With the growing popularity of truly wireless earbuds in the budget space, we’re slowly starting to see two further distinct segments. There is the sub-Rs 10,000 segment where brands who have been in the audio industry for some time are competing. This segment has earbuds that try to improve on sound quality and codec support. They try to continuously grow closer to giving user ‘audiophile-level sound’. Also Read - Lenovo HT10 Pro review: A boon for bassheads and purists
Then there is a sub-Rs 5,000 segment, where things take a different turn. In this highly competitive battleground, the features you bring to the table determine success. The latest addition in this segment is the Ambrane VibeBeats. The truly wireless earbuds flaunts features unheard of in this segment. With a Qualcomm chipset, aptX HD sound, IPX4 protection, and touch controls, the Ambrane VibeBeats cost just Rs 2,999. Here’s what we think about the earbuds. Also Read - Detel Di-Pod Review: Terrific sound meets stellar battery life
Ambrane VibeBeats design
The Ambrane VibeBeats features a stem design like the Apple AirPods or the Realme Buds Air. There are replaceable ear tips that come in three sizes. The earbuds have a circular pad on the back of the head that supports capacitive touch inputs. There is also gesture support. A single tap plays or pauses your music. A double-tap on the left or right goes to the previous or next track. A triple tap on the left pulls up your voice assistant. We must say, apart from the occasional miss, the gestures worked pretty well. Also Read - Syska EarGo Review: Another great value-for-money proposition
In terms of looks, ergonomics, and comfort, the Ambrane VibeBeats is a win. The stylish design is complemented by the nearly weightless feel of the earbuds when in use. They are also very comfortable and make long hours of playback painless. Moving to the case, it is quite minimal. In terms of build quality, the case doesn’t seem as durable as the buds. However, opening and closing the lid feels firm. There are no creaky edges whatsoever, but the lid does move a tiny bit when closed.
It misses out any LED notifier that lets you know how much juice you have left in the case. There is a single red LED on the back that blinks when the buds are charging in the case. The biggest shock was the inclusion of a USB Type-C port on the back at this price. It is no doubt, the best part about the case here.
The Ambrane VibeBeats bring a lot of expectations with the inclusion of aptX HD sound support for AAC codecs. However, the sound on the buds doesn’t end up being extraordinary. It is average at best. While sound clarity and richness is not an issue, bass depth certainly is. The VibeBeats put out a sound that falls somewhat flat on the ears and doesn’t offer a deep punchy immersive experience. While not something we’d usually expect at this price, the deeper bass performance is slowly becoming a norm, even in this segment.
That doesn’t make the sound on the Ambrane VibeBeats bad by any means, just average. Users can expect a good experience, just not a mind-blowing one. High and medium frequencies are dealt with nicely and feel crisp. If you’re someone who mostly listens to vocal-heavy songs, there’s more to gain than to lose. The contrast is evident in tracks like Old Town Road by Lil Nas X or Way Too Easy by Brodha V, where the vocals sound very crisp and rich and then the bass drops in you feel the lack of depth. In terms of call quality, the earbuds offer good performance thanks to the built-in microphones canceling out ambient noise. Pairing and range is excellent here with Bluetooth 5.0.
The Ambrane VibeBeats are decent performing earbuds when it comes to battery life. The company claims five hours of battery life on a single charge from the buds. Meanwhile, the total playback with the case is claimed to be 30 hours. In the short time we had with the device, our uptimes seemed about the same. The only con was the lack of a 4-part LED which didn’t inform us when the case was running low on battery. That is, however, somewhat compensated by the USB Type-C port which allowed us to carry a single charging cable for our phone and the VibeBeats.
Ambrane VibeBeats review: Should you buy?
The Ambrane VibeBeats truly wireless earbuds are an ambitious effort in disrupting the sub-Rs 3,000 audio segment. While not perfect, the buds are certainly a step in the right direction for the brand, which has just started making products in the truly wireless segment. The earbuds offer a lot of features that are unique to it in this segment. These include Bluetooth 5.0, touch controls, aptX HD sound, and USB-Type C charging. If these are elements you’re looking forward to, along with a sleek stem design and good looks, the VibeBeats are strong contenders. However, if you’re a bass-head looking for deep sound and a balanced audio output, you should look elsewhere.