Peacock Audio is a newer brand, but they’ve gained attention in the ChiFi world due to their beautiful designs and well-received audio quality. The company has teamed up with Linsoul to launch its latest product and first true wireless earphone in the U.S., the Flight, to Kickstarter. Starting at $99, these earbuds are hand-crafted, hand-tested, and hand-painted and promise high-quality audio with the latest Bluetooth codec and support for aptX HD. We were sent an early sample and are here to tell you whether this is a project you should consider backing.
- Current Price: (Kickstarter)
- Limited 200 units Linsoul Loyal Fans For $99;
- Limited 500 units Super Early Bird Price For $109
- Limited 500 units Early Bird Bird Price For $119
- Kickstarter Price $129
- Retail Price: $159
Peacock Flight - Overview and Features
The Peacock Flight is a fashion statement. Oh, it sounds good too, but that much is clear from the minute you open the box and realize the earbuds have been spritzed with perfume before shipping. The hand-painted shells are beautiful and designed to get attention. This is a formula that has worked well for Peacock Audio so far. Peacock Audio’s earphones get you in the door with their look and (try to, anyways) keep you with their sound and features.
The Flight is a new venture for the company. It’s their first true wireless set. It’s a daring move but not an unexpected one. It’s daring because the ChiFi world (that’s HiFi gear originating from China) is largely still tethered to the wire. The biggest releases of, well, ever have all been wired. The audience wants it; audiophiles and music enthusiasts, still skeptical of cutting the cord and the impact Bluetooth codecs have on audio quality.
At the same time, this is an expected move and one I suspect we’ll see far more brands making headway into. Mainstream listeners have left the cable behind, more than willing to sacrifice a modicum of audio quality for the convenience of having no wires at all.
Peacock isn’t content to release a Bluetooth earphone and call it a day, however. In fact, with this campaign, the company is directly addressing the biggest concerns users have. For those worried about audio quality, fear not, because these headphones support aptX HD, the go-to high-resolution Bluetooth codec available on smartphones today. For those worried about battery life, they offer up to 4-6 hours of straight listening before needing to be recharged (my own tests put it at about 5 hours with a call here and there and 80% volume). With the case, that’s extended up to 24 hours (20 in my use case). The case also supports wireless charging, so you can throw it on a charger and go without worrying about managing another cord.
The earbuds make use of the latest Bluetooth 5.2 protocol. This lends them improved connection stability and, true to that promise, I didn’t experience any random disconnects. Just as importantly, it tightens up A/V lag, so watching videos with these earbuds works well. That said, there is no low latency mode, so if you’re planning on using them for gaming, I would stick to single-player titles instead of competitive shooters.
The look. As always, it’s the look that gets you in the door with Peacock, and the Flight are downright stunning. It’s available in five different colorways, each painted by hand so no two will be exactly alike. Each is glittery and pearlescent, blending different colors. We have Black Gold, White Gold, Peacock, Pearl Pink, and Purple Blue. I was sent the Pearl Pink and am considering buying a second pair in Purple Blue, which matches my tastes the best. The only one of these buds that’s not likely to get noticed is the White Gold which is much more subtle in aesthetic.
Controlling the buds is accomplished through touch gestures. My sample didn’t include a manual but I was able to pick it up within a few minutes of taps and holds. Single tapping either bud will pause your music. Double tapping on the right bud will progress tracks, while doing the same on the left will shift back a track. Triple tapping the right bud summons the digital assistant, and holding either bud will turn the volume up (right) or down (left).
These controls are mostly reliable, but I did find them to be a touch sensitive. I accidentally paused my track numerous times when adjusting the buds in my ear. I’m also not a fan of the touch-and-hold volume controls. They’re imprecise and seemed to go one step farther than I wanted when removing my finger. Overall, though, it’s fairly standard fare.
Finally, if you’re planning on using these buds to work out, they also come IPX4 rated for dust and splash resistance. Don’t wear them in the rain, but hitting the gym with them in your ears won’t result in their early demise.
Peacock Flight - Comfort and Fit
The Peacock Flights are tiny. They’re easily some of the smallest true wireless buds I own and sit flush with my outer ear (I have medium-sized ears). This will make them a good fit for smaller to medium users, whereas larger listeners will likely find that they’re even more recessed.
The buds come with silicone ear tips that are on the smaller side. Available sizes are small, medium, and large. The nozzles, plastic, hold the tips well and are long enough to fit securely in the ear canal. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find a good fit at first, but that I shouldn’t have been. They not only fit securely with the medium and large tips, but the small size made the passive noise cancelling even more effective. These aren’t ANC earbuds, but the isolation is still fantastic.
I was able to wear these buds throughout a whole day without any discomfort. The shells are small, smooth, and contoured well. They’re a solid choice, even if you plan to make use of the full 5-6 minutes of listening time.
Peacock Flight - Listening Impressions
If there’s one area that the Flights misstep in their crowdfunding campaign, it’s calling these earbuds “professional” monitors. In today’s earbud world, the term “IEM” gets thrown around a lot. It stands for In-Ear Monitor, and for a long time, that meant they were designed for use by stage musicians. Their frequency response/sound signature was flat and accurate. Today, IEM mainly refers to earphones in general.
So, when Peacock calls these “professional monitoring” headphones, it immediately made me think of the former definition of monitors. Flat. Neutral. That is not an accurate description of the Flight. They’re not bad, but professional monitors they are not.
Instead, these earphones really emphasize the bass. They’re full-bodied, deep, and can be rumbly (in a good way). For mainstream music, that’s a good thing. Modern pop music relishes in powerful bass and these are a great fit for that. Songs like Separate by PVRIS come to life with a level of power and texture in the low-end that’s a lot of fun to listen to. On the metal side, Atreyu’s Bleeding Mascara, has the pound and drive you would expect from a double kick drum, but isn’t quite fast enough to keep those kicks crisp and pointed.
Mids are where the Flights shine. Even with the tuned-up bass, instruments and vocalists rise above. Electric guitars are crisp and full of detail. Stringed instruments sing. Vocalists sit a little further back, which is unusual for a mainstream headphone, but really allows the musicality of the earphones to shine.
Highs are relaxed, never tending into sibilance. There does seem to be a bump to bring out cymbals and high-hat hits. Combined with the bass bump, this really makes the Flights an earphone for percussion fans.
The Flights aren’t the most detailed headphones. The resolution is a bit above average for this price point in the true wireless world, revealing enough detail to get a solid impression of the texture of different instruments. If you’re coming to these from a great set of wired headphones, you’re probably going to notice a subtle loss of micro-detail. At the same time, the imaging and layering is good enough that you’ll naturally hear more than most other mainstream sets at this price, so it’s still a cut above much of the TWS competition in this price category.
When it comes to soundstage and imaging, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. They have the usual in-head sound. Enabling Dolby Atmos on my phone definitely helped without harming the sound quality, so I encourage everyone to turn it on for a better sense of atmosphere. Imaging, however, is very good. Instruments are well-positioned and the layering of sounds is easy to decipher, making it fun to hear the layers that make up your favorite songs in a new way.
At $99, these are a great buy for a true wireless earphone. They don’t break the bank, have a sound signature that’s well-matched to mainstream pop music, good battery life, and have a unique look to match your personality. As they approach retail pricing, competition becomes much tighter, decreasing their value a bit. My advice: get in early and nab this unique set of headphones. Find out more at the Kickstarter campaign.The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.