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Fiil Canviis Headphones Review: Noise-Cancelling You Can Afford

The Fiil Canviis provides excellent active noise-cancelling technology and crystal-clear audio for an affordable price.

Our Verdict

The Fiil Canviis provides excellent active noise-cancelling technology and crystal-clear audio for an affordable price.

For

  • Superior active noise cancellation
  • Great audio quality
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • 33 hours of estimated battery life
  • Convenient proximity sensor and touch panel

Against

  • Comfort needs improvement
  • Can't disable touch controls

The Fiil Canviis on-ear headphones are stylishly designed and provide impressive noise cancellation a long with crystal-clear sound, all for $250. Add in its wide Bluetooth range, touch controls and robust battery life, and the Fiil Canviis headphones give more expensive ones a run for their money -- so long as you're OK with taking them off every few hours.  

Design

The Fiil Canviis headphones are a minimalist's dream. Available in black or white with metallic gray accents, the headphones have a sleek and modern appearance. Plush memory foam and protein leather line the headband and earcups to provide comfy cushioning. The Canviis can be adjusted with a slider that extends the earcups to your preferred height, while its compact foldable design lets you store the headphones in your bag.

A light silver engraving displays the Fiil logo on the earcups' exterior, which also lights up when connected to Bluetooth. The right earcup houses a touch-control panel that lets you swipe up or down to raise and lower volume, while swiping left or right skips between tracks. This feature was really neat to use, but became annoying whenever I accidentally bumped into the panel to brush my hair back.

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If you want to lounge around with these headphones on, you'll have to make a conscious effort to stay away from your right side. Past that, I appreciated the Canviis headphones' smart proximity sensors that paused the audio every time I removed the headphones and resumed playback when I put them back on.

If you ever miss being tethered to a device, you can connect the Canviis headphones to a smartphone, laptop or tablet with the provided Aux cable. However, doing so will defeat the purpose of many of its key features, such as active noise cancellation, the proximity sensor, My AudioFilter (MAF) and the Multifunction (MFB) buttons.

Comfort and Stability

When I took the Fiil Canviis out of its protective case, I was surprised by how light it felt in my hands. Weighing only 7.7 ounces, the Canviis beats the 8-ounce Bose QuietComfort 35 II by a slight margin. At times, I even forgot I was wearing the Canviis, but was eventually reminded whenever I felt a pinch on my helix or tragus. However, discomfort only occurred when I wore the pair longer than 4 hours. Adjusting the position of the earcups usually remedied this issue. I found Fiil's Canviis headphones to be painless, compared with many of its on-ear competitors.

Walking around with the Canviis on was a pleasant experience. There was no shifting as I zipped along New York City's sidewalks and through the subway system, thanks to the Canviis' snug fit (18.1 x 17.3 x 8.07 inches). Even when I went for a jog, the earcups refused to budge. And for reference, I have a thick head of curly hair that's notorious for knocking headphones off my ears, so finding a pair that stay put was an appreciated relief.

Setup: Make sure you have the U.S. version

Initially, my review unit was the Fiil Diva, but after struggling to change my voice prompt to English, I learned that I was working with the Chinese model. The Fiil Canviis headphones are exactly like the Diva version, but for the U.S. market - meaning you'll need this configuration if you're not fluent in Mandarin or Cantonese. Fiil’s support team sent the correct pair after I contacted them, but I was disappointed that my only chance to get away with calling myself a diva was dashed.

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Pairing the Fiil Canviis to a device is extremely simple. Just turn the Canviis on and switch your device to Bluetooth pairing mode. Selecting the "Fiil Canviis" option will automatically pair them. You can also pair your devices through the Fiil + Global Edition app, but I found this method more time-consuming. However, both ways can be completed in under a minute.

Once connected to my iPhone 7, my ears were greeted by welcoming music and a cheerful female voice. The Canviis' assistant notified me whenever my music was muted or modified manually through the MAF and MFB buttons. It also announced my in-app audio selections, though, I could barely hear the voice if I blasted my tunes.  

Fiil + Global Edition App

The Canviis headphones are supported by the Fiil + Global Edition app, which lets you view and manage settings, such as Battery, Equalizer (EQ), MAF and 3D Sound. The Battery section allows you to view your current battery life and connects to your device via Bluetooth. Selecting EQ lets you equalize your sound with three rudimentary settings: Bass, Original and Treble. MAF lets you choose between four ambient modes, including Open, for hearing the world around you; Monitor, for blocking low frequencies; NC, for noise canceling, and Windy, for noisy backgrounds. The 3D Sound adjusts soundscape to your desired surroundings like Living Room, Theater and Hall.

Every setting features an instruction manual that you can scroll down to if you're not sure how to work your Canviis, which I found only a little helpful. It would've been nicer to see a more thorough explanation on how to use the Canviis' physical MAF and MFB buttons instead of minimalistic iconography and phrases.

The menu icon is simple, allowing users to view their connected headset or browsing other Fiil headphones. There's a Burn-in option that lets you transfer audio files to a headset, but this option isn't available for Canviis headphones. The Profile and Themes selections are straightforward and let you customize details about yourself and the app interface. Advanced Settings lets you access less exciting settings like Voice Prompt language options, Firmware updates and a Smart Sensor toggle.

Assistant Friendly

Unlike the Bose QuietComfort 35 II and its dedicated Google Assistant button, the Fiil Canviis' Multifunction button doesn't discriminate against virtual assistants. Holding the button down for 2 seconds is all you need to do to pull up your device's configured assistant. If you have the pro version of Canviis, you can enable Voice Search so you can really go hands-free to call on your assistant.

Using Siri on the Canviis wasn't any different from from how you'd use it on an iPhone. For the most part, Siri addressed my queries on weather and store-closing times correctly, but other times she completely missed the mark on what I was saying. This is typical behavior for Siri, however, and I wouldn't blame these headphones for not making my messages clear.

Noise Canceling

Our gold standard when it comes to active noise-canceling headphones (ANC) is the Bose QC 35s. However, the Fiil Canviis headset is a close second for a fraction of the price. With ANC  for low-frequency bands (0 - 300 Hertz) up to 96 percent and passive noise reduction for high- frequency bands (300 - 8,000 Hz) up to 98 percent, Fiil's Canviis headphones block out the world around you.

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Walking around NYC with ANC enabled was a mesmerizing and nerve-wracking experience that made me triple-check my surroundings when crossing the street or subway platform. Even with the lowest volume setting on my iPhone (6 percent), the Canviis blocked a significant amount of sound - making conversations barely audible. Setting my volume to 25 and 50 percent was more than enough to cancel out a screeching train car and crying baby during my morning commute, which I was eternally grateful for. Maximum volume with the Canviis was far louder than my ears could handle.

Waiting in between songs or pausing my music outright allowed faint murmurs to make it through, but it still wasn't enough to reliably eavesdrop on passengers or hear announcements from train conductors.

Audio Performance

I put the Fiil Canviis to the test with my massive K-Pop playlist. And if you know anything about K-Pop, you know it's an experimental genre that mashes every musical style you can imagine - from bubblegum pop to hardcore trap, rock and even trot. Each song I listened to delivered sharp and punchy audio to my ears. Bass heavy tracks like Mino'’s "Body" and TOP's "Doom Dada" were replicated with booming clarity.

When I listened to Girls' Generation's "Lion Heart," I could easily differentiate between the blended soprano voices in this eight-member group, and was happy there wasn't any perceptible distortion in the instrumentals. The audio was so precise for this tune that I was able to pick out each individual finger snap and clap in the background.

Credit: Fiil

(Image credit: Fiil)

Listening to CNBLUE's classic "I’m a Loner" felt like I was transported back to 2010, K-Pop's "golden age." The headphones accurately captured the song's jazzy rock bass, percussion and strings. The harmonies between the vocalists were also distinct.

Comparing the audio performance between the Fiil Canviis and the Bose QuietComfort 35 II was difficult because they both sounded excellent. After numerous listens back-to-back, I'd say the Bose QC 35 II is a tinge more accurate in reproducing vocal tones and has truer noise cancellation.

Audio quality didn't suffer when I connected the Aux cable, but I did lose all the perks that make the Canviis unique. With the headset wired, I wasn't able to make use of the touch controls or the proximity sensor I had become fond of. More important, the Fiil + Global app becomes useless in wired mode, which defeated the purpose of having noise canceling-headphones in the first place. If you're low on battery, this feature is useful, but other than that, it's probably best to leave the cable out.

Long Battery Life

Fiil claims the Canviis has a battery that can last up to 33 hours of continuous play. In my usage, I got a little over 25 hours out of them, which is 3 hours longer than the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. That strong showing surprised me, since I only charged the Canviis for 50 minutes straight out the box, and had taken full advantage of the active noise cancellation and audio filter settings.

Call Quality

The Canviis' integrated echo-canceling microphone delivered crisp call quality. Whether I made calls from my office on the ninth floor or from an underground subway platform, I was able to hear my family and friends clearly, and vice versa. I didn't even have to raise my voice to be heard, which was nice since I wasn't in the mood to deal with questioning stares in public spaces as I seemingly talked to myself.

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The Bluetooth range on the Canviis headset was also impressive. I was able to leave my iPhone at my desk for a coffee run in our office kitchen without losing a call. In my apartment building, I could go as far as 50 feet away, which was great, but didn't meet Fiil's 300-foot claim. However, this range is wider than what we saw from the Bose QuietComfort 35 II (35 feet).

Bottom Line

If you want a sub-$300 pair of noise-canceling headphones, Fiil's wireless Canviis headsets are solid performers well worth the $250 price tag. Between the outstanding battery life, impressive sound quality, great ANC and  innovative design, you won't be disappointed with the purchase. The headphones can become uncomfortable after extended periods, but if you're not looking for a headset to keep on all day, the Canviis is a great and affordable buy.

The Bose QuietComfort35 II is a much comfier alternative, but that comfort costs $100 more than the Canviis. Audio and noise cancellation are only a  hair better, but the tradeoff also includes shorter battery life and Bluetooth range. However, if you'd rather get your hands on an all-around headset for a reasonable price, the Fiil Canviis is more than enough to satisfy your audiory needs.

Credit: Nick Bush/Tom's Guide