REVIEW: The Epos Adapt 660 AMC is Race Day Ready
Epos Audio, formerly a branch of Sennheiser, are an industry leading name in audio solutions for enterprise and gaming. As the Global Audio Partner of the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One™ team, Epos Audio have reimagined their business flagship Adapt 660 headphones in the form of the Adapt 660 AMC.
Donning racing colours and promising competition quality, Epos say that their latest headset is “uncompromised audio for those who live life in the fast lane”. So, Channel News decided to take them for a test drive.
Who is Epos Audio?
As previously mentioned, Epos Audio were born out of the business and gaming division of Sennheiser, known as Sennheiser Communications, and have since demerged. As a result, their products are built off the high quality audio benchmark that has been set by Sennheiser.
In case there was any doubt or confusion on whether Epos Audio are built upon the DNA of Sennheiser, here is a picture of a 2018 pair of Sennheiser PXC 550’s, and the Epos Adapt 660 AMC’s side by side. Besides the earcups getting slightly bigger over time and some styling changes, the two pairs look next to identical, proving that brand DNA is still very much intact. As a result, Epos Audio are a brand that is tried, tested and able to be trusted.
Out of the Box
Straight away, I was impressed with the packaging, which made the unboxing experience feel like a premium event. Sitting in modern matte black box, was another box that housed the headphones and their carry pack, alongside a pen and a handwritten note. The carry pack contained the headphones themselves, a Micro-USB cable, a USB adapter, and an auxiliary cable. I would have loved it to use USB-C.
Feel, Aesthetic and Comfort
The headphones, despite being made of plastic, have a solid and study construction that really does feel premium. Personally, I usually find sports branding on tech products to be rather tacky, but Epos have done no more than add green accents and a pair of Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One logos, which I think is absolutely spot on. Not enough branding to cheapen the product, but enough to make you feel that you’re holding a pair of headphones that line up perfectly with a high-end English racing machine. Epos have tightrope walked a very fine line successfully.
The headphones have nice big earcups that are well padded, with plenty of ability to adjust for size. As a result, wearing the Adapt 660 AMC for long periods of time was easy. Compared to the older Sennheiser PXC 550’s, the larger earcups sit more comfortably, rather than crushing the edges of larger ears.
After a quick look at the latest Aston Martin Cognizant F1 car, you can see where Epos Audio have pinched their styling cues.
Setup and Connectivity.
Connecting and setting up the EPOS Adapt 660 AMC headphones is super simple and intuitive. The headphones turn on just by twisting the earcups into place. To connect, users only need to press on the blue button on the right earcup, which will set it into pairing mode, where it can then be paired with your device.
Audio range was rather solid, as I often found myself leaving my desk to walk around and had no issues with the signal dropping in quality or cut-outs. Of course, given a great enough distance, as with any Bluetooth connection, dropouts will occur.
Changing between devices was super easy thanks to multi-point connectivity. My PC at home has no Bluetooth connectivity, yet it was easy to connect to thanks to the included BTD 800 USB dongle.
Sound Quality (Entertainment)
It’s worth keeping in mind that the Adapt 660 AMC headphones are not meant as a pure entertainment device. If you were looking for something purely for high-end audio, there are headphones on the market that will give you better sound. But considering that these are business headphones that prioritize calls and communication, music sounded pretty amazing.
Regardless of whether you are listening to modern tracks, older recordings or podcasts, levels were next to perfect, and clarity was spot on. Despite heavy bass response and mids, there was no muddying in the higher range, resulting in a full and crystal-clear sound. I often found myself listening to older tracks such as Black Sabbath’s Paranoid album, and hearing things I usually don’t on cheaper headphones or my Jabra earbuds.
At the same time, synthwave and other modern genres that demand extreme clarity were a joy to listen to. Zenith by Kavinsky was a track I kept revisiting, as I could hear the very breathiness of the brass section before the piercing synth kicked in.
As a drummer who spends quite a lot of time in the studio myself, and even more time listening to my favourite tracks, I was extremely impressed with the Adapt 660 AMC as a music listening device. My only criticism is that I found playback volume to be rather low. I had my volume often set much higher than I would with other headphones.
Battery life sits at around 30 hours.
Communication and Enterprise
Epos Audio have packed the Adapt 660 AMC with tons of features that make it perfect for communication and business.
Thanks to the built-in Epos AI™, the Adapt 660 AMC makes use of three microphones to identify and pick up your voice. During calls, I was often complimented on the clarity of my voice unprompted, meaning there is not only a noticeable, but a significant difference compared to the microphone you would usually use on your phone or laptop. I tried this out via regular phone calls, Facebook calls, Teams and more, and the results were consistent.
Alongside the three previously mentioned microphones, the Adapt 660 AMC has an ANC microphone system made up of four microphones. As a result, background noise was completely eliminated, unless there were particularly loud noises going on. The elimination of wind noise was a particular favourite party trick of mine, as walking home from the office, there is a spot where the buildings form a sort of wind tunnel, making me feel like I’m going to fly away like a kite. With the headphones on though, I at least couldn’t hear the wind. Those I was on a call with still could though.
The Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) has three modes – The first is complete noise cancelling that cuts out talking that occurs in your surroundings. It works fantastically, and I had my work colleagues make me physically jump as they tapped me on the shoulder to get my attention. The middle setting is the same but allows you to hear conversation. Epos Voice™ identifies chatter around you, meaning you don’t miss out on what is being said, and don’t end up startling yourself. The last setting turns on external microphones, allowing you to hear all your surroundings. As the Adapt 660 AMC are closed-back headphones, even without ANC, noise around you can be hard to hear, making this feature super helpful.
Controlling the Adapt 660 AMC headphones is super simple and intuitive. Epos do provide a basic guide on the controls, but I found it to be rather self-explanatory. A touch pad on the right earcup is where the magic happens. Changing to the next song is as simple as swiping right, while going back is the opposite. Pausing is a simple tap, as is resuming, while volume is controlled by swiping up and down. For calls, answering is as simple as swiping right to answer and left to decline.
As previously mentioned, there is a physical button for Bluetooth and a switch for ANC.
Epos Audio have also made their flagship headset compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri, making communication and navigation even
Pricing and Availability
Now the biggest downside of the Adapt 660 AMC is the price. The MSRP sits at $775 AUD, a whole $100 more than the standard Adapt 660, which offers all the same features, but without the green Aston Martin branding.
The headphones are also not sold at many retailers in the country, with a total of 7 dealers nationwide. Your best bet therefore is to purchase them from the Aston Martin F1 Team online shop, who have them for $901 AUD.
Epos Audio have absolutely knocked it out of the park with the Adapt 660 AMC. They provide high-quality audio for all aspects of life, have industry leading ANC capabilities and look fantastic. My only real issues are with the high price and lack of accessibility.
- Sturdy, lightweight build
- Comfortable to wear
- High quality audio
- Easy to connect to
- Long battery life
- Gorgeous packaging
- Balance between sophistication and sporty styling
- Business and Enterprise oriented
- Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri compatible
- Hard to purchase
- Somewhat low playback volume
- Micro-USB instead of USB-C