Literally wireless earbuds are everywhere. They are not only in airports and malls, but also inside local trains in Mumbai. Three years after the launch of the first AirPods, wireless earbuds have indeed become a revolution. While Bragi was the first to conceptualize such a design, AirPods made the segment popular among consumers.
Apple’s launch of a truly wireless earbud was met with skepticism, but paved the way for such a design to be commonplace. Apple is the dominant player in this segment, but a host of other brands have joined the fray.
However, it appears that the price has shifted to the lower end of the segment. There are some companies that are actually making wireless earbuds, including Noise, boAt, Detail, Fingers. Noise Shots X-Buds are a cheap but truly wireless earbud that aims to democratize technology.
The concept here is similar to that of Bragi or Apple AirPods. You get two earbuds which are connected to each other with the help of a wire. They live inside a case that protects and accuses them. The Shots X-Buds also have the same design as the AirPods, similar to the stem from the buds.
They come in a matte black finish and case together. It costs just Rs 3,999, making it a third less than the price of entry-level AirPods. So, what’s the difference between this cheap True Wireless earbuds and Apple’s AirPods? Should You Leave Your Wired Earbuds? let’s find out.
Design and battery life
As I mentioned earlier, noise shots are a traditional design of X-Buds. They stick to the basics of a true wireless earbuds design. They come in a matte black finish, which gives it an edge in terms of looks. There are two wireless earbuds with stem protruding from the buds.
However, the stem does not look large and has tanned ends that fit them. These earbuds have a round-rectangular design which is a difference when comparing with AirPods. They have in-ear style buds designs and come with three types of ear tips. In my time with buds, I found that earbuds live in your ear, but if you move too much, there is a chance of it falling.
One of the most intensive places to test fit is the rush of local trains in Mumbai. On one occasion, I boarded the train with both buds in my ear and when I entered the coach, there was only one.
The second earbud had fallen and fortunately, I had a friend to take notes with. It is easy to keep them in your ear when you are not moving. However, if you are going for a run or participating in any physical activity then it will not be safe in your ear. Shore has also played it safe with the design of the case.
Unlike AirPods, Noise Shots have an oval shape in the case of X-Buds. It is long, but not wide. When you open the case, the earbuds are not inside the slide, and are instead flat. This is a neat mechanism, but removing earbuds from their slots is not easy.
There is only one microUSB port on the case, which is supposed to charge these earbuds. At the front, there are four LEDs to show the battery capacity of the case. Shore claims that the earbuds offer a battery life of four hours and the case can finish it three times. In other words, noisy shots X-Buds are rated to last up to four hours on a single charge. In my time with the device, I could not finish the earbuds or case.
I used them intermittently for about a week and in this case there was still some juice left when I recently re-charged them. Compared to some other budget true wireless earbuds, the Noise Shots X-Buds have good build quality, a case that is not flashy and battery life that is good for a few days of listening.
Gestures and bluetooth connection
It is important to talk about gestures before we get sound quality. Unlike traditional earphones, there is no physical connection between wireless earbuds. This makes it difficult for manufacturers to button them. An alternative option is to use gestures and they are a mixed bag on noisy shots X-Buds.
Noise has split split touch gestures between the two earbuds for functionality. On the right earbud, the double tap acts like a play or pause button while the triple tap takes you to the next track.
On the left earbud, the triple tap takes you to the previous track. To increase the volume, you slide on the right earbud and to decrease the volume, you slide on the left earbud. On earbuds, you can tap to answer the call, double tap to end the call and long press to reject. Finally, you can touch and activate Google Assistant or Siri.