Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC Review: NEW Stylish Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

By: Alex Chub | 30.09.2020, 13:37
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC Review: NEW Stylish Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC Against Their Competitors in 2020

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC
Author’s Choice
Overhead wireless headphones with active noise cancellation and 40mm dynamic emitters. They are connected via Bluetooth 5.0 and support SBC, AAC, aptX, aptXLL, HP1.7, mSBC codecs and work on a single battery charge up to 14 hours. Highly recommended!
Read Verified Customer Reviews

But how are they compared to other headphones available on the market? Let’s see what makes them so different.

5 Competing Headphones

Author's Choice Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC
  • Can connect with two devices at once
  • ENC technology for clear calls
  • Broad codec support
Check Price
Check Price
People's Choice Sony WH-XB900N Sony WH-XB900N
  • Solid noise-cancelling performance
  • Good for bass-heavy music
  • Up to 30 hours of playback
Check Price
Check Price
Premium Choice Beats Solo Pro Beats Solo Pro
  • Good sound and effective ANC
  • Excellent voice call quality
  • Always-on Siri for Apple devices
Check Price
Check Price
Best Budget Mpow H19 IPO Mpow H19 IPO
  • Good noise cancelation at their price point
  • Can be paired with 2 devices simultaneously
  • Quick charging technology
Check Price
Check Price
Best Design Marshall Mid A.N.C. Marshall Mid A.N.C.
  • Powerful sound with a rich bass
  • Great battery life for the small size
  • Distinctive Marshall design
Check Price
Check Price

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC Detailed Overview

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC
  • Can connect with two devices at once
  • ENC technology for clear calls
  • Broad codec support
Check Price

So what makes Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC different in the abundance of features that come directly on the headphones.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC headphones are an unexpected, but quite attractive representative of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 range, which is associated primarily with business class laptops. The headphones combine reliable, convenient layout, pleasant design, good active noise cancellation system and excellent autonomy. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC sounds at the level of popular brands: the average user will like it, more demanding music fans should choose from the competitors below. Possibility to connect to two devices, support for most current codecs, including aptX and optional wired connection to PC are among useful bonuses.

What’s in the box?

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC is supplied in a large black box with X1 product range stylized logo. Inside you’ll find the headphones themselves, housed in a hard case with zipper, then a Type-C USB - Type-A USB cable for charging and documentation.

What do Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC Look Like?

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC are overhead headphones, they are more compact and lighter than full-size models. The headphones are made of plastic, metal and artificial leather. The design and color finish are laconic: a combination of dark gray and black. The headphones shell and the outer caps of cups are made of metal. The caps are flat and the X1 logo on the right is the only decorative element.

The cups are quite thick due to the impressive embouchure. Along the perimeter of the cups there are holes of extra microphones for active noise cancellation system.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC feature a standard sliding mechanism design for size adjustment. The headband is upholstered in artificial leather with perforation and foam filler.

The cups can be rotated by 90° for comfortable wearing around the neck when you are not using headphones. And for easy storage and carrying cups can be folded inside.

The embouchures are not too wide in diameter, but it will be enough to "cover" the ears. They are padded with artificial leather, inside - a thick layer of soft foam filler.

All functional elements are placed on the ends of the headphones. And there are many of them. On the left headphone there is a Type-C connector with LED for charging, on/off slider and a multifunction button. On the right headphone there is a microphone mute slider, a volume control button and a button to select the noise cancellation mode. Below we will tell you how to use all of them.

All the materials and assembly are very well done. The design is almost good: the headphones themselves look nice and stylish. But, because of the thickness, the headphones stick out quite strongly during use, which does not look very aesthetically.

Is It Convenient to Use Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC? 

The same as all overhead headphones, Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC doe not hide ears inside the embouchures, but cover them. Thanks to the thick ear cushions and artificial leather, the passive sound insulation is quite good. Although, of course, it is inferior to full-size models. The range of headband adjustment is sufficient for any (or almost any) head. The downforce is sufficient for a good fixation of headphones on the head, they do not fly off during the walk. But with a very sharp movement, I think they can still fly off, which is peculiarity of overhead models. Provided the ambient temperature of the office is comfortable, you can wear headphones for hours, and they do not bother. If you go outside and the weather is hot, the ears start to sweat a little.

Bluetooth 5.0 is used for connection, and the headset can be connected to two devices. This is convenient when working in the office: you can connect a laptop and smartphone. To enter pairing mode, move the slider for 2 seconds before the Bluetooth designation. The headset supports SBC, AAC, aptX, aptXLL (Low Latency), HP1.7 and mSBC (Modified SBC).  No issues with the stability of connection: there are no interruptions or stuttering in the line of sight up to the declared 10 m or even more. The headphones can also cope with one wall. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC can be used over the cable when connected to PC/laptop via USB: the headset is detected by the system as an audio output device.

There are no additional applications for Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC, all control is performed with the help of buttons on the headphones themselves.There are a couple of buttons on the right to adjust the volume, between them there is a button to select the noise cancellation mode: two levels of noise intensity and its switching off. Their switching is accompanied by voice prompts. Above - the microphone mute slider. You can control playback and calls with the multifunctional button on the left headphone. Single pressing is in charge of playback pause/resume. Double and triple - switch to the next and previous track respectively. Single click receives and ends the call, and a long press can reject the call.

What about Sound and Microphone Quality?

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC is clearly not positioned as a music fan solution, so it would be absurd to expect incredibly cool sound from them. The sound is quite adequate and its quality will be absolutely sufficient for the public audience. They do not sink into the low-frequency hum, although, it should be said that there is a certain emphasis on the low frequencies. What has already become common in most " popular " headphones, which are aimed at popular electronic and pop music, as well as hip-hop. Average frequencies are present in pretty decent amounts, but they sound flat and a little blurred. We would like more details. High frequencies, as it should be expected, are softened so as not to cut into the ears in some cases. The imaginary scene is a bit jammed. In general, as mentioned above, the headphones are suitable for popular music and have enough density, drive. For more complex instrumental music is not the best option. Although, the sound quality requirements are different for everybody and somebody will enjoy jazz or metal in the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC.

According to the official website of Lenovo, the ThinkPad X1 ANC has six microphones, and in addition to active noise cancellation aimed to cut off external noise (ANC), there is also an electronic noise canceling - ENC, which is designed to cleanly transmit the user's voice to his conversation partner during calls. Our testing of headphones proved that speech is indeed transmitted quite clearly, but the voice does not sound very natural and a little constricted, which is generally typical of similar solutions.

How Good is Noise Cancellation?

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC is an overhead model with closed acoustic design, with passive soundproofing it is not perfect, but very good. The active noise cancellation system has two modes of operation. The first one, as I think, is better suited for the office, so that nothing distracts from the work. The second, more aggressive, is for use on the road. Monotonous low frequency background noise is cut off really well on the street. Of course, ANC does not cope perfectly with subway, but reduces the noise level enough to be able to comfortably listen to music. In general, the implementation of the active noise cancellation system does not reach Sony or Bose solutions, but the cost of Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC is approximately 2.5 times lower than recently reviewed Sony WH-1000XM4 with one of the best ANC on the market.

Battery Life

The built-in battery capacity of Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC is 800 mAh, it charges less than 3 hours. There is support for fast recharging: 2 hours of work after a 15 minute recharge. Up to 14 hours of battery life are promised with the noise cancellation turned off and (probably) at 50% volume. In real conditions, this may vary over a wide range. I got about 10 hours of operation. The maximum noise reduction level and the loudness were always used significantly above average. So the performance is very impressive.

Reasons to Buy or Not to Buy Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC

Pros:

  • User-friendly design
  • Good ANC mplementation
  • Connection to two devices and support of SBC, AAC, aptX, aptXLL, HP1.7, mSBC;
  • Long battery life
  • Simple and straightforward control

Cons:

  • You don’t like overhead headphones
  • You are music fan and looking for headphones with appropriate sound

How Do They Stack Up Against Competitors?

People's Choice – Sony WH-XB900N

Sony WH-XB900N Sony WH-XB900N
  • Solid noise-cancelling performance
  • Good for bass-heavy music
  • Up to 30 hours of playback
Check Price

Thanks to the foldable design, the Sony WH-XB900N does not take up much space in a bag or backpack. They are good at reducing ambient noise, and the ANC level can be adjusted in the Sony Headphones Connect application. By default, the headphones may sound a little heavier on the bass, but this can also be corrected with Clear Bass control in the application. A double tap on the right cup is enough to answer the call, and the volume can be adjusted in a swipe up or down. The voice is transmitted very naturally. The model supports SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD and LDAC codecs. The battery life reaches 30 hours with active noise cancellation. You can often buy the headphones on sale at a discounted price.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC VS Sony WH-XB900N

  Sony WH-XB900N Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC
Noise Cancellation NC with Ambient Sound Control 2 levels of noise cancelling
Special Features Quick Attention Multi-point, ENC technology
Connectivity Bluetooth 4.2, AUX, NFC for quick pairing Bluetooth 5.0, USB digital audio
Driver size 1.57" 1.57"
Battery life with ANC on 30H about 10H
Weight 8.96 oz 7.55 oz

Premium Choice – Beats Solo Pro

Beats Solo Pro Beats Solo Pro
  • Good sound and effective ANC
  • Excellent voice call quality
  • Always-on Siri for Apple devices
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Beats Solo Pro has got a very effective ANC, but does not offer the ability to adjust the level of noise cancellation (only on, off and transparency mode). The headphones were designed with Apple ecosystem in mind. Thanks to the Apple H1 chip, the headphones connect instantly to iOS devices and MacBooks. You also have access to always-listening Siri, and a Lightning port for charging. On Android everything looks not so smooth, but you can download the Beats application on Google Play to configure and display the animation when paired. Solo Pro is well adapted for video conferencing and calls, at both ends the voice is clean and detailed. The headphones are available in 6 colors. Battery life: 22 hours with ANC on and up to 40 hours without it.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC VS Beats Solo Pro

  Beats Solo Pro Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC
Noise Cancellation Pure ANC, Transparency mode 2 levels of noise cancelling
Special Features Audio Sharing, Apple H1 chip Multi-point, ENC technology
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, 3.5mm (separate cable required) Bluetooth 5.0, USB digital audio
Driver size 1.57" 1.57"
Battery life with ANC on 22H about 10H
Weight 9.42 oz 7.55 oz

Best Budget – Mpow H19 IPO

Mpow H19 IPO Mpow H19 IPO
  • Good noise cancelation at their price point
  • Can be paired with 2 devices simultaneously
  • Quick charging technology
Check Price

The Mpow H19 IPO offers a good noise cancellation system for low cost headphones. They cut off most of the low and mid-frequency sounds, whether you're in a crowded office, public transportation or in a busy street. When you make calls, CVC 8.0 microphones pick up your voice clearly. The headphones can be simultaneously connected to your smartphone and laptop. They can work for up to 35 hours on a single charge, but only 15 hours with ANC on. Quick charging takes only 10 minutes and provides 2 hours of listening time. Users also note that the headphones are very comfortable and do not put pressure on the ears.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC VS Mpow H19 IPO

  Mpow H19 IPO Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC
Noise Cancellation Active Noise Cancelling 2 levels of noise cancelling
Special Features CVC 8.0 Microphone, Multi-point Multi-point, ENC technology
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0, AUX Bluetooth 5.0, USB digital audio
Driver size 1.57" 1.57"
Battery life with ANC on 15H about 10H
Weight 8.47 oz 7.55 oz

Best Design – Marshall Mid A.N.C.

Marshall Mid A.N.C. Marshall Mid A.N.C.
  • Powerful sound with a rich bass
  • Great battery life for the small size
  • Distinctive Marshall design
Check Price

Retro-styled Marshall Mid A.N.C. produces balanced sound and works up to 20 hours with active ANC mode. On the left cup there is a universal joystick-like control button, which allows you to switch and rewind tracks, adjust the volume, answer calls or activate the voice assistant. The vinyl shell with imitation leather texture can be easily folded for carrying. Stylish travel case included in the package. These are great headphones for those who want to stand out from the crowd. But not the best choice for calls, they make your voice sound muffled. Similar to some competitors, Mid ANCs allow active noise cancellation when wired to a sound source. In this mode they will work more than 30 hours. When listening wirelessly you can use the empty 3.5 mm input to share your music with a friend. Support for aptX codec is also worth mentioning.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC VS Marshall Mid A.N.C.

  Marshall Mid A.N.C. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC
Noise Cancellation Active Noise Cancelling 2 levels of noise cancelling
Special Features Music Share, Universal control knob Multi-point, ENC technology
Connectivity Bluetooth, Stereo 3.5mm Bluetooth 5.0, USB digital audio
Driver size 1.57" 1.57"
Battery life with ANC on 20H about 10H
Weight 7.33 oz 7.55 oz

The Verdict

Before buying Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC you should know at least three things about them:

  • Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC are overhead headphones with closed acoustic design and well implemented active noise cancellation system
  • Bluetooth 5.0 is used for connection, there is also support for 2 devices connection and SBC, AAC, aptX, aptXLL, HP1.7, mSBC codecs
  • The headphones can work up to 14 hours without ANC  and 15 minutes of quick charging will provide 2 hours of work

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