Inspired by a racing car, the EPOS Adapt 660 AMC features the stunning Aston Martin Racing Green. It looks great and looks great. It’s mainly for the premium UC (Unified Communications), but it’s also a good over-ear BT and ANC headphone.
Let’s get past the beautiful green ride – these are serious Bluetooth 5.0/Cabled, hybrid adaptive noise canceling, and over-ear headphones for work and play.
At work, they connect flawlessly to UC solutions like Microsoft Teams and can use a BT 5.0 dongle, a BTD 800 USB-A dongle, or a USB-A to micro-USB cable. This is one of the few devices that can charge and work simultaneously due to the high performance USB digital to analog (DAC) in the headset.
In play, they can turn on/off ANC for up to 20/30 hours with SBC, AAC, aptX and aptX Low Latency for use on Windows, Android, macOS and iOS devices that provide great music quality. Again, you can listen and charge simultaneously – great for long trips.
They use the Sennheiser PCX-550 II as a base. These headphones are widely regarded as the best over-ear headphones that weigh just 227g – much lighter than most headphones. EPOS then adds UC firmware and AI for UC usage, a purple Teams button, advanced AI and machine learning to improve audio capture for a natural listening experience from four advanced MEMS microphones. All while using Sennheiser’s great sound signature – cabaret, film, speech, and director-defined presets – to enjoy the music.
EPOS Adapt 660 AMC
We use the terms FAIL, PASS, and EXCEED against all review parameters for this type of device.
|from||Aston Martin ($879) or Adapt 660 (same spec) from EPOS Dealers|
|Guarantee||2 years ANC|
|country of origin||Designed in Denmark and made in China|
|company||Sennheiser’s business segments, Enterprise Solutions, and Gaming Headphones are EPOS-branded, under Demant. It caters to the enterprise, gaming and air traffic control solutions sector, with a wide range of products with a contemporary design approach.|
|more||CyberShack EPOS / Sennheiser News and Reviews|
First impression – sexy Aston Martin Green – Transcend
Disclaimer: I am using the Sennheiser Momentum 3 for audio enthusiasts and the Sennheiser PXC550-II for travel and audio entertainment. I know very well the sound signature of Sennheiser and the performance of both headphones – the latter being the base EPOS Adapt 660 AMC. This comes in a Half Moon Zippered Hard Side Flat Canvas Case that includes the BTD 800 BT Dongle, 1.2m USB-A to micro-USB cable and 1.4m 3.5mm to 2.5mm audio cable. The headphones fold flat, so the chassis is approximately 19 x 18 x 5.5cms and will withstand the rigors of backpacking.
EPOS AI – Bypass
This is the secret sauce that sets EPOS apart from its Sennheiser cousin — well, from all the contenders.
- Machine learning identifies usage patterns, sound, and noise. It can extract sound from other sounds like phones ringing, chattering, traffic, dogs barking, etc.
- EPOS makes challenging yards in its surrounding lab and releases firmware updates.
- It also works on the headset – AI on the edge. It can distinguish between your voice and the callers – both sides of the call.
We were able to test both the PXC-550 II and the EPOS ADAPT 660 AMC, and you can hear the difference using the UC. ADAPT has several levels of “quiet” and better microphone pickup. You can read more about EPOS AI technology.
ANC – Noise Canceling – Exceed
EPOS Anti-Noise focuses on frequencies between 20-800 Hz and volume – 60-65 dB in an open office and 60-85 dB in public transport or aircraft.
It can provide attenuation up to 30dB – excellent – with ANC turned on. Keep in mind that a normal sound is about 60 dB, a quiet library is around 40 dB and a diesel truck is around 90 dB. Each headset has three ANC microphones and one vocal mic and is more than a match for the Sony WH-100XM4 or Bose QC45 when it comes to ANC.
But there is a lot of this technique. Noise canceling in three parts. It contains an external and an internal microphone or Hybrid ANC – a total of four ANC microphones. In addition, it has passive noise cancellation of 15-30 dB (over ear cups) (at higher frequencies), making it an excellent choice for open offices or when traveling to work on planes or trains.
There is also a transparency mode (double tap on the right earbud).
Usage and convenience – bypass
I am using the PCX-550 II for travel. I’ve done several 15 hour long trips as well as a regular train ride of about 1.5 hours. The ADAPT 660 ANC is the same – light at 227g, and the leather pads are deep and comfortable. Closed back pads and cups and a headband “clip” weight provide the first layer of noise isolation. I have never felt excessive heat in the ears or discomfort.
The touch controls on the outer right earcup are very easy to use. Swipe up to increase volume, right to change songs, and tap to play/pause. Double-tap for the voice assistant of your choice (if it’s connected to a smartphone) or Alexa if it’s not.
Players will appreciate aptX Low Latency which should result in this lower duration
Connect EPOS – PASS
EPOS connect (Android) for Adapt 660 refused to recognize the headphones. Looking at readers’ comments, this has been going on for months (EPOS support confirms it’s working on an Android app). EPOS Connect works for iOS and reveals a reasonable set of features:
- Noise canceling slider 0-50% adaptive mode (also for wind reduction) or 100% ANC on
- Audio mode: Neutral, Speech, Club, Movie, Custom (bass boost or holiday, spatial, reverb etc.)
- Smart Power On / Off (when headphones are removed)
- improve communication
- Percentage of sidetones (your voice is heard during a call)
- sound limiter
- BT Multipoint
Apart from ANC on / off / adaptive, you need the app to change any other settings.
How do they look? – More than
Windows users warn that Windows may install both the A2DP and HFP/HSP (non-manual) version – the latter being strictly for UC and boosting bass, bass and treble frequencies. So, if your music is “off”, go to Bluetooth and select the right music for the music.
The music is amazing with mid-range bass that starts at 47Hz and goes up to 100Hz. Hence it becomes relatively flat 5 kHz (good), drops to avoid triple roughness, and then becomes flat again to approximately 20 kHz. This neutral acoustic signature – a clear sound – allows the equalizer to enhance or rest the original amplitude of the speaker.
Although the neutral preset is suitable for most types of music, you need to use the app (Android users can’t access it yet) to change the presets.
And don’t underestimate the power of a custom preset. With a little experimentation, it can expand the sound stage, input frequency and operate dynamic loudness control to smooth out irregular increases and dips in volume from different audio content.
sound stage – pass
Over-ear headphones have the advantage of a much wider sound stage – even if they’re just outside your head. These are closed back (for Hybrid ANC), but you do get a completely open, more spacious sound stage when playing Dolby Atmos content.
Call Clarity – Bypass, even in noisy environments
Callers commented that my voice was loud and clear, with little or no background noise.
Battery – Bypass
EPOS prompts ANC to turn on/off for 20/30 hours using Bluetooth. Our tests at 75% volume with ANC on/off saw a 22/31 runtime. 0-100 micro-USB charging takes about 3 hours (and you can listen simultaneously). Supports fast charging: 10 minutes results in 90 minutes of playing time.
Note that it is compatible with a maximum of 5V/2A (USB 2.0) – do not use a USB-C PD charger.
And don’t forget that this is one of the very few devices that allow you to charge and listen simultaneously via BT, USB or 3.5mm.
Durability – Transcend
A two-year warranty is suitable for a product that can withstand commercial use. You can buy replacement ear cups for $39 a pair, and a replacement 700mAh internal battery for $39. It is well made and has long lasting support.
Competition – overtake – there with the best
There is no competition if you consider it a UC business product with AI sound and great music advantages. The bonus is that it covers work and play well.
On the consumer front, they compete with the Sony WH-1000XM4 and the Bose QC45 (and the Bose 700). And let’s not forget the Sennheiser PCX550-II at a special $299 right now.
CyberShack’s Viewpoint – EPOS Adapt 660 AMC Made for Work and Pleasure
We’re very pleased that the EPOS Adapt 660 AMC has not strayed from the roots of the PCX550-II that delivers absolute listening pleasure. Major changes are in the four microphones (versus three) and artificial intelligence that drives clear voice and prioritizes UC.
All Sennheiser products focus on music, so you may hear things you might not have heard before on your old headphones. It’s a great Sennheiser signature. But let’s not forget that it’s all work related (ha, ha!)
EPOS Adapt 660 AMC – Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team co-branded headphones BT/ANC
$775 but you can shop
- Marry Sennheiser’s voice with EPOS AI
- Durable and comfortable
- Battery life 20/30 hours
- USB DAC for simultaneous charging and listening (few others have this)
- BTD 800 dongle provided (although you don’t need to)
- It still has a micro-USB connector
- If premium audio is all you’re looking for on your travels, the Sennheiser PCX550-II is all you need.