Review: Pendulumic Stance S1+

The personal audio market is incredibly crowded and it’s seriously hard to stand out from the crowd. When the Pendulumic Stance S1+ started splashing a 30 hour battery life...

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The personal audio market is incredibly crowded and it’s seriously hard to stand out from the crowd. When the Pendulumic Stance S1+ started splashing a 30 hour battery life around, it caught my attention. I’ve used dozens of headphones and plenty of them Bluetooth, but inevitably I return to a corded solution for one simple reason, batteries.

There’s basically no warning, no battery level meter or better yet a notification on your connected device to let you know you need to recharge. This means you jump on a plane, or go for a walk or worse still, be on a call and the headphones die. This gets old and fast, reliability is key and that has only really been guaranteed by a cable.

After spending a few weeks with the Stance S1+ and putting it to the test, it’s time to detail what’s good and what’s not, as well as how they do on battery life.

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Design & Style

The Stance S1+ has a steely seriousness to its design. With a black and deep brown colour scheme, the double-arch overhead, a stitched leather head rest and soft on earmuffs all look professional. There’s a compliment of switches, ports and even a dial tucked nicely into the surrounds of each ear. While they interrupt the clean lines of the headphones, they are all there with reason and purpose.

Because the overhead design is open, the wire connecting the two sides escapes from under the stitched covering and connects into the the body. This subtle, but important design choice allows for the rotation of the cuffs, making the headphones flat, great for packing into a backpack while travelling. It also serves as a great opportunity to add a bit of softness to the metal and plastics materials.

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Connectivity & Functionality

Pendulumic says they’ve included the Pendulumic Dial which sits on the rear of the right cuff, after feedback from users. My feedback is that I agree, it’s great to be able to control audio playback and volume with a simple turn of a dial and avoid getting your phone out. after observing how effortless and intuitive it was, as opposed to the electronic buttons used in other products. These headphones will provide comfort and ease ability as well as amazing sound quality.

Not just great for travelling, the Pendulumic Stance S1+ gives the user four playing modes including: wireless, wired, amplified and phone mode. The in-line remote with a microphone (located close to the ear cup connector) has universal multi-function controls. With a single button for play/pause/call, you can take a phone call as well as control your music. Just double-tap to skip forward and a long press will start Google.

With plenty of accessories included, the Pendulumic Stance S1+ comes with an airline adapter, 6.3mm adapter, USB to micro-USB charging cable, 3.5mm audio cable with in-line remote and microphone, as well as a hard shell storage case.

Incorporating an aptX audio coding algorithm, the Pendulumic Stance S1+ enables CD-like quality wireless audio, so music lovers can enjoy a rich and vibrant listening experience, completely free of wires. After spending time with them, I have to say, the audio quality was fantastic and I noticed no audible difference between wired and wireless use.

The Stance S1+ doesn’t come cheap, but would happily go head-to-head in sound comparison with some of the more expensive pro-audio headphones. Whether you’re listening to RnB and Dubstep playlists from Spotify and Tidal, or just regular old podcasts, the sound produced by these are amongst the best I’ve heard.

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Comfort

The on-ear headphones are soft and comfortable for a decent length of time. In extended periods of use, 3-4 hours, they do start to hurt a little, in a way that over the ears don’t. This certainly isn’t the first pair of headphones that suffer from this problem and a break for 15 minutes is usually enough to start another gaming or movie session.

I think its a trade off, the inwards pressure that headphones exert, help to make them feel secure on your head. Without a corded tether, you definitely don’t want these falling to the ground, so I appreciate this design choice for that reason.

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Battery Life

The Pendulumic Stance S1+ wireless headphones are designed with your long-haul plans in mind, with a battery designed to last up to 30 hours (Inbuilt battery at 18 hours plus 2xAAA for an additional 12 hours). With this combined time, you would be able to last any trip required, even from Australia to London, without the need for recharging your headphones.

I recently took the Stance S1’s on a trip to Melbourne where I did indeed run out of battery. After a quick trip to the supermarket and about $2.50 later I had a pair of AAA’s mounted inside the left ear and jumped on a train. The next 4 hours spent listening happily to podcasts, a welcome exchange to avoid hearing about the life stories of fellow commuters. The fact I was able to solve the charge problem so fast and effortlessly, speaks to the flexibility of these headphones. Most wireless headphones don’t have this capability and had I been carrying any of my other pairs, I would have been out of luck.

While I couldn’t test a full 30 hours of endless listening, counting my use over a number of days I think the number is pretty close, somewhere between 27 and 30. Obviously wireless by Bluetooth burns a little more than wired, but to have the freedom, that’s a decent trade off.

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Price & Availability

The Pendulumic Stance S1+ is available now and has an RRP of A$329.00. That’s certainly pitched in the premium range of pricing, but with the performance, design and flexibility, that’s appropriate.

The headphones are available from http://busisoft.com.au

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Overall

I’ve become some confident with the design and looks of the Stance S1+ that I’ve frequently worn them to the supermarket. Wearing earbuds is something most people can get away with, but wearing headphones is quite another thing entirely. Being able to turn the volume dial up or down easily or press to play/pause makes the operation out in the field, easy and more accessible than most and far better than pulling your phone out.

I do wish they had slightly more padding in the ear muffs to make them comfortable for even longer and also wish the cuffs turned in both directions, not just the one way for storage.

Basically it boils down to this. The Stance S1+ look great, sound great and have killer battery life. The price will be a hurdle for some, but if you’re investing in a good set of headphones to work with your PC, phone and other streaming audio devices, these should definitely be on your short list.

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This post is authored by techAU staffers. Used rarely and sparingly when the source decided to keep their identity secret, or a guest author who isn't seeking credit.