I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing several products from Syllable so far such as their Syllable D900 Mini Wireless Earbuds, the Syllable D700 Wireless Sports Earbuds, and now today I will be giving you my review on their newest product, the Syllable D9X Wireless Earbuds. These earbuds are similar to what Apple offers with their Apple AirPods as far as design and what they look to accomplish with the product, but at a much cheaper price.
Although I praised Syllable quite highly in the introduction, the first thing I see already irks me a little. The earbuds come in a carrying pouch that contains the earbuds, some accessories, and a cigarette lighter case with four batteries inside. I would have much preferred a single cigarette lighter case that was able to hold the batteries as well as the earbuds themselves. Nonetheless, the pouch and case are of decent quality and don’t disappoint.
Snap the battery into the earbud and the earbud automatically powers on. The magnets are strong enough that you can attach the battery without even looking, leaving them in your ear. The left earbud is the main earbud, and the right one (slave) automatically pairs to the left when powered on, no need for shenanigans.
My first instinct was to worry that the magnetic batteries would fall out if you bumped it, but these magnets are strong. Nothing short of yanking it out or a hard face plant into concrete would completely disconnect the battery from the earbud, and even then, a face plant might not be enough to disconnect them.
However, there is a very annoying side effect, if you accidentally push them sideways, they won’t fall out completely but that will be enough to disconnect the earbud from power, causing your earbud to power down before powering back up when it sits properly in the slot again. Tolerances aren’t as tight as I would like them to be, you can see that the battery pack doesn’t slot perfectly into the magnetic holder, nonetheless it still works well.
One thing to mention here is where the battery does connect to the earbud itself seems like cheap plastic. Cheap in the way that if you move the battery around while it’s connected, the plastic looks like it will crack and/or break very easily and this might cause the battery to not stay connected the way it’s intended.
Each battery pack can power the Syllable D9x for 2 hours. The included case charges each pack in about 30-40 minutes. The charging case can charge 6 battery packs in total before running out of juice, meaning around 8 hours of battery life. You can charge the case while the case is charging the battery packs in turn. So if you are beside a wall charger, you can expect infinite battery life. However, one caveat, when you take the battery pack out of the earbud, it turns off. That means that whenever you swap a battery, can you expect music downtime of about 10 – 15 seconds, depending on how fast you are.
I did experience a couple of dropped connections during playback, which would result in the audio cutting in and out. However, Syllable has wisely caused the audio to fade out if disconnected and to fade back in when connected. I have a love/hate relationship with this fade in/out feature. Its great for music, it doesn’t jar you out of a reverie, however its horrible for podcasts and movies (or anything with speech).
Because the fade out/fade in transition takes about 1-2 seconds, you lose an extra 2 seconds of listening time compared to a headset with no fading, which results in a rather large gap where you have no idea what was being said. Bluetooth range is about 20 feet (6m) with no obstacles in the way, and about 10 feet (3m) if you have lots of walls and doors in between.
Audio quality here is average. Its slightly better than my previous Syllable D900 Mini true wireless earbuds, but they weren’t anything to write home about either. I would say that these earbuds match regular $25 earbuds in terms of treble output, beat them in terms of clarity, but fall behind with bass. They are definitely worse quality than the Airpods, Jaybird Runs, and the Bragi Dash also.
In fact, they are outperformed by the older Syllable D900 Minis in terms of bass output also. That being said, the audio here is good enough for the regular person looking to make the transition to true wireless earbuds, as they won’t find exceptional sound, merely acceptable sound.
For $49.99, if you’re looking for truly wireless earbuds and nothing more, then I would say the Syllable D9X might be for you. If you’re looking for truly wireless earbuds plus decent battery life without having to swap batteries out and pairing the earbuds every couple of hours and a great sound, then I’d suggest you look elsewhere.
The Syllable D9X are a great idea but that’s where the greatness ends in my opinion. These need a lot of work to be something that I’d use or even recommend to the next person. There are certainly better alternatives on the market, though their prices are higher. There’s a reason for that price being higher compared to the Syllable D9X and it’s a price I’d be willing to pay to get a better product.