About the Shure AONIC 50
Premium wireless noise-cancelers from the stage & studio pros
The well-constructed Shure AONIC noise-canceling headphones play music wirelessly from your phone via Bluetooth.
Premium wireless noise-cancelers from the stage & studio pros
In early March 2020, I grabbed a sample of the Shure AONIC 50 noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones as I left Crutchfield HQ for my extended work-from-home stretch. And boy am I glad I did. These well-built headphones have some features that come in real handy for the home office. Plus, they feature Shure's well-rounded, professional-grade sound signature.
These were my go-to over-ears during that strange month. Active noise cancellation helped hush my home office distractions while music played wirelessly from my phone or laptop. This helped me better focus on my work — and zone out when needed.
Durable and form-fitting design
These are some of the best-put-together wireless headphones I've used. They sport an industrial design with sharp angles and a sturdy aluminum frame that felt incredibly durable pulling them out of the box. And while I noticed a little more heft than I'm used to, the weight was distributed pretty evenly when on my head.
These headphones had a secure, well-cushioned fit that managed to avoid the sensitive pressure point near the crown of my head. It was snug for sure, but it grew on me. I wore them through entire work shifts and didn't feel fatigued.
Earcups fold flat to fit inside the included carrying case.
Bluetooth 5.0 is on board — the strongest, most reliable Bluetooth yet. I could leave my phone on my desk and walk to the far end of my basement with no audio dropouts. It features two advanced forms of audio coding: aptX-HD® and LDAC. Both offer improved sound quality with compatible devices. I was able to get an LDAC connection with my Samsung Galaxy phone (and you also can with these headphones and a Sony High-res Walkman).
Powerful noise cancellation and a quick way to hear others
The noise-canceling technology was strong enough to knock out the sound of my very loud furnace. That was especially crucial when I hopped on virtual Microsoft Teams meetings (it can be hard enough to follow what everyone is saying without the extra noise).
There's a switch on the right earcup for turning the noise cancellation on and off. And when my kids would run down to ask me a question, I could use that same switch to activate "Environment Mode." That temporarily turns off the noise-canceling circuitry and uses the built-in mics to pick up external sounds and voices.
My Shure AONIC 50 listening impressions
Shure microphones and in-ear monitors have been considered the "industry standard" for years (think Roger Daltry swinging around the super-durable Shure SM58 mic back in the day). They are also a household name for hardcore headphone hobbyists and audiophiles. For the AONIC 50s, Shure cherry picks from all these different worlds — including the rich, spacious sound that the company is known for.
Shure's "flat" frequency response
I've heard people at high-end headphone shows refer to Shure's neutral sound as a "palate cleanser." That's an apt description, but don't mistake that to mean boring — the AONIC 50s are anything but. Shure tunes their headphones to better reproduce the original recording without imposing any added coloration.
That's exactly what I heard when listening without noise cancellation. I had been auditioning some bass-heavy 'phones from another company, so it took me a few songs to readjust my expectations. But I soon grew to appreciate the larger soundstage and additional resolution in the highs and upper-mids.
I noticed more bass emphasis with noise cancellation activated, but it was a tasteful amount. Just a little extra punch, but never at the expense of the other frequencies. And these 'phones revealed all the details — beauty, warts and all.
Back to the basics
In fact, as I wrote this product description in March 2020, I happened to catch Adam Levine on The Howard Stern Show, forced by circumstances to appear via Zoom video conference. He did an impromptu cover of Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes." The sound quality and internet connection were atrocious. But there was a certain charm to hearing a megastar messing around with the "sneaky-cool chord progression" on a relic strat guitar in his garage — and all the acoustic characteristics that go along with it.
The AONIC 50s delivered it with a visceral thrill — the earnest vocals, crunchy guitar, and echoes of the room. And I've heard many similar musical moments recently through these Shure headphones.
Wide-open, sophisticated sound that sucked me in
Of course, it took a more refined recording to really show off these headphones' strengths. Van Morrison's Hard Nose the Highway album stretched the limits of the AONIC 50's expansive soundstage. It also showed just how much control the drivers have over the accuracy and precise imaging.
The soulful crooner's vocals came from right in front of me as the sax, violin, and harp sounds sailed around my head. Every instrument had a sense of place, with the percussion keeping everything grounded and cohesive.
I started with the album on as background music while I worked, but as the album built and "Warm Love" gave way to the title track, I was forced to pay attention. For a brief moment, I was able to stop typing, stop scrolling through news on my phone, stop worrying, and listen. The music came through unfiltered so I could just sit back and breathe for a bit. Something I truly needed at the time.
- closed-back, over-the-ear design to seal out external noise
- Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity for wireless music listening and phone calls with compatible smartphone
- aptX-HD® and AAC decoding provides high-quality music streaming from compatible devices
- aptX Low Latency decoding helps sync audio and video on compatible devices
- adjustable noise cancellation circuitry automatically adapts itself to the level of external sound
- Environment Mode uses built-in mics to pick up external sounds
- 50mm dynamic drivers produce a large soundstage with rich bass and clear, extended highs
- tuned to Shure's studio-grade specifications
- built-in DAC and premium headphone amplifier for optimum wireless playback
Battery info and controls:
- built-in rechargeable battery offers up to 20 hours of wireless use with noise cancellation
- USB-C charging cable included
- tactile buttons on right earcup control Bluetooth, noise cancellation, music and calls
- free ShurePlus™ PLAY app for Apple® and Android™ allows you to customize sound and adjust Environment mode
Build, accessories, and general info:
- heavy-duty construction with solid aluminum sliders
- oversized, cushioned leather ear pads for long-lasting comfort
- includes zippered, padded carrying case
- detachable cable with 3.5mm miniplug connector for wired use
- frequency response: 20-22,000 Hz
- sensitivity: 97.5 dB
- impedance: 39 ohms (wired)
- weight: 11.8
- warranty: 2 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # SBH2350-BK
What's in the box:
- Over-ear wireless headphones (black)
- 62" Audio cable (straight 3.5mm plug on one end and straight 2.5mm plug on other end)
- 42" USB cable (Type A USB on one end and USB-C on other end)
- Zippered storage case
- Product Safety and Warranty Information
- Safety Precautions
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More details on the Shure AONIC 50
Overview: The Shure AONIC 50 Wireless Headphones (SBH2350) deliver premium, studio-quality sound with a comfortable over-ear listening experience. With Bluetooth 5.0 and support for multiple codecs, you can enjoy your music without being tethered to your device. Active Noise Cancellation eliminates external distractions, so you can concentrate on your music. A robust rechargeable battery delivers up to 20 hours of uninterrupted listening between charges. The AONIC 50s come with a zippered, hard-shell clamshell case (10" dia x 2.5" height), a 5' audio cable, and a 3.5' USB-C charging cable.
Drivers: The AONIC 50 headphones are equipped with large 50mm dynamic drivers to provide clear, studio quality sound with deep bass.
Bluetooth 5.0: The AONIC 50 has Bluetooth 5.0 technology which provides enhanced stability with fewer signal dropouts. They headphones support Qualcomm aptX, aptX HD, aptX Low Latency, SBC, AAC, and LDAC codecs. The headphones work at a range of approximately 30 feet from your source.
Wired Listening: The AONIC 50s have an analog audio cable for listening to your audio when you can't (or choose not to) listen wirelessly. The included USB charging cable also doubles as an audio cable, allowing you to listen to digital audio files on your computer.
On Board Controls: The right earcup features on board controls for multiple functions. The Power button not only lets you turn the headphones on or off, you can also press and hold for 6 seconds to pair your Bluetooth device. With a quick double press of the button, you can check the battery status, receiving an audible status notification. The 3-button control lets you adjust the volume (outer buttons), and control phone and music functions (center button). Those functions include Play/pause, Next Track, Previous Track, Answer/end call, Decline call, and Activate Voice Assistant (Alexa, Google Assistant). The AONIC 50s also have a dedicated button for Active Noise Cancellation.
Active Noise Cancellation: Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) lets you silence some or all of the ambient noise around you. Microphones on the earcup picks up the noise, and the ANC circuits suppresses the noise by introducing an equal, but opposite, audio signal. The 3-position switch on the right earcup lets you turn on ANC (push button down), Environment Mode (push button up), or neutral mode (off) in the middle position.
Environment Mode: The Environment Mode helps you to keep aware of your surroundings by accentuating the ambient noise around you. The mode uses the built-in microphones to pick up and amplify the sounds around you, so you can carry on a conversation, hear public announcements, or maintain awareness of your surroundings, without having to remove your headphones. In the ShurePlus PLAY app, you can toggle the feature and adjust the levels of ANC or Environment Modes.
ShurePlus™ PLAY App: The ShurePlus™ PLAY app is a mobile audio player with an advanced parametric EQ for use with the AONIC 50 headphones. The music tab lets you play compressed and uncompressed audio files with your iOS or Android mobile device. With an iOS device you can add music to your device using iTunes, AirDrop, Apple Music, or other apps that support file sharing. On an Android device, you can add music using various File Sharing or other audio apps. ShurePlus™ PLAY offers a 31-band parametric equalizer with a gain of +/-10dB (0.1dB increments) and a bandwidth of 0.2 to 4.0 octaves (0.1 octave increments). Custom EQ curves can be named and saved, if desired. There are 5 presets to choose from: De-ess (to reduce sibilance in speech), Flat (no equalization), Loudness (accentuates bass and treble for better sound at low volumes), Low Boost (raise or lower bass frequencies), and Vocal Boost (emphasizes the vocal range). You can duplicate one of the presets, and adjust and save it to suit your personal listening preferences. Any firmware updates for the Secure Fit Adapters are transmitted through the app. The ShurePlus™ PLAY app is available from the Apple App Store for iOS devices with version 11.3 or later, and from Google Play for Android devices with version 8.0 and up.
- Transducer Type: Dynamic 50mm drivers
- Frequency Response: 20Hz - 22kHz
- Sensitivity (1 kHz): 97.5 dB/mW
- Impedance: 39 ohms
- Maximum Input Power: 100mW
- Earcup Dimensions:
- External: Width 3.57", Height 4.112", Depth 1.922"
- Internal: Width 1.725", Height 2.333", Depth 0.625"
- Net Weight: 11.8 ounces