Review: NeoBuds Pro Musician Earbuds
November 30, 2012 by Beatweek
Can the word “Pro” be used to legitimately describe any twenty dollar product? That question gets put to the test with the NeoBuds earbuds from POCKETLABWORKS, a company which makes audio gear aimed at musicians. These all white earbuds piqued my curiosity because even the least expensive of in-ear earbuds tend to sound better than the on-ear earbuds which Apple ships with its iPod and iPhone. Most people don’t want to pay anywhere from fifty to hundreds of dollars for the in-ear buds which dominate the market, so could the NeoBuds fill that role?
That comes down, of course, to a test of their audio prowess. Intriguingly enough, the NeoBuds sound really, really good for their price. The offer a respectable listening experience across the low, mid, and high ranges, and sound good across every genre I tested them with. Spend fifty bucks elsewhere and you’ll get much better audio. But if twenty dollars is your budget, the NeoBuds represent a fantastic value.
Two caveats keep me from being able to recommend them as enthusiastically as they’d like. One is that the metal buds run right up against the rubber bud tips, meaning that users with small ear canals may find them to be only moderately comfortable; it would be better if the metal casing were either tapered or further back from the tips. The second is that the NeoBuds don’t have a mic or buttons built into their cabling, as is the case with Apple’s bundled earbuds and most third party in-ear earbuds. That means that in order to control the volume or pause the music you’ll need to pull your iPod or iPhone out of your pocket, and making phone calls through the NeoBuds isn’t an option. Adding such controls would likely boost the price tag slightly, but it would make for a full fledged replacement for Apple’s earbuds instead of a compromise.
That said, for those users who have medium or large sized ear canals and don’t have any use for the built in mic or buttons anyway, the NeoBuds are a steal.
Price: $19.99 • pocketlabworks.com