Shure Aonic 50: Excellent Audio, Merely Good ANC
PC Magazine|May 2020
The Shure Aonic 50 headphones are priced to compete with the best noise-canceling headphones on the market. Sonically, they deliver a wonderful audio experience that will appeal to those seeking an accurate sound signature. When it comes to active noise cancellation (ANC), however, the headphones are merely good, not great. So while we enjoy the Aonic 50’s comfortable fit and quality sound, if ANC is your top priority, you can find better options in this high price range, including the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700.

DESIGN

Available in black or brown, the Aonic 50 are handsomely designed circumaural (over-ear) headphones. The earpads and underside of the headband are luxuriously cushioned with plush memory foam and lined with a leather-like material. Stitching on the headband lends a touch of class, and a series of detents on the headband adjuster above each earcup allows for precise ear-to-ear fit. The headphones are bulky, but comfortable once you get the right fit.

The side panel of the right earcup houses controls for power/pairing; a multifunction button for playback, call management, track navigation, and voice assistants; dedicated volume up and down buttons; and a switch for toggling between ANC and Environment Mode (the ambient mode for monitoring your surroundings). The USB-C port for the included charging cable is also located on the right earcup side panel, while the jack for the included headphone cable is located in the same spot on the left earcup.

Although all the dedicated buttons are nice, it’s hard to feel which button is which, even though the multifunction one has a textured mark on it. It’s easy to accidentally press the wrong button when trying to adjust the volume until your fingers memorize where everything is.

You can use the headphones passively with the cable. Connecting the cable will break the Bluetooth connection but will not power down the headphones, so if you’re plugging in to save juice, you need to take that extra step of powering down manually. But this also means you can use the cable and still also use either ANC or Environmental Mode if you want. Disconnecting the audio cable will immediately re-pair the headphones with your mobile device.

Inside each earcup, a 50mm Neodymium dynamic transducer delivers a frequency range of 20Hz to 22kHz. The headphones are compatible with Bluetooth 5.0 and support AptX, AAC, and SBC Bluetooth codecs.

The ShurePlus Play app (for Android and iOS) offers solid extra controls and features, including the ability to adjust the levels of the ANC between Normal and Max as well as the volume of the outside world when listening to Environmental Mode. The app is also very responsive to whatever mode you’re in—switching ANC on immediately highlights it as an option to adjust in the app, and the same is true with Environmental Mode. One annoyance is that you can’t turn either on or off in the app itself—but that would defeat the purpose of the physical switch and cause confusion, so it’s understandable.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM PC MAGAZINEView All

Microsoft's Viva Aims to Make Remote Work Easier

While many companies are still mastering the art of working from home, Microsoft recently introduced its virtual solution: The Viva employee experience platform helps folks learn, grow, and thrive, even from their kitchen tables. Powered by Microsoft 365 and Teams, Viva makes it easy for customers to merge existing systems and tools with fresh features for a more accessible, discoverable workplace.

2 mins read
PC Magazine
March 2021

What Is Clubhouse? The Invite-Only Chat App Explained

Wondering why you’re hearing a lot about Clubhouse lately? We can partially blame Elon Musk: By popping up in a Clubhouse room in February, the world’s richest man (for now) brought the service a lot of attention. Here’s what you need to know about the exclusive chat app.

5 mins read
PC Magazine
March 2021

How to Set Up and Optimize Your Wireless Router

Although manufacturers have been making installation utilities easier to use, getting the best out of your new wireless router usually means delving a little deeper than the standard installation routine will go. Just because you’ve plugged everything in and all the blinking lights have turned green doesn’t mean your network’s performance or its security are as strong as they could be. Follow these basic steps to properly configure your router and optimize your wireless network.

10+ mins read
PC Magazine
March 2021

How to Troubleshoot Your Internet Connection

Do you have a full house of social distancers working, gaming, streaming, and news binging, all at the same time? Before you schedule a service call with your cable company, check out our tips for troubleshooting your internet connection.

7 mins read
PC Magazine
March 2021

What Is Wi-FI 6E?

If you’re in the market for a new router or any device that uses Wi-Fi, you should first understand the new Wi-Fi 6E standard and what it means for the future of wireless networks at home and in offices around the US. The Wi-Fi Alliance, a group of Wi-Fi platform vendors that work with the FCC and electronics manufacturers to set standards for Wi-Fi technology, announced the Wi-Fi 6E designation in 2020 for any IEEE 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) products that support 6GHz wireless spectrum. Essentially, this means Wi-Fi 6E enables faster speeds and lower latencies than Wi-Fi 6 and earlier iterations.

5 mins read
PC Magazine
March 2021

How to Make Your Android Phone Less Annoying

It’s hard to unplug these days. PCs, tablets, smartphones—even a large selection of home appliances—can wirelessly connect to the internet at the push of a button. Devices buzz with emails, notifications, and status updates at all hours of the day, making it hard to concentrate. Your Android phone is no exception—but there are ways to make it less annoying.

5 mins read
PC Magazine
March 2021

Lenovo Yoga 9i (15-Inch): A Competent Convertible

We recently reviewed the 14-inch Lenovo Yoga 9i, a compact convertible laptop with plenty of upside, but maybe you’re in the market for something a little larger. Its big brother, the 15.6-inch Lenovo Yoga 9i, brings the same high-quality hybrid form factor to a roomier display. Of course, the increased size makes the larger Yoga a little unwieldy as a tablet, but it also delivers more power. (The hybrid’s snappy Intel Core i7 H-Series CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics will impress.) Long battery life and an included stylus sweeten the pot for what is a good if not standout convertible. The premium HP Spectre x360 15 remains our favorite big-screen 2-in-1 machine.

8 mins read
PC Magazine
March 2021

Amazon Halo: Shines as Activity and Sleep Tracker

Lots of fitness trackers can measure your calories burned, heart rate, and steps. With the Halo, Amazon wants to give you greater visibility into your overall health, along with actionable insights to help improve it. The Halo does an excellent job of monitoring your activity and sleep, and its companion app gives you access to a wide range of workouts and wellness programs. In addition, the Halo can analyze the tone of your voice to tell you how you sound to other people and measure your body-fat percentage based on images taken with its app. These two features are a bit gimmicky, but the Halo band is otherwise useful when you’re looking to move more and improve your shut-eye.

10+ mins read
PC Magazine
March 2021

10 Ways to Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal

Browsing slowed to a crawl, the inability to stream, dropped Wi-Fi signals, wireless dead zones—each of these problems is maddening in a world where getting online has become, for some, as necessary as breathing (well, maybe not that critical—but still important). When the only way you can get decent reception is by standing next to your wireless router, our tips can help.

10+ mins read
PC Magazine
March 2021

TechX Awards: The Most Innovative Products and Technologies of CES 2021

CES 2021 gave PCMag editors their first chance to vet candidates for our new Technical Excellence Awards, aka TechX.

9 mins read
PC Magazine
February 2021
RELATED STORIES

Noisy, Ugly, and Addictive

Hyper pop could become the countercultural sound of the 2020s.

8 mins read
The Atlantic
March 2021

Heritage Foods

At Stone Barns Center, guest-chef residencies are bringing fresh flavors to fine dining.

4 mins read
New York magazine
February 15–28, 2021

HyperX Cloud Stinger S

Sting like a bee

3 mins read
Maximum PC
January 2021

SPECIAL REPORT

BREATH-CONTROLLED TRANSATLANTIC • UPWIND MAINSAIL TRIM • SETTING A TRYSAIL

6 mins read
Yachting World
February 2021

SPOTIFY'S PODCAST POWER PLAY

The company is staking its future on converting music listeners to podcast fans and has become the favorite to own the industry—for better or worse

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
January 18, 2021

CONTROL: WHY SHOULD BE KEPT LOCKED DOWN

Developers are quietly working on iOS 14 and its Mac and Watch counterparts, and many are wondering what the next-generation operating system will look like. A Bloomberg report has shed some light, and Apple looks set to loosen its grip on its privacy-focused ecosystem.

6 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #479 *Special Edition

STREAMING WARS: MUSIC REVENUE UP & THE TRILLION-DOLLOR TV BATTLE

With 79% of music industry revenue coming from streaming and digital sales at an all-time low, it’s clear the future of entertainment is via subscriptions. But in a world where everything is rented, questions must be asked over budgets, and the evolution of content consumption.

7 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #478 *Special Edition

Gluten and dairy restriction:OUR CHILDREN DESERVE BETTER!

When children experience respiratory, digestive, behaviour, or other health challenges, many parents naturally seek out dietary solutions. Unfortunately, the prevailing confusion in this area provides fertile ground for misconceptions and counterproductive dietary fads. Among contemporary trends, avoiding gluten and/ or dairy products are two of the most popular. Does taking your children off gluten or dairy really help? Do such recommendations rest upon fallacy or fact? As it turns out, though born of legitimate concerns, the impulse to discontinue gluten or dairy products is generally misguided, and may distract parents from truly important steps that can help kids to eat right, grow, and thrive.

5 mins read
Delight Gluten Free
October 2020

Apple To Cut App Stor Fees as Legal Scrutiny Intensifies

Apple will cut its app store commissions in half for most developers beginning next year amid an intensifying debate about whether the iPhone maker has been using the fees to unfairly fatten its profits and stifle rivals competing against its own music, video, and other subscription services.

3 mins read
Techlife News
November 21, 2020

8 essential S Pen tips for Galaxy Note 20

Even if you’ve been using an S Pen for years, you’ll want to know where Samsung has added new features and functionality.

4 mins read
PCWorld
November 2020