LeEco started out as LeTV, and spent its early years focusing on creating online video content for the Chinese market. Recently, the company has been expanding into hardware, including televisions, smartphones, and evenelectric cars. The company also recently made a bold move by dropping the 3.5mm socket from its newest smartphones, instead promoting the use of USB Type-C and Bluetooth for audio transmission.
Although LeEco doesn’t quite have the industry clout to drive change on its own, it’s making a valiant attempt nonetheless. It recently launched a handful of new audio accessories to boost its mobile ecosystem, including the LeMe Bluetooth headphones that we have on review today. Part of the company’s range of accessories, the wireless, on-ear LeMe headphones can be purchased fromLemall.com at Rs. 2,499. Do these affordable wireless headphones make the cut? Find out in our review.
Design, specifications, and comfort
The LeEco LeMe headphones certainly look unique, thanks to the design and shape. It’s slim through and through, and the headband merges seamlessly into the driver casings in one smooth flowing shape. It’s among the most interesting looking pairs of headphones we’ve reviewed, and will win over a lot of buyers only because of its looks. The bright pink colour of our review unit was a bit too loud and attention-grabbing for our taste, but fortunately there are other options to choose from, including blue, grey, red, white, and orange.
While the plastic of the casing is slim, the portion that sits on your ears is padded and bulges out a bit. Unlike other on-ear headphones, there’s no border around the padding, leaving the driver open and allowing sound to leak out even when it’s placed on your ears. There’s also padding under the headband, but it barely makes any difference to comfort. In fact, the shape and style makes the LeMe headphones quite uncomfortable to wear over long periods, and it’s hard to find any position that will let you be comfortable with it on for more than 10 minutes at a time.
The headset has only three buttons, all placed on the right earpiece along with the Micro-USB charging port. The centre button serves as the power, play/ pause/ call answer and pairing button; pushing for different durations triggers a different function. Long-pressing the directional buttons controls the volume, while a normal press will change the track. The button system is a bit too complicated, and you’re often likely to change the track instead of adjust the volume when you need to do so quickly. The indicator LED is visible between the buttons, and this looks rather tacky and poorly designed in our opinion.
The headphones have a frequency response range of 20-20,000Hz, and support Bluetooth 4.1. There is a 195mAh battery built in, with a claimed usage time of 10 hours on a full charge, which is fairly accurate. The headphones are claimed to work within a 10m radius if unobstructed, and there’s also a decent microphone that allows for using the headset on calls. The sales package includes a USB Type-A to Micro-USB charging cable, but no power adapter.
We tested the LeEco LeMe Bluetooth Headphones paired to a OnePlus 3 (Review). Focus tracks for the review were Kraak and Smaak’s Hold Back Love, Koop’s Strange Love, and Deadmau5’s Strobe.
Starting with Hold Back Love, we noticed through the powerful beat of the track that the LeMe headphones have a very bass-heavy sound signature and maintains a low-frequency oriented sonic feel. This in itself is not always a bad thing, but in this case the lows are overbearing and a bit too aggressive, causing the mids and highs to suffer. The spike in the low-end is just a bit too much, and this results in a sound that is booming and loud to the exclusion of other qualities.
With Strange Love, we noticed a paucity of detail caused by the fact that there’s a lot going on in the track, particularly in the vocals. The headphones aren’t able to properly separate individual elements of the track, which then causes the sound to feel jumbled and convoluted. Additionally, the aim of the amplification system seems to be to only increase loudness, without ensuring any proper improvement of the sound.
With Strobe, we only really enjoyed the beginning of the track, where the sound is gentle and laid back. As soon as the track got busy, we felt as if the sound was droning. These headphones don’t do a lot in the form of soundstaging, keeping to an audio signature that barely ever achieves more than basic stereo separation. There’s no fluidity in the sound, or finesse in the way the track juggles between the left and right channels. The highs in the track tended to trail off a bit, while the mids were lost to the overpowering lows. The signature is tiresome, and we were left terribly unimpressed with the LeEco LeMe headphones.
Although the LeEco LeMe Bluetooth headphones look great, there are far too many shortcomings. The headset isn’t comfortable to wear, and sound quality leaves a lot to be desired. Although it is priced competitively and has decent battery life, the LeMe simply cannot be recommended because of the lack of comfort and quality in the sound.
Price (MRP): Rs. 2,499
- Good looking
- Decent battery life
- Bass-heavy, exhausting sound
- Not much detail and definition
- Uncomfortable to wear
- Controls are not intuitive
Ratings (Out of 5)
- Design: 3
- Performance: 2
- Value for money: 3.5
- Overall: 2.5