Noise is a company that is getting more and more aggressive in the Indian market. It may not be as well-known as others in the truly wireless earphone market, but with the recently released Shots X3 BASS and Shots XO, the company is making a name for itself.
In mid-March, the company released the Shots Groove. These TWS earbuds are both bass- and pocket-friendly. Priced at just Rs 2,999, these have the potential to give the company some momentum going forward.
Shots Groove comes with Bluetooth 5.0, IPX5 water resistance, a case with USB Type-C charging port, and a claim of five hours of battery life on a single charge. Of course, as with most TWS earbuds, there are touch controls.
While I wasn’t at all impressed with the Shots XO, I’ve been using the Shots Groove earbuds for two weeks to see if Noise can redeem itself. Read on to find out.
What do you get in the box?
– Three sets of ear tips (small, medium and large)
– USB Type-C cable
– Charging case
– Noise Shots Groove in Matte Black colour
– User manual (including instructions on how to perform a hard reset)
Design and build quality: Solid, if not inspiring
The Shots Groove charging case is a lightweight circular box – weighing just 55 grams – and is made of plastic. It’s got a matte finish that helps avoid fingerprints or scratches for the large part. It may get dirty, but that is unavoidable.
The Shots Groove fits right into the pocket, unlike the Shots XO that seemed to bulge every single time. The earbuds themselves are almost too light, weighing just 4.5 grams each. There are LED lights – red and blue – on each earbud and touch controls as well.
To make the earbuds more comfortable, Noise has included extra ear tips in the package.
Last but not the least, the earbuds come with an IPX5 rating. This means that they can be worn while exercising – whether in the gym or going for a run outside – and can even withstand a bout of rain. Just don’t expect to wear them while you’re swimming or taking a shower.
Connectivity: Much better than the Shots XO
Shots XO was frustrating when it came to the pairing process. For the longest, only one earbud of the Shots XO would connect to my smartphone. I couldn’t get them both connected until much later.
Initially, with the Shots Groove, I had the same problem. One hard reset and I was good to go. I even tried switching between devices without any hassle. The Shots Groove supports Bluetooth 5.0, which means it can be connected to both Android and iOS devices, and even MP3 players that have Bluetooth support. With quick pairing, the Shots Groove delivers a stable connection. Take them out of the case and they’ll pair almost instantly.
The connection between the earbuds only dropped if they were taken apart a considerable distance, in my case, two rooms. Immediately when I came back in range, it played without hassles. A far smoother experience than the Shots XO.
The Shots Groove may not have a companion app but they do allow you to launch Siri or Google Assistant. All you need to do is press-and-hold one of the earbuds thrice while the music is off.
Audio quality: Clear
Shots Groove’s sound quality is crystal clear, for the most part. Whether listening to podcasts, watching YouTube videos, making calls or listening to songs, the sound is crystal clear, unless at a volume above 85 percent.
The only snag I noticed was when there was a noisy environment. Then sometimes the earbuds struggled to pick up your voice.
The good thing is that the volume of the earbuds is very loud. Even without active noise cancellation, you can barely hear anything around you – passive noise isolation at its best.
However, these earbuds won’t be good for instrument heavy songs, and neither it plays jazz with the smoothness and range that you’d expect. I’ve been listening to Fiona Apple’s latest album, Fetch The Bolt Cutters, and while I was impressed with the clarity, a lot of the times, the background noise just got mushed together.
Make no bones about it though because these are firmly budget TWS earbuds. Being priced at just Rs 2,999, you shouldn’t expect much out of these. You may not be taken by the flimsy design of the earbuds but they sure do sound better than the Realme Buds Air.
Lastly, the earbuds have support for high-quality AAC audio codec. Don’t forget to enable these in the Bluetooth settings. Every little bit of enhancement is welcome.
The audio quality, on the whole, is good for the price range, but strictly average otherwise.
There are touch controls on both earbuds that allow for play/pause, forward/previous, launching voice assistant, accepting or rejecting calls, and also controlling the volume. The controls aren’t very hard to memorise.
The touch controls are fairly receptive and more often than not registered my tap without any hassle.
Battery life: Slight disappointment
Yes, the earbuds claim 5 hours of play on a single charge but I struggled to get more than four hours, even with 80 percent volume.
If the earbuds are inactive for five minutes then they’ll automatically turn off to preserve battery. Long pressing either of the earbuds will turn them on again.
Frankly, even with the case’s 300mAh battery that promises an additional 10 hours of battery life, I was struggling to reach 12-13 hours. Any recent Android device will show you the battery life of the Bluetooth headset, so you needn’t rely on the unreliable four-LED lights on the charging case.
Charging the case from 0-100 percent takes about 100 minutes via a USB Type-C port.
Verdict: One of the better TWS earbuds in this price range
While I may have been disappointed with the battery life, I was impressed with the overall slim package and good sound clarity. The Noise Shots Groove are a good option for TWS earbuds under Rs 3,000. Maybe a software update can fix the battery life.
Right now, it is available on Flipkart and Noise’s own website in Matte Black colour. The company plans to introduce more colours in the coming weeks.
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