Extremely stylish, comfortable to wear, dust and sweat proof, the NeoBuds S look to be a great pair of wireless earbuds. Combine that with Edifier’s great build quality and you’ve got a recipe for success.
It’s certainly been a while since I’ve reviewed anything from the folks over at Edifier. I took a bit of a break from the blog, but I’m back with a bang! This time I’m writing a review of the Edifier NeoBuds S.
A while back I reviewed the ‘Pro’ model in the same line-up. I loved them so much I scored them a 10/10. Infact, I use them day to day for running and for work calls, they replaced my favored AirPods almost instantly. I’m hoping the ‘S’ flavour will be of similar quality.
So, let’s get into the review and see what’s what.
Edifier NeoBuds S Review
I’ve enjoyed and used the ‘Pro’ version of these headphones for ages now (check out my review of the Pro here), so I’m eager to see how the ‘S’ differ. I jumped at the chance to take a look at them and when the delivery finally arrived I ripped the packaging straight open and started work on my review right away.
I was greeted with an incredibly sleek looking outer Edifier sleeve in a stunning glossy silver finish. A high-res image of the earbuds feature front and centre and some specifics in terms of functionality are listed below.
The box is made using high quality board and I can tell from experience that even if these got thrown around during transit they’d hold up just fine, having been protected by the box design. As I’ve mentioned several times now, I’m a sucker for great packaging and Edifier have hit the nail on the head, as they usually do.
Opening up the inner box, I was greeted with a minimalist approach to internal box design. The earbud charging case is prominently displayed in the middle on a tray, underneath that you’ll find all the accessories.
Overall it’s a great unboxing experience and leaves me excited to dig further to find out what these great looking earbuds are capable of.
The Geeky Bit
- Battery Life: 5.5 hours with ANC, 6.5 hours without
- Charging Case Included?: Yes
- Microphone Array: 6
- Codecs: AAC, SBC, aptX, aptX Adaptive, Snapdragon Sound
- Bluetooth Version: 5.2
- IP Rating: 54
- Drivers: 10mm
- Weight: 6g (0.21oz)
- Colorways: Black or white
- Charging via: USB Type-C
What’s In The Box
- Edifier NeoBuds
- Charging case
- 7 sets of tips
- USB-C charging cable
- Instruction booklet
- Storage bag
I expected nothing short of exceptional to be completely honest. Every time I’ve reviewed Edifier earbuds they’ve excelled at being incredibly well built, using high quality components and the NeoBuds S are no different.
The charging case feels robust. I really wanted to test how strong it is, so I bent it back as far as it’d go. It bent quite far before I heard a creaking noise, at which point I stopped as I didn’t actually want to break it.
The other test I wanted to do was my ‘scratch test‘. I took a sharp folding knife and ran the blade along the edge of the case, it left an ever so slight mark but didn’t leave any deep damage, which just goes to show that it’s made with strong plastic.
I really like the included charging cable, it carries the same build quality as the main unit, this means it hasn’t been an after thought. This theme continues with the other included accessories, the spare ear tips are well made too.
It let’s a product down when the accessories are poor quality, the NeoBuds S don’t suffer from that affliction, all of the bundled accessories are designed and built with purpose and functionality in mind.
They’re not only well made, they look great too. The earbuds are sleek and understated, they only feature a small Edifier logo in a copper colour which looks great in contrast to the main black colour.
As I mentioned in my opening paragraph of the build quality section, it’s exceptional. Let’s move on now and take a closer look at how they perform at their primary function, sound!
For the sound quality part of my review I had a think of what I wanted to listen to. I decided I’d listen to an album called ‘Happier Than Ever‘ by Billie Eilish. I also wanted to watch a TV series with lots of different sound profiles, heavy bass and tons of sound effects, I decided on a Marvel TV show called Ms Marvel.
The NeoBuds S have a hybrid driver that Edifier describe as being a ‘digital crossover’. It’s basically tech speak for a dual driver system. They feature a 10mm dynamic driver, aswell as a much smaller balanced armature driver. Balanced armature drivers use an electronic signal to vibrate a tiny reed that is balanced between two magnets inside a tiny enclosure.
The benefit of having dual drivers is a game changer in terms of sound quality. The reason for that is the 10mm dynamic driver can really focus on the mid and low range frequencies, leaving the armature driver to focus on the critical high-end portion of the audio spectrum. It really helps bring a level of clarity I haven’t heard in quite a while.
As I work my way through the songs on the album it’s obvious to me that they all sound crystal clear. I’m easily able to identify unique elements of each track.
Right out of the box the default tuning focuses quite heavily on the low end, which means some tracks can sound artificially bass heavy, which I like but other people may want to lower that bass a touch. This can be done by fiddling with the EQ settings in the Edifier connect App.
The mid-range sounds great and the lyrics don’t sound overly tinny. I suspect this is because the mid-range has been flattened slightly by the default tuning I mentioned above.
The high end is handled by that separate driver and it sounds great. Readers of my previous reviews will know I like my treble to be quite the standout and it is, the higher end of the frequency range is fantastic, I do like the default sound profile, I don’t see my self adjusting the EQ too much.
I’ve had headphones on review before where the tuning hasn’t sounded particularly good. When tuning has been done badly you lose a bit of clarify and definition but the NeoBuds S haven’t had the same misfortune.
Watching Ms.Marvel was a delight. The NeoBuds S sound was truly immersive and activating ANC only enhanced this further, it wasn’t quite movie theatre immersive but it was close. These are definitley a contender for when you want to watch a movie or TV series without disturbing other people in your household.
Edifier NeoBuds S App
If you want to change the EQ settings you can do so via the app. There are a couple of different pre-sets of which I found dynamic to be the best. This is just my personal taste though as dynamic mode only enhances the extremes of the default tuning.
Have a play around with different settings to find something you like, as with most things, sound is personal preference.
I didn’t really like the connect app when it was first launched, but it has a ton of new features that makes it worth a download. It’s great to see some improvements to not only Edifier’s hardware but the software too.
Active Noise Cancellation
I still can’t get my head around just how good ANC makes music sound. It helps you completely focus on the music and avoid all external distractions. The NeoBuds S have a -49dB ANC max capacity. There are three mods to choose from; Wind Reduction, Low or High.
My office has several computers and a file storage server which makes quite a racket. On the highest setting, the background noise of my office was completely quiet. I was able to watch a National Geographic documentary whilst typing out my notes that would eventually make up this review and I couldn’t hear any background fan noise whatsoever. So far so good then.
Going for a walk I chose wind reduction mode, the wind wasn’t very strong during this test but it did work well. If I’m using the S’s whilst in a heavy gust I’ll revisit this review and update as appropriate.
Enabling the ANC does alter the sound a little bit. It makes the bass a little heavier and there is some discernible change in the mids, but it’s a price I’m happy to pay for exceptional background noise reduction.
These earbuds also come with an ambient mode but I rarely use it. It’s almost pointless as it doesn’t really amplify things in my opinion it just sounds as if ANC is switched off, at least to my ears anyway.
You’ll get just over 5 hours with ANC enabled and a further 19 hours with the charging case, which isn’t the best in class but it’ll do just fine for most use cases. The good news is that, if you do need a re-charge you’ll get 1.5 hours of playback with just a 10 minute charge.
Overall in terms of sound quality these are fantastic and are a fine replacement for the Pro’s that I’ve been rocking for almost a year.
These were shipped in a plain cardboard outer box without plastic shrink wrap. There is very limited single use plastic used in the packaging. The only thing I can think of that could make a positive impact is to switch out the spare ear tip packaging for a more planet friendly paper one.
These are made in China, so consider where you are located because of the air miles on them. Although, to counter that argument, these earbuds are made with such strong build quality they should last you a life time which reduces the need to buy multiple sets of replacement headphones, reducing overall plastic waste.
Where To Buy
They are available from Amazon for £179.99, hit the affiliate link here to check them out.
In Short & Verdict
They’re a definite improvement over the Pro version and a worthy investment if you have the spare cash, they are however firmly out of the budget category. In the current climate they’re probably a tad too expensive for some if not most people.
The ANC is awesome and makes any song, TV show or movie you’re listening to infinitely better.
It has to be 10/10, I can overlook the price at £179.99 when considering the feature set.
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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 were sent to us in exchange for writing my Edifier NeoBuds S review. The opinions are our own and we have not been paid to write this article.