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Edifier NeoBuds Pro review

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Edifier NeoBuds Pro specs

Price:$129

Colors:Black

Battery life (rated):5 hours (ANC on), 6 hours (ANC off), 20 hours (with charging case and ANC on), 24 hours (with charging case and ANC off)

Connectivity: Bluetooth 5

Processor: Not stated

Size:1.3 inches (earbud), 2.6 x 1.9 x 1 inches (charging case)

Weight: 0.19 ounces (earbud), 1.4 ounces (charging case)

Serving as Edifier’s flagship true wireless model, the NeoBuds Pro stands out as one of the best wireless earbuds available, thanks to all-around improvements in active noise cancellation(ANC), design, and sound quality.

These buds come with hi-res LHDC codec support, along with a customizable EQ and special listening modes, delivering top-tier audio at a relatively affordable MSRP.

Thebest wireless earbuds overallFind a bargain with the best Apple AirPods alternatives

While they might not carry a long charge or lack certain modern features, overall performance is still superb for the price. The promise of new Bluetooth features like LDAC via software update only boosts their stock.

Keep reading our full NeoBuds Pro review to find out why this sonic gem is a worthy investment for audiophiles on a budget.

Edifier NeoBuds Pro review: Price and availability

The Edifier NeoBuds Pro can be purchased for $129.99 on Amazon. It is only sold in one color: Black. Bundled with the purchase are a charging case, carrying pouch, USB-C charging cable, quick start guide, and six extra pairs of different-sized ear tips.

These buds have a lower price than sub-luxury rivals like the Beats Studio Buds ($149) and Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 ($149), as well as category leaders such as the AirPods Pro ($249) and Sony WF-1000XM4 ($279). If you want to explore other cheaper wireless ANC earbuds, we advise checking out the Edifier TWS NBQ ($59) or Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro, which is on clearance for $84.99 at Best Buy at the time of publishing.

For all of the latest wireless ANC earbuds sales, bookmark our best headphones deals page.

Edifier NeoBuds Pro review: Design and comfort

The NeoBuds Pro’s design is an acquired taste. While the long and bulky stems aren’t easy on the eyes, the angled edges and shiny silver finish are sleek details that give these buds a contemporary and appealing look.

Build quality is far superior to the AirPods Pro, consisting of aluminum and solid plastic that can withstand tumbles to the ground. An IP-54 rating ensures protection from dust, sweat, rain, and splashing water.

Many will agree that the charging case is the more attractive piece. It’s made from matte black plastic and has a brushed aluminum accent plate on the lid top. Even cooler are the red LEDs that give off Knight Rider vibes when lifting the lid. Though it is bulkier than the AirPods Pro case, you can still carry it around in your pocket or in hand hassle-free.

These buds make for a comfortable wear, resting pleasantly on the concha without applying any unwanted pressure. I wore them for 2-hour stretches, twice a day, never feeling any soreness around the canal or tragus (the front part of the ear).

Seven pairs of tips come inside the box, each a different size, so you’re bound to find a pair that fits properly. The tips are made from silicone and form a tight seal to keep the buds locked in. They also come germ-proof, with an antibacterial rate of 99.8%.

Edifier NeoBuds Pro review: Controls and digital assistant

Several functions are programmed into these buds, including playback, call management, volume, digital assistance, and listening mode activation (ANC/Ambient Aware/Game Mode). These can also be assigned to each bud in the Edifier Connect app.

However, Edifier chose to limit the input methods to double and triple taps. Not having a single-tap, tap-and-hold gestures or on-ear detection seems impractical, especially since these options would have made playback and other functions easier to activate. At least the tap sensors are highly responsive and execute intended commands quickly.

Google Assistant, Siri, and Bixby are all compatible with the NeoBuds Pro. Using Apple and Samsung’s voice assistants to execute basic tasks (e.g., create calendar event, open Gmail) was a pleasure. Edifier’s six-mic array demonstrated excellent speech recognition and picked up every syllable spoken.

If only Google Assistant ran as smoothly as the others. I was able to perform the most common Google Assistant commands, but not all; it couldn’t even pull up the next event in my calendar. There was also an issue of web searches not showing up on my smartphone screen when given the task.

Edifier NeoBuds Pro review: Sound quality

Edifier spared no expense in the audio department, accounting for dynamic hardware, personalized software, unique listening modes, and the best codecs available. Underneath the hood lies a strong 10mm driver and a Knowles balanced moving iron coil, each one handling separate sonic duties. The driver pumps out punchy bass and the coil handles treble. Your ears will be treated to rich, natural sound that complements all music genres and other content such as movies, podcasts, and video games.

Let’s start with the default EQ (Classic). It offers neutral sound and well-balanced frequencies. You can switch over to Dynamic in the companion app if you want a greater emphasis on lows and highs. I noticed the differences in performance between the two EQs when listening to bangers like A Tribe Called Quest’s “Excursions.” Dynamic made lows crisper and more impactful, while also decreasing mids; Q-Tip’s vocals weren’t as pronounced. Classic kept bass punchy (maybe a little too punchy for my taste) and mids transparent.

I felt Dynamic was perfect for orchestral recordings, especially jazz tracks. Listening to the deep double bass and consistent, tinny hi-hats on Freddie Hubbard’s “Weaver of Dreams” will show you what I mean.

Edifier lets you personalize sound by adjusting the gain, bandwidth, and frequency in the Customized field, which is essentially a manual EQ. This is a feature geared towards audiophiles who know about tweaking frequencies, not the average music lover. Other brands such as Jabra and Sony have more user-friendly EQs, should the learning curve of Edifier’s setup be too steep.

These buds also come with LDAC and LHDC support for hi-res streaming at up to 990kpbs. Translation: you’ll be able to stream lossless music at the highest transfer speeds. While Edifier promotes both codecs, it turns out that LDAC isn’t available right now, but will be via future update. The good news is that LHDC does a fantastic job of delivering low-latency audio.

Game Mode is said to improve audio synchronization when playing video games. It’s not as intuitive as Razer’s version, and there is still some delay with audio effects; drifting in Mario Kart Tour is audible 2 seconds after executing the action. Ironically, this is still much better than what you get when gaming in regular mode.

Edifier NeoBuds Pro review: Active noise cancellation

The inexpensive TWS NBQ offered impressive noise neutralization and the NeoBuds Pro takes it up another notch. Edifier’s algorithms are designed to remove surrounding noise up to 42dB, which is higher than most standard earbuds and strong enough to eliminate most fracas. Will it outperform elite noise-cancellers like the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds or WH-1000XM4? Nope, and it doesn’t have to, especially not at its price point.

There are two ANC levels to select: High and Low. You won’t find any descriptions on the product page about how they differentiate from one another, but they’re self-explanatory. Low is best suited for dealing with daily noises such as talkative pedestrians and low-frequency rumblings.

I wasn’t bothered by the hubbub taking place in the living room as the family binge-watched Marvel’s What If…? or the noise coming from the laundry room when grabbing drinks from the mini-fridge. High-pitched sounds were loud enough to capture my attention; a crying baby after a short nap always broke my concentration.

High gives you maximum ANC and is set as the default. Enabling the feature when walking through gusty winds decreased whisking effects drastically. I didn’t hear certain landscaping tools (e.g., electric hedge clippers, lawnmowers) and ambulance sirens weren’t so startling when positioned several yards from the vehicles.

Ambient Sound is ideal for increasing your awareness of surroundings or eavesdropping on conversations. The mics pipe in a lot of external sounds and do it so well, you’ll identify certain noises and what direction they’re coming from. On afternoon walks, I could hear horns honking from two blocks away, as well as other traffic (e.g., city buses, cyclists, joggers) in my vicinity.

Even stepping outside for a quick breather let me hear a conversation taking place across the street between a young adult couple. I was also able to engage in clear-sounding chats with my wife during office hours, while music played in the background.

Edifier NeoBuds Pro review: App and special features

As you can see, Edifier loaded these buds with a ton of functionality, most of which is accessible through the Edifier Connect app. These include previously discussed features such as ANC, Ambient Sound, control customization, EQ, Game Mode, and LHDC. What else is there?

The only other feature available is a widget that you can assign to the homescreen to instantly enable the different listening modes, presets, or customized EQ. It also displays battery life for both buds and the charging case. It’s an innovative and easier way to access features without having to enable them manually on the buds or in the app. Besides that, you’re given the basics: battery level indicators, firmware updates, toggle controls for all listening modes, and a music player.

Another area where Edifier Connect stands out is presentation. The homescreen is arguably the most attractive of any companion app out there, presenting graphics of the products and user options in a stylish and simple manner. I’m digging the all-black background with white text and the color-meter battery levels.

Edifier NeoBuds Pro review: Battery life and charging case

Playtimes on the NeoBuds Pro are subpar. A full charge gets you 5 hours with ANC on, which is the same as the Studio Buds and only 30 minutes longer than the AirPods Pro (4.5 hours). This is also much shorter than the WF-1000XM4 (8 hours) and Master & Dynamic MW08 (10 hours). Disabling noise cancellation extends battery life to 6 hours.

The charging case holds between 20 to 24 hours, depending on how you use the buds. Do the math and that’s about 4 extra charges to work with on the go. This is disappointing, since the AirPods Pro charging case gives you 24 hours, no matter if ANC is on or off. Thankfully, quick charging is strong and generates 1 hour of listening time on a 10-minute charge.

Wireless charging did not make the cut.

Edifier NeoBuds Pro review: Call quality and connectivity

The NeoBuds Pro is a surprisingly good calling headset. Most callers stated that I sounded loud and clear, though a few people mentioned minor muffling on my end. I was satisfied with what I heard when taking calls outside, and so was my wife, who mentioned that external noises and wind interference didn’t distract her during our conversations.

Bluetooth 5.0 offers reliable connectivity. You’ll be able to pair instantly to iOS/macOS and Android devices, and the auto-connect capabilities are even faster. Maximum range teeters around 35 feet, a decent length that allowed me to move from the office to the nursery to kitchen without any dropout.

Google Fast Pair and multipoint technology to pair the buds to two devices aren’t available.

Edifier NeoBuds Pro review: Verdict

High-quality sound, great noise cancellation, and a bargain price: the NeoBuds Pro is what most sub-$130 wireless earbuds aspire to be. Edifier’s engineering team went all out to equip these buds with some of the finest audio technologies out there, including high-def codecs and personalized settings to tailor sound to your hearing. The mic-array also deserves recognition for keeping ambient noise to a minimum and picking up vocals with precision when using the digital assistant or jumping on calls.

If you’re looking for an AirPods Pro alternative for nearly half the cost that gives you better sound, just-as-good ANC, and similar battery life, the NeoBuds Pro is well worth a look.

More: The best headphones with a mic for voice and video callsAlex Bracetti

A lifestyle journalist with an affinity for consumer products, Alex has over a decade of experience and has worked with popular publications such as Complex, Thrillist, Men’s Health, Gear Patrol, AskMen, and Hoop Magazine. He currently focuses on audio, reviewing the most coveted headphones in the market for both Tom’s Guide and Laptop Magazine.


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Source:  tomsguide.com

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