Haylou I know the company primarily as a manufacturer of affordable and interesting Headphones and earbuds even smartwatches. I have reviewed several of their products on my website, and the last one was the Haylou Watch S8. But this time with me Haylou S30 is their first headset released in 2024. If you noticed, they are an upgrade to the HAYLOU S35 headphones that we reviewed last year and have been generating buzz in the industry, with their sleek design promising features, and budget price tag. So the question is whether she will continue her predecessor’s legacy or has something else to say. In this detailed review, we will explore every aspect of the Haylou S30, from its design and build quality to its audio performance and pricing, to help you determine if it’s the right choice for you.

HAYLOU S30: Are These the Best Budget Headphones of the Year?

HAYLOU S30 Features

  • Over-Ear Design with Memory Foam Cushions
  • 43dB Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation
    • VDCNN ENC for HD Calling
    • 4 noise canceling modes
    • Transparency Mode
    • Crystal Clear Phone Calls
  • Hi-Res Audio Original HD Sound
  • Up to 80 Hours of Playtime
  • 40mm Dynamic Drivers
  • One-Step Pairing & Bluetooth 5.4 & Wired
  • Multi-Point Connection Support
  • HAYLOU App
  • AAC & SBC Audio Decoding
  • 0.06s Low Latency Mode

What’s in the Box?

Let’s discuss what comes inside the box. It’s super simple. The headphones were neatly nestled inside a sturdy and well-protected box. Delving further into the package, I unearthed a detachable audio cable of 3.5mm for a wired connection, a USB Type-C charging cable, and an instruction manual for easy setup and operation. Unfortunately, there’s no carrying case included, but considering the price point of around $50, some compromises are to be expected.

Design and Build Quality

The HAYLOU S30 design ethos is minimalism, drawing inspiration from Nordic design principles known for their simplicity, functionality, and emphasis on natural beauty with the creamy white, continues the design language established by its predecessor, the S35, yet introduces a more streamlined and cohesive look with the absence of overly ornate details or flashy decorations aligns with the current trend towards gadgets that blend seamlessly, rather than standing out awkwardly. On the earcup exteriors, the shift from the “H” icon in S35 to a “HAY” in S30 is a yet significant move toward model recognition.

HAYLOU S30: Are These the Best Budget Headphones of the Year?

The headphones feature a convenient folding design that enhances their portability and ease of storage. The headphones are equipped with hinges that allow them to be folded inward, reducing their overall size and making them compact enough to fit into a bag. This feature makes them highly portable and convenient for on-the-go use.

The S30 features an adjustable headband, accommodating a wide range of head sizes and shapes. It’s equipped with a soft, flexible sponge pad that rests gently on the top of the head, distributing weight evenly to minimize pressure points. The smooth telescopic adjustment and the built-in elasticity of the headband further prevent the discomfort of pinching, making the headphones suitable for all-day wear.

The earcups are wrapped in a skin-like material that is soft to the touch and gentle on the ears. Inside it, there is a flexible memory foam that conforms to the shape of the ears for more comfort and plays a critical role in passive noise isolation, contributing to the overall listening experience. Also, they are designed to encompass most ear sizes fully, providing a snug fit that does not clamp too tightly, so it’s a good fit for wearing glasses and doesn’t cause discomfort.

Unlike glossy finishes that attract fingerprints and scratches, the matte finish of the S30 is practical and enduring. The headband is constructed with a sturdy metal frame that provides stability and longevity. The ear cups are made of high-quality plastic that feels robust and resistant to wear and tear. The hinges that allow for folding and compact storage are well-built and show no signs of looseness or weakness. Although the plastic hinges could be sturdier, so it’s advisable to handle them with care. The clamping force is moderate, providing a secure fit without discomfort. Despite its robust build and extensive features, it remains surprisingly light, weighing in at just under 300 grams. However, they may not be ideal for activities like jogging.

The right cup features a USB Type-C charging port, a 3.5 mm minijack connector for wired use, an LED indicator, microphones, an External microphone port, and three physical plastic buttons for control. On the left cup, there are microphones.

HAYLOU S30: Are These the Best Budget Headphones of the Year?

Sound Quality

In terms of sound quality. HAYLOU S30 armed with a 40mm ultra-large dynamic sound unit, these headphones deliver an auditory experience that belies their modest price point. The sound signature is characterized by its remarkable clarity and attention to detail, from the layered complexities of orchestral pieces to the subtle nuances of acoustic performances, delivering a clean and uncolored sound profile. Each musical element is presented with a level of detail and this clarity extends across all frequency ranges.

In low-end performance, the 40mm drivers provide a solid bass response that is both punchy and controlled and strikes a fine balance between power and precision, adding depth to music without muddying for bass-heavy genres like electronic and hip-hop enjoyable, while still preserving the clarity needed for genres that thrive on subtlety, such as jazz and classical.

HAYLOU S30: Are These the Best Budget Headphones of the Year?

The S30 truly excels in the midrange, offering a warm and natural reproduction for vocals and mid-frequency instruments with a sense of realism and presence in vocal performances, even instruments have a palpable texture. Also, High frequencies are rendered with a clarity that illuminates the finer details in music. There’s a sparkle in the treble that adds dimension and airiness to recordings, creating an expansive soundstage. Importantly, this clarity is achieved without introducing sibilance or fatigue.

One of the most surprising qualities of the HAYLOU S30 is its ability to convey a sense of space that is often lacking in closed-back designs, especially in this price range. The soundstage is both wide and deep, with a remarkable ability to place instruments and voices in a three-dimensional space around the listener. This spatial rendering enhances the immersive quality of the music and allows for precise imaging, where the location of each sound source is distinctly perceivable.

HAYLOU S30: Are These the Best Budget Headphones of the Year?

The S30’s ANC technology is adept at reducing ambient noise, allowing the headphones’ sound quality to shine even in less-than-ideal listening environments. Unlike some noise-canceling systems that can alter the sound signature or introduce artifacts, the S30’s ANC works subtly in the background, preserving the music’s dynamics and detail.

Hi-Res Audio Gold Label Certification

The Hi-Res Audio Gold Label certification on the HAYLOU S30 is not just a badge of honor; it signifies a superior level of audio quality that the device is capable of producing. This certification impacts the sound quality in several meaningful ways: Hi-Res Audio-certified devices are capable of reproducing sounds at frequencies beyond those of conventional CDs (20 Hz to 20 kHz). The S30 leverages this extended range to deliver audio that captures the full breadth of recordings, including the subtlest details and overtones, providing a more complete and immersive listening experience.

With the ability to process high-resolution audio files, the S30 brings forward nuances and textures in music that might be lost on non-certified devices. This leads to a richer, more intricate listening experience where every layer of the music can be appreciated. The dynamic range is the difference between the quietest and loudest sounds a device can produce. Hi-Res certification ensures that the S30 can handle wide dynamic swings in music, from the delicate whisper of a brushed snare to the full force of an orchestral crescendo, all without distortion or loss of detail.

Comparison with Previous Models (S35)

When juxtaposing the HAYLOU S30 with its forerunner, the S35, several key improvements become apparent, especially in sound quality and user experience. Both models boast 40mm dynamic drivers, yet the S30’s drivers seem to have undergone fine-tuning for better responsiveness across a broader frequency range. This results in a more detailed and expansive soundstage, offering a clearer separation of instruments and vocals. While the S35 provided a solid bass foundation, the S30 advanced this by offering a more defined and layered bass. This nuanced approach prevents bass frequencies from overpowering the mid and high frequencies, ensuring a balanced audio experience.

The S30 shines in its reproduction of midrange frequencies, where vocals and most instruments reside. Compared to the S35, the S30 presents a more vibrant and lifelike midrange, bringing an emotional depth to vocals that was less pronounced in the previous model. The S30 addresses one of the minor critiques of the S35 – treble performance. The newer model offers a smoother and more detailed treble response, reducing any perceived harshness without sacrificing clarity.

HAYLOU S30: Are These the Best Budget Headphones of the Year?

Noise-Cancellation Capabilities

One of the standout features of the HAYLOU S30 headphones is their advanced hybrid Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) technology which is surprisingly effective considering the price point. According to the manufacturer, these headphones can reduce ambient noise by up to 43 decibels with a four-way microphone array. This level of noise reduction is comparable to other leading models in the market which usually ranges from 35 to 45 decibels. However, it’s important to manage expectations – the ANC on-budget headphones may not match the performance of higher-end models like Bose or Sony, but the S30 holds its own in its price category.

This Hybrid master noise reduction system intelligently filters out a wide spectrum of external noises, from the low hum of an air conditioner to the bustling sounds of urban environments. This technology allows the S30 to adaptively eliminate most low-frequency environmental noise, significantly enhancing the inherent sound insulation advantages of its design. Understanding that noise cancellation needs can vary depending on the user’s environment, the HAYLOU S30 headphones come equipped with three distinct modes:

  • Noise Reduction Mode: Maximizes the noise cancellation effect, perfect for focusing in noisy environments or enjoying music without interruptions.
  • Environment Mode: Balances noise cancellation with the need to remain aware of one’s surroundings, ideal for situations where you need to hear announcements or be alert to external sounds.
  • Outdoor Mode: Reduces background noise while prioritizing the clarity of things like traffic and voices, making it safer for outdoor activities.

Performance in Real Scenarios

In practical use, the noise reduction capabilities of the HAYLOU S30 are impressive. When commuting on a noisy bus or walking through a crowded street, the headphones manage to filter out a significant amount of ambient noise. When the volume is increased, the headphones can almost completely isolate you from external disturbances, providing a quiet and personal audio space even in the noisiest of environments.

It’s important to note that while the ANC feature is highly effective in reducing continuous low-frequency noises, it may not eliminate all sounds. Sudden loud noises or high-frequency sounds might still be audible, although to a lesser extent. However, the overall reduction in background noise significantly enhances the listening experience, allowing you to appreciate the finer details and nuances in your audio content.

HAYLOU S30: Are These the Best Budget Headphones of the Year?

When compared to other headphones in the same price bracket, the HAYLOU S30 stands out for its superior noise-cancellation features. While most budget headphones offer basic noise suppression, the S30’s deep hybrid ANC technology provides a more comprehensive noise-cancellation experience that is rare in this price range.

Call Quality & Microphones

The HAYLOU S30 headphones not only excel in delivering high-quality audio but also offer impressive microphone performance for clear calls. Equipped with a built-in microphone, these headphones ensure that your voice is captured accurately and transmitted with clarity during phone calls or online meetings. The microphone of the S30 headphones features noise-canceling technology, which effectively filters out background noise and focuses on capturing your voice. This is particularly beneficial when making calls in noisy environments, but it lacks some clarity. Nevertheless, it’s still sufficient for general phone conversations. Additionally, the microphone provides good sensitivity, allowing you to speak at a comfortable volume without needing to raise your voice.

HAYLOU S30: Are These the Best Budget Headphones of the Year?


The HAYLOU S30 stands out with Bluetooth 5.4 technology, which ensures a stable, fast, and efficient connection to various devices offers an extended range of up to 10 meters, and is compatible with AAC and SBC codecs. However, it’s worth noting that it doesn’t support advanced wireless codecs like aptX or LDAC, which means that the audio quality may not be as high as with more expensive wireless headphones. Nonetheless, the overall wireless performance is satisfactory for everyday use.

HAYLOU S30: Are These the Best Budget Headphones of the Year?

The headphones also support multi-device connectivity, allowing to connect the S30 to two devices simultaneously. This multi-point connection feature is incredibly convenient for those who juggle between devices, such as a smartphone and a laptop, enabling seamless switching between audio sources without the need for manual disconnection and reconnection.

The pairing process with the HAYLOU S30 is straightforward and user-friendly. Upon turning on the headphones for the first time, they automatically enter pairing mode, making them visible to nearby Bluetooth-enabled devices. You can then easily find and select the S30 from your device’s Bluetooth settings to establish a connection. Subsequent connections are even simpler, as the headphones remember previously paired devices, allowing for automatic reconnection when turned on and within range.

Low Latency Mode and Gaming

The HAYLOU S30 headphones are designed to provide an exceptional gaming experience with low latency of only 0.06s by using gaming mode, ensuring that audio signals are transmitted quickly and accurately, minimizing any delay between the gameplay action and the corresponding sound. The dedicated gaming mode further optimizes the headphone’s performance for gaming. When activated from app settings, this mode prioritizes audio processing and transmission for gaming purposes, fine-tuning the audio settings to ensure optimal clarity, detail, and positioning of game sounds. It enhances spatial awareness, allowing you to accurately pinpoint the direction of in-game sounds, giving you a competitive edge in multiplayer games. This means that when you fire a weapon, hear footsteps, or encounter any in-game sound, the corresponding audio reaches your ears with minimal delay, enhancing your gaming performance and overall experience.

Additionally, Bluetooth 5.4 offers a stable and reliable connection. This is particularly important for gaming, as a stable connection minimizes interruptions and ensures smooth audio playback, preventing any sudden audio drops or disconnections that could disrupt your gaming experience. You won’t notice a problem when listening to an audio file on headphones, but when watching a movie and video in the YouTube or Netflix app, there is a slight lag, about half a second or less, between when actions are performed in the movie playback and when the feedback reaches your ear. This also applies to gaming, which is almost normal, and you can find it on most wireless headphones in this price range. However, there is always the option to use it wired.

Haylou Sound App

The Haylou Sound app is a powerful tool that enhances the audio experience of the HAYLOU S30 headphones with its comprehensive and advanced features. Upon installing the app on your smartphone, you are greeted with an intuitive interface that offers easy navigation and quick access to various settings. The app also offers detailed battery status information, allowing you to monitor the remaining battery life of the headphones and plan your usage accordingly. This is especially useful when you’re on the go and need to know if you have enough battery power for extended listening sessions.

One of the standout features of the app is the customize the sound settings and adjust the ANC. With the equalizer, you have precise control over the sound profile of the headphones. You can adjust the bass, midrange, and treble frequencies to create a personalized audio signature. In addition to the equalizer, the Haylou Sound app offers a range of preset sound profiles tailored for different music genres, such as rock, jazz, hip-hop, or classical music, you can choose the appropriate sound profile to optimize the audio playback for that specific genre to ensures that you get the best possible sound quality.

Furthermore, the app provides low latency mode and firmware updates for the HAYLOU S30 headphones, keeping them up to date with the latest enhancements and bug fixes. This ensures that you always have access to the most optimized performance and features of the headphones.

Battery Life & Charging

One of the standout features of the HAYLOU S30 headphones is their impressive battery life, which sets a new standard for wireless listening experiences in its price bracket. Equipped with a 600mAh lithium battery, the S30 offers remarkable endurance, enabling you to enjoy prolonged periods of audio playback without the need for frequent recharging. With noise-cancellation activated, the S30 can deliver up to 40 hours of continuous playtime. When the noise-cancellation feature is turned off, the battery life soars to an extraordinary 70 hours of playback time.

HAYLOU S30: Are These the Best Budget Headphones of the Year?

During testing, the headphones were able to achieve close to these estimates with 75 percent volume and using them for almost 2 weeks. While I can’t confirm the exact duration, it’s safe to say that they offer an exceptional battery life. When it comes to recharging, the HAYLOU S30 does not keep you waiting. A full charge takes approximately 2.5 hours, which is relatively swift considering the extensive battery life provided.

HAYLOU S30: Are These the Best Budget Headphones of the Year?

Final thoughts on the HAYLOU S30

The HAYLOU S30 noise-canceling headphones stand out in the competitive market of audio devices, particularly for their exceptional price-to-performance ratio. Priced at under 50$, these headphones offer features and quality typically found in higher-end models, making them an attractive option for budget without compromising on performance. At this price point, the S30 is remarkably affordable, especially when considering its comprehensive list of features. It challenges the notion that quality noise-canceling headphones must be prohibitively expensive, bringing high-quality audio and active noise cancellation (ANC) technology within reach of a broader audience.

HAYLOU S30: Are These the Best Budget Headphones of the Year?

Despite its low price, the HAYLOU S30 does not skimp on sound quality. It boasts a 40mm dynamic driver and Hi-Res Audio Gold Label certification, ensuring a detailed and vibrant audio experience. Whether it’s the depth of bass, clarity of mids, or crispness of highs, the S30 competes with headphones that are significantly more expensive.

The ANC feature of the HAYLOU S30 is a standout, offering -43dB noise reduction that effectively isolates environmental noise. This allows you to immerse yourself in music or calls without being disturbed by your surroundings. The inclusion of this feature at such a low price point is particularly impressive, as ANC is often reserved for premium headphones.

HAYLOU S30: Are These the Best Budget Headphones of the Year?

The HAYLOU S30 also comes equipped with Bluetooth 5.4, providing stable connectivity and low latency, which is essential for gaming and watching videos. The battery life is another highlight, with up to 80 hours of playback time without ANC, ensuring that the headphones can last several days on a single charge. The design is both practical and stylish, with foldability for easy storage and a minimalist aesthetic that appeals to a wide range of users.

HAYLOU S30: Are These the Best Budget Headphones of the Year?

Considering its price point, the S30 sets a new standard for what you can expect from budget headphones. It offers a compelling combination of aesthetic appeal, sound quality, and functional versatility that is difficult to find in its class. For anyone looking to dive into the world of noise-canceling headphones without breaking the bank, the HAYLOU S30 emerges not just as an option, but as a top recommendation. Whether for personal use, work, or play, these headphones deliver a performance that punches well above its weight, proving once again that high-quality audio experiences are becoming more accessible to everyone.