Since Apple unveiled its hotly anticipated wireless, cord-free in-ear headphones dubbed the AirPods in Sept. 2016, wireless Bluetooth headsets have garnered huge popularity among those who fancy listening to their favorite soundtrack on the go.
Regrettably, all AirPods-ish headsets aren’t capable to meet individual needs, and that’s exactly where technology trend brand BUTTONS come into the picture. Launched by American producer, rapper, and lead member, and the lead member of The Black Eyed Peas, William James Adams, who is better known by his stage name, will.i.am, BUTTONS launched the BUTTONS Air X earlier this month.
BUTTONS Air X is the much-awaited of the well-received BUTTONS Air. The packaging of the headset is relatively simpler as compared to its predecessor since it comes with only a square box with text that reads, “DON’T SWEAT THE TECH_” is still there, visible in different colors when seen from different angles.
Once the outer packaging is removed, you can see the regular hexagon, which also resembles the shape of the BUTTONS Air X charging box and it looks very different inside the box. The BUTTONS brand logo has been placed right above the charging box. There are two black circles that would instantly remind you of the band The Black Eyed Peas.
It comes in two highly appealing color options including deep space gray, and nebula powder. Moreover, it adopts a diamond-cut design, rather than using upper and lower two regular hexagons. On the downside, it isn’t very portable, although it looks uber cool.
Upfront, the charging box features an indicator light and a Type-C charging port at the back. There is no button. The company claims the headset is backed by a robust battery that lasts for 10 hours and 20 hours with the charging box. There is a Type-C charging cable on the left side of the box.
You get four additional sets of silicone earmuffs of different sizes so that you can choose the most suitable earmuffs that fit perfectly inside your ears. The headphone body sports a hexagonal diamond-cut design, similar to its precursor BUTTONS Air, but it is not housed in a ceramic shell like the charging box.
Aside from sporting a highly appealing outward appearance, the device reflects will.i.am’s attitude in words, including DON’T SWEAT THE TECH” and “TECH”. SHOULD HAVE SOUL” – these two brand cores. Under the hood, the BUTTONS Air X packs a Qualcomm Bluetooth 5.0 chip just like the previous generation and uses FCP wireless antenna technology for a more stable audio signal transmission.
Furthermore, the BUTTONS Air X comes with aptX&AAC HD codec support, making it a great choice for Android and iOS. This makes sure that it not only stabilizes the connection but also enhance the overall sound quality. This could be due to the engineering machine, but the one I got offers a weak electric current.
Housed in a bigger frame, the BUTTONS Air X can easily accommodate a 10mm composite diaphragm unit, which isn’t common in wireless headphones. It has been tuned by will.i.am, but there is no supporting App. It has a split true wireless design, and the left and right ears have been equipped with independent Bluetooth 5.0 chips, meaning, there is no master-slave restriction and each bud can be used separately.
On top of that, the BUTTONS Air X uses a hybrid active noise reduction scheme that comprises feedforward and feedback, with the amount of noise reduction reaching up to 35dB. Active noise reduction can be experienced when you wear the headset, and you can get rid of some low-frequency noise.
The official BUTTONS Air X description suggests they can automatically eliminate echo and environmental noise, based on the call scene. In other words, you have a crystal clear calling experience even in a noisy environment. Note that completely muting outdoor sound could prove to be dangerous, especially if you are walking on a street or driving.
The BUTTONS Air X comes with a transparent mode, allowing the wearer to perceive ambient sound with headphones. To switch between the three modes of noise reduction, ambient sound, and standard only, all you need to do is to tap the left ear touch panel, and you can click the right earbud to pause/play music, and answer/reject calls. To go back to the song you are listening to, simply double-click the left earbud and double-click the right earbud for moving to the next song.
You can decrease or increase the volume by pressing the left or right earbud, and double click the left and right earbuds to activate the voice assistant. As if that weren’t enough, the BUTTONS Air X features multiple smart sensors, along with a built-in proximity sensor that can automatically pause playback when you take the headset off. The earphones are rated IPX4 waterproof, meaning, you do not need to worry about wearing them in rain or while exercising. The BUTTONS Air X will set you back 1298 yuan.