When you haven’t heard of Vivo, concern not. The Chinese language tech firm solely actually made itself recognized within the UK and Europe on the tail finish of 2020, when it launch a quartet of Android telephones – and alongside them these, the TWS Neo earbuds.
The identify stands for true wi-fi, i.e. the kind of wi-fi earbuds popularised by Apple’s AirPods. And at £129 within the UK it’s fairly clear that the TWS Neo are supposed to rival Apple’s standard headphones – an impression solely helped by a reasonably acquainted design.
An extremely light-weight construct and surprisingly snappy gesture controls are the principle promoting factors right here, although whereas audio high quality is first rate you may actually discover higher for the value. There’s no noise-cancelling both, although for probably the most half you’d anticipate to spend a bit greater than this for ANC anyway.
Design and construct
The TWS Neo match firmly into the ‘sorta like an AirPod’ college of true wi-fi earbud design, particularly within the white end – although the shimmering darkish blue model (close to black, if we’re being sincere) does a bit extra to appear like its personal factor.
Count on a small earbud with an extended stem that dangles out out of your ears, and a easy cylindrical case to carry the buds after they’re not in use. An IP54 mud and water-resistance ranking for the buds ought to add some peace of thoughts too, making these a greater train choice than you may assume.
It’s clear that Vivo has labored laborious to maintain the buds light-weight, and these are among the many lightest I’ve ever examined. Which may not sound like a lot, however whenever you’re sporting earbuds for hours each gram counts, and these are extra comfy than most in consequence.
One caveat to that’s that the buds don’t use adjustable silicon ideas (once more, very AirPod). Which means there’s just one measurement, and no give in any respect. They match my ears properly, however there’s after all a threat that you just gained’t be so fortunate, and if that’s the case there’s isn’t an entire lot you are able to do about it.
The light-weight plastic design extends to the case too, which weighs a whopping 45.7g even with the buds inside – barely something. There’s a slight draw back right here although: the hinges on the lid really feel decidedly frail, and whereas I haven’t run into any issues but, I wouldn’t precisely describe the case as ‘sturdy’.
The underside line is that these are nice buds if you would like headphones which can be light-weight and cozy, even when they don’t have a very distinct identification.
Audio high quality
Sonically talking, the TWS Neo are wonderful. They’re not prone to wow anybody, and bass obsessives particularly ought to look elsewhere, however for many customers these are greater than as much as the duty.
14.2mm drivers ship the sound, and within the mid and higher registers the outcomes are admirable sufficient. The soundscape is open sufficient to pick distinct voices and devices in most tracks – not one of the muddying collectively frequent in cheaper buds – and pop music particularly is served properly, with punchy, vibrant finish outcomes.
The buds battle extra on the decrease finish, with a definite lack of bass oomph regardless of the comparatively giant drivers. Which means some tracks will come out a bit weedy and skinny, with dance and hip hop particularly missing the drive you is likely to be used to.
With no energetic noise cancellation the buds additionally don’t do something to dam out exterior noise, and with no silicon ideas there’s not even any significantly notable passive noise blocking. That’s nice if you wish to keep conscious of your environment on the go, however anybody hoping to tune out the sounds of their morning commute is likely to be disenchanted.
Audio for voice calls is crisp and clear, and there’s some AI noise cancellation right here to dam out sound out of your environment. It’s not excellent – strolling down a windy road nonetheless left somebody on the opposite finish of the road struggling to listen to – however more often than not you’ll discover little to complain about.
Battery and charging
Vivo claims you may anticipate four-and-a-half hours of cost from the TWS Neo buds, with 22.5 complete together with the charging case.
When it comes to the buds, I’d really say that’s a reasonably conservative estimate, they usually tended to final 5 or 6 hours earlier than giving up the ghost – although the estimate for complete case battery life is extra correct.
Both approach, battery life is on the decrease finish of the market, and a few rivals would run laps across the Neo. As lengthy you retain the case on you when out and about, it must be wonderful although.
Charging is dealt with by USB-C, and it’ll take a bit over an hour-and-a-half for a full top-up. There’s no wi-fi charging choice, however that’s common for the value.
Software program and controls
It’s blended blessings on this entrance, with pretty spectacular on-device controls let down barely by a reasonably fundamental app expertise.
First, the great. Gesture controls allow you to swipe up and down on every earbud to alter the quantity by default, with a double-tap to play/pause. They’re clean, dependable, and responsive (by no means a assure on earbuds), and the one minor gripe is that it’s simple to unintentionally nudge the quantity up or down when adjusting the earbud slot in your ear.
Earphone detection additionally does a good job of recognising when the buds are in or out of your ears, pausing music robotically whenever you take away a bud, and enjoying it after they return to your ears.
The unhealthy aspect is that Vivo’s accompanying app is fairly barebones. You need to use it to regulate the gesture controls, however solely to alter the double-tap on every earbud, with subsequent/earlier observe controls or the choice to activate a voice assistant.
You may also use the app flip the in-ear detection off or on, and handle firmware updates, however that’s it. At this worth I’d actually anticipate some type of EQ controls or extra management customisation, so Vivo’s software program providing does really feel a bit restricted – although it is a small grievance within the grand scheme of issues.
Worth and availability
A UK worth of £129 places the TWS Neo outdoors of what we take into account low-cost true wi-fi headphones, although they’re nonetheless a bit extra reasonably priced than the £159/$159 AirPods.
This can be a aggressive worth level although; the superb RHA TrueConnect 2 and Cambridge Audio Melomania Contact each value the identical quantity, and are at the moment the 2 high suggestions in our true wi-fi headphone chart.
The excellent news is that if you happen to do not thoughts shopping for an imported pair from the likes of Banggood, Geekbuying, or Ali Specific, you should purchase a pair for lower than half the UK RRP – making them a way more compelling choice.
The Vivo TWS Neo are a good pair of true wi-fi earbuds which can be in all probability priced a bit excessive for what they provide.
The light-weight design ensures consolation within the lengthy haul (even when the battery life, mockingly, isn’t distinctive), and nice gesture controls go some solution to making up for audio that’s solely first rate.
Snap them up if you happen to see them going low-cost, however at full worth you are able to do higher elsewhere.
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