An Indian wearable and audio brand is making big strides in the noise market. The company’s exploits in the TWS (truly wireless earbuds) segment have not gone unnoticed, and the brand is second only to Bot in that respect. The crowded Rs. I have noise intellibuds that have some unique features in the TWS market under 5,000. Let’s find out in this review how the earbuds fare against competing products and why they might be your default choice.
Let’s start with the size of the case first, which is huge in size. I couldn’t fit it in my jeans pocket, and when I did, the edges jutted a little into my thighs because of the rectangular design of the case. In terms of its overall build quality, the lid feels a little flimsy, but its matte finish helps give the plastic a premium touch. At the bottom, the case has a USB-C port for charging, with a single LED on the front indicating the battery level or whether the TWS is in pairing mode.
The earbuds housed inside are held in place by magnets and are easy to remove from the case. In terms of earbuds design, the IntelliBuds have an AirPods-like stem extending from the bud, which also features capacitive touch input. The buds feature an in-ear design with replaceable silicone tips provided with the box.
Talking about features, the Noise IntelliBuds are unique as they are the only TWS in the segment with gesture controls. You need to install the NoiseFit smart app which is only available on Android. Once inside, the app will automatically detect if the TWS Buds are paired to your smartphone. For gesture control, there is a short setup process and different head movements can be customized for different tasks. For example, a head shake can be set to accept an incoming call, or a head shake can switch to the next track. During my testing process, the feature worked very well, but it felt a bit too sensitive at times. I felt this a lot while running, in which my head shook slightly as I transitioned to the next track.
IntelliBuds has a unique voice control feature that works natively on the earbuds. However, you need to train the voice module in the NoiseFit app. Once done, you can say something like “Hey headphones, play / pause / volume up”. Also, the feature can be used to accept/reject calls. During my time with the device, I felt that this feature only works effectively in quiet environments. In cases where there is significant noise, the voice control is spotty. Then there’s also a feature for remote selfie with a paired phone and fast mute while in conversation.
Unfortunately, the Intellibuds lack ANC (Active Noise Canceling), which almost all TWS in this price bracket offer. However, you get a nice transparency mode, which opens up the ambient noise around you. Apart from that, the capacitive touch response on the Buds is excellent and this is helped by the relatively large surface area. The NoiseFit app also has an option to customize touch input to accomplish various tasks. For audio, you only have the option to adjust the EQ through the app. There are some other nifty features like music sharing, which lets you stream the same music to another pair of Intellibuds.
Although Noise has partnered with German audio company Bragi to tune the IntelliBuds’ sound quality, there’s still room for improvement. The Buds lack a solid bass output, which robs the music a little of its depth. With less-than-ideal mids, vocals are a bit muted and lyrical music doesn’t sound very appealing. The soundstage may also be wider as instrument separation is harder to catch. When compared to Realme Air Buds 3 (Review), I found the latter to be slightly better in most respects. Also, the IntelliBuds don’t have ANC, which causes extraneous noise in the music I’m listening to. However, the microphone quality seems to be good in my testing.
I was also very impressed with the battery life of the device. Noise, in fact, rates it at 36 hours. The case can take up to two hours to fully charge, but it will keep the earbuds juiced up for several days. I used the Buds regularly for about two-three hours every day and started looking for a charger only after a week.
The Intellibuds have a set of useful features that compensate for the sub-par sound quality. Noize focuses more on the utility of the earbuds in terms of hands-free use with features like gesture and voice control. While the lack of ANC on the device is a big miss, the transparency mode actually works well. I also think the size of the case could do with a bit of shaving. If overall sound quality isn’t too important to you and the utility features provided seem useful, the IntelliBuds seem like a smart choice.
Editor’s Rating: 3.5 / 5
- Gesture control works well
- Good battery life
- Good transparency mode
- Sound quality could be better
- No ANC