Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2 ANC headphones launch with spatial audio and low-latency lossless Snapdragon Sound
Three years ago, Shure, known for its legendary professional microphones and monitoring headphones for the studio and stage, made its first foray into wireless noise-cancelling headphones with the AONIC 50. Now, it has launched a long-overdue update with some key improvements to bring it on par with the competition in premium wireless headphones.
Perhaps the biggest new feature is the introduction of spatialized audio using a proprietary algorithm with three modes – Music, Cinema and Podcast. The headphones are also equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sound and aptX Adaptive technology, which brings key improvements like lossless audio support, low-latency and robust bluetooth connection with a 100 meter range that avoids drop-outs or glitching even in busy environments. Another claimed important improvement is in the ANC department – what Shure calls “advanced hybrid noise cancellation” – which is just as well, since reviewers found the first gen’s ANC to be somewhat mediocre.
The AONIC 50 Gen 2 houses 50 mm drivers and features a premium build quality, with an aluminum frame, synthetic leather padding and a fold flat design to go with the included zippered hard-shell case. Battery life has been doubled, now at 45 hours, with 15 minutes of charge giving up to five hours of use. Shure also claims that call quality will be vastly improved with the help of six in-built mics.
No doubt there is tough competition in this category from the likes of Sennheiser’s Momentum 4 Wireless, Sony’s WH-1000XM5 and Bose’ QuietComfort 45 and 700 headphones. It remains to be seen whether Shure’s decades of expertise in professional audio will help it win over recreational consumers.