Quality Sound, advanced features and comfortable fit

The Edifier TWS NB2 Pro Earbuds arrived in an attractive 5 inches square by 2 3/4 inches thick hanging style retail package. The white outer slipcover contrasted beautifully with the black plastic hanging tab on the top panel and the silver/black font on the cover/bottom/back panels.    Starting with the cover, you will find the EDIFIER name along the top in shimmering silver-metallic font, the TWS NB2 Pro Name “True Wireless Earbuds with Active Noise Cancellation” along the lower section, and eight silver-colored descriptive product icons: 1. Hybrid ANC. 2. Dual-Mic Noise Cancellation. 3. Spatial Audio. 4. Quick Charge. 5. AAC Audio Decoding. 6. Role-Swapping. 7. IP54 Dust and Waterproof. 8. 32 Hour Playtime. Despite the allure of the silver/black font upon the clean white background, the main focal point was the slightly raised, glossy,  2 1/2 inches wide by 1 1/2 inches tall image of the earbuds between the title/product name. In addition, the bottom panel provided a QR code link to the EDIFIER Connect App, product manufacturing labels, cautions regarding prolonged sound/damage with higher decibels, warnings that the charging/use times may vary based on various factors, and the eartips may need to be changed to improve the fit of the setup. Finally, the panel provided information about the color of the earbuds (black), FCC statement, the EDF200026 model, Made in China information, and a short statement about the Bluetooth trademark.

The rear panel proved to be a bit busier than the front panel. You will find the product name along the upper left, a small image of the charging case/earbuds along the top right, and a pentalingual product features section arranged into English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Japanese: 1. True Wireless Earbuds with Hybrid active noise cancellation technology. 2. Dual-Mic Noise cancellation for clear phone calls. 3. Three-dimensional audio technology provides natural sound. 4. Total 32-hour playback time per full charge (2 hours after 15-minute quick charge). 5. User Detection: Music automatically played/paused when earbuds are inserted/removed. 7. Ambient Sound mode allows you to hear environmental sounds such as traffic or flight announcements. 8. Personalize your setting and find more via the EDIFIER Connect App. Lastly, Along the bottom of the rear panel, you will see one last multilingual section detailing the A2DP/AVRCP/HFP Bluetooth Profile, 20Hz-20kHz Frequency Response, 94+/-3db sound pressure level, 24 Ohm impedance, input 5v/1A, ANC active playback time of 7 hours from the earbuds + 18 hours from the charging case, ANC inactive playback time of 9 hours + 23 hours from the charging case, and the list of box contents.

I slid the outer slipcover from around the inner black textured box and appreciated the subtle black EDIFIER name etched into the surface. Next, I lifted the lid of the clam-style closure box and found a 4 1/8 inches square by 5/8 inches thick accessory box within the upper foam cutout. The lower foam section contained the 1.8 ounces, 2 5/8 inches long by 2 1/8 inches wide by 1 3/8 inches thick earbud charging case. Before testing the earbuds, I removed the product accessories from the grey accessory box and used the included 20 1/2 inches long USB-A to USB-C charging cable to fully charge the case. While charging, I perused the included multilingual instruction manual (English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Polish, Czech, Slovakian, Ukrainian, Greek, Russian, Sanscrit, Hebrew, and Chinese), I set aside the bag with small/large ear tips, and evaluated the 4 inches wide by 4 1/2 inches tall black drawstring carry bag with small red Edifier tag. The soft inner brown-colored microsuede lining provided an excellent protective surface for the earbud charging case plus the charging cable. Additionally, the carry bag added a nice protective layer against scuffs, scratches, and surface marring.  

After approximately thirty minutes of charging via a standard Apple charging Brick, I lifted the case’s lid and noticed the small green LED between the earbuds. I pressed the central button until the light changed to a flashing blue/green color (3 seconds) and removed the 1 5/16 inches tall by 1/2 inches wide by 1 3/16 inches thick earbuds from the case. Each earbud had a silver-colored trapezoidal segment attached to the black earpiece and rubberized ear tip. The inner surface of the earbud had two metallic charging points and was marked with either an “L” or “R.”  I placed the earbuds into my ear, rotated them into position, and then picked up my iPhone 13 Pro Max. With the phone in hand, I navigated to Settings, to Bluetooth, then selected “Edifier TWS NB2 Pro” from the list. The earbuds played a dual-tone ascending pattern and the connection was complete. Next, I repositioned the right earbud into my right ear, the left earbud into the left ear, and found that the earbuds did not seal well and did not have the proper fit. I removed the medium-sized tip by gripping the rubberized tip and pulling outward and then tested the small and large tips. The large tips fit better within my ear canal and prevented the displacement of the earbuds with movement. I tested them with jumping, jumping jacks, jogging, jumping rope, bob and weaving, chewing, yawning, and talking. I loved that the earbuds remained securely within my ear canals, and I experienced no canal fatigue.

The button layout of the Edifier NB2 Pro proved to be too basic and non-inclusive. A double-tap of the left earbud switched between Noise Reduction On/Off, Ambient Sound modes, while a triple touch switched between game mode, normal mode, and spatial audio modes. A double-tap of the right earbud allowed the track to play/pause, while a triple-tap of the right earbud progressed to the next track. During a call, a double press of either the left or the right earbud will allow you to answer/end a call. The earbuds did not have a method to move to the previous track, to increase/decrease the volume, to deny a call, or to activate the voice assistant. I was rather surprised that these features were not present and found no information within the limited instruction manual, or online. I could not understand why the earbuds had active noise reduction, ambient sound modes, gaming mode, and included in-ear detection like the Apple AirPods Pro but lacked simple volume control. In fact, I was quite surprised with the sensitivity of the in-ear detection and with the auto-off noise cancellation when only a single earbud was removed. I feel that the company succeeded with multiple advanced features but fell flat on doing the small things correctly. It did not matter that I loved the fit of the earbuds, and the sound was quite good, when the utility was limited.

I navigated to the audiocheck.net website to test the sound output and ran through the various audio tests. I selected the Low-Frequency Response and Subwoofer Audio Test (10-200 Hz) and felt/heard the rumbling bass at 20Hz. I repeated this test in normal mode, spatial audio, and game mode. The spatial audio mode had an abnormal siren/sin wave sound to the test, while the game mode added significantly more bass. I was not sure if the sin wave sound was a programming problem or if it was a connection issue between my iPhone 13 Pro Max and the Edifier earbuds. Thus, I forgot the device on my phone, returned the earbuds to the case, pressed the central button for 2 seconds, and then walked through the pairing process with my iPad Pro 11”. When I repeated the above test, I found the same result suggesting that the spatial audio feature was the issue and not the connection. Interestingly, the spatial audio feature sounded great while listening to Amazon Music, Apple Music, and while watching movies. I re-paired my iPhone to the Edifier earbuds and moved on to the second test, the High-Frequency Response and Hearing Audio Test (22-8 kHz). Unfortunately, I found the same issues as above when moving between the three modes. The spatial audio mode did not play nicely with the audio tech website, and I was relegated to using the game and normal modes.  

If you have not used the audiocheck.net website, I invite you to check them out. When using the above tests, a male announcer will state each 10Hz raise and 10kHz decline, respectively. I found that I could hear the high-pitched ringing tone at 15kHz, which was on par with mh ability to hear. As we get older and experience various sources of barotrauma, we suffer pressure/sound ear damage and lose our higher frequency acuity first. Unfortunately, this damage often goes unnoticed until it is much too late. With the above tests completed, I turned to the Left/Right/Center test and found the left/right earbud programming was correctly programmed. For the final audiocheck.net audio test, I turned off the lights, activated the Stereo Perception and Sound Localization Test, and listened to the “Original Binaural Recording” knocking sounds. I repeated the test with spatial audio, game mode, and normal mode and found that the spatial audio mode added a layer of realism that was not present with the other two modes. To confirm this, I listened to several 7D and 8D audio tracks like Disturbed “Sound of Silence” 8D, Pentatonix “Hallelujah” 8D, and Enya “Only Time 8D.”  The sounds moving around the head paired wonderfully with the spatial audio effect.  

With the above audiocheck.net tests completed, I turned to my typical test tracks. To evaluate the bass, I listened to the Dark Knight Rises Joker Theme “Why So Serious” and enjoyed the bass call-response at the 3-4 minute mark. The cacophony of sounds continued to rise and culminated in a helicopter rotor wash feel. For additional tests, I utilized the somber “Far Over The Misty Mountains Cold” in The Hobbit, the bright city feel from CeeLo Greens “Bright Lights Bigger City,” and the sultry bounding bass line from the “Train Song” by Holly Cole. I preferred the spatial audio and game modes to the normal mode and felt that Edifier provided above-average bass support. To test the mid and upper sounds, I used the Braveheart Soundtrack, Far and Away Soundtrack, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves Soundtrack, and “Caribbean Blue,” by Enya. Next, I navigated to Amazon Music and listened to Ring of Fire and other songs from Home Free, Hallelujah/Mary Did you Know/Little Drummer Boy, and a few other offerings from Pentantonix.  

I was pleased with the bass support and the blend throughout all levels of volume. The sounds never felt muddy and were not tinny at higher volumes. I found that the spatial audio and game modes worked well for nearly all tests and that the normal mode felt a bit redundant. Personally, I would have preferred that the company had added more touch controls and eliminated game mode/normal modes. The spatial audio mode could have been the only needed mode for the device. I liked the staging and found that the earbuds provided a clear image of the instruments in space. The noise-canceling mode added a great deal of external noise reduction and proved useful while riding shotgun in my wife’s Nissan NV on our recent trip to visit my parents. I was able to listen to several of my holiday favorites, without being drowned out by background/external noise. Despite the limited touch controls, I still used the earbuds to listen to audible books and to watch movies on Vudu, Paramount+, HBOMax, and Netflix. I watched the first episode of Cobra Kai Season 4 and attempted to watch movies with YouTube. Each of the streaming sites paired nicely with the earbuds except for YouTube. Like many of the reviews I have completed, there seems to be an audio-visual sync issue with YouTube that the other sites do not have. 

Overall, I enjoyed the sound, the blend, and the quality of the audio. Once I changed the ear tips, I experienced a more comfortable fit and found that I enjoyed the NB2 Pro style, the size, the 0.2-ounce weight, and the shape. I found that I could listen for several hours without needing to recharge the earbuds, and I could assume a side-lying position on my pillow without causing any pain/discomfort. The in-ear style earbuds relied upon a quality seal without add-on ear wings to wrap over the ears. For this reason, I was thankful that the company included the extra sizes of earn tips. The praises did not end there. I was surprised that I could use the earbuds for several hours each day in spatial mode and noise-canceling mode. I found the 7-9 hour battery life to be appropriately represented, and the additional power within the charging case allowed for more than 3 hours per day over an entire week. Most days, I would listen for 30-60 minutes, replace the buds into the case, and then remove them later in the day for another round of fun. With quick charging, long battery life in both the earbuds and the charging case, you can expect the NB2 Pro to be ready when you need them. Lastly, the water-resistant claim should have said sweat-resistant instead of water-resistant. With an IPX5 rating, you cannot swim with them or shower in them. 

To summarize my experience, the sound, the fit, and the quality proved to be above average. I liked the outer packaging, the hanging tab style design, the outer slipcover, and the internal layout. The charging case, the included carry bag, the USB-A to USB-C cable, and the accessory tips were all positive features of the device. I was surprised with the advanced in-ear detection, the quality of the microphones, the active noise canceling, and the ambient noise mode. However, the limited instruction manual support and the lack of button features significantly affected my view of the device. I was not too fond of the instruction manual and the lack of information, nor did I like the limited button functions. The case does charge via USB-C, which was a big plus. Although I was not concerned with the lack of wireless charging, some may elicit negative feelings. I loved the ability to use the earbuds in solo mode and the lack of flashing external LED. If I were to create an upgraded version of the NB2 Pro, it would include volume adjustment, previous track selection, and voice assistant functions. We may simply have to kick it old school and control our earbuds with our smartphones until then.

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