• Blackbox M16
Our Verdict 
Well-made and good at killing outside noise, but they could do with a little more excitement in their sound
Good noise cancelling
Apple remote and mic
smooth, tonally balanced audio
useful accessories
Sound weak in passive mode
rather cluttered delivery
Reviewed on

Blackbox, created by Phitek Systems, a company that came out of nowhere with the impressive noise-cancelling i10 in-ears, is back with the M16 on-ears.

Oddly, they sound different depending on whether you have noise-cancelling on or off.

With it off, they sound distant and a bit cluttered, with treble sticking out a little more than it should. Vocals, meanwhile, are a little recessed.

Odd bassy wobbleThere’s an odd bassy wobble when you activate the noise cancelling, but the balance is better this way. There’s still a lack of separation in the soundstage, though, with vocals and midrange parts arriving as a lump when tracks get busy.

But they are smooth, and stripped-down music shows a nice overall balance.

More after the break

It’s nice to see a mic and three-button control unit attached, and the bundled adaptor lets you use the headphones as a computer headset for Skype calls.

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