Review




@andrew_andrew__





| 4 min read



Rating:
4/10
?

  • 1 – Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 – Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 – Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 – Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 – Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 – Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 – Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 – Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: $54

The Wyze Buds and charging case on a piece of stone.
Andrew Heinzman

Affordable wireless earbuds have come a long way, to the point where a $25 pair of Skullcandy’s can deliver decent audio quality. That’s great news for customers like you and me, but it also means that the bar’s higher than it used to be. And unfortunately, the $53 Wyze Buds fail to reach that bar because of muddy sound quality.

Here’s What We Like

  • Reliable controls
  • IPX5 water resistance
  • Android Fast Pair support

And What We Don’t

  • Terribly muddy sound quality
  • Weak Transparency mode
  • Wyze app requires email address

To be clear, these are the standard Wyze Buds. We plan to cover the more expensive Wyze Buds Pro in a future review.

Specs

  • Drivers: 10.5mm
  • Earbud Weight: 4.81 grams each
  • Case Weight: 34.01 grams (38.82 grams with earbuds)
  • Active Noise Cancelation: No
  • Transparency Mode: Yes
  • Bluetooth: 5.0
  • Codecs: AAC, SBC
  • Battery Life: 7 hours on earbuds, 20 hours with case; 27 total
  • Charging Cable: USB-C
  • Charging Time: 2 hours
  • Wireless Charging: No
  • Control Type: Touch controls (customizable)
  • Additional Tips: Small, Medium, Large, XL
  • Frequency Response: 20 – 20,000Hz
  • IP Rating: IPX5

Let’s Cut to the Chase—They Sound Bad

The Wyze Buds in their charging case with the lip opened.
Andrew Heinzman

The Wyze Buds are outrageously muddy. They have a ton of bass, a decent stereo soundstage, and pumping dynamics, but they sound bad. Vocals and lead instruments feel distant, like they’ve been plunged into a fish tank. And no, the EQ settings don’t help.

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Unsurprisingly, Wyze Buds’ Transparency mode is also pretty bad. This mode takes external noise and amplifies it so you can stay aware of your surroundings. But activating Transparency mode isn’t great at its job and slightly lowers sound quality when enabled. (I’d still use this feature if Wyze Buds were the only earbuds I owned. It’s just not great.)

Maybe I sound nit-picky, but I’ve reviewed plenty of earbuds in this price range, and none have sounded this muddy. Just look at the Creative Outlier Air V3 earbuds—they cost the same amount of money as the Wyze Buds, but they sound good, have an insane battery life, and come with features like ANC.

I don’t understand how Wyze screwed this up. The company sells OEM products, meaning that the Wyze Buds were made by some other manufacturer and customized by Wyze with new software (plus logos and all that). Couldn’t Wyze just pick a different OEM? You know, one that makes a better-sounding pair of earbuds?

Refreshingly Reliable Controls

The Wyze Buds on a piece of stone.
Andrew Heinzman

Crappy controls are one of my biggest complaints when reviewing wireless earbuds. But in this regard, the Wyze Buds are actually quite refreshing. Controls are fairly reliable and responsive, and thank goodness, there’s ear detection to pause music automatically!

By default, the Wyze Buds let you pause audio with a double tap, open your voice assistant with a triple tap, and trigger Transparency mode with a long tap. I assume that this control scheme is perfect for most people, but you can customize it within the Wyze app.

This customization gets surprisingly deep. For example, you can choose how the left and right earbuds respond to double or triple taps. My only complaint is that the tap and hold settings can’t be programmed at all—I’d like to use one bud for the voice assistant and the other for Transparency mode.

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I should also mention that the ear detection can be a bit flakey. Still, I’m happy to see it in a cheap pair of earbuds. And hey, it works well enough for me.

Decent Build Quality, With Some Footnotes

Wyze Buds on a table with the four extra pairs of eartips.
Andrew Heinzman

There’s a lot of stuff I like about the Wyze Buds’ design. They’re lightweight, the case is super compact and has a spring-loaded lid, there’s a handy sync button to switch between devices quickly, and the earbuds are relatively comfortable. The USB-C port feels secure, a small LED alerts you to the earbuds’ battery life, and there aren’t any sharp plastic edges on the buds or charging case.

But the earbuds look and feel a bit cheap. Not to the point of absurdity, but enough to disappoint me. It’s kind of a funny situation because the Wyze Buds’ charging case is pretty well-made and feels like it could probably survive a big drop.

Now, the Wyze Buds have IPX5 sweat resistance (better than the Wyze Buds Pro, funny enough), and I didn’t have any problems taking them to the gym. The only thing I’m really worried about, in terms of the build quality, is drop resistance. (Thankfully, the earbuds are pretty secure. They never fell out of my ears during testing, even while jumping on a trampoline.)

I should also mention the battery life. With a 7-hour bud life and an extra 20 hours from the charging case, Wyze Buds last slightly longer than Apple’s AirPods. But the 27-hour-total battery life is pretty run-of-the-mill for wireless earbuds, so Wyze doesn’t win any points here.

I Don’t Mind the App, But You Might

1 of 7



I actually own a lot more Wyze products, they’re just on my girlfriend’s account.

Ambient Sound control in the Wyze app.

Andrew Heinzman

Wyze Buds EQ settings in the Wyze app.

Andrew Heinzman

All Wyze Buds settings in the Wyze app.

Andrew Heinzman

All Wyze Buds settings in the Wyze app.

Andrew Heinzman

Wyze Buds control settings in the Wyze app.

Andrew Heinzman

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A prompt asking which voice assistant to use in the Wyze app.

Andrew Heinzman

You don’t have to use an app with the Wyze Buds. That is, unless you want to alter the earbuds’ controls or EQ settings. In that case, you need to install the Wyze smart home app (iOS/Android) and create a Wyze account.

This process isn’t a big deal if you already own Wyze smart home products. In fact, it may be pretty convenient. But for other customers, it can be a bit of an annoyance. The Wyze app requires an email address for login, and the Wyze Bud settings feel a bit dull because of the app’s simple UI. (At least they’re responsive, so there’s that.)

From a software standpoint, there’s just one thing that I really like about Wyze buds—they support Android Fast Pair. So, not only are they easy to pair with an Android phone (a box shows up on your screen when you first pair the buds, no need to dig through menus), but Android has a nice notification shade to show you the earbuds’ battery life. This indicator is awesome, and it makes me wish that all earbuds supported Fast Pair.

The Gist: Buy Something With Better Sound Quality

The Wyze Buds and charging case on a piece of stone.
Andrew Heinzman

While I’m enamored by the Wyze Buds’ controls, Fast Pair support, and decent build quality, the muddy sound makes them impossible to recommend. You really don’t need to settle for bad sound quality at this price. There are plenty of similarly-priced options—including the aforementioned Creative Outlier Air V3s—that blow Wyze Buds out of the water.

Now, if you see a pair of Wyze Buds for $25, they might be worth the trouble. But I doubt they’ll get that cheap. Hopefully, the Wyze Buds Pro sound better—we’ll cover them in an upcoming review.

Here’s What We Like

  • Reliable controls
  • IPX5 water resistance
  • Android Fast Pair support

And What We Don’t

  • Terribly muddy sound quality
  • Weak Transparency mode
  • Wyze app requires email address