ANC or active noise cancellation is a tough sell when it comes to the budget segment. This is exactly why it is surprising to see the technology coming to budget products like the pTron Bassbuds Ultima that we are reviewing today.
The headphones cost Rs 1,399 and claim to offer decent battery life, a comfortable design, and most importantly an ANC experience at this price point. Here’s what we think of this affordable pair of TWS headphones
pTron BassBuds Ultima: what’s good?
The pTron BassBuds Ultima are comfortable and are not very heavy either. You can wear them easily for long hours. However, the choice of materials used doesn’t feel really premium when wearing these headphones.
While that doesn’t affect its audio performance, we still end up with a pair of headphones that will remind you that this is a low budget purchase every now and then. This includes classic robotics ” switch on switch off “ sound clues.
These have a pretty standard headphone design, but an interesting casing that now gives you a mini display inside that shows the battery capacity of the headphones when docked. The case has a USB-C charging port.
The headphones sound great which really took me by surprise. While not the richest sounding output, the tracks heard on the pTron BassBuds Ultima don’t sound very flat either, something I’ve experienced with more budget headphones than I can count.
Vocal and instrumental tracks like ‘My Immortal’ by Evanescence and ‘Tere Jeya Hor Dista’ from The yellow newspaper sound decent and have depth which is excellent at this price point.
The headphones also have a good bass punch, evident on tracks like “Radioactive” by imagine Dragons and ‘3h59’ by Divine, where vocals are not overpowered by deep bass, giving you a pleasant overall experience.
The ANC mode on the headphones is not a gimmick and can easily cancel out ambient sounds like gushing winds and the fan. However, the traffic can be too difficult, and the included transparency mode doesn’t really make a difference in actual use cases.
Battery life was okay on the headphones, and depending on your usage and volume levels, you should be able to last the headphones and case together for about a week.
pTron BassBuds Ultima: What’s wrong?
For the price, the pTron BassBuds isn’t wrong, but one aspect that could be improved upon is the gesture implementation which seemed clunky and unreliable on the tiny touch controls which will also take some getting used to. For example, a double tap on the right earbud will take you to the previous track (while the right side is usually associated with the next track). Unfortunately, there is also no companion app to customize or disable them.
I have also often experienced frequent disconnections on my paired phone, the OnePlus 9R from time to time. Strangely, these lasted about two seconds before reconnecting on their own and only happened when nothing was playing on the headphones.
The microphone quality was also average and on par with many other budget headphones, with parties on the other end complaining of muffled voices and echoing frequently. We would only use them for music and media, not for calls.
Verdict: should you buy the pTron BassBuds Ultima?
If you’re on a tight budget and absolutely want a budget pair of headphones with ANC at this price point, the pTron BassBuds Ultima are an option to consider. They sound great and have a fair ANC experience paired with good battery life and a USB-C port. However, if ANC isn’t a big deal for you, you may find better options in the same segment.
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