Wyze has built a reputation for astonishingly affordable gadgets. Sure, they don’t always knock it out of the park: while the company’s $20 security cam put an entire industry on notice, we ultimately decided the barebones $20 Wyze Watch was too much a work-in-progress to give it a review.
But this May, I took a chance on the new Wyze Buds Pro, a $74 pair of wireless earbuds, and couldn’t believe how good they are. They offer true active noise cancellation and wireless charging at a previously unheard-of price while also punching way above their weight in audio quality. I put them head-to-head against the $80 Jabra Elite 3, which we recently praised for nailing the essentials. It wasn’t even a competition: I’d pick the Wyze Buds Pro every time.Well, except for exercise.
It’s tempting to compare the Wyze Buds Pro to Apple’s AirPods Pro. They certainly look similar — pod-shaped earbuds with offset silicone tips and long stems, housed in almost identically sized pill-shaped charging cases, with LED indicator dots up front and the same exposed metal hinge on the backside. Heck, they almost make the same sound flipping open and closed. You can almost hear Wyze marketers whispering: “Why would you pay three times as much for Apple?”
That’s not a fair comparison, though. The AirPods automatically pair to Apple devices, offer spatial audio tricks, and sound a bit better on balance (Apple’s sound is not as clear but is less harsh). I’m not talking about Apple when I say the Wyze Buds Pro punch way above their weight, much less class-leading earbuds like Sony’s WF-1000XM4. I’m talking about the entire rest of the market.
At the time I ordered them in May, I couldn’t find a single other product with both noise canceling and wireless charging for under $100, much less $74. Previously, I owned a pair of first-gen Amazon Echo Buds, which originally cost $130 with neither of those features and a last-gen Micro USB charging port. And yet, those Echo Buds were themselves considered aggressively priced just two years ago for managing to fit Bose noise reduction and always-on Alexa access for that much money.But after a single day with the Wyze Buds Pro, I was ready to throw my Amazon pods in the battery recycling can.
It’s the clarity. Even as my favorite songs layer on instrument after instrument, I can make out the words, lyrics which can generally feel a tad drowned out by the mix. This audio is sharp, sometimes even to a fault: the snazzy processed sound can make the Wyze Buds Pro’s highs too tinny in songs that heavily rely on electronics. (When I finished , I was very ready to give my ears a rest.)
Sure, the class-leading $278 Sony XM4s can go eight hours on a charge with ANC on and 24 hours with their charging case... but for now, for $74, I’m satisfied.Recently, I’ve heard that Wyze may not be the only game in town anymore for inexpensive quality earbuds with true active noise canceling, wireless charging, and USB-C — reviewers are saying good things about the as well, which come with a notably less pocketable case but also offer a lot more battery life in exchange. Maybe I’ll try that next. Or maybe I’ll wait a couple more years and see if we experience yet another dramatic improvement in Bluetooth value for money. Here’s hoping the next wave comes with multipoint audio to connect to two devices at a time. Even the top-shelf Sonys don’t have that on lock.