Recently, the FoKus Pro true wireless earbuds got an update in the form of the FoKus Mystique. The Pro was very well received, and the Mystique wanted to expand on it with a new iteration. With a new iteration there are going to be some major differences in sound and usability, so let’s see what the differences are and whether or not you should get this new upgrade.
What You Get
Both models carry the same packaging contents. You’ll get the earbuds and charging case, along with silicone and double flange ear tips. The charging cable is USB Type C to USB A and a user manual is provided.
Look and Feel
At first I thought that the FoKus Pro were some of the nicest looking true wireless earbuds around, but the Mystique really outshines it for me. I don’t actually think Noble Audio knows how to make a bad looking product, no matter if it’s a wired IEM or a Bluetooth earphone. When you look at the two side by side, I can definitely tell which design is my favorite though. The glittery swirls are always going to win me over as they do on most IEMs, but the Pro also offers a solid aesthetic. In terms of their build and comfort, the Pro and Mystique are mostly the same. The Mystique has some more ergonomic qualities, but when you’re wearing both in your ears for long periods of time you won’t feel much pressure at all.
Design and Functionality
You’ll see the same hybrid driver system exists in both units, with an 8.2mm dynamic driver and two Knowles balanced armatures. This is still one of the few true wireless true wireless series to feature such a design. Its advantage is not only that of potential sound quality, but also loudness. Both earbuds will have considerably more power than most true wireless earbuds out there, offering better headroom and comfortable volume control. Other than that, the Mystique doesn’t add that much in terms of features aside from an overhauled companion app with EQ.
Both sets of earbuds support Bluetooth version 5.2 and you can use all of the same CODECs including aptX Adaptive. I experienced more dropouts using the Pro than I did the Mystique, although the Mystique was still capable of a few instances of recalibration.
Nothing is changed between the two models in terms of battery life either. You’ll get seven and a half hours of total playtime off of one charge, and the case will supply extra charges.
It’s quite special to have two pairs of true wireless earbuds that both excel in the soundstage department. As it turns out, they actually eclipse one another for different reasons. For instance, I feel that the Mystique is a bit wider that the Pro, but the Pro had a bit more depth to its imaging. With the Mystique, you’re able to get a better sense of how the mix comes together in a more linear pattern. It moves its elements through the stereo field with heed, positioning instruments and effects clearly and definitively. The FoKus Pro had a bit more dimension to its layering, and focused more on layering sound elements behind and around other to communicate its spaciousness. Both earbuds bring different levels of immersion to their soundstages, and it will really depend on whether you prefer accurate or holographic imaging.
The Mystique might overcompensate in the lows compared to the FoKus Pro. There’s definitely a clear distinction in timbre here, with the Mystique giving you a warmer and more emphasized bass and the Pro offering a more dynamic and realistic one. You might call it a matter of preference, but I’m not sure the Mystique does enough to offer a good alternative for bass heads. While the Pro delightfully reproduces subtle bass textures and natural timbre, the Mystique doesn’t perform its more heightened impact quite as elegantly. The Mystique doesn’t reach as deep as the Pro, but tries to make-up for it with a more exaggerated mid-bass frequencies that don’t always come off as fluidly.
It’s easy to define the overall sound profile of the Mystique and FoKus pro based on their distinct midrange responses. If you’re into a more colorful, v-shaped timbre, then you’ll probably like the Mystique a lot more here than the Pro. I think I prefer the much fuller tone of the Pro’s midrange frequencies. They make the instruments bite a little harder and it helps localize the elements in a much larger scale than the Mystique. However, the Mystique more significant drive to the instruments, exciting their tone with a more weighty response. Vocals have more height to them as well on the Mystique, and perform with a bit more crispness, especially when using EQ.
The Mystique and FoKus Pro share most of their similarities in the highs, where both earbuds really deliver. They both communicate a detailed but reserved response that does justice to the sound signature as a whole. Instruments and vocals feel like they have a present treble that never veers too bright. All of it is easy to swallow, and the Mystique even caries a more definite shimmer that I found particularly delightful.
I wish the FoKus Pro was still on the market, as it offers a good alternative to those who might not be as into the sound of the Mystique. There are some quality of life changes to the Mystique, like the better touch sensor feedback and the more stable Bluetooth. However, the sound signature is really the focus of both models, and they both offer different styles of tone. In that sense, the Mystique is less of an upgrade and more of a reimagining, where the sound will still have as many heights as it does flaws. I think the profile of the FoKus Pro better fit my taste, but the Mystique might speak more to those looking for a punchier and more energetic tone.
The Noble Audio FoKus Mystique is available at Audio46.