Detel is a brand you probably haven’t heard of in the audio segment. The brand’s name is usually associated with cell phones and even televisions. So, when the brand decided to send us a pair of headphones to review, we were a little surprised. However, holding the headphones in hand, we knew one thing- these headphones mean business.
The semi-foldable headphones come with Bluetooth 5.0, 40mm drivers, wireless and wired playback capabilities and a 300mAh battery for a price of just Rs 1,599. We tested the product and here’s what we have to say about Detel’s debut in the audio segment.
The headphones come in a matte-like black colour that looks awesome. The oval earmuffs lean to the front from the top and that gives it an asymmetrical look that we actually liked. The muffs fold inwards on a horizontal axis to make the headphones flat, after which they can be placed neatly in your bag. Do note that folding them inwards does bring out the sharp edges of the design that are pointy enough to scratch other electronics or tear tiny holes in the clothes you place them with.
We weren’t particularly fond of the vertical flexibility of the earmuffs. While the muffs do flex vertically, it is minimal and they do not completely wrap around the ears, leaving some opening on the bottom.
While regular faces won’t find this much of an annoyance, those with wider faces may face a larger gap below the ears. This means the sound will most likely flow both ways from the gap, leading to your music leaking outside and ambient noise getting inside. A slight nuance, but yes, it’s there.
The cushioning on the headphones is excellent and very comfortable to use even for long music sessions. This goes for the cushions on the earmuffs as well as the headband on top. You could groove to a whole new album of your favourite artist and not feel the uncomfortable pain people sometimes experience during prolonged headphone use.
All controls of the product go on the right earmuff. There’s the 3.5mm jack in the middle below and a MicroUSB charging point and two microphones lie on either side of it. There are controls for playing/pausing music, a dedicated button for taking/ending calls, and two buttons for skipping to the next or previous track.
The headphones offer both wired and wireless playback options. There isn’t much difference in both and while you’d mostly switch to the wired mode only when your battery has run out, we’d suggest you use the wired mode for the best possible audio output.
Regardless, audio performance on the Detel Curve Probass was pretty average. While the highs are fine, mids seem slightly recessed most of the time. Thanks to the 40mm drivers, the bass, which is the highlight of the product, is punchy and you can feel the vibrations on bass-heavy tracks. This does make for an enjoyable experience if you’re a basshead.
Bass at times sounds a bit muddy with certain tracks and to the point of distortion; which takes away the entire listening experience. However, this is barely noticeable on tracks with good audio quality and “boosted” bass. It gets more noticeable on higher volumes.
One thing the headphones do surprisingly better than most affordable Bluetooth options is providing good call quality. People we talked to on call through the Curve ProBass reported clearer sounds than other wireless headphones we tested. This is likely due to the dual-microphone setup on the device below the right earmuff.
The Detel Curve ProBass is a decent addition to the headphone market but is definitely not for everyone. While there are flaws in the design, the sound itself will cater to a particular segment of listeners only that is bassheads. Those looking for headphones that offer a more balanced experience with quality sound might want to look elsewhere.
However, if you’re looking for an affordable pair of over-the-head wireless headphones on a tight budget, these do fair as decent options for Rs 1,599. Regardless for a first audio product, the Curve ProBass are good headphones and we hope to see more products from Detel in this price bracket....