Decent value for money with a few snags

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A pair of cheap wireless earphones, the Wings Glide, is a lucrative purchase for just Rs 1,199. The company has previously provided some pretty competent affordable audio solutions such as the Wings Alpha, the Wings PowerPods and others. Previously, we’ve only tested true wireless earphones from the company, and they’ve usually been pretty capable audio solutions for those on a budget, so we were excited to test some wireless neckband headphones this time. Let’s see how the Wings Glide wireless earphones fared in our review.

Build and design

The Wings Glide has a fairly common neckband style design with a mostly plastic construction. While this makes the earphones feel a bit plastic-ky and cheap, the earphones are extremely lightweight. The lack of weight almost feigns non-existence, so there are times when we actually forgot we were wearing wireless earphones. However, the earphones also feel a bit flimsy and we’ve even seen some reviews where the earphones suddenly stop working. We therefore recommend that you handle these earphones with care, as they seem to be a bit on the delicate side. In the box you also get a manual, two extra pairs of silicone tips and a micro USB charging cable.

The earphones have a matte black finish and the earbuds themselves have a smooth matte texture that feels great. The modules of the wireless earphones are also lightweight and the left one has three physical buttons, an LED indicator and the charging port. The three buttons have a rubber texture and feel quite grippy. The buttons also have a nice tactile click. The plus and minus buttons allow you to adjust the volume and search for songs, while the center multi-function button is used to pause/play media, answer/reject phone calls and invoke your voice assistant. Overall, the controls are simple and intuitive.

As for the wires connecting the neckband to the earbuds, they are simple round wires, but you can adjust their length with the plastic adjusters on the neckband. While we didn’t find this device too useful as the wires are already quite short, some users with excessively small necks may find it useful. Finally, the earbuds are small, ergonomic, and fit snugly in the ear (at least, according to our tests). We found that the Medium earbuds fit us perfectly and provided a pretty snug fit which escalated the passive isolation. The earbuds also come with magnets that secure the two earbuds together when they’re inactive around your chest, but the magnets on these are rather weak.

The fit of the earphones was so tight that we often had to remove the earbuds from our ear to listen to everyone around us, which is really a testament to the passive isolation capabilities. In addition, the comfortable fit ensures that you can wear these earplugs for hours on end. We can also recommend these earphones for gym and running as they pretty much stay in place once you put them on, with no sign of movement. The Wings Glide may not be the most aesthetically pleasing earphones you’ve seen, but they offer great comfort and a great fit for a pair of cheap wireless earphones.

Functions

The Wings Glide is quite lacking when it comes to features. It offers users some basics, but its affordable price means that users will not be familiar with some of the better features seen on other wireless earphones, although they are more expensive. The earphones are equipped with Bluetooth v4.2 instead of the latest versions like v5.0 or v5.1. According to the company, this provides about 30 feet of wireless connectivity range (without obstacles). In our testing, the connection was decent, but it did break when we walked from one room to the front door (about 20 feet). Nevertheless, there were no strange lags or jumps in the audio when listening to music.

The Wings Glide is also equipped with an IPX4 rating, meaning it can easily shed any sweat it may encounter during workouts or runs. It can also shake off light rain, but try not to submerge these earphones in the water. The earphones also support the integration of voice assistants. Long-pressing the center button will summon your phone’s voice assistant. Unfortunately, the Glide does not support additional Bluetooth codecs such as AAC and aptX, only the standard SBC codec.

As for battery life, the company claims that the Wings Glide can have about 6 hours of playtime. In our testing, we were about to get about 5 hours of playtime with these earphones at 50 percent volume. The battery life of the Wings Glide is absolutely mediocre since these days, even true wireless earphones come with more than 5-6 hours of juice in the buds themselves, with extra juice in the charging case. Still, we won’t complain excessively, as these are cheap wireless earphones. The earphones also fully charge in about 2 hours, which is decent. However, they do come with a micro USB charger instead of a Type-C which is expected at the price, but having to carry multiple chargers for different devices is a pain.

Performance

With a rather pleasant, warm sound profile, the Wings Glide sounds good with multiple genres. It has a V-shaped sound profile that sounds pretty good when listening to hip-hop, pop and EDM music. The bass is punchy and has a lot of drive, but in some songs, like Another One Bites the Dust by Queen, the bass can get a bit boomy and affect the quality of the vocals as there is quite a bit of auditory masking, especially in the lower midtones. Fortunately, the auditory masking is not extremely prominent and can go unnoticed by untrained ears. Also, the bass doesn’t get as boomy as we’ve seen on some other budget devices and sounds relatively pleasant overall.

The vocals sound decent on their own on these earphones. The mids are slightly underexposed, so vocals can sometimes take a backseat to the other lows and highs, but in songs that focus on vocals, like Adele’s Hello, they’re quite well represented. The earphones also do a lot better with female vocals, as that side of the frequency graph isn’t as sunken as the lower mids (where the male vocals tend to be).

The highs are strictly decent. If you’re someone who likes to crank up the volume, it can get quite tinny. Fortunately, it never really became a whoop, even at nearly 100 percent volume. Nevertheless, hissing sounds (S and T sounds) can sometimes sound loud. The soundstage is, as expected, largely limiting, but the imaging is decent. You can approximate the position of instruments in your head quite accurately when you listen to the Wings Glide.

In the media, the earphones actually cut through action movies with explosive ‘thumps and thumps’ that amplify the experience. The latency is also quite low and there is very little discernible delay between the audio and video. The call quality on the Wings Glide also pleasantly surprised us as the receiver could hear us quite clearly and the voice didn’t sound distant or muffled like many cheap wireless earphones.

bottom line

Conservatively priced at Rs 1,199, the Wings Glide is actually a pretty solid budget buy in the wireless earphone segment. If you can let go of the lack of features, the Wings Glide has a solid build, comfortable fit and good sound quality. We particularly liked the call quality and the ergonomic nature of the earbuds. So if you’re on a budget and prefer a warm sound profile, the Wings Glide might be the earphones you’re looking for.

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