Simon Wittenberg tries out the acoustic qualities of the latest addition to HONOR’s Magic line-up.
Here at Luxurious Magazine, we’re no stranger to HONOR, the global technology brand. I recently tried out the HONOR MagicWatch 2, and this time, I have put their Magic Earbuds to the test.
These are HONOR’s first True Wireless Stereo (TWS) earphones to feature active noise cancellation technology. Being a HUAWEI brand, this particular product will only work with Android devices and smartphones, so Apple devotees will have to look elsewhere for their in-ear accessories.
The HONOR Magic Earbuds and charging case are now available in Pearl White in seven different markets, including the UK, priced at £89.99, with a Robin Egg Blue version due to follow at a later date.
The Earbuds themselves will appeal to the active type and fitness aficionados, as they’re extremely light to wear and handle thanks to tipping the scales at a mere 5.5g each. Even the USB-C powered case itself is nice and compact, and the two buds slot nicely into place thanks to the clever magnetic compartments for storage and charging.
How do you pair the HONOR Magic Earbuds with an external device?
The smart HONOR-branded charging case doubles up as the Bluetooth control centre to allow you to sync the Earbuds with other devices. The lid needs to be open, and the button on the rear pressed, and once the white light in between the Earbuds stops flashing (they must remain in situ at this stage), it’s then possible to start using them.
Although they can also be linked to the HONOR MagicWatch 2, we paired the Earbuds to a HUAWEI P30 Pro smartphone for the review, and allowing the earphones to talk to the phone via Bluetooth was fairly straightforward. There’s also the option of downloading the free AI Life app from the Google Play Store and then scanning the QR code provided on a card in the box for a ‘better experience’ (their words, not mine).
Can the HONOR Magic Earbuds be configured?
The answer is yes. At the top of each Earbud is what’s called the ‘Touch area’, and the advantage of downloading the AI Life app is that, by using the shortcuts menu, you can configure what happens when you ‘double-tap’ this part on each of the earphones. There are four options to choose from (you can only select one per bud), which are namely play/pause, next song, previous song, wake voice assistant, or simply, that nothing happens at all.
On the second screen, called ‘touch & hold’, this is where you can decide whether you would like to have the ability to be able to press on the Earbud to cycle through the noise control modes. This essentially gives the user the option of activating and deactivating the active noise cancellation (which I will come on to a little later), and you will get a corresponding audio message to let you know whether it’s on or off.
The only downside of this touch-sensitive area mechanism is that you can easily press it by mistake when putting the buds into your ears, so some readjustment may be needed to ensure that you’re on the right settings once you listen to music or are on a call. In addition, volume is controlled on the device that you’re paired to.
What’s the sound quality like?
The impressive concert-like sound quality comes courtesy of HONOR’s Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) Technology to ensure that there are no distractions from the surrounding environment or break in your enjoyment of the audio experience. This element of wizardry supposedly reduces background noise by up to 32 decibels in order to achieve this.
To see what the buds are like when listening to music, we tried them out with some YouTube videos from contemporary artists, and we chose the option to play/pause on the left bud. On the right, we had next song, useful for when scrolling through your MP3 library.
The HONOR Magic Earbuds have a built-in 10mm dynamic driver unit to produce ‘strong bass and clear trebles’. We put this to the test with the legendary ‘Final Countdown’ track by Europe. The result was a little underwhelming.
If you’re expecting to hear a decent amount of bass and the feeling that you’re listening to a live act, you won’t get this, and there is no way of changing settings to enhance the degree of bass coming through your ears. Apart from that, the audio is crystal clear and perfectly adequate for when you’re linked to a smartphone.
What about using the HONOR Magic Earbuds for receiving calls?
HONOR has certainly packed the tech into this product, and there’s a microphone located at the bottom of the right earpiece. There’s triple noise reduction for when answering calls, and this means the sound quality should be as good as if you’re standing face-to-face with the person you’re speaking to (in a world without social distancing).
Are the HONOR Magic Earbuds comfortable to wear?
The HONOR Magic Earbuds are comfortable enough to wear for a prolonged period thanks to the soft silicone ear tips, and there are some different sizes that come in the box. You do also instantly appreciate that there are no dangling cables and you can move around freely without even having to stay glued to your phone.
How long does the battery last on a single charge?
Battery life is always a contentious issue because, like an electric car, it really depends on how much you use a device, and for what purpose. The official blurb quotes three and a half hours of continuous music listening on a single charge, or the Earbuds will allow two and a half hours of calls on a single charge.
The charging case itself allows 14.5 hours of music playback, and we found that the battery life was more than adequate when out for a walk or when using them around the house, and they didn’t take too long to replenish from empty, although the case is not a fast charger.
As there is no indication on the Earbuds themselves, the AI Life app tells you the percentage of charge left in the case and in each of the buds, so that you know when to replenish them before running out of power.
The HONOR Magic Earbuds are an ideal companion for when exercising outdoors, or when you just wish to listen to music, a film or video without disturbing others. As previously mentioned, they’re not perfect in every way, but overall, it’s money well spent, and the Magic Earbuds are a valued addition to HONOR’s expanding portfolio of great quality products.
HONOR Magic Earbuds – Where and How?
HONOR Magic Earbuds are available now priced at £89.99 per pair (excluding shipping). For more information, or to make a purchase, visit www.hihonor.com.
Check out our Instagram page for more pictures of the HONOR Magic Earbuds.