Edifier have always delivered when we’ve reviewed their audio devices. The NeoBuds Pro were originally conceptualised via an IndieGoGo campaign which amassed over £400,000 in backing to bring them to market. They are marketed as the first Hi-Res ANC ear-buds, sporting LDAC/LHDC codec support, and coming in at under £100, these have a lot to live up to.
- Excellent audio
- Excellent price
- Premium design
- IP54 rating
- Only acceptable battery life
- No Wireless charging on the cradle
The unboxing experience here is amazing, if overboard. A shiny box sleeve is removed to reveal a flip-up box that contains the NeoBuds Pro front and centre, along with the spare silicone ear tips. Remove another layer to reveal the carry case, paperwork and charging cable. There’s no plastic here either aside from the silicone ear tip container but I’d like to see a much smaller package overall. Cost and waste would be lessened.
The charging cradle is plastic in construction, with a brushed metallic section, containing the NeoBuds Pro. The buds themselves are plastic in construction and are diminutive in size. With a pinhole microphone on the top edge of each bud, there is little else of note aside from charging pins on the underside. They have a silver stalk coming from the buds which allow touch control.
- Bluetooth version – V5.0
- Audio codecs – LDAC，LHDC, AAC, SBC
- Driver unit – balanced armature driver + dynamic driver
- Playback time – ANC on: about 5 hours (earbuds) + 15 hours (charging case) / ANC off: about 6 hours (earbuds) + 18 hours (charging case)
- Charging time – about 1 hour (earbuds)/about 1 hour (charging case)
- Battery capacity – 40mAh (earbuds)/500mAh (charging case)
- Frequency response – 20Hz-40kHz
- Sensitivity – 92±3dB SPL (A)
- Impedance – 24Ω
- Charging port – USB Type-C
In The Box
- Edifier NeoBuds Pro
- Charging case
- USB Type-C charging cable
- Seven pairs of silicone tips (various sizes)
- Carry case
- Warranty information
- User guide
Audio & Use
The NeoBuds Pro are very similar in style to that of the Edifier TWS NB2, which is no bad thing in my opinion. Their design also helps them in and out of their equally well-styled charging case. Just staying with the case briefly, there’s a Night Rider-esque swiping LED that is displayed when charging or opening the case to denote the buds’ status. There’s also a pairing/reset button, and the magnets used are strong. One downside though is that there is no wireless charging here. Instead, Edifier opted for a Type-C charging port on the rear. This might not bother many reading, but I’m certainly used to my premium TWS buds having premium features such as this.
Moving on to the audio, I was blown away. As I disclose in almost every audio review, I am far from an audiophile. My musical tastes are also far from eclectic with Hip-Hop often being the first, last, and perhaps only tracks being played during a listening session. However, I know what sounds good, and the NeoBuds Pro do.
Marketing as one of the first hi-Res TWS buds on the market and supporting the LHDC codec, you’ll need a device compatible with these higher-res codecs to really take advantage. Even without a supported device though, the audio will still be excellent. Their bass is rumbling, sprawling and pervasive without being overbearing. There’s minimal bleed into the mids which are more than adequately separated from the highs also. In my binaural tests, I could identify depths I could not in other similarly priced TWS buds. There is no distortion at higher volumes (not that you’ll need to crank it) and no noticeable hiss in between songs that you get from lesser products.
Call quality on the NeoBuds Pro is also pretty decent and you’ll be able to be heard and hear adequately throughout the duration of the call, as long as you’re not on a construction site.
The Edifier Connect app can also help fine-tune the buds still further, both in sound and function. Sticking with the audio for now, you can switch between a few tuning profiles by default. Classic and Dynamic offer two completely different sounds. Classic is a relatively balanced/flat profile whilst Dynamic will highlight the tracks bass levels (perfect for a Hip-Hop fan). You can also customise these with the integrated EQ still further. There’s even a low-latency game mode. For the majority of my testing however I kept these in the Dynamic profile
Edifier Connect App FTW
The Edifier Connect app allows a plethora of settings to be changed. Audio-wise, there are a few different sound options, with high noise cancellation, low noise cancellation, ambient, and normal modes selectable. They do exactly what is expected, and affect the battery life accordingly (high noise cancellation drains quicker, etc). I didn’t find much difference between the ANC modes in my use case (not travelling), so left them in the High Noise Cancellation mode, but it’s a nice option to have depending on if you’re walking the dog versus catching a flight.
There’s so much more to fiddle with in the app too. One I spent the most time with was the Tap Settings page. Per bud, users can determine what actions double and triple taps invoke. I found the best setup for me was to control the next/previous track selection via triple taps on each bud, whilst reserving the double taps for play/pause toggle and the mode selection. Your mileage will vary though.
Acceptable Battery Life
Edifier claims the NeoBuds Pro will manage 5-hours with the ANC turned on. In my testing, I managed just south of that with ANC on at 60% volume, by around 20-minutes, so not far off. When the juice runs out, a quick 10/15-minute charge in the case will deliver another hour or so of playback time. These probably won’t find you on the hop during a day, but the lack of any wireless charging, and the fact that 5-hours of battery life is significantly below that of class-leading buds on the market is the one weakness of this package.
I’m throwing this out there; at the time of writing this review, I challenge anybody to find a better package of soundstage and Active Noise Cancellation, anywhere, for the sub-£100 price that the NeoBuds Pro come in at. They are excellent.
The inclusion of support for LHDC codecs, IP54 dust/water resistance enhance the offering and is watered down only ever so slightly, by the lack of any wireless charging on the cradle. My only additional gripe is the lack of any sensor detecting when a bud is removed to pause the playback. This is a minor annoyance though.
If these turn up on sale for less than the MSPR (£100), seriously consider them!