A little while ago I checked out a pair of true wireless earbuds from a company called dyplay. That was the ANC Shield Pro, a ninety dollar pair of earphones that were well functioning and had solid bass. They weren’t the comfiest buds or had the most eye-catching design, but for an affordable pair of true wireless earphones you can order on Amazon, they offered enough to satisfy a casual listener who just needs something to listen to on commutes or in the office. The ANC Pods is their new true wireless model that aims to deliver a different overall design and listening experience. They’re cheaper than the Shield Pro, so let’s see if it can improve over the last version.
What You Get
- 1x Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- 1x Charging Case
- 1x Charging Cable
- 1x Quick User Guide
- 4x Ear Tips
Look and Feel
This is a complete reimagining in terms of design from the Shield Pro. The ANC Pods go for the Apple-inspired stem architecture and ovule shaped housing sported in all white. That’s where the Airpod resemblance ends. This is still a unique design that combines the best aspects of Apples’ design with dyplays’ angled edge aesthetic. The charging case also matches this design, which might not be the coziest fit in your pants pocket, but is still small enough to be efficiently portable. As far as the fit goes, this is a vast improvement over the Shield Pro. I wouldn’t go running or do any other workouts with the ANC Pods, but I found them to have an invisible fit. It’s easy to tune out the feeling of something in your ear when you wear the Pods, with a secure and lightweight feel that improves the level of comfort on walks or train rides.
Design and Functionality
The ANC Pods include a plethora of features and major components within the bud’s housing. The first big system included in the ANC Pods is the 10mm dynamic driver made from a composite membrane and PU and cashmere diaphragms. For a $49.99 pair of earphones, this is a nice big driver for a true wireless system. This is an earbud with a touch-sensitive surface that doesn’t look like it has one. Tapping the stem on each bud accesses the ANC Pods many playback functions, as well as activate noise-canceling and transparency mode. You can also take phone calls and activate the voice assistant. Different multi-function controls like volume and skip track require multiple long and short presses, and sometimes the actions don’t properly register at first. The system sort of lags behind when trying to operate these actions, and it doesn’t make for a very intuitive experience. However, normal play/pause controls respond just fine.
Like the Shield Pro, dyplay has given the ANC Pods a Bluetooth 5.0 chipset that supports SBC and AAC. I would have liked to see at least aptX included here, but the CODECs included are pretty standard. The pairing was seamless, however, I did experience multiple channel dropouts throughout my testing.
The total charge unfortunately doesn’t see much of an improvement. You’ll get 6 hours of total life off of a single charge with ANC on, and 8 hours with ANC off. This is still very good for true wireless at this price, but I would have liked to see some extra heft. That being said it should still get you through a few days of back and forth commute before needing to be charged.
I found the noise-canceling here to be pretty weak. You’ll get 22-25dB of noise reduction, but it didn’t exactly do a good job of softening intrusions. It has an almost ambient thinning effect that doesn’t help when listening to audiobooks or talk podcasts in loud environments, as some sounds still get in the way of voices. For music, it’s pretty fair for the price range, although I can definitely point to better noise-canceling tech in cheaper models.
Not the most expansive stage I’ve heard on true wireless, but the ANC Pods do their job in creating a solid stereo field. The imaging is clear and impactful while respecting a clean amount of separation and width. The spatiality has some good layering and provides clarity in performances. You also have a proper positioning of elements reserved to their respective frequency ranges, such as bass instruments sitting below your jaw, and a combination of mids sitting right on top. I never found any major bleed or fogginess with any tracks.
If you’re looking for good bass impact the ANC Pods will deliver a hearty amount of rumble that never takes away from the other frequency ranges. The lows will hit with the exact amount of punch a bass-head might be looking for. It accomplishes this effect with a slightly boomy timbre that separates itself from other major elements with the help of low-mid balance.
There’s some surprising crisp resolution here, but most of the midrange suffers from being a bit spread thin. The low mids do most of the heavy lifting but it fails to be warm or detail-oriented. Instead, the mids end up semi-v-shaped, where some instrumental elements get prioritized over others. Crunchy guitars sound great, but some vocal performances lose a bit of lusciousness and clarity.
There’s some surprising coloration here, with a light sparkle in the upper highs, as well as some excellent smoothness. They’re never harsh or sibilant and are exactly as balanced as they should be. They might not provide the best details, but they always appeared to have a pleasant overall tonality.
If it wasn’t for the constant drops in connection, I would say that the ANC Pods are a definite step up from the Shield Pro. However, I didn’t experience this much interference in the last model, and it definitely hampered my experience a bit. Otherwise, there’s enough solid impact and imaging for the price. The design and fit are also greatly improved, but the functionality is more finicky than before. If you’re interested, they’re semi-enjoyable for a time, but really just serve as an entry point until you decide to find a more intuitive true wireless system.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Imaging, bass impact, fit, design, great price.
Cons: Bluetooth dropout, finicky controls, weak ANC
The dyplay ANC Pods are available from dyplay here.
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