The Lindy BNX-60XT over-ears are the latest in a line of fine-value noise-cancelling headphones from the German brand. The original BNX-60 are a budget favourite of ours, coming away with a five-star rating in 2016. That, though, was seven years ago, and there has been no shortage of budget ANC headphones entering the market since. Has the addition of the letters ‘XT’ to the model name moved things on for the sub-£100 model?
The new Lindy BNX-60XT wireless noise-cancellers will set you back £95 / $116 approx / AUS$189, and the feature list is decent for a set of headphones on the affordable scale. In the UK, you can currently find them for as low as £89, even. Note that in Australia, these headphones go by a different model name of LH700XW.
At this price, however, it faces stiff competition from the newly-crowned 2023 Award-winner, the Sony WH-CH720N, which are yours for similar money at £99 / $129 / AU$259. Moreover, the original Lindy BNX-60, which we're told will be discontinued once current stock is sold, are still available to buy, with prices as low as £79 in the UK. Bargain.
Build & features
Like their forebears, the discreet all-black Lindy BNX-60XT are solidly made from sturdy plastic with pleather earpads. The headband is softly padded as well, and can be expanded to fit larger heads.
Each earcup houses a few buttons and controls, and there are a couple of lights, one on each earcup, to let you know what is happening. On the left cup you will find volume and next/previous song controls, together with a multi-function button to turn things on and off, set up Bluetooth 5.0 pairing, play and pause and call answering. There is also a light to let you know if the headset is charging, or functioning wirelessly. And finally, there is a 3.5mm output for the supplied cable – with a microphone and control buttons – which means the headphones will function with no charge as well (provided, of course, you have the means of plugging them into your source device).
Lindy BNX-60XT tech specs
Bluetooth 5.0 (aptX)
Noise cancelling? Yes
Battery life Up to 29 hours (BT and ANC on)
Cable length 1.5m
Built-in mic and controls? Yes
The right earcup has the USB-C input for charging and a toggle to turn the noise cancelling on and off. A light reveals when ANC is functioning.
It will take two hours to fully charge the headphones from empty, but you can give them a five-minute zap for up to an hour of playback – useful for that commute home, perhaps. Fully charged, the headphones should provide more than a day’s playback with both Bluetooth and ANC on – 29 hours is Lindy’s claim.
The BNX-60XT also benefit from twin pairing – impressive for the relatively low outlay. This means that you can have them paired with both a phone and a laptop and can switch between the two. This isn’t seamless – you have to pause the sound on the laptop, say, to then take a call on your phone – but it does work once you get used to things. Additionally, headphones can be paired with a maximum of eight devices.
Also provided with your purchase are a hard-shell carry case, the audio cable, a USB-A to C charging cable, a 6.3mm adaptor and a dual-plug flight adaptor. This is a pretty well-specified package for the money.
Comfort & usability
The BNX-60XT sit fairly comfortably on the head. Our largest-headed reviewers on the team did need to have the headband fully extended to get a reasonable fit and seal, so those with a jumbo max-sized cranium may need to check these Lindys for fit before purchase. The earpads are pretty well padded and soft enough, and the clamping pressure – initially a touch too firm for those of us with spectacles – eases with use.
As with many over-ear designs, your ears will probably get rather warm after half an hour or so’s use, but it never gets too uncomfortable.
As is usual with headphone controls, it takes a bit of getting used to the various button positions, but once you get that down pat, it’s fairly easy to get your head around everything around your head.
There are issues, however. When the headphones are in noise-cancelling mode, a slight push on the earcups will make the sound cut out. It doesn’t happen when the ANC is switched off, or when the cable is being used, so there is clearly an issue with that particular mode. We tested and lived with the headphones for nearly a full month, and it doesn’t happen all the time, but the slightest of touches can make the audio skip for a moment.
Also, when we used the headphones for a video meeting, the other people on the call found the audio muffled on occasion. This wasn’t such an issue with phone calls, but we found using our MacBook Pro’s built-in mic on video conferences made us more audible at the other end in comparison.
Sound & noise cancelling
We connect our Lindy BNX-60XT headphones to both our Apple MacBook Pro and iPhone 12 and listen to music on Spotify and Tidal over Bluetooth, with noise cancelling both on and off. And the differences between the two are stark.
With noise cancelling off, bass is overly prominent and the rest of the sonic range seems to be hiding behind a curtain, or smear of vaseline; it isn’t muffled exactly, but it has to fight too hard to win its place in the spotlight from the overarching bass tones.
Switch the noise cancelling on, and the midrange snaps into life and pushes that bass a bit further into the background. The sound is bulged to the midrange, but not uncomfortably or irritatingly so. There are times when the top end veers perilously close to being too strident for our taste, but it just about manages to hang on at the acceptable level of brightness.
The midrange and bass, with noise cancelling on, are decently integrated generally, and the timing of the headphones is pretty good – Young The Giant’s My Body rattles along at a jaunty lick – and dynamics and detail are acceptable for headphones at this end of the market.
The issue here is that, while the Lindy BNX-60XT are perfectly functional over-ear headphones, they don’t provide a massive sense of enjoyment to our music listening. They would do sterling service as a commuting or office workhorse, but if we were looking to get engrossed in our music we would look elsewhere.
The noise-cancelling, too, is middle of the road at best. Of course, the nature of over-ear headphones means that there is a decent amount of passive noise isolation anyway, but the switch to noise cancelling, while improving the sound the BNX-60XT provide considerably, is more disappointing as far as an exterior sound blocking tool. Again, probably fine for a short commute, but voices in the office are still clearly audible, and we would certainly plump for a better option if we were about to embark on a long-haul flight.
If the noise-cancelling were better, we might be able to make a better case for the Lindy BNX-60XT, perhaps; but they fall just a bit short on both ANC and, more importantly, sound. At this price, the five-star Sony CH720N offer a more lively, detailed and rhythmically capable performance that lets us enjoy our music more – and you can tone down that emphatic bass, too.
As a tool to use on your daily commute, and in the office perhaps, the Lindys will do a perfectly serviceable job. If you want to really enjoy your music, however, there are better, more capable options available for even less money elsewhere.
Read our review of the Award-winning Sony WH-CH720N
Also consider the five-star (non-ANC) Sony WH-CH520
Read our original Lindy BNX-60 review