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Samsung Level On review: Folding on-ear headphones for Samsung Galaxy owners fail to impress

Plugged into an LG G3 , I could pause tracks, skip tracks with a double click and increase volume, but not lower the volume for some reason. The controls won't work at all with iPhones , so if you're an Apple fan, feel free to move on.

The Level Ons are reasonably comfortable, thanks to the headband. It doesn't grip your head with quite the same vice-like strength as other on-ear headphones I've used. I could comfortably wear them for a couple of hours at a time before needing to let my ears breathe. I certainly wouldn't want to wear them non-stop for an entire day, but I could say the same about most, if not all, on-ears.


If you're looking for headphones that punch you in the head with so much bass your skull shakes like a nervous dog, keep on moving. Even the Beats Solo 2s have brought the bass attack down a little in favour of a more balanced sound, and you'll find a similar audio profile on the Levels.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

There is bass there, and a decent amount of it, but it's not so forceful as to cut through everything else in the song. The thumping kick drum on Knife Party's intense track "Internet Friends" was powerful, but didn't deliver the sharp punch that would leave dedicated electro fans with a grin from ear to ear. The underlying bass hum behind the track was warm, but the Levels don't provide a particularly tight control over the low end, making the sound a little muddy.

In Meshuggah's brutal song "Combustion", the kickdrum was again powerful, but the guitars and cymbals didn't have the same high-end sparkle that's present in the Sennheiser Momentum on-ears, nor do the Levels achieve the same mid-range warmth, making them sound a little less rich and full than the Momentums -- although I preferred the Levels over the Beats for rock and metal music.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The highly cushioned earpads and moderately tight fit form a good seal on your ears, which helps eliminate a good deal of ambient sound. Traffic noise around central London crept through easily, but they do a good job of blocking out murmurs from an office. You won't need to crank them too high to hear your music properly -- unless you sit next to someone who screeches all day at hilarious YouTube clips.


The black plastic design of the Samsung Level On headphones may be rather plain, but they're inconspicuous and the folding mechanism makes them easy to pop into a bag. Fans of electro and rock are sufficiently catered for in their sound quality, although audio purists won't be too keen on the muddy low end or the lack of clarity and sparkle in the high end.

The total lack of iPhone support kills the Level On headphones' appeal for non-Android users, and they need to be quite a bit cheaper for their uninspiring audio quality to be acceptable. With so many other great on-ear headphones in the same price range -- such as the superb Sennheiser Momentums , to name just one -- the Samsung Level Ons are tough to recommend to anyone but die-hard Galaxy fanatics.

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