A few years ago, Lindy showed that it was possible to design a five-star pair of wireless noise-cancelling headphones for under £100. But, as it says in the small print, past performance is no guarantee of future results, and so these BNX-100s arrive with the German manufacturer’s reputation at stake.
Build and comfort
You can trust Lindy to offer all the mod cons at a reasonable price. For £120, the BNX-100s come equipped with active noise cancelling, aptX Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity up to 10m, a 12-hour battery life (with Bluetooth and noise-cancelling both switched on), an integrated mic and even an auto-pause function that starts and stops your music depending on whether they’re on or off your head.
Active Noise Cancellation Yes
Bluetooth version 5.0
Audio cable 1.5m
Battery life 12 hours (ANC + wireless)
Input 3.5mm audio
Dimensions (hwd) 5 x 20 x 21cm
And having the BNX-100s on your head is a nice feeling. They weigh just over 500g, enough to feel substantial without giving your neck muscles a workout. The padded earcups, which house 40mm neodymium drivers, warm our ears to a degree, but are generally rather comfortable.
Lindy has made the BNX-100s simple to use, too. A long press of the textured button on the right earcup starts pairing mode – a voice lets you know when it’s complete - while noise-cancellation is controlled via the buttons on the left.
You can also use the multi-function button on the right earcup, and those straddling it, to control playback, volume and calls without reaching for your phone. That’s not exactly a USP, but it is another box ticked.
Lindy has generally been good at ticking boxes with the BNX-100s, especially with the price, so we can imagine a few people will be putting them in their basket on this alone.
But the Lindy BNX-100s' sound may well make them think again. It certainly isn’t irritating, too jagged or incompetent in any regard to make listening a chore, there’s just nothing about it we could call great.
The first thing you’ll notice is the balance, which, much like noticing your internal organs, is a worry in itself. It’s skewed heavily towards a soft bass end, spotlighting perhaps the BNX-100s’ greatest flaw, and rolls off a sizeable portion of top end frequencies. There is a slight coarseness to treble frequencies, but these headphones’ presentation at least means you won’t hear much of that.
Turning on ANC tidies things up a little – and, though itself noisy (an almost hiss-like sound isn't uncommon with budget implementations of noise-cancelling), it also cuts out a fair bit of background interference. It helps a little with definition, though any dense arrangement leaves instruments fighting to take up the same space.
That paves the way for an overall rather slovenly performance, not helped by a dearth of attack and general dynamic indifference. Timing in itself isn’t too bad but any sense of impetus is lost as the BNX-100s appear content to sit down and let the music pass them by.
Finding a truly outstanding pair of wireless noise-cancellers at this price can be a struggle, but anyone shopping for headphones with these specs should also consider Sony’s WH-CH700Ns. They present a far better balance, with greater clarity and a more cohesive overall performance, and they are also (at the time of writing) £20 cheaper.
We wanted to be able to say Lindy had improved on its five-star budget wireless cans of a couple years back, and we’re disappointed that we can’t. These are no more than an average pair of headphones and, given our high hopes, that's a shame.
- Sound 3
- Comfort 5
- Build 4
Read our Lindy BNX-60 review