The IQbuds let you determine how much ambient sound you want to let in. A tap on the right earbud turns the “world mode” (as they call it when the earbuds allow sound in) on and off. Within the app, however, you can dial the balance of ANC and ambient sound to whatever works best for you. It is a degree of customization and control that will surely impress you. It does, however, mean there is a bit more of a learning curve when you first start using the IQbuds compared to others TWE.
And there’s more.
SPEECH AMPLIFICATION: Enhance your ability to hear speech in crowded restaurants/pubs, work events or parties – never miss another word again.
All earbuds deliver sound to your ears and some include noise cancellation that removes ambient sound and isolates your music experience. There are even some earbuds that, like the IQbuds, let you control the balance of ambient sound to noise cancellation. The IQbuds are, however, the first earbuds I have used that actually amplify and enhance speech. That’s right, the IQbuds are, on some level, hearing aids for those who don’t need hearing aids. They let you focus and amplify sound so, for example, in a crowded room, you are able to converse more easily.
The first time I tried the IQbuds speech amplification, it freaked me out a bit. It was strange to wear earbuds AND hear more clearly. But it works and, with some use, there is less “strange” and more “wow!” I’m not sure how much I’ll use this feature of the IQbuds, but it is pretty impressive and may be something others find enormously helpful.
Here’s a promotional video that lets you get a better sense of what the IQbuds are all about.
Finally, there’s the app.
BLENDED AUDIO WORLDS: Choose the best audio blend of your digital music and the sounds around you for situational awareness.
I’ve previously mentioned the app, but it is worth delving into it a bit more deeply. The app lets you gain control over a good deal of the IQbuds features.
You can select the best noise cancellation levels for your current environment. The presets include profiles for Workout, Street; Home, Office, Restaurant, Driving, and Plane. Each offers a different combination of settings the company deems best for the environment. The app actually offers a description of each!
The World Tab also lets you control the amount of ambient sound allowed in by the currently active profile. You can choose to have as much noise cancellation as possible, as little noise cancellation as possible or anywhere in between.
The Personal Profile tab lets you choose the balance between the two earbuds as well as the treble and bass each delivers.
The Tap Touch profile allows you to determine what happened on each earbud when you Tap, Double Tap, and Long Tap each.
This is extremely important since the only controls on the IQbuds are via the touch pads.
I have it set that a tap on the left earbud plays or pauses the music, a double tap activates Siri, and a long tap increases the volume. A tap on the right earbud turns “world” on or off so you can quickly control whether you hear the outside world or not, a double tap decreases the volume and a long tap skips to the next track. You, however, can set this up in any manner that works for you.
Finally, it is worth mentioning the battery life delivered by the IQbuds. As this chart shows… it is impressive.
In short, the IQbuds feature:
- HIGH FIDELITY AUDIO: Seamlessly stream all your favorite music and audio content with high-quality stereo.
- AUDIO TRANSPARENCY: Be aware of your surroundings & world noise while still listening to your favorite music/audio.
- DYNAMIC NOISE CONTROL: Selectively tune in or tune out the world around you with Nuheara’s Super Intelligent Noise Control (SINC™) technology.
- SPEECH AMP: Enhance your ability to hear speech in noisy and crowded places.
- CUSTOM TAP TOUCH: An industry first!
- BEST-IN-CLASS BATTERY LIFE: 16 hours of on-the-go Bluetooth Streaming and 32 hours of on-the-go Hearing Processing
- COMFORTABLE, SECURE FIT: Tap-touch earbuds designed for comfort and hands-free control.
- SWEAT & WATER RESISTANT: Perfect for exercising!
- SUPERIOR SOUND FOR CALLS & MUSIC: Advanced wireless connectivity and microphone technology offers high-fidelity audio and clear phone calls.
- CUSTOMIZABLE APP: Personalize the App settings to give you the best hearing experience in a variety of locations/activities.
All in all, the IQbuds are pricier than any of the true wireless earbuds I have reviewed, but they deliver features that blow the others away. They sound excellent, offer a remarkable range of control, have active noise cancellation, amplify voices in crowded spaces and are comfortable. They are sure to impress you. You can learn more here.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the IQbuds
What I Like: Comfortable; Solid wireless connection; Good noise cancellation; Voice amplification that will amaze you; App that offers a high degree of customization; Good battery life
What Needs Improvement: There is a learning curve to using them; Pricey