I tried looking away, I tried to ignore it, I tried not to bring it up but the similarities are just too many to let go of. I am talking about the Infinix Quiet 2 earphones and their striking resemblance to none other than the Bose QC20. But before your expectations go into overdrive, let me burst the bubble right away. The similarities are only cosmetic at best. Their performances just cannot be compared and neither can their prices.
In case you weren’t aware about the QC20 (QuietComfort), they happen to be a highly popular pair of earphones from Bose with one of the best active noise cancellation (ANC) modules. The Infinix Quiet 2 draws a lot of inspiration from them, starting with the name and the design, and of course they bundle a noise cancellation module too that looks like… yes, you guessed right. But enough of the similarities between the two and let’s look at what the Infinix in-earphones have to offer.
The Infinix Quiet 2 come bundled in a neat looking box that shelters the earphones with the attached noise cancellation module, a nice little pouch to carry them around, different sized eartips to suit your needs and a quick-start guide. The in-earphones have a shark-fin like design for added grip. They fit perfectly in and around the ears and there wasn’t the slightest of discomfort even after using them continuously for a couple of hours. The grip is good enough for one to use them during a jog; they won’t keep popping out. However, there is no mention of these being water or sweat resistant, so do exercise caution.
The earphone cables are attached to a volume control module that also houses a microphone. The volume control module further plugs into the aforementioned noise cancellation module that has an On/Off switch, a green LED indicator and a microUSB port for charging. The module needs to be charged for the active noise cancellation to work. But the headphones function perfectly fine even if the module isn’t charged or switched on. It takes about a couple of hours to charge it fully using a standard microUSB charger and it does its job for about 7 hours. The cables aren’t flimsy but do not inspire as much confidence as flat or braided cables.
Coming to the sound quality, the Infinix Quite 2 manage to do a decent job across the three major frequency ranges. The dynamic range isn’t spectacular, nor is the soundstage too broad, but both are just about acceptable for earphones priced under Rs 2000. If I dive a little deeper into the sound output, the midrange is the most prominent here and the highs are pretty decent too as long as you don’t crank up the volume beyond 75-80%. It tends to get overbearing then as the other frequencies cannot catch up, thus messing up the overall sound balance.
The bass is fairly tight but not too prominent. While the casual users won’t complain about it, bass-heads certainly won’t be too pleased. Personally speaking, though I am not a basshead, I would have preferred a bit more thump in the lower frequency reproduction. To put all of the above in simpler terms, if you are more into Bollywood music, classical or a vocal-heavy genre, the Infinix Quiet 2 will serve you well. But if you listen to heavy metal or some bass-heavy music, these are not for you.
All of this was without turning on active noise cancellation. The ANC module is supposed to cut out the ambient noise and let you focus on the music. What it does here is it barely manages to isolate the surrounding noise and seems to bump up the volume instead. In places where the background noise is generally not too high, like my office, it could isolate a bit of murmur around when switched on, say about 20%. But in noisy places like a train, it proved to be almost ineffective, at most making the music sound louder. But I could distinctly hear the crowd around me. So a lot more work needs to go into the ANC mechanism here if Inifinix are serious about it rather than just pushing it as a marketing gimmick. Given the price of these earphones, I am willing to be a bit lenient and not cut too many points for it. But if the company insists on putting it there, they might as well get it to work as expected, else take it off completely and save some cost.
Speaking of price, the Infinix Quiet 2 can be purchased online for Rs 1,499 with a one year warranty. It is a decent pair of earphones for the price even if you don’t factor in the theoretical presence of active noise cancellation. The build quality and comfortable fit add to the overall value. However, if you don’t care about ANC, you should ideally consider buying the Cowon EM1 or JBL C100SI that offer slightly better audio quality for almost half the price of the Quiet 2.