True wireless earphones are one of the audio segments in India that created a lot of buzz. In fact, the TWS segment in India grew by a whopping 723% YoY in Q3 2020 in India alone. Noise is one of the audio and wearable accessory makers from India who has been launching a bunch of earbuds in India throughout the year in different categories. And, the latest on the list is the Noise Air Buds.
The Noise Air Buds are budget-friendly true wireless earphones in the already crowded India TWS market. Noise as a brand is primarily known for its audio and smart wearables. The Noise Air Bud’s key features include a 20 hours battery life including the case, full gesture control, and affordable price.
Also, the device comes with a Type-C port for charging which is good to see in the budget segment. The buds support SBC and AAC formats and they sound good for the most part but, it lacks base due to the half in-ear style design. The fit is good but not meant for all.
The battery life and the mic quality are two other features that Noise rocks. You get over 4 hours and 30 minutes with 100% volume and with 80% volume, the buds will last over 5 hours. The microphone quality is also very good and I could take calls and attend meetings without any issues.
Overall, the Noise Air Buds are a good pair of TWS, if you are on a tight budget - you get good battery life, host of gesture controls, and a surprisingly good microphone. However, it lacks bass and also fit might not be suitable for all users. If you could live with these two things, the Noise Air Buds might well be the one for you.
Noise Air Buds price in India and availability
The Noise Air Buds were launched in India back in November. They are currently priced at Rs 2,499. They are available only in White colour options. Amazon is the online sales partner.
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Design and fit
There is not much choice out there when it comes to the design of the true wireless earbuds - you get either an in-ear earbud or half-in ear. The Noise Air Buds opt for the latter here. Like most of the half in-ear style designed headphones, these too look like the Airpods from a distance. The design is pretty minimal - the buds are made up of glossy plastic and each bud weighs just 4.5 grams.
The tip of the earbuds is angled so they can fit inside your ear. They have a slight oval shape on the inside which might look difficult to live with at first but sit perfectly once you get used to it. Since these are half in-ear earbuds, there is no option to switch between eartips. You will have to settle with the one universal fit. They come with stem design and the size of the stem is one of the smallest I’ve come across. The top of the stem is where you interact with the buds to control media, calls, and more.
Each bud comes with a microphone and they can be used for calls. Mono listening also works here. However, there is no in-ear detection onboard here. The buds are also IPX4 rated for protection against water. You can use them during workouts and gym sessions.
During my testing time, I had a good experience with the earbuds. They fit well given my ear size is fairly large. However, more often than not I was afraid that the earbuds might fall out of my ear due to the half in-ear style design and glossy finish. But, that was not the case at all. The Noise Air Buds were in my ear all the time and I even tried shaking my head to check and they did not fall from my ear. I also asked a few of my friends to try out the TWS and the response I got back was a pretty mixed bag. Most people prefer in-ear style design as we have seen on the OnePlus Buds Z and they also felt that in-ear gives them better isolation and comfortable fit.
While I had no issues with the fit of the Noise Air Buds the same does not apply to everyone. For anyone who’s not used to semi in-ear design headphones, this might disappoint you. So, I’d suggest you check with a pair of in-ear headphones first before purchasing this one.
The case on the other hand comes with a matte finish - the case feels and looks like an egg. On the top, you have Noise branding and to the back, there is a Type-C port for charging the case. To the front, you get an LED indicator light which blinks while charging. On the inside of the case is where you put up the buds to charge. The magnets hold the buds tightly and they do not fall out. The case is pocketable too in case you want to carry it all day. The matte finish makes it much less prone to scratches and dirt can be easily wiped out. The case weighs 38 grams.
The Noise Air Buds sports Bluetooth 5.0 and has a wireless range of 10 meters. In my testing, I found that there were no issues with connectivity and range. The 10-metre range is pretty standard and I could move around my home and across the hall without losing connectivity.
On the inside, the Noise Air Buds harness 13mm drivers. These earbuds support SBC and AAC formats. The buds can be wired with both Android and iOS devices. Coming to the sound quality, these sound good for the price. The mids and highs are crisp and clear. The instrument separation is not the best but decent. The vocals come out good too.
One thing that I was not impressed with is the quality of the bass. There is no punchy bass that takes some Bollywood, western songs to the next level. Right when you expect to have a punchy bass in your ear, the buds don’t deliver it. The half in-ear design might be the reason for lack of bass here.
The music gets really loud here and even for the person who has a habit of listening with full volume on, these might make you bring down the volume a bit. There is no sound leaking with these buds. Overall, for the price these sound good but lack bass which most of the people in India prefer.
This is where most of the budget-friendly earbuds suck. But, that is not the case with Noise Air Buds. I was pretty surprised by the Mic quality onboard. The Air Buds come with one microphone on each bud and they can be used in mono or stereo modes. The call quality was excellent in my testing. I was on call for about 30 minutes to 45 minutes throughout the day and none of the parties on another end raised the issue with my voice.
While that was the case with indoor calls, I even tried the earphones in the outdoor conditions like on the bike or while running. On both occasions, the results were decent. You will have to talk a bit louder than usual if you are outdoors. Further, interacting with Google Assistant was also seamless as I could control my smart devices and play music without even touching my phone. Overall, the Noise Air Buds took me by surprise in this segment which is not the case with most of the other TWS in this segment.
Controls and features
Most TWS comes with very limited gesture control in this segment. But, that’s not that case with Noise Air Buds. The company has added all possible gestures to the tiny body. You will have to access the touch sensitivity pad on the top end of the stem to interact with the TWS.
A single tap on the left bud will decrease the volume while a single tap on the right bud takes the volume up. To answer the incoming call, you can tap once on either bud and tap twice to end the call. Touch and holding the wither buds for 2 seconds will reject the incoming call. The same gesture can be used to access the voice assistant.
Further, for media controls, the Noise Air Buds come with a double-tap on either bud to play/pause media. A triple tap on the left bud will take you to the previous track and go to the next track, you have to tap thrice on the right bud.
During my testing time, I tried all these gestures and all of them worked well. My favorite gesture was talking to Google Assistant and controlling my smart devices without having to touch my phone. But there is no way to customize these. An app to customize the control would have been nice. Apart from that, Noise has done a pretty good job with adding gestures here which most of the budget TWS miss out on.
The company claims these buds can last up to 4 hours on a single charge. However, during my testing, these numbers turn out to be better than what the company claimed. With 100% volume set, the buds lasted for 4 hours and 40 minutes on a single charge which is way more than what the company offers. If you set volume in between 70% to 80%, you can get over 5 hours on a single run for sure.
Charging takes about 80 minutes for earbuds and about 2 hours including the case. The inclusion of Type-C port for charging is good to see for a budget TWS. The charging case can offer you additional 3-4 cycles based on your usage pattern. However, the Noise Air Buds lacks fast charging.
Buy it if...
You want good battery life
While most TWS last about 3-4 hours, the Noise Air Buds offers more than 4 hours and 30 minutes. With 80% volume, you can take it over 5 hours.
You want gesture controls
Gesture controls are limited on many budget earbuds but the Noise Air Buds offers a bunch of gestures which supports controls media, calls, voice assistant, and even volume control.
Calls are a priority
One of the surprising turnarounds was the mic quality. The Noise Air Buds did a good job with all the calls without any hassle.
Don't buy it if..
You want more bass
The half in-ear style design of the Noise Air Buds makes the earbuds produce less bass compared to the in-ear TWS. You won’t get the punchy bass feel here.
You want a comfortable fit
While the Noise has decent built and design, the fit might not be for everyone and during my testing, I found that most people still prefer in-ear design with eartips option.