the “pro” alternative to Sony and Bose products

Designed by EPOS in partnership with Sennheiser, the Adapt 660 is a very convincing headset, with a more professional focus than the competition.

EPOS is not the first brand we think of when it comes to high-end headphones with active noise reduction. However, it has partnered with Sennheiser, a recognized company in the audio market, to design several products capable of competing with the sizes. For example, the Adapt 660 has arguments to titillate the WH-1000XM4 from Sony and the Headphones 700 from Bose.

Nevertheless, the Adapt 660 from EPOS is designed more to open up a path to the professional world, with a helmet that is wiser in terms of design, but very relevant in terms of functionality. Wireless or wired, compatible with several devices (a USB dongle is provided) and offering active noise reduction, the Adapt 660 is an interesting alternative for all types of use.

The cover of the EPOS Adapt 660 helmet // Source: Maxime Claudel for Numerama

A wise and professional look

The Adapt 660 helmet is delivered in an ecological packaging, designed with recycled cardboard. When you open it, you fall directly on the storage shell containing the helmet. There are still traces of plastic, but they are rare. It’s a very good idea. The manufacturer went so far as to print some instructions on the inside of the box. This saves the notice paper.

The Adapt 660 is the materialization of sobriety

In terms of design, the Adapt 660 is the materialisation of sobriety. We feel the professional fiber, with a practical side that is obvious. The product clearly does not play the style card and prefers to bet on an above-average build quality and an ideal discretion for a professional environment. The result is an excellent plastic finish, with a mat finish of the most beautiful effect, as evidenced by this hoop which adjusts with confidence. Each ear cup is decorated with brushed metal strapping which adds a hint of elegance. One will simply find fault with the faux leather padding. He tends to mark from the perspiration.

Inside the packaging of the EPOS Adapt 660 helmet // Source: Maxime Claudel for Numerama

The Adapt 660 comes in a lightly padded shell. You can easily accommodate the headset – which can be folded up – and the accessories necessary for its operation (jack cable, charging cable, USB dongle). Here we find the professional argument, with an ultra complete product. EPOS even thought of showing how to fold up the helmet for easy housing.

Inside of the EPOS Adapt 660 helmet pouch // Source: Maxime Claudel for Numerama

A software part to improve

When you connect the headset to your smartphone for the first time, a notification will ask you to download a companion app. Strangely, this application called Smart Control will indicate that it is no longer compatible with the headset, forcing to download another – the good one this time (EPOS Connect). We have known more ergonomic in terms of configuration. Note that you have to use a USB dongle provided to connect the Adapt 660 to a PC. Note, also, that the headset turns on by rotating the ear cups inward (a small click is heard to validate the power on). The product is compatible with multipoint Bluetooth technology, with two simultaneous uses.

USB dongle of the EPOS Adapt 660 headphones // Source: Maxime Claudel for Numerama

Like many other competitors, the EPOS helmet has touch controls. They are housed on the right atrium and offer a well-balanced sensitivity. Here are the possible commands:

  • Press: take a call and manage the reader;
  • Long press: hang up;
  • Slide forward: skip to the next song;
  • Slid backward: skip to the previous song;
  • Slide up: increase the volume;
  • Slide down: decrease the volume.

From the application, you can manage noise reduction. This feature can be set to ON, OFF or Adaptive. The third option provides access to an adjustment wheel to manage the power from 0 to 100%. EPOS Connect also allows you to customize the sound reproduction. There are four preset profiles – Neutral, Dialogue, Nightclub and Cinema – as well as a Director mode. The latter allows the adjustment of several parameters more obscure than those we are used to seeing (Boost / Spatial / Reverb). The application would benefit from being clearer on this point.

Finally, a professional product requires, the 660 adaptation incorporates technologies that improve videoconferencing calls. According to our tests, the microphones are of excellent quality and our callers never had to complain about the quality of the calls.

EPOS Adapt 660 headset earpiece // Source: Maxime Claudel for Numerama

An ideal lightness

With its 227 grams on the scale, the headset is undeniably light (think of the 385 grams of Apple’s AirPods Max). To support the comfort a little more, he relies on memory foam pads. We will also highlight the very oval shape of the atria. It fits the ears perfectly and avoids the feeling of being locked away. This is not what the industrial look suggests. But you can’t always trust appearances. In any case, you can imagine yourself wearing the Adapt 660 very well during a long day at the office.

The EPOS Adapt 660 helmet in its pouch // Source: Maxime Claudel for Numerama

Precise and versatile rendering

In terms of sound reproduction, the Adapt 660 is far from being outdone. We feel that EPOS has done well to turn to Sennheiser, audio specialist, to offer services that are both balanced and consistent. We really enjoyed our listening sessions with the headphones screwed on, with playlists elegantly highlighted. The helmet focuses on clarity, which offers an airy and relaxing look. Therefore, the bass is never imposed while the treble comes to rest delicately above the mids which feast our ears with accuracy. In comparison, Bose is flatter while Sony goes further with its more versatile equalizer. For a moment of relaxation during a lunch break, Cinema mode makes sense. On the other hand, we are still looking for the usefulness of the Nightclub preset, which turns the experience into a tiring mess.

Services that are both balanced and consistent

On the active noise reduction side, the Adapt 660 fails to go as far as its rivals (Apple, Sony and Bose). But this is a choice of EPOS, which first designed its product for a work environment, where the idea is not to completely lock the user in so that he still remains aware things around him. The result is less artificial noise reduction, which never produces that blast effect that you can experience in the competition. We are more in a relevant attenuation, with this idea of ​​resting the mind rather than completely isolating it. It is a position taken far from being uninteresting, and which reinforces the positioning of the Adapt 660.

The EPOS Adapt 660 helmet // Source: Maxime Claudel for Numerama

30 hours of tranquility

The Adapt 660 can last up to 30 hours on a single charge. This autonomy obviously depends on the use (wired, Bluetooth, active noise reduction, etc.). It takes three hours to fully charge, via a USB-C port.

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Source: Numerama by www.numerama.com.

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