Shinola Canfield headphones have distinctive appears to be like, however audio left us wanting extra

Though Shinola is primarily seen as a way of life model, its Canfield on-ear headphones are one of many newest product traces to hitch their established watches, bikes, and equipment, and AppleInsider tries them out.

The Canfield headphones are distinctly totally different from many others we have examined through the years. Whereas an emphasis was clearly positioned on design, they’re no slouches in relation to audio high quality.

Virtually as a retro homage, these headphones do not embody quite a lot of the tech we see from different headphones lately. There isn’t a Bluetooth, no noise canceling, with the cans as an alternative counting on design, sound high quality, and a little bit of patriotism.

Construct and design

As a way of life firm, the design and craftsmanship is entrance and heart. It’s clear from first look that the Canfields have a muted type that we very a lot appreciated, particularly in comparison with the ostentatious design we see from Beats and different common headphones.

Shinola Canfield headphones have exceptional looks, but audio left us wanting more

A lone lightning bolt emblem resides on the outside of every earpiece, in any other case making room for the supplies to be the main focus. Every ear pad is manufactured from extraordinarily mushy and supple lambskin, wrapping a bit of reminiscence foam.

On prime of the scarf sits a stretch of leather-based, sourced from Chicago’s Horween tannery —a favourite we see utilized in most of Nomad’s cell equipment. Chrome steel makes up the body, which supplies it a little bit of weight, in contrast to most different headphones.

Most of those design choices are spot on, whereas others barely miss the mark. For starters, the reminiscence foam padding on the ears and the scarf is a bit stiff. Shinola says that it will put on in over time and be extra snug, however we by no means had been in a position to fairly get it there.

We additionally preferred the load of the headphones, though relying on the wearer, it might be problematic whereas laying down whereas sporting the headphones. For us, they simply began to slide in that state of affairs.

Adjusting the headphones was additionally fairly troublesome whereas really being worn, requiring them to be eliminated to correctly prolong the earpieces.

Since these are wired headphones, a cable is essentially included. It takes the type of a basic Y-cable, although nonetheless prime quality.

Nylon wraps the cable to stop tangles and harm, and steel accents on every of the ends, in addition to the inline controls. A small steel bead designates the fitting cable, although an L and R additionally demarcate the orientation.

As an alternative of placing the inline controls down the left aspect of the cable like most different headphones, Shinola positioned it proper on the heart of the Y. Even after weeks of use, we nonetheless can not seem to bear in mind its location by muscle reminiscence.

Clearly touted on the aspect of the field is Shinola’s MFi certification, which is required for these inline controls. Some points of these controls work completely on iOS, and never on Android. What we actually hoped for with that certification although, was some form of Lightning connector/adapter.

Shinola markets them as “Made for iPhone” regardless that it really would not work with any latest iPhone with out utilizing an adapter, whether or not Apple’s included one or a 3rd get together one). At this value level, it will have been excellent had Shinola included a Lightning model of the cable or their very own shade/material-matched adapter within the field.

Fortunately, included within the field is 1 / 4 inch adapter which makes utilizing professional or retro tools simpler. That is one thing we absolutely would count on from headphones of this caliber.

Audio high quality

We very a lot preferred the audio high quality of the Canfields, although it appeared to not be fairly as clear as different headphones within the around-$500 value vary. Fortunately, since launch, Shinola dropped the value a bit which makes the audio profile extra palatable.

There isn’t a getting round the truth that the Canfield headphones sound good, it simply depends upon what they’re in comparison with. Using their very own customized 40mm drivers, they clearly surpass most headphones underneath $300. It’s while you get to extra premium fashions that the delicate variations begin to be extra outstanding.

Canfield’s signature audio will be finest described as heat and strong. There’s a clear heat that’s current in many alternative music genres, and it even sounds greats with spoken phrase or audiobook tracks. We seen a little bit of harshness within the higher register, that was a bit brash to our ear. This was extra subdued as the quantity degree was adjusted down.

Bass was ever-present, however not overpowering. It actually seemed like the proper quantity of bass, although we aren’t essentially into overbearing bass-laden tracks. These are searching for a heavy-handed bass line ought to in all probability inquire elsewhere.

Midrange was nicely pronounced with above-average separation. Vocal-forward tracks sounded strong with loads of element and nuance current, although this was the most important differentiator between these and different similarly-priced headphones. Headphones just like the Audeze Sine have a bit extra readability right here and might carry a completely new degree to lots of our basic rock tracks.


Shinola’s Canfield on-ear headphones are exceptionally nicely designed and undeniably stunning. Sadly, in relation to pure audio high quality, there are different, higher choices on the identical pricepoint. That goes double if options like noise-canceling and wi-fi are crucial. Audiophiles might simply desire a bit extra midrange readability and not-so-harsh highs out of those $350 cans.

If you’re wanting as an alternative for a pair of well-balanced headphones that mix beautiful design, high-quality supplies, and above-average audio, then the Canfields could do the trick.

The place to purchase

Although they debuted larger, Canfields will be now picked up immediately from Shinola for $350 for the on-ear model. They’re accessible with leather-based/steel shade combos of black/silver, cognac/black, and black/shiny black. You can even decide them up from Neiman Marcus for a similar value.

Shinola additionally gives over-ear (for $450) and in-ear (for $195) gadgets in a number of shade schemes which give some selection to their lineup, although no wi-fi choices can be found.

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