PCMag’s Wyze Buds Review
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The PCMag’s Wyze Buds Review
Last year, Wyze showed that it can make good wireless headphones, so it only makes sense that the company is now entering the true wireless earphone market with two new offerings. The $43.99 Wyze Buds reviewed here aren’t just a stripped-down version of the $59.99 Wyze Buds Pro. Of course, not the standard Buds feature active noise cancellation like the more expensive Pro model, but in many other ways they are actually a bit better. The dynamic drivers are larger than those in the Pro, the battery life is longer and the design is more resistant to water. Throw in adjustable EQ, and these are some of the better true wireless earbuds you can buy for under $50.
A lot for the price The matte black Buds (an electric green version is available for $10 more) are slightly bulkier in footprint than the Buds Pro, but share a similar stem-based design. This, along with five pairs of silicone ear tips in different sizes (or three pairs for the green model), results in a slightly more stable in-ear fit that works better in the gym.
For information about: how to operate the Buds or adjust their controls, you will need to download the Wyze app, the same Android/iOS app used for setting up and driving Wyze’s many smart home devices. This means creating an account on it and giving Wyze your email address, which is frustrating if you just want to access basic information about the earbuds. Once inside, you can then see how the controls work and adjust them to a certain extent.
As for the standard on-ear controls, Wyze has oddly chosen not to allow any taps, although this can be adjusted in the app. As it stands, you’ll need to tap the touch-sensitive outer panels of both earbuds twice to play/pause, three times to invoke your device’s voice assistant, and press and hold to toggle the Hear Through transparent listening mode on or off. to change gear.
Wyze Buds (Electric Green) The IPX5 rating here is slightly better than the IPX4 of the Pro model in terms of water resistance. It means the Buds can withstand water spray from any direction, so rain and sweat shouldn’t be a problem and you can rinse them under the tap. But the earphones can’t be submerged or exposed to strong water pressure, and the case itself doesn’t have a water-resistance rating, so the Buds must be completely dry before being placed in the charging docks.
Internally, the Buds use 10.5mm dynamic drivers that deliver a frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz. They are compatible with Bluetooth 5.0 and support AAC and SBC codecs, but not AptX.
The Buds are optimized for using the Amazon Alexa voice assistant on Android devices, while iOS devices must run the Alexa app in the background. Wyze also plans to offer user-adjustable EQ to fine-tune the sound to your liking, although this feature was not available at the time of testing. Wyze shared screenshots of a six-band EQ with various presets that can be adjusted and saved to the earphones.
Wyze estimates the Buds’ battery life is around seven hours, with another 20 hours in the case, but your results will vary depending on your volume levels. Compared to the respective 4.5 and 13.5 hours of battery life for the Buds Pro when ANC is enabled, the standard Buds deliver quite a bit more juice.
Wyze Buds Sound Quality On tracks with intense sub-bass content, such as The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the Buds deliver punchy low frequencies, and the drivers don’t distort, even at the highest, ill-advised listening levels. At more reasonable volume levels, the Buds still have a relatively impressive bass punch, and lows are well balanced by sculpted highs.
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Bill Callahan’s “Drover”, a track with much less bass in the mix, gives us a better idea of the overall sound signature. The drums on this track get some extra bass depth without entering too thunderous, unnatural territory. Callahan’s baritone vocals have a little bit of added low-mid richness through the Buds, and they get just enough highs to sound detailed and clear. The acoustic strums are clear and the hiss from the tape takes a slight step forward – this is what we call a scooped sound signature, with plenty of deep lows and clear highs, but the mids and highs feel a little less present.
Wyze Buds (Electric Green) On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild,” the kick drum loop gains enough high-mid presence for its attack to retain some of its punch, while the vinyl crackles and hiss mostly relegated to background status take a step forward in the mix. The sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat are delivered with solid depth – the drivers don’t reach all the way into the subwoofer area, but the lows never sound thin. Most of the bass boost occurs in the low and mids rather than the sub-bass range, so the loop contains a substantial bass presence without sounding thunderous. The vocals on this track come with solid overall clarity, although as noted earlier, the high mids could be a little more prominent. At least that’s what the adjustable EQ is for.
Orchestral tracks, like the opening scene of John Adams’ The Gospel Against the Other Mary, sound a little less scooped than the other genres we tested, mainly because they already have natural sharpness and clarity, and less amplified bass elements in their mixes. There could be a little more high-mid here, but this is probably the most balanced sound of the Buds out of the box.
The four-microphone array provides solid intelligibility. Using the Voice Memos app on an iPhone, we were able to understand every word we recorded without any problems. The signal itself is strong and there are few additional Bluetooth audio artifacts to mess things up up. On a reliable mobile signal, callers should have no problem understanding you.
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