Indian audio company, Noise, has been successful in creating waves in the audio industry due to their lineup of affordable and efficient audio solutions. The company has an array of true wireless and wireless earphones, all priced reasonably, that aims to play amongst the heavyweights of the industry. Most Noise products we have reviewed in the past have provided us with more than satisfactory results. The company’s audio products have sort of become a go-to, especially in India, for those who want a pleasant auditory experience without breaking the bank. The Noise Shots Rush is one of the company’s latest true wireless offerings dedicated to those living an active lifestyle. These sports earphones, priced at Rs 3,999, come packing bells and whistles such as full touch controls, voice assistant access, an IPX5 rating, and more. So, let’s find out how the budgetary true wireless earphones performed in our tests.
Build and design
Noise has branded these earphones as sports earphones, geared specifically towards people with a more active lifestyle. The earphones come equipped with something the company calls ‘sports ear hooks’. These are basically large silicone ear tips that loop around and get tucked behind your ear to offer a more secure fit. The ear hooks are flexible and easily loop around most ears, however, if you have tiny ears, the ear hooks may jut out from over your ear. Either way, you’ll still get a pretty secure fit owing to the ear hooks as well as angled ear tips that sit firmly within your ear.
Alas, the snug and secure fit on these earphones actually tends to hamper the overall comfort. Something about the earbuds’ shape and the degree to which they are angled causes extreme pressure and discomfort within the insides of your ear. To ensure this was not just a problem due to the reviewer’s smaller-than-usual ears, we passed around these buds to another person who has larger ears, and unfortunately, they experienced the same pressure and discomfort. About 15 minutes of usage is enough to cause your ears to feel uncomfortable and an hour or two into the listening sessions turns the discomfort into full-fledged pain. We advise you to try these earphones before buying them, if you can, to see if you face the same issues since it can seriously hamper your experience.
Putting the obvious comfort issues aside, the earphones are primarily made out of plastic but still feel pretty robust and premium. The earbuds extend into the earphone stems which then connect to the ear hooks . The ear hooks, however, are not detachable. The stem portion of the earphones houses the touch panels which allow users to control playback and calls. They have a matte texture all over the plastic earphones and the silicone ear hooks. The earphones also come in three colour options – Charcoal Grey (almost black), Quick Silver (really grey), and Wine Red (more like magenta). They’re certainly attractive earphones to look at, if only they were as comfortable as attractive.
Owing to the rather large footprint of the earphones due to the elongated stem and the large ear hooks, the charging case also needs to be massive to incorporate these earphones within them. The charging case is one of the largest, if not the largest, case we’ve seen with true wireless earphones. The charging case has rounded edges and features a smooth matte texture that feels great to the touch. However, the case is far from pocketable and will certainly jut out prominently on most pants and jeans, if it even fits in the pockets, that is. They certainly don’t fit in the pockets of women’s jeans, which are notorious for small pockets.
The rear side of the charging case features a micro-USB charging port. *sigh* It is not wrong to expect Type-C charging with a pair of earphones costing about Rs 4,000. Inside the case, you will see massive indents for the earphones along with golden magnetic tips to hold and charge the earphones. The case also uses a magnet to keep the lid shut, which snaps in an audibly satisfying manner.
Overall, the Noise Shots Rush true wireless sports earphones miss the mark when it comes to comfort. The massive charging case is also not too convenient, however, we can let this go since the massive sports earphones call for a larger than usual case. Nevertheless, the earphones themselves look aesthetic and if the fit isn’t a problem for you and you live an active lifestyle, then you can consider buying these earphones for a snug and secure fit even when you’re running or working out.
For a pair of affordable true wireless earphones, the Noise Shots Rush do possess a fair number of features. Firstly, they come with an IPX5 sweatproof and water-resistant rating which means that the earphones can easily shrug off sweat and even light rain. However, don’t go around dunking these into water. They are also powered by Bluetooth 5.0 and support the AAC codec. The Bluetooth range, as per the company, is about 33 feet or 10m. We couldn’t quite test this out due to the lockdown, however, they did maintain the connection just fine when we went into another room.
The Noise Shots Rush also come equipped with full touch controls, as mentioned above. The controls are as follows – single press on either earbud to pause/play music, double-tap the right side to increase the volume and left to decrease it, long-press the right side to skip to the next track and the same on the left side takes you to the previous track, and a double-tap on either side also answers calls. A long-press on either side will also decline incoming phone calls.
Additionally, three taps on the touchpad of the left earphone summons your device’s voice assistant while three taps on the right activates Game Mode. You’ll know you’ve entered Game Mode when you hear the voice of a gun shooting. Noise claims that Game Mode drops the latency to a lowly 85ms. We played PUBG Mobile with Game Mode turned on and there was almost no perceptible delay in the sound of the shots being fired, which is commendable. The earphones also come packing an EQ with three fixed sound presets – Pop, Rock and Classical. Tapping four times on either earbuds’ touch panel will cycle through the modes. The touch controls are extremely responsive and are intuitive for the most part. We’ll elaborate further on the sound quality of the three EQ presets in the next section.
Lastly, the battery life on these earphones is pretty good. The company claims that the buds can power through 6 hours of continuous usage, while the charging case can top up the earphones three times over. That’s a total battery life of 24 hours which is quite respectable. In our tests, we found the company claim to be pretty accurate. The earphones lasted for a little under 6 hours (approximate 5 hours, 45 minutes) on a single charge and we managed to charge the earphones another 3 times before the case ran out of juice.
Packing sizable 12mm drivers, the Noise Shots Rush have an overall warm and pleasing sound profile. However, their sound profile is actually split into three varied ones. There are three genre-specific audio modes available on the Noise Shots Rush – Pop, Rock and Classical. By default, the device is set on the Pop audio mode and tapping either earbud 4 times will allow you to cycle through these EQ presets. Let’s delve into the intricate details of each audio mode separately.
Starting off with the default Pop Mode, in our opinion, this mode is by far the weakest link out of all three presets. This mode features an A-shaped sound signature with accentuated mids and vocals and suppressed lows and highs. The idea was perhaps to hero the vocals, which this mode certainly does well. The vocals in pop tracks sound smooth, textured and full. The vocals have an unmistakable intensity to them, which we really liked. Sadly, the Pop mode sorely lacks bass response. Since most modern-day pop music has a healthy amount of bass, this causes pop tracks to sound hollow at times. However, if you listen to mainly vocal-centric tracks such as Hello by Adele and don’t care much about the enunciation of instruments, this is the right audio mode for you.
Coming to the Rock mode, this features a V-shaped sound profile that accentuates the bass response, lows, and the highs. Noise made a good call here since accentuated lows and highs really bring out the vitality and drive in bass guitars and cymbals. Vocals take a bit of a backseat in this mode and the spotlight is mainly on all the instruments, as it should be. However, lead guitars can sound a tad bit muted. Also, if you like keeping the volume high when rocking out to tracks, the highs can get slightly tinny and jarring, while the lows become slightly distorted and muddy. In the track Hysteria by Muse, the electric guitar at the beginning of the song sounds rather shrill and unpleasant.
The Classical mode tends to have a more mids-focused sound profile with a bit of a bass punch to it as well. In fact, pop tracks actually sound better in this mode than the Pop mode, which is counterintuitive. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of switching up audio modes, which can get tedious since it involves tapping the touchpad 4 times, we’d advise you to just keep the Classical Mode active at all times. The bass is sufficiently punchy, the vocals are detailed and well-rendered while the highs are a bit underemphasised but not tinny.
Instrument separation and imaging is poor on the earphones. In Selkies by Between the Buried and Me, the wide array of instrument present in the track vehemently overlap each other causing the track to sound even more chaotic than intended. Soundstage isn’t too wide, however, in Classical Mode, you do get a slight surround sound effect.
Overall, we really like the inclusion of three separate and very different sounding sound profiles in the Noise Shots Rush. It offers users the choice to either stick with one that resonates the most with them or switch between the presets as and when they see fit. Also, noise isolation, owing to the snug fit, is fantastic on these earphones. It muffles out all environmental sounds to a great degree. Call quality on these earphones, however, is strictly mediocre. The microphone picks up surrounding sounds as well and the caller’s voice sounds slightly muffled to the person on the other end.
Priced conservatively at Rs 3,999, the Noise Shots Rush true wireless sports earphones are a decent pair of earphones. However, the harrowing comfort issues stop us from recommending these earphones to people. The discomfort seriously deteriorated our entire experience with the earbuds and we were forced to take breaks from the earphones within an hour, or sometimes, even minutes after using them. Nevertheless, if you do get a chance to try these on and aren’t plagued by similar comfort issues, they become quite a lucrative purchase due to the largely pleasant sound profile on all 3 audio modes, the snug fit, and the good battery life. Unfortunately, due to the pressing comfort issues, we can’t give Noise a thumbs up for this product.