Ever since Apple spawned the worldwide phenomenon called the AirPods, TWS earbuds have quickly become a highly sought-after gadget thanks to its hassle-free design.
HONOR has launched their own iteration of true wireless earbuds, rather unimaginatively named 'HONOR Magic Earbuds'. Then again, sometimes simplicity works best - at least no one will mistake it for another product any time soon.
Also, do note that these earbuds are also called HONOR FlyPods 3 depending on your region (which is confusing as heck, but now you know!)
Simple and functional exterior
The pill-shaped exterior is made out of a glossy white plastic, which to be frank isn't my favourite type of material due to its exceptional ability to show off micro-scratches. However, the overall shape and size is really nice and sits nicely in your hand.
Opening it up will reveal the earbuds laid horizontally at a diagonal angle. The charging cavities are well-moulded for a snug fit and have magnets to help you stow the earbuds away in the right compartment quickly and easily.
On the back you'll find the USB-C charging port along with a small button that activates pairing mode. That's about it - simple and functional, as it should be.
A great fit that's comfortable over long hours
When it comes to the earbuds itself, its design is equally unremarkable, featuring a plain white exterior and AirPods-like stems - though the overall shape is distinctly more angular.
The earbuds slip into your ears effortlessly and is shaped well for a snug fit, providing an extra seal to passively block off external sound. While the default medium-sized eartips were a perfect fit for me, you'll have 3 other sizes to choose from out of the box.
Responsive touch controls you can customise
The HONOR Magic Earbuds feature touch controls, which I prefer over physical buttons that force you to repeatedly jab your earphones deeper into your ear canal just to change the volume.
One common downside of touch controls is that it can be oversensitive and respond to accidental touches, such as when you're tucking your hair behind your ear. However, we're pleased to report that the HONOR Magic Earbuds do not suffer from this problem. The touch controls are responsive at the right times, and work exactly as you'd expect.
By default, double tapping will start / stop the track while a long hold will toggle ANC mode. Downloading the AI Life app will allow you to customise what these touch controls do to a certain extent. Do note that there is no option to allow you to control the volume, which has to be done directly from your phone.
Active noise cancellation works well
The active noise cancellation (ANC) feature also works like a charm - touch and hold either side of the earbud for just a moment and you'll feel like someone stuck a straw into your ear and sucked out all the noise. The feature was powerful enough to completely mute noises from the air-cond, plunging the room into eerie silence; coupled with some good tunes and the seal from the earbuds' fit, it even drowned out the sound of the person next to me furiously rage typing in a game of Dota.
Sound quality is good, but battery life falls short
For people who enjoy a booming bass, these earbuds are ready to serve some beats. Personally, I prefer a more balanced sound, but the HONOR Magic Earbuds still did a decent job with the highs and mids, providing clear vocals and melodies for a decent range of music genres. The quality is adequate for its price range, and the strong bass will be attractive for those who enjoy pounding beats.
The battery life, however, was not as pleasing. Listening to music continuously will grant you about 3.5 hours of listening time (shorter if ANC is on) before a sad 'boop boop' announces its imminent demise. Although it's decent enough for commutes and such, it definitely falls into the lower end of the spectrum, with most other earbuds offering 5-10 hours of battery life on the earbuds itself.
On the other hand, the case will provide around 3 full charges, so as long as you're not listening to it continuously for over 3 hours, your earbuds should be constantly topped up thanks to the automatic charging feature of the case.
Buy or no buy?
If you're looking for a pair of earbuds <