Regardless of the fact that there’s probably a new member of this species launched everyday, Swiss company EQ8 Audio has brought its EQ8 true wireless earbuds into the Indian market at ₹6,999.
The earbuds come out of rather nice packaging and definitely not the ordinary throw-away type of box. In here, you have the earbuds, a charging case, some paperwork, extra set of ear-tips in three sizes, a pouch and USB-C cable. Though everything looks good at first sight, I must point out that it smells terrible — it’s that smell of synthetics and is very powerful. I suppose it will wear off in time.
The case the EQ8 earbuds come in, is covered in a grey-black textured fabric that makes it look elegant and premium. But open it up and you can feel the plasticky build under that fabric which is quite in contrast with it.
The clumpy earbuds quickly and readily tumble out of the case as they don’t seem to fit strongly into their apertures. They go immediately into pairing mode and can pair with two devices at a time. They auto re-connect and turn off when in the case.
I found the fit a little challenging, but then the fatter and clumpier earbuds do fit everyone a bit differently. The ear-tips are angled, but I couldn’t settle on a good position for each easily.
One may have to experiment with the other extra ear-tips to get a better seal. There’s no active noise cancellation but naturally, some amount of noise from outside cuts off if they’re fitted deeply into the ears. Despite a balancing loop on each earbud, it tended to fall out of my ears.
The sound from these earbuds is surprisingly defined with each instrument being heard quite distinctly. There is some realistic bass adding to add some body to the sound. With higher frequencies, there’s a good separation of instruments. I did find that at even slightly loud volume, the higher frequency sounds can be too sharp — enough to make me wince.
One thing you cannot accuse these earbuds of is lack of clarity. Sounds are really clear. And overall balanced. The earbuds work with Bluetooth 5.0 and maintain a good range. They’ve looked into latency because we found no lag between the sound and a picture on the screen. The chipset supports codecs AptX, SBC and AAC. Calls and Google Assistant is also supported, all triggered by the one on-earbud button.
The EQ8 earbuds support Qualcomm’s Fast charge technology so you can listen for three hours with just 15 minutes of charging. A single full charge of the earbuds will keep your music going for seven hours and the 500 mAh rechargeable battery integrated into the case gives you an extra 30 hours with multiple charges.
Pros: Defined, balanced sound, interesting case and pouch, up to date with Bluetooth 5.0 and USB-C fast charging
Cons: Clumpy and may not fit everyone perfectly, causes some irritation when worn, high frequencies can be too sharp