When the day finally came to publish my Edifier NeoBuds Pro Review I was really quite excited, it’s a little sad I know but hear me out. My last Edifier review left me with an unanswered question. I pondered what Edifier would do next and how they would improve on the last set of Earbuds they sent to me.
That last set was flawless and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how they would improve on the TWS NB330’s. But, improved they have and by some distance too.
The Edifier NeoBuds Pro were crowdfunded and reached over $500,000 with the help of over 4,000 backers. I couldn’t quite understand why a company as big as Edifier would finance the Neobuds Pro via crowdfunding, but I guess it’s to ease capital pressures and have access to the funds right away, reducing the time to market. Reducing the time to market could cause problems with the earbuds themselves if the quality control isn’t as stringent, let’s hope not.
I like the idea of crowdfunding, it builds a sense of community and as a backer, it would certainly build hype whilst I waited for my new headphones to arrive. I think that’s enough of an intro, let’s get into the review and find out just how good these are. I’ll start with my first impressions.
Edifier NeoBuds Pro Review
When I first clapped eyes on the product box I was blown away, it looks ultra high quality and the cardboard used to make it is really dense. The reflective silver outer sheath looks sublime and really elevates the packaging to new highs. I am also hugely impressed with the embossed product images on the front of the box, it really helps it stand out.
Interestingly, those product images are actual size images which enables you to get a real sense of what the headphones are going to be like without actually opening up the box. This builds the anticipation and I was eager to open them up and give the NeoBuds Pro a good going over.
I slid the box out of the silver outer box and was greeted with a fold open box. It has a silver ribbon pull tab at the bottom that remains in place with the help of magnets in the cardboard.
The earbuds are displayed along with 6 extra pairs of silicone ear tips, which are all different colours, which you may think “wow great!”, but they’re only coloured on the inside of the eartips. You can’t really tell once you’ve fitted them to the earbuds, so coloured ear tips are a bit of a moot point to be honest.
Edifier say there’s ‘seven ways to fit your style’, however that doesn’t really work as regardless of what size you select, they’re all black on the outside.
The recent downward trend of single plastic use in Edifier’s packaging has continued which is great to see. They have replaced some of the plastic with foam though. I can almost accept the use of foam inserts in this instance as it fits the look and feel they’re going for.
It’s a stand out, almost flagship model in my view. I’d like to see a new type of recyclable or compostable foam insert in the future, so there’s still some improvements to be made.
The second layer contains the instruction manual and other bits and pieces such as a storage bag and silver card celebrating Edifiers quarter century in business.
Overall my first impressions are good, especially the design and styling of the branded product box and how everything is displayed. I’d almost describe the unboxing experience as extravagant. Next up, I’ll test the performance of the sound quality and the active noise cancelling.
For the sound quality test I went a little off piste, I took the Edifier NeoBuds Pro to the beach! I had a few days annual leave, so I took them to Norfolk for a few days to use them for my daily music needs. I figured the beach would be a perfect environment to test the different listening modes in particular the ANC.
The NeoBuds come with four ANC modes; High ANC, Low ANC, Ambient and Standard. They also have a super low latency mode purely for gaming, but this would also be useful for watching movies and TV on your smart phone or tablet.
Listening to this album left me without any doubt at all about the Edifier NeoBuds Pro musical prowess. They sound fantastic. Priced at around £120 / $129 they’ll out perform most competitors at this price point. The audio quality is simply excellent, pair that with the impressive Active Noise Cancellation and these earbuds are a force to be reckoned with, the pricier alternatives should be worried.
So first up for the sound test I thought I’d relive my teenage days and spin up an old album by a band called Paramore. The second track called ‘Ignorance’ has some thrashing drums and guitar sounds it sounded really powerful through the Knowles Balanced Armature driver.
Most notable of the sound frequencies was the bass. It sounds deep, booming and carries a smoothness in which I haven’t really heard in a pair of headphones at similar cost. It doesn’t sound over tuned and certainly doesn’t overpower the other sounds.
The midrange really elevated the heavy guitar rifts and allowed them to stay in the forefront of a somewhat ‘busy’ instrumental track.
The high end is sublime, I have often said on the blog I love a loud high end and whilst the treble isn’t the dominant sound, I didn’t want for more. The overall sound of the NeoBuds Pro really helped take my back to my teenage years and helped me really enjoy this awesome rock album.
As with other earbuds by Edifier that come with built in ANC, once it’s enabled the bass sounds a little deeper and I tend to prefer the enhanced audio profile that comes with enabling the High ANC Mode.
The next track ‘Brick By Boring Brick’ has relatively loud leading vocals and there are a few points in the track where there is some acapella audio.
The lead vocalist sounds fantastic and with ANC enabled the isolation of all of the other sounds leaves her voice literally the only thing you can hear and it really helps you apreicate just how good some singers are.
There’s extremely good instrumentation and vocal detailing, the separation of the audio channels impressed me with clear definition between left and right. This become obvious in some of Paramores’ live recordings. Bringing everything together, the earbuds really excel in terms of sound quality and they may finally dislodge the Apple AirPods as my primary pair of TWS earbuds.
High Def Audio
In some ways Edifier are ahead of the curve by including support for LHDC. Not many current generation devices support the higher-resolution audio-codecs like LHDC. A few of the Chinese Xiaomi models offer native support for this technology.
I guess the bad news is that for most of us, we won’t get the benefit of what that higher sound quality would offer. The good news is that Edifier have almost future proofed the earbuds by accident. I’m sure at some point iPhone and other popular andoird phones will enable LHDC support.
Edifier have also announced a firmware upgrade which will add LDAC support, LDAC is a Sony code which is also quite popular.
Active Noise Cancelling
To test the Active Noise Cancellation functionality on the NeoBuds I took them to the beach to listen to an audio book called ‘My Life With Hatti’. This particular beach faces the North Sea and when the breeze rolls in from the sea, it’s really loud. Edifier says the ANC will reduce noise by up to 42dB.
That sounds great on paper, but in the real world it may not work that well on wind noise, it works best on mildly irritating background noises such as the whir of a PC fan or a tumble dryer. But, to my surprise the ANC did a remarkable job of reducing the wind noise by quite a bit. Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t eliminate it completely, but it reduced it to such a level that the audio book I was listening to could be enjoyed.
I really only used High ANC mode for the ANC test as there was, in my opinion minimal difference between low and high.
Background Noise Enhancement
At the polar opposite is a setting called Ambient mode. It amplifies the background noises around you. I couldn’t figure out a use case for it at first but it works extremely well if you’re listening to music and waiting for a delivery in your house, it allows the sound of the doorbell to pass through the music, so you don’t miss them!
It works well outside too, enabling ambient mode alongside a road enables you to be more aware of things happening around you. It would definitely make me feel safer listening to music walking home at night.
Making and taking phone calls is somewhat of a secondary thought for most headphone manufacturers in my experience. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as I expect headphones to be primarily all about the music experience. The Edifier NeoBuds Pro handle calls well.
The microphones do a good job of picking up my voice and the person on the other end of the line could hear me over some quite vicious wind noise. I also left a voicemail on my wife’s phone so I could play it back, my voice sounded clear.
Smart Phone App
My overall opinion on the sound quality then, I’d say if you love heavy bass, excellent detailing and lack of artificial tuning to deliver an unadulterated sound, you’ll probably love these, I know I do. Next, let’s take a look at the build quality.
Another thing I’ve mentioned on previous Edifier pieces, the build quality is usually flawless so I had high expectations of these. Those expectations were correct, they’re very well put together and I can see the NeoBuds Pro becoming a hit with users who want the performance of some of the bigger players but don’t want to pay that same high price.
I really like the charging case size and overall dimensions of the earbuds themselves. The case size is actually really similar to them dimensions on the NB2’s. They measure in at 65.5mm x 48.2mm x 25.6mm.
The clam shaped case is styled with a smooth matt black finish a metallic grooved central insert on the top of the ‘lid’. I really like that design element, the brushed aluminum effect looks hyper stylish.
Whilst we’re on the subject of the charging case, it feels really strong. There is a bit of flex if I try to bend the lid to far back, but it does feel reinforced and I don’t think I’d be able to break it easily. I do normally try and break the review units, however because I like the sound quality so much, I don’t want to risk breaking them as I’ll be using them as my earbuds moving forward.
I did however want to perform my usual ‘scratch test’. So I grabbed a letter opener and scratched the brushed metal, it did leave some ever so slight scratches but because of the sort of smoked grey colour of the metallic finish, the scratches are barely visible.
Next up, I tried to scratch the plastic body of the charging case. I wasn’t able to leave any deep or shallow scratches, I think the matt black finish helps hide it. I’ve reviewed products in the past where there was a deep glossy finish that highlighted every tiny imperfection, we don’t have that problem here, they’ll look their best for ages.
Opening up the case you’ll find the contacts that charge the earbuds and unlike the Sound Liberty P10 Pro the Edifier offerings slot in with ease.
The earbuds themselves are well made and comfortable. I listened to an entire album, around 108 minutes long and I didn’t feel like I needed to remove them or adjust them once they were in my ear. They don’t go too deep inside the ear canal, so you do lose a bit of passive noise cancelling, but that added comfort more than makes up for it.
They also feel lightweight, infact you can hardly feel them in your ear at all!
On the back of the case is a USB-C charging port which is good to see, I think Edifier could’ve got away with removing the USB-C cable aswell, most people have them to hand these days and it would only further enhance those green credentials.
If they do go down this route though, I’d like to see a price reduction to reflect the removal of the cable, they’d be making a saving in manufacturing costs, so should ideally pass that onto the consumer in my view.
Battery life is stated as having plenty of juice to allow for around 6 hours of playback time, which is reduced to around 4.5 / 5 hours with high ANC enabled.
Another positive to these is that they do have quick charge, charge it for 10 minutes and you’ll get an hour of listening. Perfect if you’re like me, someone who forgets to charge them when you need them for a run!
Overall, I’m really really impressed with the build quality and to be quite frank, I don’t expect anything less from Edifier. I’d be extremely shocked the day I find a pair of earbuds from Edifier that don’t meet the build quality standards they set.
How Much & Where To Buy
As always with Edifier’s gear you can buy them from Amazon or via their own Edifier Mall. You’ll find them online for £120 / $129.
Edifier NeoBuds Pro Review Verdict
The comfort, ANC performance and sound quality alone are enough to make me score these a 10/10. I honestly don’t think there are better for the price, they’re not entirely budget but you’ll save small fortune over similarly performing earbuds.
Overall, this is a very impressive new release from Edifier via a rather unorthodox method for such a big company (crowdfunded). The sound quality is up there with the likes of the PreSonus HD10BT and other heavyweights. I also really like the hi res support has been future proofed. These should most definitely be on your list of ones to try.
You’ll like these if:
- You need great ANC performance.
- You understand what LDAC / LHDC support is.
- Have an ear for finer musical details.
- You commute on busy buses or trains.
- You’re all about that bass.
You’ll not like these if:
- You want to use these for jogging.
- You want wireless charging.
- You’re on a budget.
- You don’t like bass.
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CodeWithMike is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.
The earbuds where sent to us in exchange for writing our Edifier NeoBuds Pro Review. The opinions are our own and we have not been paid to write this article.