Wireless earbuds market exploded in the last couple of years. Most of the time, you’re left with either the ultra-expensive ones or with ultra-cheap, low-quality ones from China. With that being said, there are other players that aim to fill that divide and one of them is MyKronoz with their ZeBuds.
We’ve seen a lot from this company in the past year and it’s really amazing how each of their products improves quality-wise. ZeBuds are no exception and they continue with MyKronoz’s positive streak, bringing plenty of pros and very little cons.
The ZeBuds Lite are available for purchase on the MyKronoz website.
MyKronoz ZeBuds lineup consists of three separate products. The ZeBuds Lite, the ZeBuds Premium, and the ZeBuds Pro. Since we were in the market for good quality and affordable earbuds, we decided to go with the ZeBuds Lite. Their design is more in line with the Apple Air Pods, rather than with the bulky, ear filling shape earbuds like Samsung’s Galaxy Buds.
This design similarity also applies to the plastic charging case which, unlike the more known glossy equivalent, has a smooth, matte finish. Its blank surface is only broken by the small MyKronoz logo and the type-C charging port at the bottom. The case is also fairly compact and sleek, coming in at 55,8 mm in height, 46,5 mm width and is 22,5 mm in thickness. With that in mind and taking into consideration, its weight of 38 g means you can easily grasp and open it with one hand.
The lid itself opens up to the side and is magnetized which makes the process of opening and closing it snappy and enjoyable. While the lid initially felt very sturdy, after two weeks of usage, opening it would sometimes produce a slight creaking sound which made me doubtful about its long-term durability. It doesn’t help that you need to open the lid to see the three white LED’s that signify the charge level of the case. Charge level LED’s are a great thing to have, but it would definitely be more convenient to have them on the outside of the case like many of the competitor earbuds.
|Dimensions||17.8 x 19 x 43mm | 46.5 x 22.6 x 55.8 mm|
|Weight||5 g each | 38 g|
|Material||ABS | ABS|
|Battery type||Li-ion 40 mAh | Li-ion 400 mAh|
|Frequency||20Hz – 20KHz|
|Water resistance||IPX4 splash proof|
|Compatibility||iOS & Android devices|
As mentioned, the earbuds themselves are similar in design to something like the Apple AirPods 2. They have the universal fit design with short stems that house the microphone as well as the touch-sensitive controls. Like the case, the buds are made out of smooth, matte plastic with its lower part being in a different color to add a bit of personality to the design. This bottom portion is also magnetized so the earbuds snap into and sit tightly inside the case.
Their design isn’t anything you haven’t already seen on the market and falls in line with other tailed earbuds. When it comes to how well they’ll fit, this will entirely depend on your ear. This is one of the drawbacks of the universal ear canal design meaning such earbuds might not always be a perfect fit. With that said, each earbud weighs 5 grams so if they fit, at least they’ll feel light, unobtrusive and comfortable to use for extended periods of time. Personally, I had a great experience with them and found them to be very well suited even for high-movement activities, meaning they didn’t fall out, no matter how intense my workout became. What’s more, the ZeBuds Lite are IPX4 rated, so you don’t have to worry about some sweat or rain damaging them in any way.
While they might be plain in terms of build, MyKronoz at least offers them in a couple of highly vibrant colors that are sure to suit all sorts of tastes, boosting their appeal and keeping them from incurring any additional costs.
PERFORMANCE AND SOUND
When it comes to audio quality, battery life and additional features the ZeBuds Lite offer a great bang for your buck. First of all, the 5.0 Bluetooth connection is absolutely rock-solid with the earbuds connecting to a previously paired phone in 7 to 9 seconds once taken out of the case. The range of the connection is also commendable and the sound is consistent up to 30m range. Seriously, you can have the earbuds on and easily walk around your house with no interruptions or loss in sound quality.
When fully charged, the ZeBuds lite can deliver around 4 hours of battery life with continuous playback at near max volume. The charging case holds 4 additional charges, making the ZeBuds autonomous for around 20 hours. It takes them around an hour to get fully charged which means you’ll be able to get an hour of playback for just 15 minutes of charging. What’s unfortunate and could have a negative impact on battery life is the fact that the buds aren’t equipped with sensors to detect if they are placed in your ear or not. While you can listen to media on each of them independently, the sound on the other one will shut off only once you store it in the charging case.
Then there are the always welcome touch controls present on both earbuds. The touch-sensitive area is located on the top of the earbuds and is responsive to taps almost without fail. You can tap to play and pause the media, skip tracks as well as answer, reject and end calls. You can also access your phone’s assistant via a triple tap or by using your voice.
The only issue is the fact that the different media controls are delegated to different earbuds. Playing and pausing is delegated to two taps on the left earbud while skipping tracks is delegated to two taps of the right earbud which could be an inconvenience if you are in a situation where you are using a single earbud. Additionally, there’s no gesture for volume control so you’ll be forced to do that on your Bluetooth connected device.
Speaking of playback, the sound quality of ZeBuds Lite is perfectly serviceable. As with most earbuds designed to sit outside the ear canal, most of their issues stem from the fact that they leak sound. So while they produce a clear, somewhat bass-heavy sound, this will be audible only in the ideal conditions of quiet environments.
Rest of the time, you’ll get solid sound quality and you can mitigate the sound leaking inwards by increasing the volume at the expense of your surroundings hearing your music. Like many consumer earbuds, their operating frequency gives the best experience for the mid-range sound with vocals sounding especially good. This also translates to phone calls which are a complete package in terms of quality with the other person in the call usually sounding crystal clear. When it comes to your voice during calls, the other person will usually clearly hear what you are saying despite the voice being a bit muffled due to ambient sound cancellation.
The last thing worthy of a mention is the MyKronoz phone app which you can download from either the PlayStore on Android or the App Store on iOS. The app itself seems to be much improved from when we used it with MyKronoz smartwatches since it quickly recognized and paired with the earbuds. With that being said, in the case of ZeBuds Lite, the app is only ever useful for firmware updates and checking the remaining battery. Every other option in its main menu is a simple guide consisting of text and pictures, showcasing what each LED indicator means, how to connect to a device or improve the battery life.
All in all, we finish like we began saying that the ZeBuds Lite are a great bang for your buck since they offer almost all of the functionalities of their much more expensive competitors like the Apple AirPods 2. Sure, you won’t be able to completely block out the outside world but you’ll still get good sound quality, quick and seamless connectivity and solid battery life fitted inside a recognizable design at a price of measly 60 dollars.