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Saturday, September 19, 2020

Amazfit PowerBuds review: Not just good music

Amazfit PowerBuds review: What’s unique you might ask? Well, these offer noise cancellation and a heart rate monitor at a price point of Rs 6,999. That is unique.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Rs. 6,999
Written by Nandagopal Rajan | New Delhi | Updated: August 6, 2020 3:16:03 pm
earbuds, amazfit earbuds Amazfit PowerBuds is priced at Rs 6,999 (Express photo: Nandagopal Rajan)

Just when I was getting bored of this season of truly wireless earphones comes another device that adds a few features that are unique and gives real value to the user. I am talking about the Amazfit PowerBuds from Huami.

What’s unique you might ask? Well, these offer noise cancellation and a heart rate monitor at a price point of Rs 6,999. That is unique.

The Amazfit PowerBuds look stylish, with a compact charging case that is shaped like a pebble and earphones that are sporty and still very pebble-like its design. There are loops to hold the buds in place in case you want to really go for a sprint, but the fit is good even without this extra support. And they are light enough for you to stop remembering you are wearing a pair after a few minutes. The seamless design means it is water and dust proof and ideal for those who like to list to music while working out. The sides of the earbuds are touch sensitive and you can tap to activate the noise cancelling, navigate or take a call. However, it will take a while to figure out the many combinations of single, double and triple taps.

The sides of the earbuds are touch sensitive and you can tap to activate the noise cancelling, navigate or take a call. (Express photo: Nandagopal Rajan)

The Amazfit PowerBuds offer noise cancelling, but it is not that sort that can negate all the noises around you. It is good enough to drown out the sound of the wind from a fan, but you will still be able to hear the fan and the TV playing in the background. So it is less noisy, but not no noise like you would get in some of the top-end models. But then you are paying a fraction of the price too. A double tap moves you from noise cancelling to transparency where you become more aware of your surroundings.

One disappointment was the heart rate sensor. It is there, but not quite visible as it apparently shows up only when you are doing a workout. And given the lockdown, I was not really in a position to work up a workout over the past few weeks. My daily 10,000 steps was not active enough for the heart data to show up.

My daily 10,000 steps was not active enough for the heart data to show up.

The audio quality of the Amazfit PowerBuds left me surprised. They were way better than what I expected in this price range. It has the right amount of bass and offers a rounded sound profile, rare in the more affordable wireless audio devices. In fact, listening to My Oasis by Sam Smith, the music was smoothing and the bass motivating at the same time. The earphones can up the tempo on its own as you work out, if you set up this model. With The 1 by Taylor Swift I could enjoy her vocal clealry, though the bass can be a bit too mellow at times. There is an equaliser in the Amazfit app to set this right. In fact, the app offers all the controls you miss even in some of the top-end devices.

At a price point of Rs 6,999 and given the additions you get along with the music, the Amazfit PowerBuds is for me a great value of money device, which is not just about the music. For one, you don’t have to spend extra on a health band to track your steps, though you will have to wear the earbuds all the time.

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