Edifier is a Chinese audio manufacturer that’s made a sizable name for themselves in the budget audiophile market over the last couple decades. They make everything from bookshelf home theater speakers to PC speakers to wireless headphones, covering most audio devices that you’d need to buy.
Today we’re taking a look at some of their latest wireless earbuds, the NeoBuds Pro. These promise traditional Edifier sound quality in a truly wireless package with decent battery life and a companion app. But at a slightly higher than average asking price for these kinds of earbuds, are they worth the cash? Let’s find out.
Modern, but bulky design
The NeoBuds Pro come in a charging case that looks very premium and modern. With an animated LED at the lip of the case and some faux brushed metal accents on top, not to mention Edifier’s understated logo, it just looks cool. It’s not particularly small, with about 50% more volume than something like Samsung’s Galaxy Buds case, but that does help add to the battery life. The case is still small enough to fit right into a pocket or bag, but it’ll be a little more noticeable carrying it around than some other options.
The earbuds themselves also follow that sleek design language with straight lines and edges, but they’re very lightweight. You shouldn’t experience much, if any, discomfort wearing these for long periods of time. Edifier has also included tons of ear tip sizes in the box, so you can swap those out to find the best fit for your ears.
There’s a USB-C charging port on the back of the case, and that LED strip along the front moves and animates almost like something you’d see in a custom gaming PC, which is a pretty cool touch. It doesn’t do much besides animate when you open and close the case and show battery charging state, but it’s neat nonetheless.
Modern sound that’s not for everyone
Edifier has taken a very subjective route with the NeoBuds Pro. A lot of people are going to love how these sound, but I think an equal number of people might be a little turned off by the sound profile that they offer.
Personally, I’m in the former camp. These headphones are tuned out of the box to offer a very hard V shaped EQ, with extremely scooped midrange, thumping bass, and sharp high end. If 2000’s rock music was a pair of headphones, it would be the NeoBuds Pro.
And if 2000’s rock is your jam, these are custom built for it. That ramped up bass is great for genres like modern rock, rap, and electronic music, and the scooped mids fit how most of that music is mixed anyway. It sounds great, and these are probably some of my favorite headphones that I’ve ever listened to. But if that particular sound isn’t your thing, you probably won’t really like the NeoBuds Pro, which brings us to our next point.
Edifier has a companion app called Edifier Connect, which lets you do things like browse Edifier’s store, change up your earbuds ANC levels and EQ, and more. It’s okay for some things, but a little clunky in other ways.
My biggest gripe with the app is the overly complicated EQ settings. There are two presets to pick from (classic or dynamic) and a custom option, and the classic preset makes the headphones sound relatively dull. The dynamic preset is clearly what they were intended to be used with. But if you want to change things up, you’ll have to dig into the custom settings, and that’s where things get rough.
It’s not a simple 6-band EQ or anything, but instead a 4-band EQ where you have to individually tweak the Q factor and frequency of each band. This makes for an infinitely customizable experience where you can cut and boost very specific frequencies from your sound profile, but… that’s not something the average person will probably understand or even want to do. It’s something that I do understand from hanging out in audiophile subreddits for years, and I still think it’s a headache. More presets or a simple mode would go a very long way towards making this a better experience for casual listeners and power users alike.
Edifier has checked off all the other boxes you’d want from headphones like these. You’re getting hi-res audio LDAC and LHDC support, excellent active noise cancelation, three microphones for noise canceling on your phone calls, and IP54 water resistance. The Edifier Connect app will also let you turn on a game mode, which lowers latency between your phone and the earbuds if you’re using these for long gaming sessions.
Battery life is also above average, with 4 – 6 hours on a single charge and an additional 18 hours from recharging via the case. The case will also quick charge your headphones, delivering about an hour of listening from just 10 minutes in the case.
These earbuds come in white or black, include tons of ear tips in the box and a USB-C charging cable, and generally feel well-rounded and not like you’re getting ripped off out of some basic stuff.
These headphones will very likely stay in my rotation for a long time. I personally think they sound fantastic, I don’t mind tweaking with the complicated EQ settings, and they’re not too bulky for me. With all of that being said, I can see how just might not fit the bill for someone else.
That sound profile really is very aggressively tailored for certain genres of music over others, and fixing it via that custom EQ is going to take some work. There’s also nothing that particularly stands out against similar or cheaper headphones, although Edifier’s ANC does work extremely well.
Whether or not you should buy these entirely depends on whether or not you’ll like the sound profile. But as a fan of that kind of sound, I don’t think there’s anything in the $100 price range right now that I’d prefer over the NeoBuds Pro.