Truly wireless earbuds are a more common sight right now, thanks in part to Apple’s incredibly popular AirPods. I see these things everywhere now but they’re mainly for those who have an iPhone. While they do work for Android, they lose a bit of functionality so for us not on an iPhone, we usually look for other alternatives. One such alternative is the new Wicked Audio Arq. These are billed as truly wireless earbuds that are not only supposed to sound good, but also be inexpensive.
The Wicked Audio Arq is very similar to other wireless earbuds on the market. What I mean by that is that the overall package consists of the right and left earbuds along with a charging case for storage. Speaking of which, Wicked Audio is getting better with their packaging. The box itself is really solid and eye-catching, but that’s not what you really care about. Back to the earbuds.
Wicked Audio has done something that a bit of a head scratcher. You see, the Arq has no real distinguishing characteristics that set it apart from other wireless earphones of this type. What I mean by that is these look pretty generic, like something you’d find on Amazon from companies you’ve never heard of before. They’re black, nondescript, and anonymous looking. They don’t even have the Wicked Audio logo on them.
What isn’t anonymous looking is the charging case. This charging case is actually fairly large for something that is suppose to house two tiny earbuds, but there’s a good reason for that. The case itself is also a backup battery that can not only charge your earbuds, but also any device really. The case is only the only real visual clue that these are Wicked Audio earbuds as there is a huge logo on it in black.
Back to the earbuds, these do have buttons on them for functionality, though limited. Mainly the button is used to play/pause or activate the mic when picking up a phone call. There are also tiny LEDs that let you know if they’re working properly.
In terms of comfort, they’re not exactly the most ergonomic wireless earbuds I’ve seen. Due to their generic design, they only stay in place if you shove them into your ear canal deep enough. There’s nothing else really keeping them in place so there’s a high probability of them falling out during usage. If you’re not moving around too much, they’ll stay in place but if you’re doing some sort of activity that requires a lot of motion, keep in mind that these might fall out. Aside from that, these didn’t feel that bad in my ears though.
Aside from the little design issues and being a bit generic looking, the Wicked Audio Arq actually sounded pretty decent. I wouldn’t say they’re the best I’ve ever used, but for what they are and how much they cost, they’re good enough. There’s decent range throughout the highs, mids, and lows but there’s not much else that stands out.
Battery usage on the Arq is also average. You’ll get around 3 hours of usage between charges. When you’re running low, just pop the earbuds back into the charging case and they’ll recharge while in storage. A full charge should take about 30 minutes.
Speaking of which, while I appreciate the large battery in the charging case, it would have been much nicer to have a smaller case, one that would fit better in your pockets. As it is right now, the case is a bit bulky and isn’t something I’d want to carry around with me in my pockets on a daily bases.
Did Wicked Audio accomplish what they set out to do with the new Arq? Probably. I mean these are truly wireless earbuds and they do work pretty well and sound just about as good as you’d expect. However, there are probably areas they could improve upon if they ever decided to make a version 2 of these. I’d like to see a more distinct design and a smaller case.
Which brings me to this. For the price, these are pretty good sounding wireless earbuds. You can’t really beat the sub-$100 pricing and I think you’ll be satisfied enough where you can overlook some of its shortcomings.