Noise has quickly become one of the main volume controls for affordable devices in India, with a focus on smartwatches and true wireless headphones. Most of the company’s products are competitively priced, but Noise’s most recent launch in the TWS space takes a significantly different approach — one that demonstrates its intent and ambition to push mid-price. the product’s tank is high. The Noise IntelliBuds are one of the company’s most advanced and promising true wireless headphones to date.
Price Rs. 4,999, Noise IntelliBuds has been developed in collaboration with Bragi, famous for being the first brand (that we know of) to hit the market with true wireless headphones in 2015. The headset was advertised as ‘smart’ headphones, featuring gesture-controlled heads, engaging voice commands and plenty of customization options through a specially developed app. Are these the smartest true wireless earbuds under Rs 5,000 you can buy right now? Find out in this review.
Noise Canceling IntelliBuds Design and Features
While the IntelliBuds are the most expensive true wireless earbuds in Noise’s lineup, it’s still quite affordable compared to most of the competition, at Rs. 4,999. Expectedly, it’s a fairly ordinary-looking pair of headphones, with no special design cues or even a tendency to pack more into a smaller form factor. The headphones and charging case on the Noise IntelliBuds are large and a bit bulky, though not to the point of being uncomfortable.
Noise IntelliBuds have a built-in fit in the tube, a long body that extends downwards, and a flat touch surface engraved with the brand’s logo. The headset is available in two colors black and white; while I don’t have any complaints regarding the white review unit sent to me, in my opinion the black looks a bit better.
The earphones are IPX5 rated for water resistance and weigh 5.4g each, while the charging case weighs 45g. It’s not a particularly small charging case, but you can still put it in your pocket when not in use without much trouble.
Unlike most options priced around Rs. 5,000, Noise IntelliBuds does not have active noise cancellation. This may come as a surprise to many, but the brand is pitching IntelliBuds as a ‘smart’ option and wants you to look beyond the obvious lack of features like ANC. That said, the secure, comfortable fit in the channel offers good passive noise isolation and features a transparency mode.
The ‘smart’ experience offered on Noise IntelliBuds is admittedly a pleasant one for a number of reasons. The headset has features designed to make the user experience easier and more intuitive, such as hot voice commands and head-tracking gestures, as well as detailed app-based functionality. If you prefer a more classic and predictable approach to how you use the headset, the standard touch controls are also present.
Noise IntelliBuds . Application and Specifications
Much of what Noise IntelliBuds has to offer involves a partnership with Bragi. The headset is powered by ‘Bragi OS’, but it’s important to clarify here that this is not an ‘operating system’ in the same way that devices such as smartphones, media streamers or even smart watches have them. Instead, Bragi OS activates some additional ‘smart’ functions on Noise IntelliBuds, such as voice control on the device and head gesture tracking.
All of this works through the Noise IntelliBuds (Smart NoiseFit) app, which is only available for Android at the time of this review. The app allows you to set up and calibrate some of these features, which will then work on their own instead of relying on a smartphone connection and the Internet to work.
You can also use the app to view your headset’s battery level, configure and customize touch controls, and adjust equalizer settings. The app interface is nicely laid out and easy to get used to, although I found the touch controls a bit complicated to configure. The connection to the app also fails at times, with the battery indicators sometimes not showing the level correctly, and in some cases the interface won’t load at all even though headphones are connected.
Noise IntelliBuds true wireless headphones feature 6mm dynamic drivers, with Bluetooth 5 for connectivity, and support for Bluetooth SBC and AAC codecs. The sales package includes three pairs of silicone ear tips for the headset and a short charging cable.
IntelliBuds Performance and Battery Life
While Noise has seen phenomenal growth in sales in recent months, the brand is largely still considered the expert in the affordable space. This puts significant expectations on Noise IntelliBuds, at Rs. 4,999 price tag and the promise of premium capabilities. Indeed, the overall experience for me was largely pleasant, although some features felt forced and unpolished, and the sound didn’t seem quite in line with competing options in the class. this price segment.
To start, I tried out the special features acquired during my collaboration with Bragi — hot voice commands and head gestures. The former worked pretty well for me, with most of the time the headset noting the wake-up command and generally understanding any specific voice commands I gave it right after.
I can control playback, volume, turn transparency on or off, and accept calls with voice commands. Interestingly, this doesn’t require an Internet connection to work, as is the case with voice assistants like Google Assistant or Siri; all of these work natively on the IntelliBuds headset itself once it’s set up. Of course, this only covers hardware functionality, but you have the option of using your smartphone’s default voice assistant for the more comprehensive functionality it offers.
On the other hand, the head tracking gesture doesn’t work very well. Despite redoing the calibration process a few times, even the slightest head movements tend to inadvertently cause something on the Noise IntelliBuds. Holding my head in a certain way causes the volume to increase or decrease unexpectedly, among other undesirable effects. I find it best to disable this feature.
While the feature set and specs match a headset in this price range, overall the sound quality on the Noise IntelliBuds is pretty low. I wouldn’t go so far as to call that sound unpleasant, but there’s certainly nothing special about it. The headphones feel restrained and limited even at high volumes, with a slightly lazy and unrefined tuning feel.
Listening to New To You by Calvin Harris, the sound was comfortable and completely bearable even for long periods of time, but the transmission lacked real momentum or feel. The violin riff at the beginning of the track and its accompanying electronic beats sound dull, with the Noise IntelliBuds not really delivering any punch in any part of the frequency range. While the highs feel a bit more pronounced when going a little further in house-pop tracks, the bass feels a bit boring and uninteresting.
Even with more naturally vibrant and vibrant music like The Midnight’s Tokyo Night Train (Claes Rosen Remix), Noise IntelliBuds still feels restrained and a bit lacking in personality. The slightly dull tonal signature could have been overlooked, if there was a fair amount of detail to hear, but not too much either. That said, you are unlikely to have the sound muted in any way; Your favorite tracks really aren’t adversely affected, but the purpose of enhancing the listening experience is somewhat lost with Noise IntelliBuds.
Transparency mode does a good job of improving your ambient perception without hindering audio playback, but its sound is a bit artificially amplified for my liking. Call quality indoors was acceptable, but the lack of active noise cancellation affected my ability to focus on calls even in relatively quiet outdoor environments. Connection stability was not an issue for me, with Noise IntelliBuds performing well at distances up to 3m from a paired smartphone.
Battery life is pretty good on the Noise IntelliBuds, with the headphones running for about seven hours on a single charge at moderate volume. The charging case added three full charges, for a total run time of about 28 hours per charge cycle. There’s fast charging, and the headphones can fully charge in the box in up to 30 minutes, but it took me about two hours to fully charge the case and headphones.
Noise is often a hit in the budget segment for true wireless headphones, but IntelliBuds are a new sign of the Indian company’s intentions. It’s a technology-driven approach, but focusing on user experience rather than specs and often pointless feature padding. It’s also incredibly brave, due to the lack of ANC even though it’s the company’s most expensive true wireless earphones.
Unfortunately, Noise IntelliBuds is let down by the unfinished and seemingly unfinished overall experience. Gesture controls didn’t work well for me, and overall the sound was unappealing and dull. While I would expect whatever comes next from Noise, for now, IntelliBuds is not worth recommending at this price point and you will be better served by OnePlus Buds Z2 or Oppo Enco Air 2 Pro in this budget.