The Blackbox M16 headphones are handsome black-and-gunmetal over-ear models, with expensive-looking leatherette earpads and a general air of quality.
The noise deflection was effective but not foolproof. Switching it on appreciably cut down the sound of air conditioning, whether or not there was any audio coming through the headphones. Human speech could still be made out, but the M16s are better at dealing with background noise.
- See Sennheiser HD 25-1-II by Adidas Originals review
- See AKG Q460 review
- See Creative Sound Blaster Tactic3D Sigma review
The audio quality was generally strong, producing a warm sound, though it wasn’t exceptionally clear. When tested with some electroclash, the M16s managed a meaty bass kick, and we think most suitable for bass-heavy tracks. Glitchier dance tracks at high volumes were less comfortable, and the noise cancellation technology seemed confused by irregular bass.
Comparing the M16s with a pair of mid-level in-ear headphones is no comparison at all, with these over-ear models producing a fuller, warmer sound. They’re comparable with a high-end pair of over-ear Teufel cans, if slightly less powerful, but they’re smaller and more comfortable to wear for long periods.
There’s a remote on the cable, which allows you to adjust volume and pause or skip tracks. Sadly, the remote on our review sample was a bit unreliable – occasionally it lost the ability to change the volume, but weirdly could still pause and fast-forward. Unplugging and reconnecting solved the problem.
The M16s provide strong, warm audio with good bass, and the noise cancellation is largely effective. Be warned that this benefit is one-way, and there was outwards leakage at the upper volumes.