I’m a huge fan of Blue’s microphones and premium wired headphones: the company knows how to build equipment that sounds as good as it looks. Naturally, I was excited to try its newest effort, the Satellite wireless headphones.
At $400, they’re not cheap – but they do offer Bluetooth connectivity, a built-in amplifier, active noise canceling, and a premium over-the-ear design and build. But with a range of similar options out there, I wanted to be sure that these were worth their asking price, and spent a month with them to find out.
With the Satellite, Blue wasn’t going for a particularly compact design; these are full-size on-ear headphones that weigh a fair bit. Thankfully, the cushioned cloth-covered headband alleviates most of the discomfort you’d expect with such a heavy pair.
However, this all means that the set is fairly large, even when folded flat or packed into the beautiful carrying case it comes with. If you intend to travel with these, you’ll about as much space as a DSLR camera and lens would take up in your bag.
They certainly look gorgeous. Blue has a penchant for blending retro chic with modern touches, and it’s brought that sort of design thinking to the table with the Satellite as well. The color scheme, cloth pattern and emblems on both earpads evoke vintage gear, while the Satellite’s clean lines and controls give the set a contemporary look.
The controls are all mounted on the earcups, with buttons surrounding the Blue logo in a circle on either side. I wasn’t a fan of this layout, as I couldn’t ever remember which portion of the circle to press to increase volume or turn the amplifier on – they’re not exactly where I expected them to be, and I frequently had to remove the cans to find the button I needed to hit. They also didn’t offer great response, so it wasn’t easy to tell if I’d engaged a function or not.
The Satellite is fairly…