Noise-cancelling headsets are a dime a dozen, and vary in their price range and audio quality. The PlayGo BH-70 is one that sits squarely in the middle, offering an entry-level price tag for somewhat acceptable noise-cancelling.
It’s styled to look like pretty much any other headset on the market, so you don’t have to worry about wearing anything garish on your head with flashing lights or absurd colors. Build quality is not too bad, with an overall sturdy plastic design – the glossy parts do attract plenty of fingerprints. The headset folds flat for easy storage, and also comes with a carrying case for when you need a bit more protection.
While Bluetooth connectivity is the norm here, it’s a shame that the BH-70 doesn’t provide support for use with a normal 3.5mm audio jack. This means that the headset can’t be used on in-flight entertainment centers, or for any other device that provides a 3.5mm audio jack.
A transparency mode lets you easily tune in to your surroundings by temporarily lowering your music when you cup your left earcup. It’s something we’ve seen on other premium headsets, so it’s nice that the cheaper BH-70 also includes this. There’s even a proximity sensor built into the left earcup that will automatically pause or resume what you’re listening to when you take off or put on the headset, which is a nice touch.
The biggest hype around the BH-70 is that it supposedly uses artificial intelligence to improve the audio listening experience, but in theory there’s no real proof that this actually does anything. Yes, the BH-70 will let you run through a brief audio test to customize the headset so that you hear a perfect range of sounds, but other than that there’s little here to support any kind of AI that’s being used.
Audio quality is pretty much what you’re paying for at this price point. It’s a mixed bag of deep bass mixed with clear highs, but it’s let down by the less than stellar noise cancelling and noticeable audio leakage.
As a pair of headphones, the PlayGo BH-70 does what it’s supposed to and delivers a fairly decent audio experience. Where it tends to fall short is with its noise-cancelling capabilities, which is one of the things it’s designed for. The AI element seems more like a marketing gimmick than something to take seriously, so if you’re just looking for Bluetooth headphones with decent audio and aren’t too concerned about noise-cancelling, then this is the headset for you.
PlayGo BH-70 price and release date
- Available now online and at select retailers
- Priced at AED 899
The PlayGo BH-70 are priced at AED 899, and are available online at Amazon and Noon, and at select retailers such as Jumbo and Sharaf DG.
Normally that would be an attractive price point, but the Sony WH-1000XM3 can be found for as little as AED 860, and provide much more superior performance and features. Unless the PlayGo BH-70 drops in price soon, it will be hard to recommend it over the stellar performance you get from the Sony WH-1000XM3.
- Ok build quality
- Comfortable padding
- No 3.5mm jack support
The BH-70 is styled like any other headset, with a mostly plastic black body with a few glossy areas. From afar they look great, but upon closer inspection you can see that the glossy parts are easily smudged and attract fingerprints. The headset can be folded down flat to fit into the accompanying carrying case, which makes it handy for quickly storing away in your luggage or backpack.
The earcups and headband are padded well, and provide a decent level of comfort when using them for long periods of time, though they may feel slightly on the heavier side.
Hidden cleverly inside the left earcup is a proximity sensor, so if you take off the headphones at any time, whatever music or videos you’re listening to will be paused, and will resume once you wear the headphones again.
You’ve got buttons on either earcup, with the left earcup housing the power port, on/off button, and ANC control. The right earcup lets you play or pause media, as well as adjust the volume levels. The buttons are raised enough to make them easy to find when wearing the headphones, but they feel a little too cheap when you actually press a button.
The BH-70 also offers a Transparent mode, which allows you to quickly listen to outside noise or voices by touching or covering the left earcup. In our use this sometimes didn’t immediately register, so we had to remove our hand and cover the earcup again to activate this feature.
Connectivity is provided via Bluetooth 5.0, and when paired with a compatible Android phone, you get the added advantage of aptX support for an even better audio experience. There’s also the PlayGo app, which lets you adjust various playback settings, upgrade the firmware, as well as adjust the equalizer to one of several music genres.
- Good bass levels
- Average noise cancelling
- AI doesn’t really come into play
The BH-70 tries to set itself apart by boasting of an AI-assisted audio optimization technology that firstly reduces noise while you listen, and secondly tunes the audio listening for each user’s experience. We’ve seen tech like this before in headsets like the Nuraphone, but in the BH-70 it’s much more subtle. There’s an audio test buried in the custom EQ setting which lets you play a series of tones, but that’s about it. It’s hard to determine if this actually does anything significant to your listening experience, so for us it’s not really a standout feature.
When it comes to listening to music, the BH-70 offers a decent soundstage across a variety of genres, which is pleasing to listen to. The sharp instrumental plucking in Joanna Newsom’s Cosmia came through bright and clear, and the high tones were equally bright. In the bass-reliant Raingurl by Yaeji, things got a bit more complicated, with the bass slightly overpowering and bleeding over into the mids in certain parts of the song. The Beatles’ Come Together was another mixed bag, with the vocals being overshadowed by the bass once again.
The noise-cancelling is also another touchy subject. While there are moments where outdoor noise is not noticeable, the noise-cancelling just doesn’t feel as tight as what you’d get on higher-end headphones. There’s still a slight noticeable background hum when you’re not listening to music, not to mention the fair amount of audio leakage that comes if you try to increase the volume.
Another slight sore point is that the BH-70 doesn’t offer support for 3.5mm audio jacks. So if you’re trying to use this headset with older devices, or even just on an airplane entertainment system, you’re out of luck.
Battery life thankfully is up to the challenge of everyday use, with the battery lasting over a couple of days with intermittent use. You can certainly make it through an entire day of using these continuously even with ANC turned on, so for all-day users you just need to give them a quick recharge before going to bed.
Should I buy the PlayGo BH-70?
Buy the PlayGo BH-70 if..
You have an Android smartphone
The aptX support offers slightly better audio clarity for compatible devices, so if you’re looking for headphones that are great for a long commute, then this is an interesting choice
You’re not too picky about audio quality
To the average listener, the audio quality on the BH-70 will be just fine. Only more trained ears will pick out some of the slight nuances of the various levels blending slightly into each other.
Don’t buy it if…
You have a 3.5mm audio jack
If you’re looking to use the BH-70 during a flight or with devices with a 3.5mm audio jack, you’re fresh out of luck here.
You want good noise cancelling
The noise-cancelling on the BH-70 is fine, but it’s certainly not the best. The added audio leakage is also a problem at times, so louder listening volumes aren’t recommended.
First reviewed 15/06/2020