X by Kygo Xellence true wireless headphones boast ANC and 30hr playtime

(Image credit: X by Kygo)

For the uninitiated, X By Kygo is a dedicated Norwegian headphone specialist with international DJ, songwriter and producer Kygo at the helm. Every headphone’s sonic performance is fine-tuned by Kygo and his team of expert audio engineers – and Xellence is the firm's newest release. 

Visually, the illuminated X is a striking aesthetic, and you can also expect active noise-cancellation, your own personal hearing ID using Mimi Sound Personalization technology (the free Android/iOS X by Kygo App also uses real-time adjustments which promise to "tailor the Xellence’s sound to your needs") and 30 hours of continuous playtime; 10 from the buds (8 hours with ANC on) plus an extra 20 hours from the wireless charging case. If you’re in a rush, a quick 15-minute charge via USB-C should provide two hours of juice, too.

X by Kygo Xellence

(Image credit: X by Kygo)

The earbuds are IPX5-rated for sweat and water resistance, so they’re protected from sudden spells of rain or your weekly spin class. 

The touch capacitative buttons on the earbuds boast easy playback control, call-handling or access to Siri and Google Now voice assistants on the go.

In addition, an ambient mode promises a fully transparent listen for when you want to be aware of your surroundings without stopping your music. Want them to pause automatically when you remove them? They will! The Xellence headphones also feature a proximity sensor that automatically pauses playback when the buds are removed.

Bluetooth 5.0, aptX and AAC codecs are supported, which should equal a rock-solid connection and CD-quality wireless audio streams from any device.

The X by Kygo Xellence is available now in black or white finishes with matching charging case, priced at £179 ($239)


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Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds. 

  • SoundCarisma
    Is it possible to have it fully reviewed ASAP? Would be interested in the sound and ANC Quality and how the Google Assistant integration works. Is there wireless charging capability? Can you pair it to 2 device simultaneously (multi device support)? How is the call quality? Can you do a proper workout with the buds staying in? Is the BT connectivity strong? Latency? Real life battery life?

    How does the personal hearing ID work?

    How does this Kygo product perform against the Sony WF-1000XM3, vs SH Momentum 2 and vs Apple AP Pro? Etc.

    Thanks in advance.