Published on April 28th, 2015 | by Greg0
Pendulumic’s Innovative Stance S1+ Wireless Headphones
For every Beats, there’s a Bose- but we typically prefer the Monster waiting in the wings, or the Sennhesier, beyerdynamic, or Bowers and Wilkins. Which is to say that there are plenty of headphone options out there, from a wide range of companies, and they often each focus on different aspects. Many of them, though, have begun to offer wireless sets, each competing to bring Bluetooth to your ears. There are a couple of ways to group or categorize them, and certainly price helps, with $200 serving as a rough marker between the higher and the lower ends of the market.
Today’s set is from a company you probably don’t know, but they’ve swung for the fences on one of their first products, not content to simply modify or tweak some existing concepts. The Pendulumic Stance S1+ is an interesting and distinctive over-ear pair of wireless headphones, set aside from the pack in quite a few ways. They don’t offer the active noise cancellation of some pairs (the other division that we often make, since it’s still a defining and pricey feature). But they do include most of the other items you’re looking for in this class: a nice carrying case, a lay-flat design for portability, memory foam earcups, and a leatherette band. Add in Bluetooth 4.0 support with apt-X and you’ve hit most of the major notes- and they’re fairly comfortable to boot.
The S1+ is an update to their now-discontinued S1 model, and we liked the fairly solid construction (aluminum alloy components, though there is fairly heavy use of plastics as well). It can be used in wired or wireless mode, and a bit more unusually, you can make phone calls either way as well thanks to an included cord with a remote and microphone. The Pendulumics don’t look or feel fancy- they won’t immediately impress the guy or gal on the subway- but are hiding some other beautiful extras as well. For starters, there’s the amazing rechargeable battery life of 30 hours or so. And if that wasn’t enough, you can pop in a pair of AAA batteries to push them even further (about 12 hours), or if you simply are traveling for a long stretch without access to an outlet or a USB port.
Finally, we really liked one of the other unique additions- the analog control dial, behind the right earpiece. Many wireless sets suffer from fiddly controls, and the dial takes a shot at solving the problem… but though useful, there are still several additional switches on the S1+, which can be confusing. They are also a bit heavy, mainly due to the battery, and one side is noticeably heftier if you’ve installed the AAA cells. And finally, the audio performance is adequate for the price range, but didn’t wow- there’s definitely good treble and a pretty neutral sound signature, but it’s a little soft on the low-end, and not quite as loud as some of the others we’ve heard. Vocals and snares could sound a little sibilant. Thanks to great accessories and simple pairing, it’s still easy to recommend these for regular indoor or light travel use, especially in situations where replaceable rather than rechargeable batteries would be nice. The Pendulumic S1+ are available online and in stores for around $200.