Just when I thought there is not much you could see in the wireless space, comes the Xech Speaker Pods which is a very new take on the concept of EarPods. The Xech Speaker Pods make good use of the dock, or box, in which the EarPods are stored and often forgotten.
The Xech Speaker Pods XL is the high-end of the two options in the series. The idea here is that the charging dock also houses a Bluetooth speaker so that you can hear the music out loud and not just in your ear. Yes, they are also able to charge your EarPods, even as they blare out music from the earphones.
The earphones are a bit larger than what is the norm these days. But they fit well and stay there even if you go for a sprint, as I did try more than once. After the initial pairing, it connected seamlessly with the iPhone as soon as I took the earphones out of the dock. I loved the touch sensitivity on the surface of the pods so that you can tap to pause/play or even take a call. A long press brings up Siri or Google Assistant as you would prefer.
The audio quality is good, but nothing exceptional. The profile is neutral, not too tinny or base-heavy. It worked well with my playlist as well as my daily podcast dose.
The speaker, on the other hand, has a very sharp audio profile and can be quite loud if that’s how you prefer your music. However, you can’t adjust the volume on the device and you will need to do that on the source. The audio stops as soon as you open the flap to take out the EarPods. And when you put the EarPods here from your ears, the music seamlessly shifts to the speaker.
The earpods have a battery life of over six hours and maybe more if you use just one for calls. The call quality is quite good and there were no complaints from the other side in the calls I made during the review period.
At Rs 4,499, I would consider the Xech Speaker Pods XL a decent price given that one is getting a pair of wireless EarPods and a similar size Bluetooth speaker for the price. Still, this is an innovative device.