Truly wireless earphones have become really popular thanks to Apple’s AirPods, and that has led to plenty of options being available in the market by various manufacturers. EQ8 is one such brand that is offering a pair of in-ear style truly wireless earphones at a price of Rs. 6,999 in India. We had a chance to use the earphones extensively for over two weeks and we are going to help you decide if you should get one for yourself or not. Let’s begin.
Table of Contents:
Build Quality and Design
I have reviewed plenty of TWS earphones recently and what I have realized is that the fit of the earphones and how it feels inside your ears over prolonged usage is as important or in some cases even more important than the quality of sound produced by the earphones. While the design and fit are largely subjective, I personally prefer an open-ear design, similar to the AirPods or the Realme Buds Air. That being said, the EQ8, despite being in-ear style was surprisingly comfortable to wear for extended durations. We did not feel any sort of irritation or headaches, something that we face with a lot of other in-ear style earphones.
The ear tips are angled and there are also wings that help them stay put in your ears, so you don’t have to worry about the earbuds falling out of your ears while you are running or exercising. Talking about exercising, you can wear them to the gym since they are IPX5 certified. They are, however, slightly chunky so they aren’t going to be super subtle when worn. The earbuds are constructed out of plastic and feel solid. Each earbud has a physical button on the front that could’ve been replaced by a touch-sensitive button since it gets rather uncomfortable at times to press the button since it pushes the earbud inside your ear.
Coming to the case, the exterior has a charcoal colored fabric that looks pleasing to the eyes along with the EQ8 branding on the front that could have been subtler. The case almost reminds us of the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless earphones we reviewed some time back. It is also surprisingly lightweight but will surely show a bulge on your jeans if you put it in your pocket. The case charges through USB-C which is great.
While everything about the case seems good up until now, what’s weird is that when you open it up, you realize that the positions of the Left and Right earbuds are switched. The left earbud sits on the right and the right earbuds on the left! This is beyond our understanding because it’s a natural tendency to reach out to your right ear once you pick up the earbud on the right and the same goes for putting it back in the case. Not sure why EQ8 has gone against the convention here. Not a deal-breaker, but you’ll certainly find it annoying for the first few days, especially if you have used other TWS earphones.
We went in with a lot of expectations from the EQ8 earphones because the specs on paper were quite impressive. However, they did not completely match up to our expectations in terms of sound output. The EQ8 TWS earphones connect through Bluetooth 5.0, have two 6mm drivers, and have support for AptX, SBC, and AAC codecs. While most of these numbers and jargon seem to be at par with the competition, the audio experience as a whole left us asking for more.
Don’t get us wrong, the EQ8 earphones perform perfectly well if you listen to a lot of EDM or pop/jazz music. The bass is perfect and not too overpowering. However, if you listen to a lot of songs predominantly having vocals, Bollywood songs, for instance, you will realize that the EQ8 earphones do not have a very distinct sound stage. The vocals are not very clear too and high frequencies are slightly piercing to the ears, a phenomenon we’ve seen in multiple in-ear style earphones.
The EQ8 TWS earphones can get really loud though and the isolation they provide is great. We found them to perform well during voice calls too, canceling out a lot of the ambient noise. The overall experience in terms of sound quality could’ve been perfect had EQ8 managed to get the vocals and instrument separation right. You also get the regular features like the ability to switch tracks or control volume using the buttons onboard.
Battery Life and Charging
The EQ8 earphones lasted about 4 hours on a single charge which is impressive given that they are truly wireless. The chunky build is made up for by the good battery life. The case additionally tops up the earphones five times which means you can get roughly 18-20 hours of battery life with the EQ8 earphones. In real-world terms, we could get through more than a week without charging them so you can expect the same.
EQ8 TWS Review: Verdict
Well, it all comes down to this. Should you buy the EQ8 True Wireless Earphones or not? For a price of Rs. 6,999, the EQ8 does not provide good value especially considering the sub-par vocals and sound stage. While the build quality and design of the earbuds themselves and the case is good and battery life is excellent, there are better-sounding options in the market like the 1More Stylish True Wireless Earphones that we reviewed recently, or if you are looking for a good set of features and can compromise on sound quality slightly, you can even pick up the Realme Buds Air and save yourselves half the money.
Pros: Case has good design
Great battery life
Cons: Subper audio quality