Elephone’s recently released ELE Whisper IEMs are a new entry in the budget-friendly noise cancelling earbuds market. The ELE Whispers don’t offer any new features, so they must rely on their sound and build quality to make a name for themselves. While the quality is about what you would expect, there is a lot of competition in this market which makes the ELE Whisper a hard sell.
The first thing most people notice when trying a new pair of headphones is the build quality and comfort. The ELE Whisper’s design makes the earpieces rather comfortable for an extended period of time. The complete in-ear design of the buds make them fit in the ear snugly and it allows for comfort when resting your ear against a surface such as a pillow. The quality of the cable seems to be on the high end with practically no microphonics and a good resistance against tension. The noise cancellation switch and music control buttons are also well built and I have no doubt that they will last a long time.
The standout feature of the ELE Whisper IEMs is the noise cancelling feature. Unfortunately, I did not get much time to test this feature considering it malfunctioned after the first charge. The LED that indicates whether the noise cancelation is on or off always indicates on, yet the headphones are not actively canceling noise. In the brief moments I did test the noise cancellation it did seem to work fairly well blocking out various noise in my room such as a fan and my computer. However, I did not get to test the headphones outside in the city where the noise cancellation feature would actually be useful.
One of the most important aspects of any headphones is the sound quality. The Whisper IEMs offers a mediocre sound that is reasonable for the price. The most notable area of weakness is the bass extension. Once the bass reaches the lower-end, the bass gets muddy and the entire sound gets distorted. Much like the bass, the highs on the ELE Whisper are nothing to write home about. While is isn’t horrible, the treble tends to trend down in quality as you go up in frequency. The mids tend to stand out on these headphones making most vocals rise above the other instruments. This mixed with the fact the upper and lower ends of the sound spectrum aren’t that great make these headphones a good option for those who aren’t audio snobs and enjoy listening to pop and lyric-centric music.
The audio spectrum is not the only thing that matters when considering the overall quality of a pair of headphones. The instrumental separation on the whisper is fairly poor and the distortion caused by the bass certainly doesn’t help. The Whisper also has a relatively poor soundstage with most of the instruments coming clearly from the left or right ear, without much separation in location. The headphones also have a relatively high noise floor, especially with the noise cancellation turned-on. However, once music starts playing it’s easily ignorable.
Elephone certainly had me surprised on the comfort and build quality of the ELE Whisper. However, they left a lot to be desired when it comes to the quality of the sound. The sound might be worth the price-tag, however there are a lot of well established competitors that offer similar products at the same price. In the end I recommend these headphones if you're looking for some noise canceling headphones that are made to last. However, if you consider yourself to be an audio snob you might have better luck by looking at other offerings.
The ELE Whisper IEMs were sent to us by GearBest. If you’re interested in purchasing the ELE Whisper IEMs, you can get them from the GearBest website here for $79.12 USD ($47.99 USD for the next 24 hours!). GearBest also has a wide variety of technology and other products that can be found for great prices.