An impressive true wireless earbud for money with some connectivity issues
The Budget True Wireless segment is a fast-growing market in the audio industry where numerous companies like Noise, Realmy, Boat, and Redmi offer a plethora of options. Boult Audio’s new truly wireless offer, Boult Audio Airbass Livebuds is priced at a competitive price of Rs 2,999 and seeks to cement itself in this segment as one of the lucrative options. With aptX support, IPX5 ratings and other features, Airbass Livebuds is actually an option that should not be overlooked by price-conscious consumers. However, how do these earphones work in the real world and what is their sound quality? Let’s find out in our review.
Construction and design
A small and compact design game, the Bolt Audio Airbus Livebuds are quite enjoyable to watch. The pill-shaped charging case is the smallest and lightest we have reviewed so far. Despite the budget price point, the components of the case feel quite pleasing to the touch. Above their case is a rubberized texture with a textured line design. The Bolt audio logo also sits on the top of the case.
The back of the charging case has a micro-USB port and a dimple at the bottom that allows the case to sit firmly against the surface. The magnets inside the case are strong, however, the plastic hinge mechanism for opening and closing the case seems a bit weak.
There are also four drop-shaped LEDs that indicate the battery level of the charging case. Their designs are quite unique and aesthetically pleasing. The indents of the earbuds on the upper lid of the case are covered with a thin foam material and the rest of the inner parts are also made of plastic.
The earbuds have a rectangular shape and are quite smooth and streamlined in appearance. The eartips are angled enough to make the earphones very comfortable to wear, even during extended use. Bolt Audio offers three extra pairs of silicone eartips that ensure most users can get the best fit possible.
At the top of each earbud is a physical button used to control music and calls. So, you can use these multi-function buttons to pause / play music, find tracks, increase and decrease volume, answer / reject calls, and even call your phone’s voice assistant. The controls are simple and intuitive, however, to push the buttons a bit which digs the buds inside your ear.
The fit is fairly snug, however, the lack of ear hooks or wings and clearly angled tips can cause them to slip while working or running. However, they also include light to moderate activities such as walking around the house and even light jogging. These are IPX5 rated, so they are resistant to sweat and light splash.
At Rs 2,999, you wouldn’t expect these earphones to host too many features. And, they don’t. However, at this cost they come equipped with some essential features and even some amazing features. First, they are powered by Bluetooth v5.0 and have a Bluetooth transmission range of 10m or 33 feet. This is impressive for budget TWS solutions because Bluetooth 4.2 is commonly found in budget TWS products.
Another impressive feature is the huge battery life. Due to the small form of both the charging case and the earbud, you wouldn’t expect these earphones to play an impressive battery life. But, they do. According to the company, the battery life of the earphones is 6 hours alone, and a total of 24 hours, including the charging case, which is quite impressive. In our experiments, the earphones play music for about 5 and a half hours on a single charge, and the case provides three additional charges altogether. The only downside to the battery and charging front is the inclusion of a micro-USB charging cable instead of a Type-C cable.
Boult Audio Airbass Livebuds also comes with Qualcomm aptX HD audio support, which is extremely advantageous on a real wireless earphone on a budget. In addition, they are rated IPX5 (as mentioned above), come with physical controls for music playback and calling, and come with voice assistant support.
Featuring a warm sound profile, the Bolt Audio Airbus Livebuds features quite decent sound quality for a price point. Qualcomm aptX support certainly helps, giving the earphones a fuller and more balanced sound. The midsoles are detailed enough, the voices are crisp and well pronounced, and the highs are not too short. However, the low and alloy response, although strong and stinging, can sometimes sound quite muddy.
In Pool Me Under By Dream Theater, bass kicks are loud and noisy and detract from the overall quality of the track, although the vocals and mid-frequency instruments are very well made. Voice-centric tracks such as Hello by Adele are the best reproduced tracks in these earphones with sharp and precise vocal reproduction.
The bus response to Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk is very energetic but due to their muddy nature can cloud the Mid. There is also distortion in the trench if the volume levels are higher. Still, some bashed bolts can enjoy the boom thump produced by Audio Airbus Livebuds.
The soundstage of these earphones is surprisingly wide and the imaging is also quite good. The instruments on the crowded tracks are quite easy to distinguish, and the tracks, like the Hotel California, sound divine with wide staging. Passive isolation is also great for snag fit.
The quality of the microphone, however, is disappointing due to the mixed and distorted sound of the collar on many occasions. Also, despite these earphones being equipped with Bluetooth v5.0, we’ve encountered a bunch of connectivity snags. The two major connection issues we’ve encountered are – earphones are sometimes completely disconnected from the source and reconnected when we do this manually in the phone’s Bluetooth settings, and earbuds are sometimes attached to the phone even when they are in the case. . , Although the lid was closed.
The last row
This small, innocuous pair of true wireless earphones has much to love about their compact charging case and buds, aptX and voice assistant support, warm, fresh sound profile and an IPX5 rating. However, they do bring a fair share of problems, such as occasional spotted connections, muddy lows, and depressing microphone performance. Still, for a pair of earphones priced at Rs 2,999, these issues are acceptable and we have quite enjoyed our time with Bolt’s TWS earphones.