A review of the EPOS IMPACT 1061 ANC. That sounds a bit strange for a high-end website. But read on, because this is no ordinary review. No, it is more to investigate what is meant by good sound in another audio sector. And how that is implemented.
Imagine working in a call center of a large multinational company at the busiest time of the day. No doubt there are many colleagues, who together create a lot of distracting sounds. In order to still be able to have conversations in which you can concentrate one hundred percent, there are requirements for headsets for such environments.
Consider, for example, excellent ANC. As far as the EPOS IMPACT 1061 ANC is concerned, we can – naturally – already put a check mark on that. The headset features an advanced form of noise reduction, using the in-house developed Brain Adapt technology. More on that later.
At the same time, the headset also passively shields the ears from the outside world. Together, as you will soon discover, this makes for a rock-solid combination. By the way, should you ever want to talk to a colleague, a touch of a button is all it takes to activate the pass-through function.
Also important is ergonomics. Call center employees often have a headset on their head for many hours. We deliberately had the IMPACT 1061 ANC on our heads for quite a few hours. And it must be said: it never bothered us for a second. Soft and easy-to-clean ear cushions guarantee this.
Unlike the vast majority of consumer and high-end headphones, the main microphone is not incorporated into the ear cups of the IMPACT 1061 ANC, but on a protruding stick (boom). This is rotatable; the headset itself is portable as desired. By which we mean that you can wear the boom on the left or right side. Through the accompanying app, you specify the left and right ear shell.
The advantage of the boom is the slightly better sound quality on the receiving side. There are microphones in both ear cups, but they are used for ANC.
Stand with non-contact charger
We stay with ease of use for a moment. Included with the EPOS IMPACT 1061 ANC is a stand. It contains – very cleverly – a contactless charger. As soon as you put the headset on the holder, charging begins (provided you have connected the tripod to a charger via the USB-C cable coming from it).
Now this is typically one of those practical examples of why “looking next door” is so interesting. Because as far as we are concerned, every manufacturer of wireless headphones may also start using this trick. There is no risk of quickly rickety USB-C connectors. Moreover, there is immediately a nice “storage space”.
By the way, should you ever need to go on the road and forget the charging stand: no worries. A USB-C connection is also available on the headphones. So ‘traditional’ charging is always possible. But we still say: contactless charging via the stand is a great solution.
‘Hearing with the ears, listening with the brain’
Working under the hood of the EPOS IMPACT 1061 ANC are numerous technologies to keep you as undisturbed as possible. In summary, these are (largely) described by the manufacturer as BrainAdapt. This is based on the basic principle “we hear with our ears, but we listen with our brain”.
What EPOS claims to have discovered throughout various studies is that sounds that are not easily processed (or not recognized) by your brain lead to stress and fatigue. This is known as “cognitive load”. The headphones we tested have many continuously measuring and regulating systems to ensure that this load is kept as low as possible. In other words, recognition is scaled up with the help of machine learning, among other things. In a busy office environment, for example, unnatural and distracting sounds are pushed away as much as possible.
In addition to BrainAdapt for the listening user of the headset, EPOS AI is also at work during conversations. This technology ensures the best possible intelligibility of speech picked up by the microphone. In other words, the other party always hears you crystal clear despite ambient noise.
If some of the techniques mentioned ring a bell with you, that may be true. BrainAdapt was also used in gaming headsets, for example. Where of course the same problems as in a noisy office come into play, especially in gaming contest. In short: and we can only confirm this: the EPOS IMPACT 1061 ANC makes undistracted communication possible.
Nice detail in that: this and similar headsets are also used during F1 competitions. Again in order to be able to work and communicate as concentrated as possible in the busy chatter of the coaching staff at the office at the side of the track.
While using the headset over a somewhat longer period of time, I at least noticed that the often somewhat “oppressive” feeling was not present with ANC turned on. Long-term wearing also works fine. You shouldn’t walk with it, but that is true for any well-insulated headset: you will hear your own feet thumping. This sound comes from inside the headphones and cannot be attributed to the headphones or ANC. The user-friendliness is high and equipped with numerous smart features. For example, if you want to pause a conversation, all you have to do is turn up the microphone. During an active conversation, red LEDs indicate this clearly, so that colleagues – if things are a bit off – will not bother you.
Among other things, the accompanying app lets you set how much of your own voice is audible during a call.