True wireless earbuds have come a long way over the past few years. Not only is the technology getting better and better, but so is the audio quality. Wireless earbuds used to be pretty basic but now we’re seeing advanced features like built-in ANC (active noise canceling), multiple mics, IP ratings, and more. In fact, we even have earbuds now that are Hi-Res certified, with the first ones being that of the Edifier NeoBuds Pro. These are actually ones we’ll be discussing and why these might actually be one of the best performing true wireless earbuds for the price.
Before we get into any specs or audio impressions, let’s talk about just how cool the Edifier NeoBuds Pro looks. These honestly look like nothing else on the market right now and that also includes the case in which it comes in. In fact, the whole presentation right from the get-go is pretty impressive.
For starters, the box itself is very impressive. It has this silver foil design that looks very slick and premium. Removing the cover exposes the actual box underneath that is matte silver and printed with a 25th-anniversary logo for Edifier. When you open the box (lift up the magnetically attached lid), the top portion has some cool sound dampening foam attached with the main box portion showcasing the NeoBuds Pro and an array of colorful extra ear tips. All the other accessories are hidden underneath the foam tray. This honestly looks really good and gives off a stunning first impression. The way your product box is set up is very important and Edifier hit it out of the park here.
Moving on to the actual NeoBuds Pro, the case design also looks more premium than most. Instead of just being a regular plastic shell case, the top has a brushed metal plate on it with the Edifier logo etched in. The case seems to have a silky feel to it, despite it being plastic and has a USB-C charging port on the back. Size-wise, it is a tiny bit larger than other cases I’ve seen, but still very pocketable. One detail you won’t notice until you open up the case is the sweet-looking, pulsating red LED light strip on the front. They come on when you open the case and close the case, and while charging. Edifier says it’s inspired by racing cars, but to me, it looks like it was inspired by K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider. That or the eyes of a Cylon from Battlestar Galactica. Either way, it looks pretty darn cool and certainly caught my attention. The inside of the case is pretty normal though so nothing to talk about there.
Moving on to the NeoBuds Pro themselves, most of the main body is black. The main portion that fits into your ear is pretty standard-looking. It’s made of plastic, fits comfortably in your ear, and you have a wide array of different ear tip sizes you can use. It isn’t until you get to the blade part that things get interesting. While most other earbuds of this design have a shaft extending out that is similar to Apple’s Airpods design, the NeoBuds Pro has this metallic-looking blade fin type design. While it looks like metal, it’s actually plastic, but the paint they use does make it resemble metal. I suspect it’s plastic because these blades are touch-sensitive and you use them to control various aspects of music playback and active-noise features.
And that’s pretty much it. The Edifier NeoBuds Pro definitely looks cool and has a more futuristic look to them than most other wireless earbuds. You may or may not like that, but I certainly do.
Here’s where the Edifier NeoBuds Pro shine and on paper, it’s a hefty list of features. A majority of these features are what you’d find in larger headphones and not in tiny earbuds.
- Hi-Res Audio with LHDC
- Knowles Balanced Armature driver
- Dynamic driver
- Electronic crossover technology
- Hybrid ANC technology reduces noise by up to 42dB
- Three-microphone noise cancellation
- 6+18 hours of continuous playback
- Quick charge of ten minutes for one hour listening
- 80ms low-latency game mode supported
- IP54-rated dust and water resistance
A highlight here is the Hi-Res certification. The NeoBuds Pro is the first Hi-Res certified earbuds in their category and feature LHDC (Low Latency High-Definition Audio Codec). It allows for high-resolution audio streaming over Bluetooth at a bit-rate of up to 900 kbps. However, to make use of this, you’ll have to make sure your device supports it (which is none here in the U.S. apparently).
Another highlight is the composite diaphragm dynamic driver and Knowles balanced armature. The dynamic driver and the armature driver are working in tandem to provide premium sound quality.
Active Noise Cancelation is also a welcome addition here. There are times you want to be immersed in just your music and ANC really helps with this by blocking out all outside distractions. Of course, there’s also Ambient mode when you still want to listen to your tunes, but also need to be aware of what’s going on around you.
Lastly, there’s the addition of a low-latency Game Mode.
First up, the NeoBuds Pro is quite comfortable to wear. It’s appreciated that the package includes so many different-sized ear tips. These tips also have the benefit of being antibacterial to prevent bacterial growth in the ear caused by daily wear. They fit well in my ears and don’t seem to cause any type of pain after long periods of use. However, this will be different for everyone as we all have different-sized ear holes.
The audio quality however is probably what you care about most so I can report that the NeoBuds Pro sound quite good, despite not being able to make use of LHDC. Instead, I’m using LDAC and they sound still sound terrific. The audio is crisp and clear with distinct highs and lows throughout the whole range. These are just as great for vocal-heavy tracks as they are for instrumentals. I can also say that the bass on the NeoBuds Pro is very good. Very deep without being overly punchy. I’d say these can definitely hang with the best of them.
The ANC also works really well and helps block out a ton of outside noise while listening to your tunes. Again, I tested these next to a really loud AC and the AC noise virtually disappears. That means these would be great on a plane as well.
There is one odd issue I encountered with the Edifier NeoBurs Pro and I’m still waiting on Edifier to get back to me. I have a feeling it relates to the firmware update I did on it when I first paired them to the Edifier Connect app. Basically, the in-device voice that usually lets you know what mode you are in or the status of your earbuds is now in Chinese instead of English. Or maybe it started in Chinese already and I just didn’t notice this. Regardless, I have no idea how I can change it and I have to deal with Chinese language prompts.
The only workaround is to use the Edifier Connect app to enable certain features since this is in English and would be the same as you tapping your earbuds.
UPDATE 9/30/2021: Latest update of the firmware set the language prompts back to English.
Also, the touch controls can be a little finicky, but you can adjust their sensitivity through the Edifier Connect app. You’ll want to do this to adjust them to your liking. I’m surprised there isn’t volume controls either so you’ll need your device for that.
Lastly, this doesn’t bother me, but I know it bothers others. Removing one earbud from your ear does not pause the music. It just keeps going. I know some earbuds pause and then resume when you put the earbuds back in, but these don’t. You can however use left and right independently, though not all the controls are available separately like that.
There are a lot of true wireless earbuds out there now so to enter the field in such a crowded market, you really need something big that differentiates you from everyone else. Does the Edifier NeoBuds Pro accomplish this? I’d say yes for the most part. The inclusion of Active Noise Canceling is a big plus these days as well as having Hi-Res Certified Audio with LHDC. Even though you most likely won’t even be able to use LHDC, it’s a nice feature to have just in case future smartphones will have it.
The Edifier NeoBuds Pro isn’t perfect though, but I believe the mix of features, specs, and looks are enough to justify a purchase, especially if all you really care about is how these sound. They are fantastic and I definitely love the futuristic style design of these.
So with that said, I believe Edifier has a winner here with the NewoBuds Pro.
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