- Decent Battery Life
- Nice and Clean Design
- Supports Application for Customisation
- Relatively "okay" price tag
- Fit is absolutely a hit and miss
- Sound Quality could be better
- ANC isn't the strongest trait
The moment you see the name HONOR, it tends to appear as the youthful and the nice ones as compared to Huawei which used to be the parent company until it sold off. But things did get better for Honor in more ways than one, they got back Google Services and they are now making their own line of products for consumers to enjoy and in this Honor Earbuds 2 Lite Review – you’re witnessing their very first product as an independent company and we are going to talk about how well it fares.
Look and Feel
HONOR retains this nice and clean look for their earbuds with a glossy finish on the case all over, which extends to the earbuds as well. The USB-C port is positioned on the bottom instead of the back, an odd choice I’d say but it works, nonetheless. The front of the case carries the branding and the little LED indicator to tell you the battery life, pairing mode and connectivity. On the side, you have a slightly recessed button which is used to reset, pair to a new device, or even check the battery. The lid is held by some snappy magnets which I love and doesn’t feel cheap in any way – has that satisfying *snap* when closing.
Now for the earbud’s design: it’s a love-hate relationship. It follows the stem-like design but with a wider area for easy touch control which the earbuds do support and has a bigger in-ear dome design with a rubber tip for good seal. Now you do get like extra tips to change the fit of it to get it right but get ready to deal with a “not-so-good” fit as the design doesn’t bode well for shallow ear shapes that doesn’t allow the earpiece part to sit well. For me, as I place the earbuds – it stays fit for the first 3 minutes at most, then it tends to fall off. So, there is that constant readjustment to get nice listening experience. Even after shoving it deep, it still doesn’t sit well and tends to fall, even without not having to move too much.
Features and Specification
In terms of features and specification, the HONOR Earbuds 2 Lite doesn’t really shy away – at least on paper:
- 10mm Drivers
- ANC and Awareness Mode Support
- 32 Hours of total Battery Life
- Quick Charging support, giving 4 hours of listening time with 10 minutes of charging
- Bluetooth 5.2
Comfort and Experience
I covered most of the fit and experience in the Look and Feel part and that’s all there is to talk about the earbuds. When there isn’t a good fit, the comfort is going to be pretty much a hit and miss really. For me, I couldn’t feel any sort of pain using over the time but the fact that I had to put up with the annoyance of adjusting constantly kind of irked me from using it. But I did anyway.
The HONOR Earbuds 2 Lite uses an app for some controls and customizations but the app does pretty much as what you do on your earbuds natively – switching between noise controls. The only customizations you can do are changing the gestures. Not sure consumers would get updates to patch things up but from the looks of it, chances of that happening does look slim.
Moving on to the important aspect, the sound and experience – Now we tried the HONOR Earbuds 2 Lite with Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 and Sony Walkman NW-A55 over Bluetooth. As these earbuds only support SBC and AAC – we are just going to test based on those.
Starting off with a song I am genuinely familiar with, Rendezvous by Col3trane – I am genuinely surprised that the bass isn’t as intense as we thought it would be which is a good factor as overpowering bass tends to ruin music and loses a lot of details. The bass is subtle and nice. There is a feel of that narrow sound staging where the earbuds don’t really bring out the good parts of the music well, it lacks that immersive-ness in the mids. It doesn’t have those tiring traits of a poor earbuds which is good.
Following that, we listened to a little more mainstream on how it handles those “TikTok” songs – which we started off with a provocative song D*** by StarBoi3, immediately we can tell that the highs are very sharp and not in a good way. The earbuds lack the potential to create the echo reverb at certain part of the songs. It was the same when we listened to Ain’t Sh*t by Dojacat. The ideal level to enjoy songs on these earbuds would be somewhere around 60%. Anything more than that, is going to be unpleasant.
Finally, I went to something a little more classic – Wicked Game by Chris Isaak. Vocals were alright, but the mids lacked details and there was definitely some auditory masking happening. Regardless of that, I did enjoy the song really.
What about the ANC?
Yes, one of the key features of this Earbud are the ANC – and immediately you turn them on, you can hear the odd “hiss” and the unevenness of the ANC as well since the earbuds were slowly slipping off my ears. I have tried better Noise Cancelling earbuds but are these bad? Not necessarily but at this price range, I would take a better seal, fit and good noise isolation instead. You can hear some sounds even when the ANC is turned on, so expect it to cancel those fine sounds but you will be able to hear louder sounds. The Transparent mode on the other hand, works well – which I have zero issues with.
It’s safe to say that the Honor Earbuds 2 Lite isn’t here to tear the market down, but it does bring some neat features to one’s ears – like budget noise cancelling, IPX4 Certification, a stable connection over Bluetooth 5.2 for a price of RM 300 (sometimes it goes for as low as RM 200) – around that price we have very few alternatives like it’s ex-Parent company’s Freebuds 4i which is essentially the same and Edifier’s TWS NB.
So, would I recommend it? Well, at RM 300 – for what it is, it’s slightly unpolished. Personally, I do with the app worked better with other device but unfortunately, it only works better with HONOR smartphones. So, I’d say – pick it up when there’s a sale like for this 10.10, you could get it for RM 269 which is good. But regardless of the price, I really do hope Honor turns the table around by issuing update to make the experience better over the time, after all, it does come with its own app.
P.S. You might want to wait for our review on the Jabra Elite 2 – stay tuned for that.
Special thanks to HONOR Malaysia for providing this Earbuds 2 Elite for making this review happen.