Can The Edifier Neobuds Pro 2 Compete Against The Flagships? 🤔 2 Weeks In-Depth Review!

This is the Edifier NeoBuds Pro 2. It has ANC, Spatial Audio, high-quality bitrate playback, and there is more! It comes with a retail price of only RM599.

So, how does this compare to the other flagships from Apple and Sony then?

 

Unboxing

So, the unboxing process, as usual, was a very pleasant experience. This time around, it came with a brown shipping-style box. 

Opening that, the box itself was in white with the visuals of the earbuds in front of the box. 

At the back, there are the different codecs that the earbuds support and what comes inside the box. 

Now, what’s interesting is that when you open this box, there’s a little acoustic foam at the top part, and the earbuds are tucked inside in the middle at the bottom.

Behind that, there’s a white accessory box which includes a USB-A to USB-C cable, a premium feeling carrying pouch, and a lot of extra ear tips, and of course, the manual itself.

 

Design & Build

First, let’s look at the design and the aesthetics of the earbuds case. It is very solidly built with a nice matte finish that is fingerprint-resistant and with copper accents at the sides. 

This is the Ivory-colored version which looks between beige and white. I wish that it just came in a pure white color, but that’s the case for this, and it also comes in Black

It charges via USB-C since there’s no wireless charging, and you will see the LED indicator at the side. The side glow light fits the overall almost business-meets-cybernetic look. Speaking of which, this LED light is customizable up to 8 different color options through the app, which we’ll dive into later.

Now when you open the lid, there is a single button for resetting and pairing. Speaking of this pairing button, some of the mid-range earbuds still do not include a physical button, so it is nice that Edifier gave that. 

 

Earbuds

Over to the earbuds, it carries the whole “cybernetic look” over the stems. They are touch-sensitive, and as always, there’s no single tap option. While some may complain and want this feature, I personally think that is a good call because it does help avoid accidental commands when you put it in your ears, especially when you’re just adjusting it when it’s in the ears. 

However, what you get are double-tap and triple-tap options where you can customize that to your liking. And worth mentioning is that there’s no option for a touch-and-hold control.

Then the stems of the earbuds are in a matte finish too, where it is glossy towards the top near the ear tips area. 

One thing that really surprised me is how well these earbuds fit in the ears despite looking a little bulky and not as sleek as some of the flagship models. They did fit in my ears surprisingly well. In fact, I found it to be more comfortable than the WF1000XM5 earbuds from Sony, especially during extended periods of wear. 

And if this fit isn’t perfect right out of the box, don’t worry because, as you’ve seen in the unboxing, Edifier includes a whopping six additional ear tips in different sizes so you can find the best possible fit for your ears.

Now, finally, it is also IP54 rated so no worries of using this in a gym under rain or even light splashes too. 

 

Connectivity

The earbuds have Bluetooth version 5.3 when it comes to connectivity, and unfortunately, there’s no multi-device pairing option which, to be honest, is quite a bummer to me. 

Now, pairing these earbuds with an iPhone is pretty straightforward. Just press and hold the pairing button, then go to the Bluetooth settings menu on your phone, select the earbuds, and you’re all set. 

But connecting this to an Android phone is a breeze with Google Fast Pair where you just have to flip open the case, and your phone should instantly find it, especially for the very first time pairing this to a brand new smartphone. 

 

Microphones

Now when it comes to the microphones, there are a total of eight microphones, that is, four on each side of the earbuds. Now just to give you a comparison, the AirPods Pro have two mics on each earbud, and the Sony WF1000XM5 has three on each. 

From my testing, the microphones on these NeoBuds Pro 2 really stand out, especially during phone calls. They use what they call the beam-forming algorithm which seems to do a fantastic job. 

 

Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) 

On to the active noise cancellation side, Edifier claims that that can deliver up to -50dB in noise cancellation. Now that is quite an improvement compared to the previous generation. Now in real-life situations, this ANC really shines, effectively reducing ambient noise. 

Now, if you’re someone who frequently uses public transport, you’ll appreciate the difference because these earbuds can significantly lower those background chatter that you find when you’re in a train and the rumbling of the tracks making your journey more peaceful. 

And of course, in the Edifier Connect app, you’ll find four different ANC modes including a wind reduction mode and the Ambient sound setting. Now this feature comes in handy in certain situations. 

Then as for mobile gamers out there, these earbuds include the gaming mode in the app to reduce latency. While it’s not the fastest, but it’s definitely sufficient for most casual and non-professional gamers. But yeah, it is a nice feature that really enhances your overall gaming experience. 

 

Spatial Audio

Let’s dive into what makes these earbuds potentially flagship level for 2023, which is their support for Spatial Audio. Now this is a feature that is becoming more and more popular, and it is great to see that it is also available in earbuds within this price range. 

Inside each of the earbuds, there is a gyrometer and an accelerometer. Now these are the key components that enable the Spatial Audio magic. And to use this feature, all you need to do is just to toggle that in the Edifier Connect app. Once activated, the earbud can track your head movements in real-time which is pretty impressive, especially considering their price range.

But there is a small catch though because every time you change your position, you will need to recalibrate the earbuds, especially the exact position of your phone. 

From my experience, the spatial audio feature once calibrated works decently well. It is definitely a cool addition, but I wouldn’t say that that is one of the main selling points of these earbuds. 

 

Sound

One of the key reasons to consider these earbuds is the audio codecs support and of course resulting in amazing sound quality. Now, if you’re really into audio, you’ll know that having proper codecs is very important when delivering a full experience because these earbuds support a range of codecs including LDAC, LHDC 5.0, AAC, and SBC

What this means for you, and for all of us, is the ability to enjoy 192kHz/24-bit audio over Bluetooth which is definitely a very good thing that really elevates the audio quality a notch higher. 

Now, when it comes to the actual audio performance, I was genuinely surprised given the price range. I had moderate expectations but the sound quality completely blew me away. It indeed gave some of the flagship earbuds a run for the money, and the Knowles Balanced Armature Driver in the earbuds provides an excellent balance of high and low frequency delivering punchy bass and beautifully clear mids. 

These earbuds really stand out when listening to tracks with a strong focus on mids and bass. For example, “Return of The Jedi” by Darth & Vader and Zedd’s remix of “Die For You” by Valorant sounds fantastic. The vocals, especially in this particular track, cut very beautifully right in the middle even when the bass kicks towards the end of the track. 

However, if you’re a big fan of metal or rock, you might find the bass a bit overwhelming. But don’t worry, you can easily adjust the sound settings in the Edifier Connect app to suit your taste. 

If you’re curious about what is the exact music that I listen when I test these earbuds, here’s the link to the playlist:

https://music.apple.com/my/playlist/2023-audio-quality-test/pl.u-e98lGp5i2pG1a7

 

Edifier Connect App

Speaking of the app, let’s go through the app’s interface and what you can adjust over there. Now what’s nice is there is a notification bar constantly if you’re using an Android phone.

Or if you’re using an iPhone, it will appear as a Live Activities, which is nice – if only Apple does that with the AirPods Pro, right? Since these are their own earbuds…

Now at the home screen other than the visuals of the earbuds and the case, you’ll find the battery indicator for the earbuds over there, and for some strange reason, the case shows offline whether or not it’s on my iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Now hopefully a software update could fix this. 

Below that, there is the ANC, Ambient mode and the Wind Reduction toggle. Then there’s a music player below as well. Then there are tabs for Discover, Mail, and the Me tab. 

Then going back to the earbuds tab at the top right corner, you’ll find a bunch of settings over there such as the control settings which you can customize accordingly both on the left and right. 

Then it can also adjust the tap sensitivity over there, wearing detection to pause the audio when the earbuds are removed from your ears, and other further settings over there as well. 

Then swiping over to the next page of the home screen brings you to the sound modes to toggle between music, game mode, and spatial audio as mentioned earlier. 

The next page shows the different sound EQs, and I left it at Dynamic during my overall music listening just to keep things simple.

Then the final page allows you to change the LED colors as mentioned earlier as well.

 

Battery

When it comes to these earbuds, there is a bit of a trade-off between great sound quality, effective ANC, and of course, the battery life. Now the earbuds are rated to last about 4 hours with ANC on and 5.5 hours with it turned off. 

Based on my personal experience with ANC always on and volume up to maximum, you all know how deaf I can be, I’ve been getting around 3 hours and 50 minutes of playtime and that is also considering using high-quality bit rates music streaming on Tidal. 

However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the earbuds lasted close to 6 hours with ANC turned off. I think Edifier is a little more modest in their estimation over here. 

As for the charging case, it provides an additional 12 hours of playtime with ANC and 16.5 hours without. Now that is also pretty much in line with the official rating, so that was great. 

In general, if your daily commute or listening session is around 3 hours or less, which seems to be the case for most people that I know, these earbuds should easily last you about 2 to 3 days before needing a recharge. Now that is more than decent, especially considering the step up in sound quality. 

And if you ever forget to charge them, no worries because a quick 15-minute charge can give you up to 2 hours of playback. And that is also really great to know. But just remember, as mentioned earlier, there’s no wireless charging option where you’ll need to use the USB-C port to charge the earbuds and the case itself.

 

Conclusion

So in conclusion, overall this is a really great device for the money that you’ll be spending which comes at a really good price of only RM599 (as of the date of review). Now that is quite an amazing price considering competitors like Sony, Apple, and even Sennheiser where something of this caliber could cost 2 to 3 times the price.

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