Hot on the heels of its latest gaming phone, the F4 GT, POCO is back with its first-ever pair of true wireless earbuds. These buds offer flagship ANC, audio tuned for gaming, dual device connectivity and more, at an affordable price. They’ll be launching over the next month, so let’s take a closer look and see if these are the gaming buds you’ve been waiting on.
- Current Price: £69.99
- Key Features
- Genshin Impact: Klee backpack carrying case
- Genshin Impact: Klee voice prompts
- 6 hour playback time, 28 hour total battery life
- 35dB Smart ANC
- Transparency Mode
- Dual Device Connectivity
- Wireless connection: Bluetooth 5.2
- Communication range: 10m (open space free of obstacles)
- Driver: 9mm composite dynamic driver
- Driver impedance: 32Ω
- Battery Life and Charging:
- Call duration: Approx. 3 hours (noise cancellation off, 50% volume, AAC encoded)
- Music playback time: Approx. 6 hours (noise cancellation off, 50% volume, AAC encoded)
- Total playback time: Approx. 28 hours (noise cancellation off, 50% volume, AAC encoded)
- Earbuds charge time Approx. 1 hour
- Charging case charge time: Approx. 2.5 hours (wired charging)
- Fast charge: 10 minutes = 3 hours of playback
- Single earbud battery rated capacity / power: 35mAh/0.13Wh
- Charging case battery rated capacity / power: 470mAh/1.78Wh
- Charging port: Type-C
- Dimensions and Weight
- Single earbud net weight: Approx. 4.9g
- Earbud dimensions: 25.4 × 20.3 × 21.3mm
- Total weight including charging case: Approx. 55g
- Charging case dimensions: 65 × 48 × 26mm
The first thing to know about the POCO Buds Pro is that they are all in on Genshin Impact. If you’re a fan of the game, you’re not going to find a better set of buds to tickle your fan fancy. Everything from the carrying case, the style of the buds themselves, right down to the voice prompts are themed after the game. It marries this theming with POCO’s larger mission of delivering performance at more affordable prices, so even if you’re not “all in” on the game, they still might be worth considering if you’re on a budget.
I was surprised to find that the buds ship in what looks like a magical tome. It’s genuinely pretty neat and pretty well made, too, so you might want to hold onto this or put it on display. That’s only the first bit of Genshin Impact theming, however, as once you open that book, you find not buds, but a tiny version of the character Klee’s backpack to use as a carrying case for the buds’ actual charging case. The attention to detail here is really impressive. It’s not some gimmicky little tchotchke that will fall apart if you actually try to use it: it’s well-made with quality stitching and metal hardware. The straps are made to weave around the straps of your actual backpack, but if you don’t carry one, there’s also a gold keychain so you can attach it to other bags.
The buds and charging case are both red with gold accents. Though it’s not my color, I genuinely think they look pretty good! They stand apart from the masses of other true wireless earbuds flooding the market but aren’t gaudy or garish. The faceplates are particularly nice with their reflective, gem-like surfaces. Also included in the box are a selection of small, medium, and large silicone tips in matching red, as well as a USB cable.
Unboxing the buds for the first time, my phone instantly found the case available for pairing. There were no hiccups or difficulties making the first connection. Once it was connected the first time, it stayed connected reliably. This is also true for its dual device connectivity. The buds use Bluetooth 5.2, which is more reliable and power-efficient than older versions, and the performance here lived up to my high expectations.
And you'll know they're paired because Klee will tell you they are. Connecting and disconnecting feature voice lines from this key character. Connect and you'll hear, "ta-da! Klee is here." Disconnect, and she'll ask "what'd you do that for?" It's a nice bit of fan service, but it does wear a little thin over time. Thankfully, the buds connect and disconnect automatically when taken from or returned to their case, so you won't actually hear it all that often.
Controlling the buds is done through capacitive touch. There are no physical buttons, but wrapping your head around navigation isn’t difficult. Double-tapping either bud controls play, pause, and answering and ending calls. Triple-tapping navigates tracks forward or backward. Holding your finger to either bud swaps between ANC On, ANC Off, and the transparency mode.
These alternative modes are impressive on their own and especially so considering the more affordable pricing of the set. POCO quotes up to 35dB of noise reduction and I believe it. The buds aren’t limited just to low droning sounds with their noise cancellation effect, and manage to block some mid-frequency noise as well, making them a better fit for spaces where there’s a lot of typing or distant conversations that might distract. They’re not industry-leading, mind you, but performed above where sub-$100 typically would and feel like a better value because of it.
The POCO Buds Pro also earns points in comfort. They’re medium-to-small in size are fit exceptionally comfortably. I was able to wear them for multiple hours at a time without developing any ear fatigue or soreness. Once you’ve found the appropriate tip, they’re also quite secure, even while exercising. What the buds lack, however, is any kind of IP rating, so I would think twice about sweating too heavily with these in your ears.
But how do they sound? As the first true wireless product from POCO, it could have gone either way but I’m happy to say that POCO has done a great job with these earbuds. They’re tuned to bring out detail and allow you to hear exactly where every sound source is coming from, and the performance blew past any expectation I had. These earbuds sound great.
In terms of tuning, POCO has gone for a balanced sound that doesn’t overplay the bass. Instead, there’s just enough to bring out the body in your music and games without overwhelming the mids or highs. Mids, where vocals live in music and call-outs and other important audio cues exist in games, are relaxed but clear. Nothing is sharp in that section, but you can discern lots of detail, so you don’t need to worry about missing important details if you use them for gaming. The highs are slightly elevated to bring out more perceived detail.
Wait a minute… POCO coming in with an audio enthusiast tuning on its first pair of earbuds, branded for gaming? You read that right, and the product is better for it. For sound quality, these buds are winners in the true wireless segment at this price.
Gaming performance on these earbuds is decent thanks to that tuning. I used them for a selection of mobile shooters and found that the tuning allowed me to hear enough detail to remain competitive. Latency was average, which does fall behind wired earbuds, but is still playable. Soundstage is also average and feels fairly tight within the headspace. I would recommend enabling Dolby Atmos with these earbuds.
The biggest downside is that to really make the most of these earbuds, you’ll need a POCO phone. Like the Xiaomi Buds 3t Pro, there is no supporting app to customize the features of these earbuds. So, if you’d rather have volume tied to triple taps instead of track navigation, well, you’re out of luck. That’s too bad, and definitely something I hope POCO addresses with a future software release.
The POCO Bud Pro Genshin Impact Edition surprised me. The sound quality is excellent, whether you listening to music or playing mobile games on your commute. The ANC is also impressive, particularly if you pair it with a game or song to truly block out the outside world. At the time of this writing, the buds are still in the pre-order stage but should be released between May and June. Early pricing puts them at £69.99, which is a very good value and an easy recommendation.
The product described in this review was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.