Cyrus soundBuds 2 True Wireless Earbuds Review
Jay Garrett plugs in the latest wireless IEMs from this respected British marque…
soundBuds 2 True Wireless Earphones
US$119.99 | ~S$159
Technology moves at a blistering pace. Back in August 2016, I reviewed what was to be the future of earbuds, the Motorola VerveOnes+. At the time, these seemed the bleeding edge of earphone tech as they were truly wireless, with no cables joining the earpieces together. They cost £230, suffered from lag when watching movies, had a buggy app and were quite chunky.
Look at how far we have come now! In 2021, Cyrus offers true wireless buds for just US$119.99 – costing lesser than Cambridge Audio's recently released Melomania 1+. Okay, so the soundBuds 2 have a shorter battery life – five hours of playtime, plus fifteen extra hours from the case – but you can’t not like the price.
The organic-looking, pebble-smooth quicksilver-coloured charging case is wonderfully compact – much more so than that of RHA's TrueConnect 2, and even smaller than Grado's GT220. Thanks to the trio of supplied tips and fins that mix and match to provide an almost sports earbud fit, they’re a comfortable wear. They’re even secure enough for this desk jockey to do some mild jogging around his East London manor without falling out. The IPX5 water resistance rating means they’re British weather-friendly, too.
The small and light buds – just 4.3g each – are nice enough, with each logoed surface performing basic touch controls such as on/off and play/pause. Double taps on the left take you to the previous track or forwards if you do the same on the right bud. I found them a little fiddly and didn't always manage to turn them off first go. Naturally, you also get call control as well as volume adjustment through long holds. A volume control was missing from the first iteration, but Cyrus has obviously listened to its customers.
Bluetooth pairing proved easy, with acknowledgements coming by way of in-ear voice prompts. Connectivity seems strong, with no nasty dropouts. Of course, you can activate and use your choice of voice assistant, which worked without issue using Google. Additionally, call quality was good and clear – as tested through a few Teams meetings while having a stroll around the block. A frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz is claimed, with is quite enough for mere mortals.
Kicking things off with A Forest by The Cure, and the atmospheric synth pad and unmistakable twang of Robert Smith's lone guitar in the intro was rendered well. There was plenty of detail, especially in the midband and upper midrange; bass had a decent thump as Simon Gallup joined the throng. Early eighties prog brought more layers for the Cyrus buds to deal with, and here they struggled a little harder. While Marillion's Jigsaw might not be the band's most bombastic piece, the soundBuds 2 had to try hard to keep things on an even keel. Where Grado's more expensive GT220 can separate low range instrumentation while getting a reasonable slam from the mix, the Cyrus soundBuds 2 seemed a little confused.
While not as even-handed as RHA's TrueConnect 2, these true wireless buds delivered a wonderfully rich performance of Laura Nyro's Stoned Soul Picnic. The guitar's leading-edge sounded bright and sharp, while the horns were punchy and gloriously crisp. This mix really played to the soundBuds 2's talented midband. They also proved themselves to have a decent amount of grip and a fine sense of timing, although their presentation was not as richly dynamic as the Grado set.
Although there has been a price increase between iterations, it looks like that investment has ushered in several improvements. The result is a capable set of true wireless earphones much closer to what we would expect from such a respected brand. However, at this price point, expectations still need to be managed. With that in mind, the Cyrus soundBuds 2 are a comfortable, lightweight option with a decent sound profile with the reassurance that a known brand adds to the mix. A package that all adds up to value for money, in my book.
StereoNET’s resident rock star, bass player, and gadget junkie. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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