With the release of the Apple AirPods, the wireless earbud format has become very popular. This design eliminated the feeling of plugging in the ears that plagued users of in-ear headphones. However, these models did not differ in quality sound. Vivo decided to fix this and released TWS Neo – completely wireless earbuds with huge speakers, support for aptX Adaptive and Bluetooth 5.2. We will tell you whether the novelty can win the love of music lovers.
Table of contents
Headphone dimensions 33.96 × 18.6 × 16.55 mm Case dimensions 58.22 × 51.65 × 24.05 mm Headphone weight 4.7 g Case weight 45.7 g Processor Qualcomm QCC3046 Bluetooth version 5.2 Supported codecs AAC, aptX Adaptive Protocols A2DP 1.3, HFP 1.7, AVRCP 1.6
Design and equipment
Vivo TWS Neo are very similar to AirPods, but the body is wider and more protruding from the ears. This is probably due to the larger emitter. The model is available in white and dark blue versions, we got the second one.
The cases are made of glossy plastic and have legs, in which batteries and antennas are hidden. At the top are speakers and proximity sensors – the headphones pause the music when they are pulled out of the ears.
The model is also equipped with touch panels and two microphones: one on the bottom, on a leg, captures the voice, and the second, on the back of the case, suppresses background noise. There is a hole at the top for venting pressure from the acoustic chamber. It is covered with a mesh that prevents sweat and dust from entering the inside of the earbuds – the IP54 protection standard is declared.
Thanks to its light weight and sleek shape, the device is virtually invisible to your ears. The cases are very slippery, so they can fall out when playing sports. In addition, they are not easy to get out of the case.
The case itself is also plastic and resembles sea pebbles. Its flat shape fits easily into a pocket. The cover is magnetic, there is a light indicator and a function button in front. The USB Type-C charging port is located at the bottom of the case. In addition to headphones and a case, the set includes a USB cable.
Connection and communication
Vivo TWS Neo is one of the first earbuds to support the Bluetooth 5.2 standard. There are no sources for assessing all its merits yet, so the model was in some sense ahead of its time. Nevertheless, Bluetooth 5.2 support will appear in smartphones soon.
What is so remarkable about the new standard? First of all, by reducing the power consumption of both the sound source and headphones. They also promise better synchronization between left and right channels and lower signal latency.
During testing, we evaluated the performance of the Bluetooth 5.1 headphones with the Vivo X50 Pro. When you open the case, the smartphone displays a pop-up menu for connection. With models of other brands, you need to hold down the button on the charging case until the LED indicator flashes. In the future, the headphones are connected automatically as soon as you open the lid.
The connection radius is about 10 meters in open areas. Moving too far from the Bluetooth source degrades sound quality and signal delays. In the apartment, the headphones keep in touch with the smartphone from the next room without any interference. On the street and in transport, there are no problems either.
The model performed well in the headset mode. The presence of two microphones on each side allows you to separate the voice from the surrounding noise – the latter is recorded in parallel and suppressed by the built-in coprocessor. The interlocutors do not complain about the quality of voice transmission, even in busy places.
Both earbuds are equipped with touch control pads. By default, double-tapping is responsible for starting and pausing, receiving and holding calls, and the volume is adjusted by swiping up and down.
On Vivo smartphones, you can customize the controls. Reading touches and swipes is fast and accurate, it’s a pity that the range of functions is limited. So, you cannot select a scheme in which the next and previous tracks will be included, as well as start and pause. We’ll have to sacrifice something.
Vivo TWS Neo stands out from other headphones of a similar design. They feature 14.2mm composite diaphragm drivers and, more importantly, support the aptX Adaptive audio codec for high-quality audio transmission.
The difference with the AAC codec is audible right away. When you turn on aptX, the sound becomes transparent and detailed. High frequencies are transformed the most. Where other TWS headphones are choked with gross distortion, Vivo’s new product plays clean and sharply.
This is especially noticeable on fast and aggressive music. The headphones can even digest Shadow of Intent, a symphonic deathcore that most models fail. All parts sound separately, there is no mess from the instruments.
The mids are brought to the fore, which is typical for headphones of this design. The voices sound open and strong, but the male vocals lack depth. The blame for this is the weak response at low frequencies, and at the same time in the lower middle.
Another nuance is the characteristic delivery of high frequencies. Despite the apparent purity and airiness, they sound almost the same in all melodies. The individuality of different records is being hidden.
However, it is unfair to demand such fine detail from wireless headphones, and even so TWS Neo sound much better than analogs. They are not suitable except for those who love crushing bass.
Battery life is up to 5.5 hours with AAC and 4.2 hours with aptX. The case is enough for three more reloads. During testing, TWS Neo lasted four days with regular listening to music, watching YouTube and talking on a headset. All this at 50% volume and aptX. It takes 1.5 hours to recharge the case with headphones.
The main drawback of Vivo TWS Neo is extremely slippery cases, due to which the earbuds can be lost when playing sports. Also worth noting is the weak isolation and lack of active noise cancellation. Otherwise, this is a worthy alternative to AirPods with the best sound quality of all similar models. The price of the device is 10 thousand rubles.
The author would like to thank Vivo for providing the device for testing. The company had no way of influencing its results.
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