Honor is strong as an independent brand and is rapidly renewing its pre-division positions in more and more markets and segments. The latest device we have had a review is the wearable Earbuds Choice X – TWS with a feature set much richer than the price tag indicates.
After a few weeks with the white couple we got, we are ready to share our impressions of what is great and what could be improved.
The design and packaging of these headphones are quite simple – a rectangular case, two headphones with short stopwatches and a small USB-A to USB-C cable are in the retail box. The case is flat at the top and bottom, so it can sit upright. The hinge is not too tight and easy to open, the bus is still robust enough so we have nothing to worry about when it comes to durability.
The earplugs are standard in-ear headphones that slide smoothly into the case thanks to the magic of the magnets.
At the bottom is a USB-C port and also a circular button for pairing. The case comes with an LED that pulses when the device is ready to connect and indicates the battery charge level.
Honor equipped the Choice Earbuds X case with a 500 mAh cell, with each handset having a 40 mAh battery. The handcuffs are IPX4 waterproof, which basically means that they are covered in sweat and light rain. There are touch areas on the side to control the phone.
Honor has a special application for retrofitting its audio wearable devices, but Choice X support is not yet enabled. We expect them to arrive as soon as there is real availability on the EU market.
So we resorted to a simple Bluetooth connection that was impressively fast. Also, the automatic connection when you remove the Choice X buds from the case was immediate and hassle-free during our testing.
Unfortunately, one area where the cheaper Choice X price tag shines through is sound quality. They contain a large 12mm dynamic transducer with a biomembrane, but we have no explanation of what the bio part should mean in this context.
The fact remains that the music sounds flat with missing bass and limited definition of higher frequency tones. Things got a little better when we turned the volume down below 70%, but it was still nothing worth writing home about. If they get official application support and equalizers, we could gain a little more control over the sound, but the potential is obviously limited, so we wouldn’t hold our breath.
A much more important fix to be provided by the application’s official support concerns a dual microphone array that works with “neural network algorithms for intelligent ambient noise filtering.”
This cannot be turned on or off, which means that a random ambient sound is played through the handset to the user’s ear – talk to the radio in a taxi, screaming children at home or just a garbage truck outside on the street.
The two microphones are also not very aligned, so a telephone conversation can only be flawless if the stars are well aligned – no ambient noise is heard, the buds are properly placed in the ear, and there are no other people in the room.
One thing we loved about Choice X is how comfortable they are. Weighing only 4.3 grams, they remain in the ear even in harsh conditions. A member of our team here at GSMArena took them on a six-hour run (yes, really) and did not require any adjustments in full.
The test also confirmed that Honor’s advertised six-hour battery life on a single charge (a total of 28 hours) is true. Option X went from full to flat in exactly 360 minutes at 70% volume.
There is also a game mode that reduces latency to 125 ms at the expense of battery life, but even that is a bit high for most dynamic titles.
The touch sensing areas on the page are quite standard – double-tap to start and pause music and answer / hang up calls. Game mode is activated by a long press of both buds at the same time, with a single tap doing nothing.
A long press on the right handset will skip to the next song, while a two-second press on the left will return to the beginning of the song. Theoretically, he should also play the previous track, but that doesn’t work in practice – a long press takes two seconds, but if the track exceeds the 00:02 mark, it rewinds. This means that the user should play the previous song very quickly right at the beginning of the current one, which is more frustrating than comfortable.
We must praise Honor for coming with these wireless headphones that are easy to pair. Battery life is impressive, the sticks are comfortable and ergonomic with an overall nice design.
Availability is still limited, but users in several countries can purchase the Choice X for € 50.
Unfortunately, their sound quality is far from impressive, so they are far from a universal recommendation. If you are picky about it, it will probably be better to spend your hard earned money elsewhere. However, more casual listeners should be completely satisfied with the latest Honor.