Wireless headphones are the future. We do not want to be surrounded by more and more wires. With wireless earphones, there is nothing to get tangled, nothing to get caught on a stranger’s bag while walking down the street. Wireless headphones give you a true sense of freedom. Apple offers ridiculously overpriced AirPods. Google will reportedly introduce a new set of wireless headphones with Pixel 2 next month. Many other companies are offering, one of them is the Netherlands-based TRNDlabs. We have had a chance to thoroughly test the TRNDlabs NOVA wireless earbuds. Here’s our detailed review of the product.
What’s in the box?
The TRNDlabs NOVA box set includes the wireless earbuds, a power case, a USB to micro-USB charging cable, and earplugs. The company has included small, medium, and large earplugs, along with one set of foam earplugs. You can use whichever fits perfectly in your ears.
NOVA earbuds connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth 4.1 technology. It offers an operating distance of up to 10 meters. The circular power case measures 89 x 89 x 60 mm, weighs 101g, and has a beautiful minimal design. The earbuds are just 4g each in weight, and fit perfectly in the magnetic charging dock of the power case.
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A power case that doubles up as power bank
On one side of the power case is the charging dock for earbuds. Rotate the top cover, and you’ll see charging ports on the other side. There is a power button, a micro-USB charging port, a USB port, and four LED lights. You should charge the power case before using it for the first time. You know it’s fully charged when all the four LEDs are lit. The 2,800mAh power case takes roughly three hours to charge.
The TRNDlabs NOVA power case also serves as a power bank for your smartphone. If your phone’s battery is running low, just rotate the top of the power case to reveal the USB port and use a charging cable to connect your smartphone. What’s more, you can charge the earbuds and your phone simultaneously.
How the earbuds work
The earbuds have an LED light and a button at the top. Pressing the button once plays/pauses a track. If you are getting a phone call or on a call with someone, you can take or end it with a single press. Double press the button to redial a number, and hold it for about three seconds to turn the earbuds off. Pretty simple.
The earbuds take about one hour to charge. When you place them into the power case, you’ll see a red LED light on each earbud, which indicates that they are charging. The red lights turn off automatically when the earbuds are fully charged. The earbuds offer a continuous music playback time of up to 3 hours and a talk time of up to 3.5 hours. The power case gives you an additional 60 hours of playback time.
Our experience with TRNDlabs NOVA earbuds
If I had to describe my experience with TRNDlabs NOVA in one word, it is: Awesome! They fit perfectly in my ears. They stay in your ears when you go jogging or hit the gym. You can go about your daily commute without the fear of having your earbuds fall out.
The power case offers an amazing battery backup. It never seems to run out of battery. The power case lasts 3-4 days between charges. If my iPhone is running out of juices and I have to charge it using the power case, my earbuds still get enough power to last at least a couple of days. I can charge the power case (by connecting it to my laptop or another power source) and my iPhone simultaneously, which saves me some precious time.
TRNDlabs NOVA offers crisp and clear sound quality that is as good as wired earphones. If you’ve used AirPods, you know that its open design allows tons of ambient noise to leak in. That doesn’t happen with TRNDlabs NOVA. When you are listening to the music, the only thing you hear is the music.
I have an iPhone 7 and a laptop that I carry around with me wherever I go. The iPhone 7 lacks the 3.5mm audio jack and instead relies on EarPods with Lightning connector. I can’t connect the EarPods with my laptop. That’s annoying. Whenever I was out of office, I would carry around two earphones – one for the iPhone and one for the laptop. No more.
The TRNDlabs NOVA earbuds connect wirelessly to both my iPhone and the laptop. I can switch between the laptop and the phone whenever I want. I no longer need to carry around two wired headphones. The power case is small and easy to carry around. I take it to meetings in my bag or pocket, and it looks perfectly normal. Even when it’s in your pocket, it fits nicely.
How does it hold up against the AirPods?
The NOVA is built using premium materials. And its power case is capable enough to replace your power bank, serving a dual purpose. The NOVA earbuds have been priced at $79, just half of what Apple charges you for the AirPods. TRNDlabs seems to be taking a OnePlus-like approach with its earbuds: offering premium quality products at half the price. You can hop on to the wireless trend without spending a fortune.
Of course, it doesn’t offer AirPods-like Siri connectivity, but it holds its ground well against the AirPods. Apple’s wireless earbuds offer ‘up to 2 hours of talk time.’ The NOVA, on the other hand, comfortably gives you about three hours of talk time. The AirPods charging case offers up to 24 hours of additional music playback time. That’s 60% less than what NOVA offers.
The sound quality of AirPods is no better than that of EarPods that comes bundled with your iPhone. TRNDlabs NOVA offers an equally good audio experience at half the price.
Disclosure: We would like to thank the company for sending us a free pair of the product in return for a review.