OneOdio Fusion A71 Wired Headphones Review
An acceptable $40 headphone with just a few compromises
OneOdio is based in Hong Kong, and their low-priced headphone products often fill up the Amazon sales charts.
I’ve had an interest in their models for a while. I originally planned to look at their older headphone, the “Pro” series, and their newer design, the “Fusion” model, in the same article.
However, I got two different broken Pro 50’s. I still spent a little time with them, and I’ll mention my experiences in a footnote at the bottom of this review. It was a bummer to receive two damaged pairs.
But the Fusion showed up in perfect working order!
If you’re looking for a budget wired consumer-style headphone with a more comfortable fit than the Skullcandy Riff, and a wonderful connectivity package, then you’ve come to the right place.
The OneOdio Fusion Wired headphone is a closed-back pair that retails for $40.
It frequently goes on sale for less, and I got mine for about $28. It’s sometimes also known as the “A71,” which is not a good name at all but is in line with the way headphones are usually named.
Packed inside a tiny red box, this cheap headphone comes with a surprising number of extra goodies. You get a vinyl carrying bag, two different cables, and a few bits of literature.
OneOdio also sells a wireless version of the Fusion for $55. It adds a basic Bluetooth implementation and upgrades the ear pads with memory foam inside.
I expected nothing as far as audio performance out of the 40mm drivers packed into the non-vented plastic ear cups of the Fusion, but they hold more positives than negatives in the audio department.
First, let’s get the bad things out of the way.
The soundstage is a bit thin and inside the head…a bit like the M50X’s. Bass is a little over-done and flabby compared to the neutral studio headphones I use as a reference, with some notable extra thickness in the midbass that lends a touch too much warmth to the tonal quality of the midrange.
Treble is slightly withdrawn and sometimes lacking in fine detail. It’s not at all muddled, but it’s definitely rolled away a bit more than I’d like to let the bass boost take center stage.
Isolation is adequate, though unspectacular, thanks in part to the basic foam used in the pads. I’ll talk more about that in the comfort section. It still did fine in the loud coffee shop I test isolation in, but it’s not my first choice for passive isolation.
Aside from those small issues, this is a decent-sounding headphone. It acquits itself better than many cheap products I’ve listened to. It sounds better than the Taotronics Soundsurge 60 by a mile, and offers a little more punch in the low end than the Skullcandy Riff.
It’s a little too cluttered and dark for accurate reproduction, but close enough that I adjusted to it quickly. It’s not a good choice for acoustic material and podcasts will sound too boomy.
I can’t overstate how small the excesses are here, and that’s wonderful for the price. The warm, slightly relaxed sound is a great fit for most mainstream music genres, movies, and immersive explosion-heavy gaming.
On first wear, I put them on and said aloud “Huh, these sound okay and just a little boomy.”
In the world of “totally okay-sounding” headphones, I prefer these to the more anemic M20X.
A note about volume levels: I think their manufacturer-cited sensitivity of “110dB +- 3dB” is an overestimation. They aren’t quiet, and you certainly won’t need a special amp, but I had to crank the volume a tiny bit more on all my test devices than I’d expected from 32 ohm drivers rated at that high of a sensitivity.
The wired OneOdio Fusion A71’s don’t use memory foam ear pads, and the ear pad holes are a little bit on the small side. They’ll hug your ears tightly. The drivers aren’t angled inside and the ear pad depth is shallow, so your ears will press a little into the very soft foam inside the center of the cup.
That all sounds questionable, doesn’t it?
Fortunately, the Fusion claws back some comfy points with its headband, clamp, and weight.
The headband has a thick squishy pad on it, and enough adjustment range that it fits my larger head with about three extra clicks of room. Clamp is halfway between studio headphones and gentler pairs. It’ll stay on your head, but doesn’t need any sort of stretching or break-in period.
And they weigh practically nothing thanks to their…lightweight build. More on that below.
The result is a headphone that’s comfy to wear for long sessions even though the ear pad foam is a little lackluster and the ear holes are a little small. Once I got the size adjusted right, I was happy with the fit. You’ll notice them touching your ears, but that’s it.
If you want a headphone that looks like a real headphone but doesn’t necessarily feel like a real headphone, you’ve come to the right place.
From the outside looking in, the Fusion A71 is a reasonable copy of any well-designed studio pair released in the last couple of decades.
It has a standard-looking headband, oval-shaped cups that can also fold and rotate for storage or comfy wearing around the neck, and the backs of the ear cups have a glossy, textured finish. The channels on the insides of the ear cup forks where the wires run through are fully enclosed. And the branding is kept to a minimum, with the only garish note being the bright red color accents which are absent on the wireless model.
Once you touch these, you’ll realize they’re a cheap headphone.
The build is 99 percent plastic. Thin, hollow-feeling plastic. Plastic that you shouldn’t throw at the wall…not that you should do that with any tech product.
There’s one tiny strip of metal running through the headband and into the adjustment sliders. If you pull the ear cups apart far enough while putting them on your head, the metal strip along the top of the headband buckles and the whole headband will sag down a little bit in the center.
The ear pads are covered in a vinyl leatherette that feels almost nothing like leather. The shiny circular backs of the cups pick up dust and fingerprints instantly.
In spite of the light plastic build, my pair has no obvious fit or finish issues, unlike the Pro 50 model I’ll talk about at the bottom of the article. The hinges all feel solid with good tension, the adjustment sliders click nicely, and there are no major creaks or squeaks in my pair, though I fully expect some to develop over time.
I love the extras package on this headphone.
The cable is detachable, once again proving that there’s no reason for this to be a premium-priced feature. If I could scream this directly at all the gaming headset companies that still use permanently-attached cables on their budget products, I would.
The Fusion’s best trick is OneOdio’s “Adapter Free” technology. Basically, the headphones have two input ports: one 6.3mm and one 3.5mm with a recessed tip.
Inside the box, you get a “Coiled” cable with both plug types available. Just plug the end into your headphones you don’t want to use with your device, and you’re good to go without any size adapter needed.
I love the idea of using a 6.3mm connector on the headphone end. The connector is robust and provides a secure fit, and OneOdio tried to mimic this with their proprietary deep-insert 3.5mm port on the other ear cup.
I put the word “coiled” in quotes above because the coiled cable is actually a 2m straight cable with one little coiled area on it.
The other cable in the box is a standard 1.2m analog cable with a one-button remote and mic combo. One end has the deep 3.5mm tip you’ll need for these headphones, and the other a 4 pole 3.5mm connector for your phone or game console.
Rounding out the features package is a simple vinyl carrying bag. In a nice detail, the back of the bag has OneOdio’s support contact info on it in case you ever need to take advantage of their generous warranty.
So yes, one of the ports on the headphone is a proprietary recessed 3.5mm connection. But the other one is a bog-standard 6.3mm/quarter-inch port, and that’s wonderful. Also, these do support audio passthrough to another pair of headphones if you want to daisy-chain someone else’s headphone to the unused port.
This is a cheap headphone with two cables and two connection options. That’s basically unheard-of outside of OneOdio’s lineup.
The most you can hope for out of a headphone this cheap is that it’s better than you expect. That’s just what the OneOdio Fusion A71 delivers.
It sounds totally fine, with only a bit too much bass and a bit too little treble, and a cramped soundstage. It looks like a decent studio headphone on the outside, and is comfy to wear in spite of its svelte ear pads. It has a robust features package with plenty of connection options.
And it’s built…out of cheap plastic with a headband that buckles, and doesn’t isolate that well.
What do you want for under $40? If it’s acceptable sound, acceptable comfort, and cable options that put other headphones to shame, this is the cheap model to buy.
BONUS NOTES ABOUT THE ONEODIO PRO 50
Both of the Pro 50’s I received through Amazon had no tension or friction whatsoever in their left foldable hinge. Every time I tried to fold the headphones down for storage, the left ear cup would just flop all the way back open immediately.
Curiously, the right hinge was well-tensioned on both pairs.
The second pair had a fully crushed right ear pad. In spite of using cushy memory foam, the right pad did not recover from its squished-ness even after some gentle massaging and spending some time alone in the corner to think about its problems.
This picture shows the permanent and obvious dent in the foam, and this was after I gave it some time to expand.
It’s a shame that I got two defective pairs of these, because they’re really fun. Their build is worse than the Fusions’, but their comfort was improved on the one pair without a crushed pad. The memory foam is thick and supple and went a long way to making up for the circular shape of the pads. They’re a legitimate budget comfort champion if you can manage to get one with intact pads.
Sound quality on the Pro 50 is big, thick, fun, and miles away from anything I’d call “Professional.” The Fusion is about 20 percent south of neutral, with a gentle warm tilt. The Pro 50 takes that same slightly subdued treble and midrange, and adds a heaping dollop of subwoofer-like booming bass.
The bass on the Pro 50’s is massive in a fun smile-inducing way. It reminded me of the older Sony Extra Bass headphones from before they started relying on digital tricks to achieve their extra low-end.
With its obvious quality issues and thick bass, I can’t really recommend the Pro 50 to anyone unless you’d like to take a gamble and you like a lot of low end.
The Pro 50 is based on OneOdio’s oldest and longest-selling headphone design. They’ve got a number of newer models on the market, and my wired Fusion pair is better-built. It has stiffer hinges, joints, and adjustments than either Pro 50 I briefly owned.
But the quality of the Pro 50’s memory foam has me very curious to pick up the Wireless Fusion A70 model in the future and check that out and…
Wait a minute…
The wireless Fusion is called “A70” and the cheaper wired model is called “A71?”
I wish I was making that up.