vivo is the latest smartphone company showing strong interest in the TWS niche and we have its latest product with us – the vivo TWS Neo.
We had a Starry Blue unit alongside the Vivo X50 Pro smartphone (here’s the review), and now we’re ready to share our thoughts on it.
vivo tries to be a brand for young and successful people and does its best to make its devices attractive. The Neo headphones have a plastic casing with a neat gradient color – it goes from silver to blue to black – it is indeed as beautiful as the night sky. The headphones follow the same color scheme, but their build quality leaves us somewhat disappointed.
The vivo TWS Neo feels rather cheap and plastic in the hands, while the case hinge is about to snap, when you hear how it clicks and unlocks. Also, the entire setup is a fingerprint magnet that takes away otherwise attractive looks. The glossy finish of the headphones also gives an uneasy feeling that the headphones could fall out of the ear at any time.
vivo says there is a 14.2mm speaker in the earpiece for deeper bass and richer sound – basic physics says the bigger the speaker, the louder the sound . While this is true in theory, in practice it is a bit more complicated. The Vivo Acoustics team has developed DeepX stereo sound effects that aim to further enhance performance and produce crisper sound.
The truth is, the TWS Neo performs better than any other wireless earbud in its price class, but its full set of audio customization options are only available on select vivo smartphones. While the company’s website lists a dozen compatible flagships, in real life we’ve had a problem with every vivo phone that isn’t called the X50 Pro.
One really cool feature is the swipe volume on the TWS Neo – just swipe your finger up or down on the outer side and the volume of the device changes. Of course, you may also need to adjust the volume of your smartphone, as Bluetooth does not send this information to the device.
Speaking of connectivity, vivo phones immediately find the TWS Neo and a quick prompt appears on the screen, allowing seamless pairing. Third-party smartphones have to go through the ordinary pairing process of finding the device in the Bluetooth menu.
Vivo TWS Neo interface on vivo NEX 3 (1,2) vs vivo X50 Pro (3,4)
The charger case has a capacity of 400mAh with each bud having 27mAh, totaling just over 450mAh of typical capacity. Charging is rather slow via the USB-C port – around 1.5 hours, but the playtime is well worth it – the buds can comfortably live for over four hours.
When you factor in the extra charge in the case, the battery life reaches 22.5 hours, which is more than you will actually need.
One feature we lack is ambient noise cancellation, but there is at least in-call noise filtering, taking advantage of the two external microphones to make sure the other party can hear you well.
- Crisp sound, one of the best in its price category.
- Fast connectivity with all devices thanks to Bluetooth 5.2.
- Stylish look.
- Good battery life, USB-C port.
- No noise cancellation except when calling.
- Inexpensive construction.
- Compatibility issues.
- The uptime is anything but impressive.
After spending a few weeks with the vivo TWS Neo, we can say that this is arguably the best pair of sounds in its price range. The build quality won’t impress anyone, but with its price tag being around $ 60, we doubt that many people will find this to be a deciding factor.
A much bigger issue could be uptime – the TWS Neo is only officially present in a handful of markets. Of course, you can still import them, but going through the problem and paying the fees involved is really bad for value for money. Still, if you live in one of those few countries where vivo officially sells the TWS Neo and really cares about audio quality, we can’t imagine you will regret buying a pair.