Edifier is a company that mainly makes high quality speakers, but the company also works on portable devices. It has a choice of headphones and earbuds to take your audio with you on the go. The company recently launched its premium NeoBuds S earbuds, which are completely wireless and they aim to rival the higher quality earbuds on the market. So how do they perform?
The tone is light (maybe a little too light)
Let’s start with the sound quality. When dealing with most mainstream earbuds, headphones and speakers these days, you usually run into the same scenario: TON BASS. This is good for more modern bass-heavy music like EDM, pop, dubstep and whatever else the kids listen to. This is effective for getting the energy flowing, but can have a negative impact on other genres of music.
The Edifier NeoBuds S go the opposite way. They prioritize bass and focus on delivering a more balanced sound. They almost remind me of the Jabra Elite 4 Active earbuds. The buds are pleasant to listen to as they pay attention to the higher frequencies. Vocals sing through clearly, as do the higher percussions.
This also helps when listening to orchestral music. When listening to classical music, I found that the lower instruments didn’t come across as muddy and overly bass-heavy like other headphones.
Besides that …
The sound is a little too brightly matched to the bass. You’re missing out on some of the punch and immersion you get with more bass-heavy headphones. There are also times when the audio gets a bit tinny. I feel like Edifier could use a little more bass emphasis to balance out the sound.
So the sound is great for listening to more balanced music. It’s not really up for the thumping and pounding bass-heavy music you often hear. Even if you crank up the bass with the app’s built-in EQ, you don’t get as much bass as other earbuds.
The noise cancellation is great
The Edifier NeoBuds S have both an ambient mode and ANC (Active Noise Cancellation). There are three ANC modes you can enable: low noise reduction, high noise reduction, and wind reduction. The low noise reduction cancels out a good chunk of ambient noise, but it’s the high noise reduction that does the magic.
The high level of noise cancellation on these earphones is amazing. It does an excellent job of eliminating noise from cars, air conditioning, and light breezes. It really isolates the sound coming through the speakers, even when you’re walking outside.
The wind reduction mode does a good job of removing most of the noise and letting the sound come through. I would say the ANC is one of the highlights of it
The app offers a TON of customization and options
Most premium earbuds come with a companion app that you use for control and customization. The Edifier Connect app is one of the most comprehensive companion apps I’ve seen for a pair of earbuds.
You use the app to monitor your earbuds battery level and case level. It shows the battery level in 1% intervals so you know exactly how charged they are. The same goes for the charging case, but you’ll need to have at least one earbud in it to see its performance.
You can also switch between the three ANC, Normal and Ambient modes via the app. You can also choose between the different EQ modes (but more on that later).
Heck, you can play/pause and skip the current track playing in the app. If you want to turn off the earbuds without using the case, there’s also a power button in the app.
Finally, your case has a colored LED strip on the front that gives it an aesthetic flair. With the app you can change the color of this led strip to your liking.
Now let’s talk about customizations
There are tons of ways you can customize your earbuds and sound with the Edifier Connect app. The Edifier NeoBuds S are touch sensitive and you can choose which actions to perform when tapped as well as the touch sensitivity itself. There are 31 levels of touch sensitivity that you can choose.
These earbuds use voice prompts to let you know what mode you’re switching to and when the battery is low. The app actually allows you to adjust the volume of prompts and mute them entirely. However, muting the voice prompts does not turn them off. That means you’ll still hear a delay when switching modes.
The built-in EQ is something else!
Audio companion apps sometimes provide an equalizer to edit the sound profile. The Edifier Connect app has a beast of an EQ. It’s a four-band equalizer, and you can adjust each band between -6dB and 6dB. So that already gives you a lot of control.
If you’re an audiophile and want more control over your sound, you can. First of all, you can adjust the Q-factor of each band.
From left to right, the bands intrinsically affect the 100 Hz, 2000 Hz, 4000 Hz, and 8000 Hz frequencies. If you are not happy with these numbers, you can adjust them. The app allows you to dial in your own frequencies for each band. You can adjust it down to the single Hertz. That is an extremely deep level of customization!
You can add and save multiple EQ profiles to switch between them. Also, there are two preset EQ modes you can use, Dynamic and Classic.
The Edifier app has a notification that stays in the shadows all the time, so you can switch modes on the fly. You can turn off the notification if you don’t want to see it.
You don’t have many options when it comes to touch controls
With most other earbuds, you have a combination of single tap, double tap, triple tap, and tap & hold. This gives you a plethora of different options to control your media.
However, the Edifier NeoBuds S only have double tap and triple tap options. This means that you only have four control options in total. The typical control options people use are play/pause, volume up, volume down, skip tracks forward, skip tracks back, switch between listening modes and activate the voice assistant. You can do all of these things with other earbuds. However, you’ll have to choose which controls you want to omit from the earbuds.
The battery life of the NeoBuds S will more than get you through the day with heavy use. Your mileage depends on whether you have ANC enabled. Without ANC on, the earbuds lasted around six hours even on one charge, and the case can charge the earbuds around four times.
When the feature is on (High Noise Cancellation), it knocks about an hour off the clock, and the case has been able to charge it about two and a half times.
Should you buy the Edifier NeoBuds S?
At $179.99, it’s hard to sell you these earbuds with the sound out of the box. If you’re looking for a fuller out-of-the-box experience, and you’re after a really bassy and punchy sound, look elsewhere.
Nevertheless, you get a balanced sound. Also, there is a massive amount of customization that you have access to to tailor the experience to you. If you really want to dive into the settings and tailor your experience to your specific needs, then these earbuds are for you.