It feels like there are almost as many choice in headphones as there are people. From in-ear to over ear, colours, features, battery life and more, choosing headphones can be overwhelming. That’s one big reason to check out reviews of headphones so you can know in advance what you’re getting. Recently I’ve had the opportunity to try some headphones from a new-to-me brand: Edifier. I reviewed the over-ear Edifier W820NB and now I’m sampling one of their in-ear or earbud offerings, the NeoBuds Pro.
Edifier NeoBuds Pro review
In this review I’ll share what their key features are, how they sound and whether I think they’re a good pair to buy.
Edifier has made a name for itself in the earbud market with the NeoBuds Pro, which are surprisingly high quality for their lower pricing. They’ll go toe-to-toe with more expensive earbuds, offering excellent quality sound and great noise cancellation. You might miss out on some features that the more expensive earbuds offer, but if you’re looking for solid quality at a lower price, you’ll want to check out the NeoBuds Pro.
What’s in the box?
I will give props to Edifier here for creating a really luxe and special looking package for the NeoBuds Pro. The box is lined with what looks like miniturized soundproofing foam and inside the buds are on display along with a cool rainbow of different size eartips; you get seven sets in all, so Edifier is really going out of its way to ensure you’ll find the perfect fit. You also get a cool little carry bag and a USB-C cord for charging.
Looks and Styling
The Neobuds Pro are designed with long V-shaped stems (which encase the sound drivers), which give the buds a checkmark shape. The earbuds are made of aluminum and plastic and seem reasonably durable.
Edifier NeoBuds Pro are rated IP54. IP54 means they’ll keep most dust and dirt out and that they’ll be okay with light rain and sweat, but not against jets of water or submersion.
Charging and storage case
Like most earbuds today, these come with a charging and storage case. This case, though has a neat extra feature: a glowing red LED that pulses and moves across the front seam of the case when it’s opened or closed, giving off a super-cool 80’s sci-fi or David Hasslehoff/KITT car feel.
The Neobuds Pro use three microphones in each earbud to assist with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). Edifier claims the noise cancellation will remove surrounding sound up to 42 decibels, where most earbuds top out around 30 dB. There are two levels of ANC, High and Low. The High level will remove most sounds from outside, while Low will only deal with some.
There’s also an ambient sound mode which will allow external sounds in via the microphones. This is perfect for situations where you need some awareness of the surrounding area, having short conversations, listening for an announcement, etc.
I have to say the noise cancelling is rather lacklustre on the NeoBuds Pro. I test noise cancelling bu using the featuere both with music playing and without. Similar to the W820NBs there’s really only basic muting of outside noise and it’s definitely not as strong as I’d like. While it’s best when music is playing, you don’t get much blocking if you’re not actively listening to something.
On the NeoBuds Pro noise cancelling is most effective with things like humming or fan noise; that type of lower droning sound seems to get eliminated. But louder sounds, like clapping, tapping or the like, or even voices aren’t nearly as muted as they could be, in my opinion. Ambient mode, designed to allow some outside noise to pass through to your ears, does allow more sound in, but it comes with a loud hiss.
Sound quality Edifier NeoBuds Pro
This and the W820NBs were my first experience with Edifier headphones. I can say I was impressed with the sound quality. NeoBuds pro sound pretty good and reasonably well balanced with a possible lean a touch towards the low end. I enjoy lots of bass so I didn’t find this unpleasant. The bass overall is powerful and but did seem a bit buzzy. I’m definitely a lot tougher of a judge than most folks would be on headphones so while I think audiophiles and discerning listeners would be less than impressed, I think most users would really enjoy these.
Bluetooth, Battery Life, and Charging
The NeoBuds Pro use Bluetooth 5.0 for connectivity, which allows for better connection and longer battery life. Edifier claims you can be up to 32 feet from the paired device without dropping connection. I never had issues with dropouts or loss of connection even as I wandered arund my house with the NeoBuds in and left my phone in my home office.
A full charge will give you five hours of listening time with ANC enabled, six without. I’d say that’s pretty average for a lot of earbuds these days. The charging case will provide you with about 24 hours of listening without needing a recharge. The quick charge will give you an hour of listening time in ten minutes. There is no wireless charging feature; you’ll need to plug in to recharge the case.
The Edifier app: what can it do?
The Edifier App handles a lot of features for the NeoBuds, including letting you manage ANC and Ambient Sound, plus equalization (EQ), and Game Mode. It also has a widget that allows you to move control to your home screen and lets you know how much battery is remaining.
I couldn’t find any way to manage the ANC/Ambient on the buds themselves; it seems you must use the app to enable noise cancelling or ambient.
The NeoBuds Pro have touch controls or what are calles Click Sensor in the manual. There’s no physical buttons so ‘click’ seems like a bit of a misnomer. I struggled with exactly how I was supposed to manage these controls, since Edifier shows them in a certain location on the manual’s diagram, but most of the time nothing would happen when I’d press there. I’d say the touch controls worked maybe 10% of the time.
Phone Call quality/features
With three microphones per earbud and quality ANC, it’s no surprise that the NeoBuds Pro have no problem with phone calls, allowing you to hear the other party clearly. As importantly, they’ll have no issues hearing you, even in wind and noisy environments.
Overall review: Edifier NeoBuds Pro
Overall there’s some pros and cons to the Edifier NeoBuds Pro. When it comes to the things I liked… I love the packaging and the great choice of eartips, and the cool LED lighting effect is fun. The sound quality is also good andf the battery life is average.
On my list of dislikes, the noise cancelling is not as strong as it could be, and I can’t see that there’s any way to get management of ANC on/off on the buds—you must use the app. Plus the touch controls wouldn’t work for me.
They sell for $129US/$169CAD. As long as you know what you’re getting, go ahead any buy these. But if you’re looking for something to blow you out of the water with features, sound and longer battery life… these aren’t it.