REVIEW: Shure AONIC 40 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones
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“You sound... cool!”
This was the response that my Mom gave when I asked her how I sounded while calling her using my Shure AONIC 40 headphones. It certainly wasn’t the response I was expecting, but it was definitely the most unique answer she’s given when I’ve called her with other headphones and earbuds that I’ve reviewed.
And you know what? It felt pretty darn cool. The audio clarity was as crisp as I’ve ever heard it on a phone call and it felt like I wasn’t even wearing a headset. The Shure AONIC 40 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones are great for streaming or gaming, but they absolutely shine as a perfect headset for everyday use.
The AONIC 40s are Shure’s latest headphones that come with the promise of exceptional comfort and world-renowned, high-end sound that the audio company is known for, with all of the bells and whistles that you might expect from a upper tier headphone, including:
Adjustable noise cancellation – Three digital ANC settings for extended low-frequency cancellation and a natural experience (I’ll touch on that last part in a second)
Environment Mode - Allows you to listen in on the world around you
Lightweight and portable design, with long-wearing comfort and durability
Up to 25 hours battery life with USB-C quick charging
Bluetooth 5 Wireless Technology
3.5mm analog audio input
ShurePlus Play app connectivity
Connecting the AONIC 40s is as easy as it can be, whether I’m wirelessly connecting to my phone or computer via Bluetooth, or using the aux cable to use the headphones with my Xbox Series S and PS5. Especially in regards to the wireless connection, I’ve never had such an effortless setup. Often, I’ve found that adding the same Bluetooth headset on multiple devices can cause confusion, making it difficult for the headset to function properly. The AONIC 40s have never struggled with this yet, even when I go from listening to music on my phone to quickly jumping onto my laptop for a Zoom call. It’s a small detail, but it makes for one of the best connectivity experiences I’ve had in a headset.
The ANC feature is also one of the better experiences I’ve had with a set of headphones. I typically don’t use ANC because it often sounds too artificial. It’s interesting, though, that the product description actually describes the AONIC 40’s ANC as a “natural experience” – because that’s exactly how I feel while using ANC. It doesn’t sound overdone or over-engineered. The ANC just sounds and feels great, “feeling” having an immense impact on music’s performance on the AONIC 40s. The default listening mode is just as phenomenal, especially with the headphone’s customizable EQ and integration with the ShurePlus Play app. I’ve never been a big user of headphone apps, but I do think that ShurePlus Play offers up a great way to configure your settings to your tastes.
In terms of gaming, the AONIC 40s are unsurprisingly up to the task. The 3.5mm analog audio input allows for easy plug-and-play connectivity, allowing me to have an upper hand while playing first-person shooters such as Apex Legends or Halo Infinite. It’s tough for opponents to get the jump on me from around a corner when I can hear their footsteps coming from a mile away. Ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that my K-D ratio has improved ever since I started gaming with the AONIC 40s….
As great as they are for gaming, I think that the Shure AONIC 40 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones are best suited for everyday life, whether you’re using them for online meetings, watching movies, or listening to music. They are also super comfortable and allow for long periods of extended use. I’d love to use them as my workout headphones, but they are just too nice for me to want to get them all sweaty. If you’re alright with that, though, you’ll definitely feel the motivation in your workout playlist while using these headphones.
And let’s not forget – coming back to the opening of this review – my Mom thinks that they are “cool.” That kind of high praise for the Shure AONIC 40 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones should be all that you need.
A product sample was provided to GamingPizza for this review. The Shure AONIC 40 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones are available now for $249 from Shure’s website and Amazon.