These new buds from Cherry surprisingly sound decent.
Cherry Mobile… at least, that’s what they were called before they expanded beyond smartphones and feature phones. Since 2018, the company also introduced its own AIoT devices such as robot vacuums, pet feeders, and even home security cameras. These devices could be controlled through the company’s dedicated Cherry Home AIoT app.
Because of their ever-expanding lineup of lifestyle products, we are dubbing them “Philippines’ Xiaomi”. While the company still sells phones and tablets, the company is now focusing more on expanding its environment, which helped them survive the great purge of local smartphone companies. They lost because they did not adapt quickly. However, Cherry managed not only to survive but also to become larger and could compete against international players.
Of course, if there are AIoT products, there are also lifestyle products, such as earbuds. The newest example is the Cherry Buds Cube. These buds arrived in the studio alongside the Smart Extension. Both of these could be configured through their Cherry Home app so you know they mean business when it comes to expanding their environment.
At first, we were baffled by the smart extension because practically, why would you ever need an app to control an extension cord? And why do you need voice controls too? Regular extensions with switches work just as fine. As gimmicky as the extensions feel, we got to admit that they are fun to use when configured through Cherry Home.
But we’re not here to discuss home hardware, we’re here to discuss sound devices, and power cords are beyond the scope of this review. Let’s just get started.
The Cherry Buds came in a premium-looking box that opens at the top. The front of it features the earbuds and its functions and features. The same features are also seen at the back but are now more detailed.
Inside it, you will find first the earbuds themselves as well as a USB-C charging cable. Underneath, it will reveal a set of silicone buds and the manual which you will need when setting up the buds for the first time. The manual also contains the functions for the buds’ gesture buttons, so DO NOT EVER LOSE IT.
One of the things Cherry has claimed is that the case has an “innovative” way to open. The case flips open and unlike the squircle and pill-shaped earbud cases we reviewed in the past, this one actually feels more unique. However, it’s not innovative as there are other earbuds that comes with a similar design.
Unlike the pill-shaped ones, this one could stand on its own. It’s a little challenging due to its curvy edges but it’s entirely possible.
As for the earbuds themselves, like the case, they are also cube-shaped and lack any legs. This may be challenging to hold for some and they are more subtle than those that do have legs. Also, they are interchangeable so you could put them at any ear easily. The multi-function button (this is what Cherry calls it) is pretty large as well.
The buds themselves look neat and premium. The same is true as well for the silicone tips. By default, medium-sized tips are installed but you could use the provided small and large tips if you found these a little uncomfortable for you.
Speaking of being comfortable, the Cherry Buds Cube are tiny and subtle so most of the time you wouldn’t feel them in your ears. However, compared to other TWS earbuds I’ve reviewed in the past, this one feels a little looser. I have to constantly adjust these, particularly, the left earbud, to ensure that they will stay tightened inside my ear. Also, their legless design makes it a little harder for me to touch the controls because my fingers have to squeeze through my ears. We recommend twisting them upside down so you could easily control them.
Nonetheless, the convenient placement of the MFB, as well as its size, makes the buds easy to control. Also, since the earbuds come with their own set of silicone tips, you could just use a larger pair to ensure that the buds remain tight.
The Cherry Buds Cube features a 40mAh battery for each bud and the case has a 300mAh battery. With the charging case, Cherry said that the buds could last up to 20 hours on a single usage in total. The earbuds alone could last up to 6 hours while it adds 14h more life with the case included.
By the way, the back of the box goes more into detail about how the battery life of the case and the cubes themselves can last in theory. In total, 20 hours, 6 hours for the buds, and 14 hours with the case. Since the buds charge rapidly inside the case, we could say that this theoretical endurance limit is not too far-fetched.
The buds themselves have an uneven battery life and I charged these two devices at the same time using the given charging case. I used these buds around 8:30 in the morning. By 1:30 PM, the left bud completely died while the right bud had 48% left according to the app. That’s 5 hours of use (6 counting 8:30 AM) and will still keep going because the right bud is still alive. It’s impressive how it can live longer than what the box claims but confusing why the buds have inconsistent battery lives.
Another thing I noticed is that the buds will shut themselves off when they are not in use for a while and they are exposed outside of their case. That’s a neat feature because none of my buds do that and also helps with saving battery life.
As for the case itself, the thing charged from empty to full in approximately 1 hour. It only had 25% increments so we could not accurately determine the battery life. Based on the box, 14 hours, and I believe that’s accurate because it did feel that the case lasted that long.
The Cherry Buds Cube connect using Bluetooth 5.1 which makes connecting to devices easy and seamless. As mentioned so many times, the buds can be configured through the Cherry Home App and has tracking features. We’ll discuss more of the app later.
Initially, I had some difficulty connecting these. You really have to have that manual because the first time I attempted to connect these without the manual, my phone registered the buds separately. So you probably know what happened next. If not, then these buds do not sync with the left bud being slightly faster than the right. That’s bothersome. Even manual calibration did not help even if the buds have the same latency rate
Luckily I was able to fix this issue by removing both of them in my phone’s Bluetooth settings. Now I was able to seamlessly connect the buds through my phone. Going through the instructions, it told me to go to my Cherry Home app after connecting them. The app automatically detected my earbuds, although it took some time and it took a few refreshes before it actually did detect them. There were times I had to re-add the device just so the app confirms that the buds are active even though they are already connected with my phone and could even play music and perform gesture controls.
Disclaimer: To make this part possible, we used PowerAmp which could automatically adjust the music or sound currently playing. Maroon 5’s Payphone, Made in Abyss’ first Opening, and orchestral music were used as the control. The image above does not reflect this disclaimer.
We have reviewed a few TWS earbuds from the past. Down from the cheap Lenovo LP40 earbuds all the way to the Oppo Enco Air2 Pro. We are craving for more and now, we’re taking a gander at the Cherry Buds Cube and how it actually fairs against the two.
Between the three, the sound quality of the Cherry Buds cube is a middle ground. Not surprising since these earbuds are priced at a sub-Php1.5K price point. In comparison with the Air2 Pro, the Buds Cube is lacking. For one, while configurable through the Cherry Home app, these do not feature noise cancellation options.
According to Cherry’s website, there’s no Active Noise Cancellation but it does have “Electronic Noise Cancellation” which relies heavily at the capabilities of the microphone to block certain sounds. Frankly, it does an okay job at doing that because even at high volumes, sounds from roaring cars, jeepneys, and people conversing in the background, could still be heard, but less audible. You also need to turn up the volume at almost max levels to achieve this effect. In short, it’s placebo.
The buds supports “pure dynamic sound” as well as SBC and AAC codecs. Don’t bother looking for Hi-Res Audio support because, at this price point, you should not really expect it. Heck, even the Enco Air2 Pro doesn’t support it.
These earbuds are loud. Both the left and right earbuds are balanced, thus, you don’t really feel a delay in them. However, if you’re gaming, the delay in sound is much more obvious. It’s about a split second but it’s noticeable.
The sound frequencies are pretty good. The Cherry Home app features a built-in equalizer with presets. However you could also customize the frequencies according to your own tastes. You could even rename the buds. By default, we noticed that bass is the strongest suit and feels strong and pumping. The mid-frequencies are a little weaker. You could hear voices clearly but we thought the background instrumentation is not as detailed as we would have expected.
We also noticed that at 80% volume, the frequency and sound quality suddenly jumps higher. There is a much stronger bass, clearer and more detailed instrumentation, and you could hear more of the percussion. It’s a nice improvement but sadly you do need to raise the volume at deafening levels to achieve its true potential.
Aside from testing the sound quality with music, I obviously have to test out its call capabilities. The manual provides gestures for answering calls via the buds, but really, who calls me directly these days (sad).
Anyway, that aside, I used messenger to perform a call and the earbuds actually have okay quality. The other end’s voice is audible enough to be understood and the buds don’t feel too janky. I didn’t have weird interruptions or break-ups.
However, as you may have already known, these do not have noise cancellation (the so-called “Electronic Noise Cancellation” can only do so much) so if you’re calling someone or someone called you while you are at a party, it’s not going to be as pleasant and you will still hear partygoers rocking the house tonight while a relative is calling you because of an emergency. Too bad you won’t understand it unless you go to a quieter room.
The Cherry Buds Cube are a cute, minute, pair of cube-shaped earbuds that have a great sound and call quality, ergonomic design, and long-lasting (but uneven) battery life for the buds and case. It lacks Hi-Res Audio support but we’re not expecting it for earbuds that cost Php 1,199 and its so-called “Electronic Noise Cancellation” barely works. The Cherry Home app is bare bones and provides only two major things: location finder and equalizer. You could not customize controls nor are there any additional settings aside from IoT connection. The app also displays battery information but does not display a list of gesture controls so we highly recommend keeping that manual in case you forget.
Also, the earbuds themselves feel a little loose especially the left earbud. There is no mention of an IP rating either. We recommend to take caution when you’re using these while exercising. The “Dynamic Sound” feature doesn’t feel that much until you raise the volume to 80% where the frequencies increase, resulting in a clearer, richer sound experience.
- The buds themselves are subtle and lightweight
- The case can stand on its own
- Buds are interchangeable. They are also very easy to return in their case
- Very good battery life for the buds
- Long-lasting Charging Case. It charges rapidly too with its given cable
- Control buttons are well-placed
- Decent bass and both earbuds have a balanced latency (except when gaming)
- Fairly loud even at 50 or 60% volume
- Call quality is adequate enough to be understood by the receiving end.
- The earbuds are easy to connect thanks to its Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity and the Cherry Home app provides an equalizer with presets
- Sound quality increases at 80% volume with the mids and highs now being more detailed.
- No Noise Cancellation. “ENC” feels more like a gimmick
- No mention of IP rating
- Uneven battery life for the left and right buds
- The buds feel a little loose to wear, especially the left earbud
- On generally accepted volumes, mids and highs feel weak
- Earbuds are a slightly out of sync when playing games
- Controls could not be altered or customized. The app does not provide a list of controls either (KEEP THAT MANUAL)