Hands on with the ADAPT 600 & ADAPT 200
From in-ear earphones to larger, over-ear cupped headphones, the ADAPT line taps into a multitude of user needs, whether on the move on a busy train, stationary in the office, or working from home.
Over the last month, I’ve been hands-on with the ADAPT 200 and ADAPT 600 Series to try out the many features stuffed into these wireless audio devices.
ADAPT 600 Series
I’ve been using the older MB660s for around 18 months. Being the flagship headset for the old Sennheiser Communications brand, the EPOS ADAPT 600 is a solid upgrade in both design and functionality.
They haven’t completely stripped down the old model and rebuilt it from the ground up, more given each section a thorough polish and rounded off some sharper edges.
The ADAPT 660 now comes with a sleek matte black design and additional Teams button on the side; aesthetics and outer build are otherwise very similar to its MB cousin.
Starting with the battery life, the 660 offers an impressive 30 hours of use before needing to be recharged. And upon hearing the “please charge headset” reminder in your ears, it only takes around 2 hours to fully recharge again.
These 30 hours typically cover a standard work week, so a recharge never becomes too invasive when going in and out of calls or listening to a podcast when focusing.
Range is also something you’ll want to consider. I tested these while both at home and in the office and didn’t once experience a dropped connection between the desk and the kitchen (about 20-25 metres and around a few corners).
Connection did seem to falter when outside at home with my device remaining in the house, but if you’re conducting calls while taking the bins out this is probably a scheduling issue, and less to do with your headphones.
My favourite part about the ADAPT 660 is its ability to switch between multiple devices almost instantaneously.
I’ll regularly be swapping from video calls – using the USB dongle – then over to my phone to listen to a podcast and get on with some work.
This switch from smartphone to softphone has been really simple and removed any faffing around with cables and manually reconnecting to the various devices I’m using at once.
The smooth transition between devices continues with the touch controls on the side of the ear cups. Swipe up to raise the volume, right to change songs, and tap it to play/pause. These controls have been very reliable and even consistently responsive after washing hands or using hand gel which can sometimes affect similar devices.
Alexa compatibility is also a nice touch; I spent a day seeing if I could get away without touching my phone and, although I wouldn’t do this every day, it was definitely a fun challenge and well within the ADAPT 660’s capabilities.
And finally, arguably the star feature of the device: adaptive noise-cancellation (ANC).
The user experience for the ANC couldn’t be easier. A little three option switch on the right ear cup allows the user to totally switch off the outside world or keep an ear open for people approaching in the office or the doorbell at home.
In addition, where many noise cancelling headphones I’ve used (admittedly those directed more to the consumer market) have felt like I’m trapping my ears in a vacuum sealed prison, the cushioned pads make for a lot more comfortable experience when wearing them for long periods.
Sound adjustments can also be made through the EPOS Connect App. Connecting your device to the app allows you to switch between various listening modes and tweak those to your personal preference. This allows you to get a varied experience whether you’re using them on a call or listening to music in some down time.
ADAPT 200 Series
The ADAPT 200 Series is the latest device to be introduced to the ADAPT range.
These come in either USB or USB-C variations, as well as one-ear or double ear cup. For the purpose of this overview, it’s important to note I tested the USB, double eared version.
I used these mainly for calls, as opposed to listening to something while working.
Setting up is just as easy as the 660. Holding the ‘On/Bluetooth’ button down for 2 second turns on the device, making it ready to use.
This button is also close to the Microsoft Teams button allowing users to answer calls at the touch of a button.
The audio clarity on calls was fantastic thanks to EPOS Voice™, giving a naturalistic feel to conversations despite being long-distance over Teams. I particularly noticed EPOS’ ActiveGard® in action on the odd occasion when a colleague’s dog entered the room shouting at the top of his little lungs for the next meaty treat. The sound was dampened which lessened the shock compared to if I’d merely been using my laptop speakers.
And while the cups on the 200 series don’t fold right over the ear – like the 660s – the ANC is still excellent at blocking out external noise from colleagues or family.
Audio levels are adjusted not through the cups themselves, but through a small adjustable button on the mic side of the ear cup. It’s arguably slightly less natural than swiping up or down on the 660s, having to reach around the back and find the little button, but is hardly something to put into the ‘cons’ column.
A nice little touch I enjoyed was that the headset size is adjusted from the ear cups and not the headband itself. This makes the whole adjustment process feel a lot sturdier than a lot of consumer headphones I’ve used in the past; it’s clear a great deal of care and attention has been taken with the design and user experience.
All this comes wrapped up at a very affordable price point coming in as the cheapest option within the ADAPT range. EPOS retains their renowned audio and design quality while offering a very cost-efficient option for the Channel.
Having spent the last month with both headsets, it’s plain to see that EPOS have really considered hybrid working in their design and usability.
Being able to switch between devices without needing to touch anything, as well as switching between the softphone and mobile is now something I couldn’t do without.
While I used the 660 more when on the move and at home, the 200 had its place amongst a busy workday of calls thanks to the easily retractable mic.
The comfort and convenience of the ADAPT Series creates a solid and dependable audio solution that can fit into all sorts of end user environments.