones take about 2 hours to fully charge from empty and offer 12 hours of music playtime. They can continue to operate after the battery runs out of power, just plug in the 3.5mm audio cable to continue your music and movie playback.



Conclusion

At 7.6 ounces and folding into a small package, the Polk Audio Hinge Wireless Headphones can be your perfect travel companion. They offer good noise isolation and very comfortable design. But even more than for traveling, the Hinge Wireless can satisfy the audiophiles on the go who might be using their phones, tablets or laptops as music playback tools. The top-notch audio quality is the best we've seen in a long time on a pair of Bluetooth wireless headphones. The build is sturdy and the headphones should last you for a while. Phone calls sound excellent too, and the Bluetooth is easy to use. We highly recommend the Hinge Wireless to anyone who craves high quality audio on the go!

Specs:

Electrical - Max Sensitivity
107dB

Electrical - Nominal Impedance
32 Ohms

Electrical - Total Frequency Response
(-12 dB) 10-21 kHz (+/-5 dB)

Electrical Voice Coil - Magnet Weight
Yes

Headphone Specs - Included Cables
48 length

Headphone Specs - Input Connections
3.5 mm

Headphone Specs - Style
On-ear

Headphone Specs Transducer - Diameter
40mm

Headphone Specs Transducer - Type
Active Dynamic Balance

Editor's Ratings (1-5): 5
What's Hot: Classic look and feel, top-notch audio quality, very easy to use, and folds into small package.
What's Not: None.
Price: $199.95
Website: Polk Audio

Reviewed by: Tong Zhang









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