We’ve always approached wireless earbuds as wireless earbuds. In terms of the sound, how they work, extra features and the noise cancellation tech, if at all. But did you ever imagine true wireless earbuds also adding a speaker into the mix? That’s exactly what Crossloop have done with the new Crossloop GEN wireless earbuds. And to be fair, with some degree of comfort and a fair amount of utility. And how much does this uniqueness, which we will get into detail in just a moment, cost if you step out to buy the Crossloop GEN? These true wireless earbuds will cost you around Rs 3,999 which puts them squarely in the hotly contested price band. From what I have experienced, anyone who has the budget for affordable wireless earbuds, should come away impressed with that the Crossloop GEN offers, and that extra value add with the speaker.
The Crossloop GEN can be had in four colour options. What I have here is the Blue option that has a thin leather wrap on half of the case lid. You can also have this in the Black leather option with the same leather treatment. Alternatively, you also have the choice of the brighter Pine Wood Finish or the Teak Wood Finish. All of these colour options are dual tone, either with the same colours or complete contrast, and either way, it simply ticks off the visual appeal aspect. One half of the lid, in all four cases, has a speaker grille-esque finish. You may be wondering why? The cases are definitely larger than most true wireless earbuds you may have held up, and that mystery is revealed when you pop open the lid—there sits a speaker integrated within the charging case. So yes, what looks like a speaker grille on the lid is actually a speaker grille. Look around the case, and you’d notice this has a micro-USB port for charging. That’s a bit disappointing, because chances are, your phone has USB-C anyway and that simply means one more charging cable to keep tabs on. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it is just one more thing to do.
So, how does this speaker work? First things first, this speaker will not work like a Bluetooth speaker. Which means you cannot pair your phone or tablet directly with this speaker and belt out tunes. It has to and will only work with the earbuds and will play back the music that you’d otherwise already be streaming to the buds before you decide to make the switch. It isn’t a standalone Bluetooth speaker, so to say. The way to get this to work is that you’d first have to switch the Crossloop GEN buds on, connect them with a playback device and then play music, podcasts etc. on that. As the buds do what they are supposed to do, place the buds back in the case without pausing the playback and shut the case. The music playback switches to the built-in speaker and life carries on as normal. To stop this playback and power off the buds, open and close the case again. To be honest, this isn’t very clear at first, but it isn’t very complicated to get the hang of.
These Crossloop GEN earbuds have a rounded design and don’t have a stem-like design. These sit fairly comfortably in the ear, though that’ll depend on whether you have the correct ear tips in place. Not the smallest buds, but they don’t stick out of the ears too much either. Inside each bud are 6mm audio drivers which Crossloop calls HD dynamic drivers. The buds do deliver loud sound if that’s what you need and pretty powerful bass. More bass than I had expected, and certainly taps into what the larger demographic of affordable wireless earbuds buyers want. I have to say that the clarity of vocals is really good. In the end, this is more a V-shaped EQ setting by default, and for the audience this is targeted at, that’s just the ticket. Mids do miss out a bit, something you’d notice on tracks and music genres that require a more balanced equalizer setting. Yet, for the clarity this can reproduce at fairly high volumes and has a generous amount of bass to go with it, the Crossloop GEN will be ideal for up-tempo music, including all those popular remixes. The battery will also last you fairly well, with the buds themselves lasting around 4 hours on a single charge and the case adding another 16 hours before everything needs to be charged again.
The Last Word: Standing Out In A Very Crowded Earbuds Space
Go out to look for true wireless earbuds’ options at affordable price points, and you’ll be left puzzled at the sheer variety and range that’s available. A lot of them made by brand you’d have heard of, and a lot of them by brands you’d have never heard of. Most of them, I have to warn you, will not match up to your expectations. Very few do, in terms of quality and experience. The Crossloop GEN does, and more than does it in style. For a price of around Rs 3,990 you are getting good wireless earbuds and also the added coolness of a speaker. Albeit limited utility because chances are you’d already have a portable Bluetooth speaker of some sort for listening in a larger space. Yet, the coolness quotient is very much ticked off. Do consider the Crossloop GEN, they’ll surprise you.