Hands-on review: OneOdio Focus A10 Hybrid Bluetooth ANC headphones
Image credit: Oneodio
Keep more of the world out and more money in your pocket with these full-featured, full-size headphones.
We recently reviewed OneOdio's dedicated studio-oriented wired headphones, the Monitor 60. They were strictly for listening to audio in the old-school way.
The Focus A10s on review here are a return to the thoroughly modern world of Bluetooth 5.0, true wireless, active noise-cancelling headphones.
This is the Silver, 'Hybrid', version, which distinguishes it from last year's Black model. This Silver iteration (actually more of a blue-grey) is described as 'upgraded' by the company, although there's no obvious indication on the website as to what exactly this upgrade amounts to.
Still, seeing as OneOdio has been operating as an audio manufacturer for over a decade, it's probably safe to assume it knows what it's doing when it comes to iterating and refining a product.
The silver highlights on the protein memory-foam earcups certainly look a little smarter/flashier than the stock all-black of last year's model, giving these A10s a more expensive look. At under £75, these were already looking good value for money. Some subtle bling doesn't hurt their appeal, either.
The A10s hit all the headphone sweet spots: 40mm dual dynamic drivers; Hi-Res Audio verification (for what it's worth, seeing as codec support is SBC and AAC only, no AptX or LDAC); 32Ω impedance; a massive 45-hour battery life; multi-point device connection; comfortable ear muffs; a variety of active noise-cancelling (ANC) options; a 3.5mm wired option (cable included); and OneOdio's novel headphone-sharing feature with an additional 3.5mm jack.
Having both wired and wireless functionality is always appreciated, for those times when you leave home only to realise that you've forgotten to charge the headphones; for those long trips away from civilisation when battery life might not be sufficient; or simply to enjoy the best sound possible. A wired connection still trumps Bluetooth audio and will probably continue to best it for quite some time. When you've got big-sounding, punchy, clear 40mm drivers capable of satisfactorily reproducing Hi-Res Audio, as you have with these A10s, you might well opt to listen wired more often.
You can also connect the A10s to smartphone or computer via USB, as another option for Bluetooth-free listening. Not there's anything wrong with Bluetooth, or the A10s wireless connection. You simply have a range of playback options.
Note that another upside of listening wired is that you aren't using any of the battery life, but at the same time you can't access the ANC modes.
Battery life, as mentioned, is almost two full days' worth of continuous playback (at a reasonable volume) from the 750mAH enclosed array, which in our experience has been more or less the real-world case. The A10s also support quick charging, whereby a mere 10 minutes of charging delivers another five hours of runtime. That's pretty cool. A full charge from flat takes only around 90 minutes. Charging is via USB-C to USB-A cable, as supplied.
You also get a no-fuss zip-around carry case in the box, which although hardly beautiful or luxurious fulfils its protective brief splendidly. The earcups on both sides rotate inwards and fold flat to fit the case, minimising their day bag or suitcase footprint.
Using the A10s for long periods, we found them nicely accommodating and comfortable to wear. The metal headband is adjustable and flexible, so will suit any size noggin, and those memory foam earpads are pleasingly soft. We've had softer, but there's nothing to grumble about here.
Naturally, one of the big draws for over-ear headphones is their sound isolation; partly due to their enclosing fit, but mainly because of the ANC technology built in. The A10s employ two different mics: one internal feedback mic and one external feedforward mic, to filter up to 35dB of noise reduction (reducing a claimed 95 per cent of low and mid-frequency ambient sound), whilst also enabling the various intensities of ANC.
OneOdio's 'Hybrid Active' technology allows total immersion to keep your audio enjoyment free of distraction, but can also be easily turned on and off with a simple press of a button on the earphones, so you can bring in more of the outside world as necessary. OneOdio calls such lighter ANC modes 'Talk-in through technology' and 'Ambient Listening Mode', which effectively means your voice comes across clearer on voice and video calls and you can still monitor the sounds of the outside world, respectively.
It's all standard stuff, which we expect from wireless earbuds and headphones in 2022, but it's only acceptable if everything works as promised. The A10s do not disappoint in this regard.
In fact, all round, the A10s impress. The tech spec is solid, they work just as well as you'd hope, with no crushing disappointments or overselling by OneOdio, and they sound absolutely fine. They're never going to challenge a pair of "design without compromise" headphones, but you wouldn't/shouldn't expect them to. As a flexible and enjoyable pair of headphones for home, office, commute and long-haul travel, they're a good choice.
Some reviewers have noted a lack of really low bass, which may be true, although it's not as if the bass isn't there. It definitely is. It's a balanced sound, with no obvious exaggeration across the spectrum, so if it's sub-bass you want, you may want to EQ the sound in your audio player. It's not something we felt the need to do.
There is no accompanying app with these headphones, like there is with, say, 1More headphone products, which offer 12 EQ presets, nor is there any partnership with something like the third-party SoundID app, a path taken by Grell, for example.
All that said, the sound of these Focus A10s is good. The longer you use them, the more you should find the sound opening up, and getting better, as the drivers loosen up, but the sound is already subjectively good straight out of the box, no question.
Control is also via physical button, not touch control. For many people this will be a good thing, as the accidental triggering of unwanted actions simply by brushing the surface of an earpad is a well known irritation. The A10s have physical buttons for ANC, volume, audio source and power.
At this price point, as with the Monitor 60s, there is a reliance on plastic for much of the A10's build, which is where they diverge from similarly specced, premium-priced rivals. There's really no cosmetic comparison with something like the luxurious aluminium and lamb's leather build quality of a Bang & Olufsen Beoplay headphone, for example, but then the price tag of those similarly disappears over the horizon.
Where the OneOdio A10s succeed most for consumers is in lowering the cost barrier to entry to get features such as ANC in full-size over-ear headphones, without also dumbing down such features to the point of being useless.
You could certainly spend a lot more - a lot more - than £75 and get an uprating in quality across the board, but there will also probably be a nagging sense of diminishing returns the higher you go. We're not going to pretend that these are the best headphones available in the world right now, but they're undoubtedly a revelation at this price.
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