When we set up a couple of affordable, truly wireless earbuds against each other just over a year ago, the segment looked very different. The best-performing models were very expensive at the time, and the affordable options weren't quite as powerful. Rs. 5,000 – and sometimes even less – can bring you a much better product today.
Our currently preferred, affordable, and truly wireless earbuds are the Leaf Pods, which come closest to the price of a high-quality all-round package. However, there is a new challenger at the same price that promises better results in many ways – the Noise Shots X3. We put these really wireless earbuds to the test, and here is our review.
Noise Shots X3 design and specifications
As with other affordable, really wireless headphones, the Noise Shots X3 are not particularly chic and functional. However, we liked some of the aesthetic elements of these headphones, especially the metal rings that add a touch of color to the black headphones. Our test device was a color variant called "Racing Red".
The earphones are made of plastic and are covered with rubber in the middle. The outer surface of each button has the Noise logo. The contact points for charging the earphones are located on the inside. Overall, the headphones look rather simple and unassuming except for the red metal ring.
The right earphone is the dominant one. It connects to the source and can be used alone, while the left is connected to the right and can only be used when the right earphone is switched on and connected.
The Noise Shots X3 earphones fit us very well with the right earplugs and stayed securely in place when walking and climbing stairs. Each earphone has a physical button that allows you to pause or play music (press briefly on one side), skip to the previous or next track (press and hold the left or right side once), or call the button on a voice assistant paired smartphone (pressing twice on both sides).
The volume cannot be adjusted using the headphones and must be on the source device. Google Assistant and Siri are listed as supported, but we were also able to use Amazon Alexa when we tried it on an Android smartphone.
We didn't really like the look of the Noise Shots X3 charger because it is shiny and attracts fingerprints and dirt. However, the case is well built and straightforward, and works the way it should.
The lid of the charging bag is just so transparent that you can see whether the headphones are being charged or not (the indicator lights are visible through the lid). A small button on the inside of the case shows the state of charge of the case itself, which has its own, relatively massive battery with 1,500 mAh.
When you remove the earphones from the case, they automatically turn on (unless the case's battery is fully discharged). However, you can also switch the earphones on and off manually. A long press on the right earbuds turns both of them off individually. When you put the headphones back in your pocket, they will turn off and charge. Magnets hold them securely in the housing.
The earphones ran approximately three hours per charge, and the case was able to fully charge the earphones eight times in the test. In this way, the earphones can be used for a total of about 27 hours per charge cycle, which is quite good for an affordable pair of truly wireless earphones. The suitcase is not very heavy, but a little big and must be stowed in a backpack and not in your pocket.
The scope of delivery includes a total of three pairs of earplugs and a micro USB cable for charging the housing of the Noise Shot X3. The earphones offer Bluetooth 5 connectivity, but only support the SBC Bluetooth codec. They are also waterproof to IPX4 and have microphones for voice calls.
Noise Shots X3 performance
Our current gold standard for affordable, truly wireless earbuds are the Leaf Pods, where the somewhat complicated charging is only a disadvantage. The Noise Shots X3 has a very good charging bag that works well and provides a lot of power for the headphones. The focus now shifts to whether the headphones themselves are so good. The answer is – almost.
We tested the Noise Shot X3 with a OnePlus 7 Pro (review) as the source device, whereby music was streamed via Spotify and YouTube Music. With these headphones, we also tried out some of our high-resolution sample audio tracks. Finally, we checked whether they are suitable as a hands-free headset for voice calls.
The Noise Shots X3 have an attractive acoustic signature that offers a good combination of a low grunt and a pleasant sound. It's a classic V-shaped sound with strong lows and highs and somewhat quieter mid-range responses. When we heard Moullinex's Love Love Love, we liked the attack in the bass as the lively beat of the track increased, and the hint of sparkle at the top. The bass has tended to overwhelm some of the gentler details in the track, like the chirping of birds in the background.
We really liked the ability of the Noise Shot X3 to handle high volumes. We were able to turn up the volume comfortably and listen for hours with minimal fatigue.
Although we didn't expect much detail at this price, the earbuds aren't as detailed and revealing as others in this price range – the leaf pods offer cleaner, more precise sound, while the Noise Shots X3 are usually more harmless and safe. When listening to bass heavy music, choose the Noise Shots X3 because of its aggression and tight bass.
Although the bass is good and the sound is suitable for most genres, we weren't very impressed with the sound stage. In-ear headphones rarely achieve the same level of openness and imaging as on-ear or over-ear headphones, but the soundstage didn't feel very far even in our own heads. Instrument separation and weak details weren't impressive on the Noise Shots X3. With Summer Dem from Basement Jaxx, a lively, beat-driven track, we couldn't feel more than a simple stereo separation.
High-resolution audio files sounded slightly better than compressed audio formats. Pharrell Williams & # 39; Gust of Wind in FLAC format offered a bit more details and a slightly wider sound stage than when using a streaming service, which was particularly noticeable when clapping – like beat. However, we believe that better codec support – at least the AAC codec – could improve the sound, especially with high-resolution audio tracks and high quality streaming audio.
Finally, we also tested the Noise Shots X3 for voice calls and found that these headphones are sufficient in most situations. In quiet environments, we had no problem hearing the person on the other end of the call, and we could also be heard clearly by them. While background noise was not filtered out in noisy environments, it did not affect the voice quality of calls.
We have used many pairs of truly wireless earbuds that are priced below US $. 5,000, but many of them have underperformed in terms of overall experience. The Noise Shots X3 is an exception; These headphones are refreshingly good for the price and definitely worth considering for the pleasant sound and good battery life they deliver. The color options and bass-heavy sound are an added bonus for anyone interested in these aspects when making a purchase decision.
However, the sound quality is not quite as good as the Leaf Pods, which remain our preferred, truly wireless earbuds for less than Rs. 5000. However, the charging case of the Noise Shots X3 is much more user-friendly. So if you agree with the difference in sound quality, you should consider these truly wireless earbuds versus our current favorite pair.
price: Case 3,999
- Decent bass
- Good sound at high volume
- Strong total battery life
- Suitable for voice calls
- Only the SBC Bluetooth codec is supported
- Charging case is large and doesn't look very nice
- Average sound stage
Reviews (of 5)
- Design / comfort: 3.5
- Audio quality: 3
- Battery life: 4
- Value for money: 4
- Overall: 3.5