Crossbeats is not quite the first name that springs to mind when you’re looking for buying earphones. However, you may have come across the brand’s page on Instagram ads, which is how I discovered them. The Indian brand has been around since 2015, according to their website, and specialises in making wireless personal audio products. Fast forward to now, and I’ve spent about a month, give or take, listening to their latest product — the Crossbeats Pebble. What I found during this time has been pleasantly surprising, but not without a few quirks.
Straight off the bat, the Pebble is immediately noteworthy. It comes in a smooth, matte rubber casing that isn’t really small, but not disruptively large either. This isn’t a wireless charging case, but thankfully, features a USB-C port and also charges quite swiftly. Its opening and closing mechanism has a satisfying ‘click’ to it, but over the past one month, with frequent usage, does feel a bit loose already.
What I particularly like is the olive green finish, which actually looks quite classy. The earbuds themselves sport the same colour, but the central control button on each bud has a muted bronze finish, which accentuates the overall finish even further. The earbuds have a no-fuss design approach, which is yet again appreciable. On overall terms, the Crossbeats Pebble scores quite highly in terms of its design, and both the case and the buds feel well built. In fact, if the branding is hidden, this can very well be passed off for a pair of inexpensive Sennheisers.
Fit and comfort
What impressed me the most is how comfortably the Pebble fit into the ears. The earbuds, with the default eartips, have a nice heft that makes them sit well on ears. While this will likely vary, the design of the earbuds make it easy for you to get a good fit and find a comfortable angle to wear the earbuds for longer hours. It stays in place when you go out running, and is not too heavy to be intrusive. That said, you do feel its heft in your ears, which may make you feel like taking them off every now and then, before plugging back in. For the average user, though, the Pebble fits just right.
It is also quite easy to use — drawing them out of the charging case is not too tedious. When done, simply bring each earbud close to their housing, and they snap back in with a snap. This, coupled with the matte, rubberised build, actually encourages you to use the Pebble without being too careful about it.
Sound and calling
The Pebble actually sounds good, too. However, there are a few quirks here. In terms of audio performance, the Pebble produces decently clear highs and a strong bass line, but as you would expect from most mainstream products, the mids sound a bit muted. What this means is, in most tracks with a clear bass line, you will likely hear more of the instruments and the booming bass, over the vocals. This can be fixed by a tweak of the equaliser if your phone has one, but if it does not, the audio signature will not please you if you like a more neutral audio balance.
That said, the bass response is impressively clean and well detailed for its price. This is well complemented by the highs, which sound quite clean. The good bit about the sound is that the level of clarity is quite decent, and you will not face too many issues until you push the volume level beyond 80 percent. The Pebble is also impressively loud, so the good bit here is that you do not need to push the volume level that high, most of the time. In essence, the Pebble’s sound signature and timbre works well for casual listening during your commutes, which is what its target objective is. It also works for most genres, but bass-heavy genres such as funk, hip-hop, EDM etc sound a bit too booming, and somewhat take away from the experience.
The Pebble offers a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to phone calls. Being in relatively quiet environments means you can make calls without much hassle. However, out on the road, the calling performance is inconsistent. It does appear to pick up more of the ambience, and in-call audio is not too good. You may also need to yell to be heard on the other side, which makes matters worse considering that you’d look like you’re yelling at your neighbour’s cat, for no apparent reason.
Price and verdict
Despite these few quirks, at Rs 4,999, the Crossbeats Pebble is actually a fairly impressive package. It became my de facto commute partner over the past one month, and actually sounds much better than many of its competitors out there. It also offers excellent battery life — after about five hours of listening to music every day, I’ve only had to charge it once, for about an hour, every Sunday. If you’re looking for a reliable pair of true wireless earbuds without breaking your bank, the Crossbeats Pebble is definitely worth considering.