We had both pairs of buds in the office, so why not compare them and see which one we think, is the better pair.
Let’s start with the spec and compare the two.
They both run off Bluetooth 5.0, Codecs differ slightly though. Both pairs include AAC and SBC, but the Neobuds also include LHDC. Impedance is the same, frequency response is the same, apart from the Neobuds with their LHDC. They include active noise cancellation, the Neobuds have this high res quality with the LHDC @ 40KHz. They both have low latency of 80ms, which is good for mobile gaming. Microphone wise, I believe the NB2 to have two mics, while the Neobud has 6. They both can be connected to the Edifier app for further customisation. Battery life, the NB2 win here, with up to 25hrs total playback with ANC on, while the Neobuds is just 20hours. Why? Well, the NB2 buds have a 60mAh battery, while the Neobuds only have 40mAh. The battery capacity for the carry case is 500mAh on both. They both charge via USB-C, with the Neobuds having the faster charge of the case by an hour. They’re both IP54 rated.
That was quite a lot to digest but overall, the Neobuds do have the better spec, but with that comes the reduced battery life but 20hours isn’t that bad, that should keep most people happy.
Appearance-wise, they look very similar indeed. Start with the case, they appear to be identical in shape and size, although the Neobuds are heavier. The same logo, the same USB C port at the rear, there just finished slightly differently, Neobuds are smooth with some brushed chrome, the NB2 have this faux leather effect and is overall a much more subtle look. Open the cases up, again, fairly similar however the Neobuds have this knight rider light effect which is really quite cool, plus the lid of the NeoBuds is thicker and the buds actually have a cut out for them to sit in, where the NB2 don’t.
Looking at the buds themselves, the Neobuds win on aesthetics in my mind. The bud itself, the part that sits inside your ear, identical shape, size and rubber tip. However, the stem coming out of the bud look similar but the Neobuds have rounded edges, a gunmetal finish over a matte finish and they are slimmer and shorter. The Neobuds look a little more refined, more discrete when in your ear and more premium.
Contents wise, both pairs of buds come with a little fabric carry case, USB cable, alternate rubber tips and some paperwork.
As for set-up, both just like any other Bluetooth device, just pair it. If you want to take advantage of the Hi-Res on the Neobuds, you’re audio service and a device playing it needs to be able to send it to the buds. Your standard smartphone and Spotify, won’t offer Hi-Res, so that needs to be considered. As for controls, both touch-sensitive and the commands are near on identical and both are very easy to use once you get used to it.
General audio experience is very very similar between the two. I say general as if you have a device that can play hi-res and a service like Tidal, the Neobuds do sound better, the clarity, the quality, it is better and it’s a noticeable improvement. However, most people are going to buy the Neobuds, not knowing they need something more than their iPhone to play hi-res audio. Both pairs of buds offer a very good audio experience, both well balanced, plenty of bass but it’s not overpowering, I’ve enjoyed using both of these. Swapping between the two though, I think the Neobuds have the edge, minimal but there is just something that sounds a little bit better.
Noise cancellation, the NB2 has the option of ANC on, off or ambient, while the Neobuds its just ANC on or ambient. Having them side by side, same volume, same track, same environment, the Neobuds do offer better sound isolation from external sources. The Neobuds win the noise cancellation test.
Mic performance for taking calls, they’re both ok, when I spoke to people on the phone with them, I had no complaints from anyone.
As for price, retail price, excluding any offers or discounts, as I know Edifier have one on right now for the NB2. The NB2 Pro retails at $79, while the Indiegogo special for the NeoBuds was $99, or even cheaper if you got an early bird. Outside of Indiegogo, no word yet on the retail price via online stores but I reckon it will be around $99, with a $20 difference between the two.
So there we have it, I think I’ve run through everything needed but If i haven’t and you have any questions, drop them in the comments below. For me, I do think the NeoBuds pro does have the edge over the NB2 pro, across the board, smaller, better audio, better ANC and depending on the retail price when the Neobuds hit the stores if its 20,30, 40 dollars more, I’d recommend you pay the extra and get them but if Edifier get a bit silly with the pricing, the value for money drops and I would be hard to say no to the value the NB2 pro offer.