Hey, guys, EBPMan here. Today we’re going to review the IQ Buds Boost. This is a new product just recently released by Nuheara. Let’s check it out.
Now, guys, really, really excited about sharing with you the IQ Buds Boost. We’ve reviewed products from Nuheara in the past. And this year at CS 2018, we stopped at the booth to learn about their two new products that they were launching this year. So I’m happy to say that we have the Boost in the house. And we’re going to talk about this product. We’re going to do the unboxing. We’re going to see what makes this product so transformational.
And it’s literally unique in the market. I haven’t seen any earbud that has a kind of technology that this earbud has. It has incredible hearing enhancement technology that we’re going to share. And we’re going to see all the new features that come with this specific series. So let’s check that out in detail.
Make sure you hit the Subscribe button and tap the little bell icon to get notified when new videos become available. Now last year, when we reviewed the IQ Buds, we talked about how well they did when it came to hearing enhancement, or augmentation. Now, this year’s IQ Buds Boost has something called Ear ID. And the Ear ID allows you to calibrate. It’s going to allow you to calibrate your hearing from your left and your right ear. And it’s going to be using this software technology that comes from the National Acoustics Laboratories. So it’s NAL-NL2.
And this software technology is something that you find in hearing aids. Devices that cost several thousands of dollars you now have in these earbuds. Now, this is going to really transform and enhance some of the basic features that we found in the original IQ Buds. Because what it’s going to do is really help when it comes to that sync and the augmentation of the sound around you and being able to really focus on the things you want to hear and obviously, eliminate things that you don’t.
Now in addition to that, there’s some really nice features that we’re going to look at here. First of all, you’re going to get 20 hours of on-the-go streaming, 32 hours of hearing enhancement. So that means that if you’re not listening to music and you only want to use these to enhance hearing, you can do that. And you’re going to get 32 hours of battery life.
It has a low latency streaming. That means that as you’re streaming something on your phone– I get this question all the time. Is the video and the audio in sync? You’re not going to have a problem with these. Now, high fidelity audio, so while it enhances the world around you, we’re still going to get some great, fantastic audio quality. And then you’re going to be able to support hands-free calling. You do have some tap gesture controls that you’ll be able to use. And once again, you’ll be able to customize the ear tips to make sure you have the best possible experience.
So let’s go out and take a look at what’s in the box. And we’ll go through the review in further detail. Now, from a compatibility perspective, these are both available for iOS as well as Android. So you have a good variety of devices out on the market that you can leverage. You don’t really have to worry that much when it comes to compatibility. It’s going to work on your iPhone or your Android phone, be it an LG, be it a Google, or a Samsung device.
So let’s take a look and see what’s in the package. Now, guys, you have accessories to personalize the fit and feel of these earbuds. Notice how many tips you have. Typically, you find earbuds that have a small, medium, and large. No way here. You have the ultimate in what I would say personalization when it comes to these earbuds. Keep in mind that just because you grab a large, it doesn’t mean that your other ear is a large too. So this is going to give you the ability to mix and match, go this side to this side, or this side to this side.
Just as you’re wearing your left and your right earbud, choose the foam or the earbud gel that makes the most sense and is the most comfortable for your ear. They also include some comply isolation foam buds. You have a micro USB charging cable. You have your charging base. You do have a user guide. And then you have the two buds.
All right, so now, let’s go ahead and take a look at several aspects of the IQ Bud Boost. We’re going to take a look at the case. We’re going to talk about the earpieces. And then we’re going to go into an overall review of the battery life, the fit, the audio quality from a music playback perspective, call quality. And we’ll also talk about the hearing enhancement capabilities that you’re going to get from these.
So first, let’s talk about the case. Now, the case itself is going to give you the ability to charge your earbuds up to four times. So it’s something that you’re going to carry with you. You’re not going to be able to take your earbuds with you independently and then use them without having the case. This is not just the storage mechanism, the charging mechanism. But this is what’s going to turn them on and off when you put them inside the case.
Now, the case itself does have a battery meter. So as you tap it right here, this will light up telling you what your battery level is. I’ve been testing these quite a bit. So you’ll notice that my battery level is low on each side. Now, on the very bottom, you’ll have your serial number for your case. And then on the back you do have a micro USB charging port.
Now, this case is also going to be used for upgrading the earbuds. So anytime you have a software update, you’ll want to make sure that the buds are in here and that the case is fully charged. Now, the case itself, In addition to having the LEDs and being able to see your battery level, it’s a pretty durable case. So it’s a very well-made. It’s a little bit larger than some of the other cases that we’ve seen for earbuds. But it works well when it comes to charging your earbuds.
Now, as I open it up for a second– we’ll go ahead and open it up– you’ll see that here you have your LED indicating your battery life. And you’ll notice that once again, I’ve been using these. So I’ve been draining the battery. And these I’ve been using them actually for the last six hours. So they’re still charging.
Now, these are not magnetic in any way. So you have the place them down and make sure that you have them resting in the area that they should be in, so those two points. And then you’ll snap it just like that. And then you’ll get some feedback. As long as you see these LEDs turning on, it means that they’re sitting in place.
Now, the case itself is again, pretty neat. Because the way it locks into place, it’s almost self guiding. Let me just get it up to this point and let it go. See how it snaps in? So you don’t have to worry about these opening up by mistake. It just will close and seal itself.
Now, up here you’ll notice that there’s two contact points. They’re hard to see right there. But yeah, you can see it right there. This is pushing down the earbuds to make sure that they’re resting on these contact points for charging.
So you shouldn’t run into any situations where you have these earbuds haven’t sat in place and wouldn’t be charging. So you notice LED turned on. That little top portion pushed them down. And they’re in place.
All right, so now, let’s take a closer look at the earbuds themselves. Because that’s actually where all the magic happens with these. So first of all, each earbud has an indicators. So you have right and left on each one of these, indicating which one is your right.
You do have your contact points here that are going to be used for charging the earbuds. In this case, you could have the silicone or you have the comply foam. And you can squish it just like this. You put it in your ear. And this creates a really, really good seal.
The seal is going to be passive. So it’s going to eliminate any noise coming in. But remember, because you are using these not only to listen to music, but to enhance your hearing, it is going to allow you to configure these, so that you can actually hear what’s going on around you. These areas right here are not clicky, like you can’t press them in in any way. So they’re not clickable. But they do have contact capability, so that there are different features that will take place.
So we’re going to see all the programming that you can do to personalize these. But for example, if you wanted to pair, put these in pair mode, you put them in your ear. And you press both sides at the same time and hold them until you get an audio cue that says in pairing mode. Now, every single key with these is going to be audible. So there is a human voice that you’re going to hear. It’s not a beep. It’s not a tone. It’s going to let you know when they’re in your ear, on, and then as you switch modes.
Now, the most important part about these is going to be battery life. So what kind of battery life are you going to get out of these? So you’re going to get up to five hours of audio streaming. And in my experience, they’ve been pretty much in sync as I’m watching a video on my phone, on my tablet, or other device. I haven’t seen out of sync conditions. So you’ll get about five hours.
Now, what you’ll be able to also do is get some hearing processing. And it could range from anywhere from eight hours to well over 20 of the 32 hours I’m seeing on the website. And that’s where you’re using these in your ear to assist with hearing. Now, you’re not streaming anything. All you’re doing is listening to the world around you and using some of those settings.
I find that they are relatively light. They are eight grams per earbud. And especially with the comply foam, they’re really stress free. So I’ve been able to use these for at least six hours today in my ear listening to music, audio books, and then hearing the world around me, using the hearing function. And I’ve had no stress.
Also, they stay in your ear. And as you’ll see when we do our outdoor test, they don’t fall out at all. So that’s another great feature with these. Now, for those of you who are interested in specs, these are running Bluetooth 4.2. They do support A2DP and aptX and all those other Bluetooth properties that you may be interested in. You can see a lot of that detail on the website. There are two microphones per earbud. And that’s obviously, to not only take calls, but to help cancel the noise around you, as well as enhance what you want to hear around you.
The batteries in each one of these, you’re going to get 120 milliamp hour battery per earbud. And I found again, battery life is as indicated on the box and what they have described, up to five hours. And I’ve definitely come close to that. I’ve actually haven’t killed it today, because I’ve been using a combination of both audio streaming and then also hearing processing. So battery life are fantastic.
Now, as we continue to talk about battery, I wanted to bring the case into view. Because most cases of these type of small earbuds go through a discharge period. So what happens is if you put these in here and you just don’t use them and you have them in the case for days, the case itself is going to start to discharge. I’ve seen cases that discharge in a day and a half. I’ve seen in two days and three days. These have lasted pretty well. I’ve had these buds in the case for a week. And when I’ve come to it, I still have a charger left. And the actual earbuds themselves are fully charged.
So the discharge rate in my book, is acceptable for the type of capabilities that you’re going to get from the earbuds. Now, let’s go ahead and talk about audio playback, so as you’re listening to music. Bass, mids, and highs, all present. You feel them. You can tell the difference.
It’s not balanced in any way, where things are kind of blended, where you can’t tell the difference between the bass, the mids, and the highs. The bass is pronounced. The mids are there. The highs are clear and present. So you are getting a very, very nice experience when it comes to audio. And I’ll have to say, these things out loud, like really, really loud.
So what you’ll want to do is just make sure that you go through the hearing calibration feature, so that you make sure that you have these tuned to your specific needs. And I’m going to show you what the app looks like as you go through that process. The other thing we’ll mention is, how about call quality? Well, the call quality has been improved.
As I compared these to the IQ Buds original, I found that they suffered a little bit for call quality. And in this case, we’re going to do an outdoor quality call test. And I want you to opine. I would like to hear what you think in the comment area. And let me know how did the call quality sound? And if you think they’ve improved, especially if you owned a previous version. In my mind, or least in my experience, I think that they definitely improved when it comes to overall call quality.
Now, the next question I typically get on these is, can I use these to workout? And the answer is yes. These have an IP rating that make them sweat, rain resistant, and also dust resistant. There is a nano type coating that rates this at an IP X7.
So if you want to use this in the club, what I would recommend is you change the earpieces here from the comply to the silicone. I tend to prefer that when I’m working out. These are great if you’re traveling on a plane or as you’re walking. I think they’re very comfortable for that.
But what I don’t like about comply foam is as you sweat, they kind of get icky. I know that’s not a real technical term. But if you’ve ever wore comply foam tips and you worked out, they do get icky, sticky. And it’s just I wouldn’t recommend them. So just switch out the tips if you’re going to use them to workout.
Now, the other thing about these is that while you can use them for music, they have no onboard memory. So you’re not going to be able to store any music on these. But that’s fine. The Bluetooth signal is great. I’ve been able to have it on my body, pocket, front pocket, back pocket, cargo pants. And I haven’t dropped the signal at all. I have even been able to leave my phone in my office and walk out up to 16 feet. And this is going through at least one wall and been able to maintain a good connection.
So that’s something that’s also really important as you’re using these and streaming music. Now, keep in mind that if you walk away from your phone and you’re using this in the hearing augmentation mode, having that connection isn’t really important at that point. And when you come back to it, they’ll just connect without a problem. So again, a really nice feature there.
All right, guys, so now let’s go and do a outdoor call quality test and see what you think about the IQ Buds Boost. All right, so this is going to be our external audio test. I’m out in the Windy City. Beautiful day here in Chicago. It is a little windy. But the weather is absolutely gorgeous. You’re going to hopefully hear some noise in the background, some wind, maybe some construction going on, and birds, and who knows, maybe some cars passing.
So what we’re going to do is we’re going to switch. I have the buds on each side. And we’re going to make a phone call. And the point of this test is to give you a sense of what the caller hears when they’re on the phone with you. So let’s go and check it out.
All right, guys, so I have the Boost in my ear. So you’re hearing everything coming from the ear buds. There are some cars passing by. So you should be able to get a sense of what you would hear. There’s also some wind going on here. So you’ll hear kind of like what the wind experience is going to be.
As you’re hearing my voice and getting a sense of what the audio quality is, I just wanted to show the overall look of the buds. So how much do they come out from each ear? And notice that they don’t really stand out that much.
The other thing is, do they stay in your ear? So what we’ll do is we’ll do that jiggle test. Doesn’t come out. If you want to see on this side, doesn’t come out. Really, they’re going to stay in your ear. So there’s no problems with them being fit.
You do get some really nice noise isolation, because they’re using the comply foam tips or the rubberized tips, the silicone tips. You’re going to get a real nice seal. Remember, these earbuds are not just about being able to cut out the world around you. It’s also about enhancing audio.
So it’s kind of a different experience. You can actually listen to music at the same time as hearing everything that’s going on around you, and then adjusting how much of the outside world you want to let in. But at the same time, you can block everything out.
So again, this is our audio test of the IQ Buds Boost. Hopefully, this gives you a sense of what kind of audio quality your callers are going to have when they speak to you over these earbuds. Let me know what you think about the quality in the comments below.
All right, so let’s go ahead and take a look at the app for a couple seconds. Starting at the very top of the app, what you’re going to see is your battery life for your earbuds, followed by several locations. Each one of these locations you’re going to be able to heart, or make them a favorite, and cycle through on your earbud without having to come to the app. So you can actually have up to four favorite locations.
Now, with each one of these locations, you’re going to have a different audio experience. As you can see here, first one is the home. And when I choose it, I actually hear in the earbud saying that I’m in the home setting. And when I go to office, it’ll say it’s office.
It will block out certain sounds and then enhance others. So the home one, as you can see here, is hear your family and sounds around you in your home and boost the conversation. Here, is hear your co-workers in the office. Restaurant, amplify speech and reduce the background noise, driving mode, and plane mode.
Now, each one of these as you’re working with these, you can actually go even further and enhance things. So here, I am in restaurant mode. And what I can do in restaurant mode is actually personalize my experience.
So I could say I want less of the world, which basically, is going to cancel out all of the noise. It’s kind of freaky when you do it. And then when you increase it, you start hearing things coming in. You can say more of the world if you’d like. And that’s going to be almost crystal clear.
And the neat thing about this is that my experience as I modify this does not feel digitized. And that’s really, really important, especially if you’re going to be using this to enhance your hearing. It doesn’t feel mechanical at all. So here is I hear nothing. Here, I actually hear my voice. But again, it doesn’t feel mechanical as you would think.
Now, the other thing you could do is just tap this. And then basically, it just turns everything off. And it’s like going silent. Now, you do have some additional configurations that you can modify. So the sync controls, you can actually work with enhancing what you’re looking to hear. Again, sync controls the balance between the world, noise, and speech. Adjust the sync wheel to find the best balance for you.
So even though this comes preconfigured for you, you can actually determine if you are in a setting where the person’s voice isn’t as clear as you’d like it to be, you can actually adjust it. And remember, we’re talking about speech. We’re talking all other noise or speech. And you just wipe it back and forth, as we saw there. You also have this world equalizer.
So this is going to allow you to adjust your base, treble. And again, it’s just going to change your audio experience completely. So a lot of flexibility when it comes to the app. And again, all you have to do is tap back in this area, find what setting you want to have, go into the area that you selected, and then configure it, or personalize it, to meet your specific audio need.
Now, in addition to each one of those settings, you do have ear ID. And with ear ID, it’s going to allow you to go through an audio test very similar to when you are going to the hearing doctor. Remember we talked about that this is using technology, a software package that is exactly the type that is used in hearing aids. So what you could do is as you go through this, it could measure your hearing basically with those tones, and then personalize that experience for you.
So I’m going to go and try it. So now the first thing it’s going to ask you as you’re going through this is it’s going to ask you, do you have hearing problems or have a hearing deficiency? And if you do, which ear you have it in. If you’re unsure, you can leave it as unsure. Now, right now because I’m speaking, it’s saying that it’s too loud. So I’m going to go through the test quietly. And then I’ll speed that up in the video, so you can see it.
Now, once you completed the test, you’re going to put in your age, your gender. And what we should see is our results. So it’s calculating based on my hearing and going through the test. I think there was a couple of errors that I missed. So you’ll notice the couple areas.
And it’s pretty consistent. My left and my right, these are the two areas that I had missed. So this right now, has personalized it to my specific hearing. So I’m going to hit Done. And we’re going to go ahead and click on OK. And we’re done.
Now, another area in the application that you can personalize is the tap functions that you have on the earbuds. So left and right earbuds can be programmed. So you can say, play, pause if you’d like here. You can configure them to be whatever you would like. You notice on the double tap again, the long tap, just configure that. Each one of these is going to give you a level of personalization. And you can see that right here as we go through each one.
So again, a lot of flexibility and personalizing the earbuds to fit your specific needs. So guys, that concludes our review of the IQ Buds Boost. I have to say that I’m very impressed with the sound quality, with the overall experience that I’ve had with these. Great improvement from Nuheara. And I’d give these a double thumbs up. So if you want to know more about these, the link in the bottom will tell you more about where you can get the product. Make sure you smash that subscribe button. And I’ll see you in the next one.