Well, the past couple of weeks have been too musical at TechWiser. We have had a barrage of truly wireless earphones being sent out to us. I have tried and reviewed the Xiaomi Mi AirDots and Zebronics Zeb-Peace. Last week, I got my hands on the Noise Shots X5. They cost twice the Xiaomi Mi AirDots and that really upped my expectations. Talking about expectations, I don’t really expect much from truly wireless earphones as it being a budding technology. Since there are no wires, the smaller buds have to accommodate the Bluetooth receiver, audio driver, battery, etc. So, placing them on par with a wired earphone would be unfair.
After spending a couple of weeks with the Noise Shots X5, my opinion towards truly wireless earphones did change. So, here’s my detailed review of the Noise Shots X5 Charge.
Noise Shots X5 Review
Now, as I said I don’t have many expectations from the truly wireless earphones. But, comfort, ease of connectivity, and battery life are non-negotiable terms. If an earphone is good on these grounds, it is worth a shot. I don’t rate sound quality that high because they are never gonna be on par with wired earphones. Wired is still king for quality, at least in the near future!
What’s in the Box
Opening the box was fairly a good experience. The most premium packaging I have seen amongst all the budget truly wireless earphones and I’ve seen a lot of them. The box had minimal info and the contents within were well placed. While the contents within are pretty generic. So, below is what you get in the box.
- Noise Shots X5 Earbuds
- Charging case
- Charging cable
- A couple of extra ear tips
- User Manual & Warranty Card
Before we begin with the review, here is a brief summary of the specs. I really appreciate when the company puts out the specifications right in front of you. This brings out better insights and clarity about the product.
|Charging Case Dimensions||7.71 x 8.13 x 3.85 cm|
|Earbud Dimensions||2.28 x 1.78 x 2.63 * 2|
|Net Weight||10.6 g * 2|
|Wireless Working Range||10M (without obstacles)|
|Speaker Sensitivity||90±3 dB|
|Profiles supported||HFP, HSP, A2DP, AVRCP |
|Mic Sensitivity||-42 ±3 dB|
|Others||IP X5 SplashProof & Water Resistant|
1. Build Quality
I have to say the build quality of the earbuds really justifies the price tag. The earbuds are chunky but are rubber coated at the bottom. The LED light on the buds is quite subtle. They don’t keep flashing off your ears while you are listening to music. Both the buds have a small rubber hook on them which makes it easy to grip them while wearing it. One thing which I didn’t like was the unnecessary “Noise” branding on the earbuds. I mean com’on, no one is gonna peep in my ears to figure out the brand. If you have a look at bigger brands like Apple or a smaller brand like Xiaomi, they have minimal branding on their products. This makes the products more clean and appealing.
The back of the buds comprises of a multi-functional button. Unlike the Xiaomi Mi Eardots, these don’t come with a capacitive touch key. It has physical buttons which have a nice click to them. I would any day prefer physical buttons over capacitive malfunctioning random triggering buttons. The buttons have good haptic feedback but pressing them while they are plugged in is quite a task.
The multifunctional button has a minor learning curve. You can press once to pause or play music on either side of the earbuds. The same single press works for answering or rejecting a call. Now, if you double press it activates either Siri or Google Assistant depending on whether you are using an iPhone or Android. If you long press on the left earbud, it takes you back to the previous song and a long press on the right earbud takes you to the next track. I really liked the extended functionality of the buttons. During my daily commute, I would rarely take out my phone from my pocket to change music.
Now, coming to the charging cum carrying case. It is hefty in size and has a whopping 2200 mAh battery. So, you can’t carry the case in your pocket for sure. And, that’s a downside but what it can do is, charge devices. You have a USB-A output which can charge other devices. The case has a smooth matte finish with an upfront “Noise” branding. Ok, so I don’t mind this one! The case looks premium and has a nice feel to it but it does attract a lot of smudges.
Talking about the charging case, the case has magnetic points which keep the earbuds in a single place. This also ensures that if you plug in the earbuds, they will end up charging. However, there was a rare scenario where I placed the right earbud on the left groove and it slid in. Although, it didn’t charge and that is one thing Go Noise should look after.
2. Sound Quality
In general, most Bluetooth earphones and headphones are not been pleasing to audiophiles. The small buds have to incorporate the Bluetooth card, battery, antennas, button circuitry, and the driver. Due to the congested space, the drivers aren’t large and surely good enough. However, these were an exception. I found them to be loud enough as well as the sound was crisp. It had a decent amount of bass and thump. However, it does tend to mix up the bass and sub-bass. The highs are decent and I did notice slight distortion at 100 percent volume.
These are not the loudest earbuds I have tried but I would say they do get decently loud. You will need to raise the volume to 90% occasionally while hearing podcasts. The problem is the smaller driver size of 6mm. I didn’t face any sound staging issue like the Zebronics Zeb-Peace. The audio is well balanced between the right and left earbud. There is no noticeable lag in the sound between the left and right earbud. Neither, I found any audio lag while streaming Prime Videos, YouTube and Netflix.
So, the Noise Shots X5 has a stereo calling feature which means the call voice is heard on both the earbuds. Normally, in the budget segment earbuds, you can hear the call sound on only one of the earbud. That earbud would be the one which receipts the sound from the phone. This is done in order to save battery but since the noise earbuds have a huge battery, they can afford this.
But, this is the part that made me disappointed. The mic resides only on the right earbud. So, there is no noise cancellation microphone on the left side. I mean it’s terrible to take calls with these on. Most of the times, the person over the other couldn’t distinguish my voice from the surrounding sound. Mostly, I had to switch over to my phone. Since there is no noise cancellation the ambient sound is on par with my voice and makes it difficult to stand out. I don’t talk over the phone a lot so this wasn’t a big letdown for me. But if you do, it’s better you skip this one or take calls on your phone.
The truly wireless earphones are supposed to give you a great comfort experience. So, during my daily commute, I don’t have to deal with wires getting caught on someone’s bag or the fear of my wired earphones breaking out. I have tried wireless headphones but they seem to be too bulky to carry around in a metro or subway. I really loved the experience of truly wireless earphones being completely wire free.
Although, this particular one is a tad inconvenient. The earbuds do snug fit in the ears. However, the buds are chunky in size because they fit in a bigger battery. This leads to a slight inconvenience when you wear them for long hours. I could go for a couple of hours of usage before it started getting uncomfortable. The bulky earbuds start pushing against your ear walls and you are forced to remove them. This could be a deal-breaker for some of you.
Having said that, the X5’s do fit quite snug. I tried jogging with them and I have been wearing it regularly during my daily commute. They glue to your ears pretty well and never been an instance that I felt they will come off. The in-ear fit ensures that they passively cut out ambient noise. During the music playback, you will barely hear the surrounding noise unless it’s a car honking at you.
4. Battery Life & Connectivity
The Noise Shots clearly ace this section. The earbuds just go on hours without me even needing them to charge. I have used them continuously for almost 5 hours before they went out of juice. The standby time on the X5 earbuds is just outstanding. In a day of moderate usage where I listen to music on and off where the buds are connected via Bluetooth to my phone the entire time. I was surprised to see that they actually lasted 10-12 hours without putting them back in the charging case.
And when you have to put them back in the case, the case can charge the earbuds up to 10 times. I mean that just surpasses the battery life of even the AirPods. However, the case takes 1.5-2 hours to charge the earbuds from 0 to 100. While the case can charge fully in 3 hours. The case has zero LED indicators to notify about the earbud charging. It would have been a good addition. Whereas, when you charge the case you have an orange LED indicator beside the micro USB port. This LED notifies about the charging percentage of the case. If it blinks once within 2 seconds, the charge percentage is 0-25%. If it blinks twice, it is 50% whereas thrice for 75%. Now, that is some LED decoding you have to learn if you want to know the charging percentage.
Coming down to connectivity, I had no problems with the Bluetooth connectivity. The Noise Shots X5 comes with Bluetooth v 5.0 and the best would come out when you use with a Bluetooth 5.0 mobile device. Having said, it also performs well with other devices. The moment you take out the buds from the case they pair to each other and the last known device. The process is just seamless and I never had instances where the sound is routed only to a single earbud.
I didn’t have any unexpected connection drops or sound interference. The pairing range of the Noise Shots in 10 meters without any obstacle. Now, since the truly wireless earphones are mostly built to use with mobile devices. You will rarely face a scenario when you are 10 meters away from your phone. When you do, the buds just disconnect from the device and there is no annoying music drop sound. Since these earbuds are built to be used with a single device. You have to switch off the Bluetooth of the connected device first and then pair the earbuds with the other devices. If you leave them powered on outside the case, they automatically switch off after a while.
Closing Words: Noise Shots X5 Review
Overall the Noise Shots X5 is a pretty good package. If they were slightly comfortable, it would have surely been in my recommendation list. The comfort factor makes me a slight bit hesitant about them. If you need a pair of earbuds only for your commuting needs or workouts, these surely make sense. I wouldn’t recommend them if you think of using it straight for prolonged hours. Having said that, I don’t see any competition at this price range. But, I will surely look forward to the upgraded version of the X5’s.
That said, seeing so many earbuds pop up at this price range, the future timeframe looks promising. In case you have any queries regarding the Noise Shots X5, let me know in the comments below. I usually hang out on Instagram so you can hit me up there as well.