Edifier NeoBuds S Review

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The Edifier NeoBuds S are wireless earbuds with advanced noise cancellation, high quality streaming and Snapdragon Sound, with a price tag of $179.99 (£179.99). Now that’s a pretty hefty price tag for a set of earbuds, so lets take a look at what that buys you.

NeoBuds S vs NeoBuds Pro

The Edifier NeoBuds S brings us a whole range of improvements over the previous NeoBuds Pro, along with a considerable price difference. Let’s take a look at how these earbuds compare to their predecessor in terms of comfort, performance and quality.

The Unboxing

First of all it has to be said that the Edifier NeoBuds S are well packaged. I enjoyed the unboxing experience, which is something I don’t usually care about. I feel as though Edifier have taken extra care to ensure these earbuds arrive safely. Both the outer packaging and the actual product box feel well made and high quality. A good start.

Edifier have also given us seven pairs of ear tips, each a different size with different colours so you know which pair is which, and a very high quality carry pouch. Quite a nice touch. Kudos on that one, Edifier.

Design

The Edifier NeoBuds S are a newer, improved version of the Edifier NeoBuds Pro. Mainly, this newer S version brings us; Snapdragon Sound, Bluetooth 5.2, IP54 water resistance and improved battery life, along with a few other more minor changes.

The case design in terms of shape and size appears identical to that of the NeoBuds Pro, except for a few colour differences in the LEDs. The case allows you to change the front LED colour, while the previous case does not. I’ve not really bothered with this feature, as it’s not something you really take notice of. Still, it’s nice to have and it’s there if you want it.

One of my favourite features is the upgraded battery life, albeit a slight one. The NeoBuds S boasts 5.5 hours of battery, while the Pro’s only give 5 hours per charge. Using these earbuds during my commute to and from work means this additional battery life is really appreciated. Also, with the case recharge you will get around 25 hours from the NeoBuds S, compared to 24 from the NeoBuds Pro.

Another strong feature of the NeoBuds S is fast charging, meaning 10 minutes in the case will provide an hour and a half of battery. Again, this is an upgrade over the Pro’s, which will only give an hour of life on a 10 minute charge.

Sound

Using 6 microphones to monitor and cancel out ambient noise, the NeoBuds S feature active noise cancellation technology. I certainly noticed the difference compared to other earbuds I’ve used from Sony and Skullcandy, which don’t feature active noise cancellation. While sitting on a noisy train or walking through busy city streets, this feature is most noticeable.

Newly integrated Snapdragon Sound allows music to be played at 24 bit / 96 kilohertz – however only when connected to a compatible snapdragon device. Unfortunately, I don’t have one of those… So I did a little digging. In turns out that the Qualcomm high-res streaming format is only available on a handful of [primarily] Chinese smartphone brands. Because of this I never got the chance to review the Snapdragon Sound feature.

Both earbuds have a built in gaming mode, though it didn’t seem to make too much difference to the sound quality.

Connection

The NeoBuds S connect via Bluetooth 5.2, which should offer HiRes audio with the Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound feature. As I’ve said previously, I’m unfortunately unable to test this. What I can say is that while using the earbuds, it’s been smooth crisp sound and a strong connection throughout.

In addition to all the new features discussed above, the Neobuds S are compatible with the new Edifier app. The Edifier Connect app offers a battery level indicator for both the earbuds and the case. It also offers more ambient noise control settings besides the default. You can also adjust the sound settings to pre-configured classes; Dynamic and Classic. As mentioned previously, the LEDs can be changed to a different colour, also done via the app.

Final Thoughts

It’s hard for me to come a clear conclusion on the NeoBuds S. In the last few weeks I’ve used them heavily and the sound quality, volume and comfort are all perfectly acceptable for a set of wireless Earbuds. They easily beat the £50 wireless Skullcandy’s and the £59.99 wireless Sony’s I have, but these cost a whopping £153.80. I’m not really sure if the price really justifies buying these over the NeoBuds Pro for the average consumer, but if you do have the money these earbuds won’t let you down.

I award the Edifier NeoBuds S Earbuds the Thumb Culture Silver Award.

Disclaimer: A product sample was received in order to write this review.

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