HONOR has announced several compelling truly wireless earbuds. Those are always budget earphones, at least in comparison to the competition. HONOR does cut some corners, but the company has learned where to do that, and where not to. The Earbuds 2 Lite earphones are actually a great example of that. These earphones are more than good enough for the vast majority of people, and they are considerably more affordable than Apple’s AirPods, Huawei’s and Sony’s offerings, and so on.
In the past, I reviewed two pairs of HONOR earbuds, the HONOR Choice and Magic Earbuds. Both of those were quite good taking into account what they offer, and their price tags. The Earbuds 2 Lite go down the same road, pretty much. Some things are not as great as you’d want them to be, but keep in mind that you’re not paying a premium for these, and you’ll realize the value. Let’s talk about them some more, shall we.
The build quality is good enough
The HONOR Earbuds 2 Lite come in a fairly compact charging / carrying case. This is something we’re used to seeing from the company, and HONOR is doing a really good job at keeping things compact, even in the budget section. This case is made out of plastic, as were the ones before it. It feels sturdy enough. It doesn’t feel like it’s gonna fall apart when you’re opening / closing it, and yes, it magnetizes itself when you’re closing it. The lid could be a bit sturdier, though.
HONOR’s logo is imprinted on the front, right below an LED notification light, which will let you know the charging state, and signalize the battery level. As on basically all other HONOR truly wireless earphones, you’ll find a quick pair button on the side. Simply hold it until the light turns to a white color, and it starts pulsing. You know the drill from there. At the bottom of the case, you’ll find a Type-C USB port, which can charge these earbuds fairly fast. It can reach a full charge in an hour. The case weighs 41 grams, so it’s not heavy by any means.
Lightweight and comfortable earbuds
Now, in regards to earbuds themselves. They’re fairly light, at 5.5 grams per earbud. They look like a cross between Apple AirPods and Apple AirPods Pro earbuds, to be quite honest. They do come with a silicone seal for the ear, but also feature a longer stem, just like the AirPods Pro. You will find some extra silicone tips on the inside, in case the default ones don’t fit your ear. They do in my case, so I didn’t even bother replacing them. The seal is quite good when they’re in the ear, and they don’t fall out at all. The lightweight nature of these earbuds has something to do with that, of course. You can use these earphones for voice calls, more on that later.
All in all, the build quality is good, and the same goes for the design. These can easily compete with some more expensive pairs of earphones. It’s also worth noting that they do come in two color variants, Glacier White and Midnight Black. We got to review the former, as you can see in the provided images.
Solid audio quality with some extra features
So, the vast majority of you are probably mainly interested in this category, the audio quality. Well, you’ll be glad to know that HONOR did a good job here. These earbuds are not the best out there when it comes to audio quality, they cannot compete with premium offerings from Sony, Huawei, or Samsung, but the audio quality is probably better than you think. HONOR utilized a 10mm customized driver here, and each earbud has two MEMS microphones. Those microphones support uplink environmental noise cancellation for calls, and feedforward active noise cancellation.
Sound leakage is present when you cross specific volume thresholds
The sound coming from the earbuds is good. There is some bass, while you can clearly hear everything across the spectrum. It is worth noting that the mids and highs are more pronounced than the lows. The vocals are good, and they do sound good overall. There is some sound leakage when you cross the 60-70% volume levels, as people around you will hear what you’re hearing. Luckily, you won’t have to cross that threshold frequently. Once again, do note the price tag, I could nitpick here, but I’ll save that for more expensive pairs of earphones. The point is, if you’re not an audiophile, you likely won’t have any complaints about the sound quality here. HONOR really did a good job in that regard.
Each earbud has touch panel on the stem
If you take out one earphone, the audio will stop. It will continue once you re-insert it. That can be a really useful feature, and it’s nice of HONOR that it implemented it here. Each earbud has a touch panel on it, which allows for several different interactions. You can double-tap either touch panel to play / pause music. If you tap and hold, you’ll be able to activate awareness mode (which does sound quite unnatural), noise cancellation, or disable both. These earbuds are not included in the AI Life app from Huawei, which is to be expected as HONOR is no longer owned by Huawei. Therefore, you cannot edit the functionality of those touch panels, you have one action to use, and that’s it.
Noise cancellation is good, but not great
These earbuds also do a good job when it comes to noise cancellation, though not as good as some more premium options, of course. Just keep in mind that you’re getting feedforward active noise cancellation here, and that’s not something you can enable / disable. That feature plus the silicone ear tips do a good job of keeping the sound out, presuming you tune up the volume loud enough. This combo is not perfect, though, of course. These are not over-head headphones or anything like that. They do not come with a special feature that would allow you to hear people around you when the sound is off, though, so keep that in mind.
A Surprisingly good voice call quality
In regards to voice calls, well, you can use them without getting annoyed while doing so. You’ll hear the other side of the line really well, while the sound is not perfect the other way around, but it’s clear and there are not added issues with it. It will seem like you’re a little further away from the microphone than you should be, but they do sound better than a number of other mid-range TWS earbuds on the market. You can use these for voice calls without a problem.
Bluetooth 5.2 is included, and we didn’t experience any connectivity issues
The HONOR Earbuds 2 Lite are equipped with Bluetooth 5.2, which is a good thing, of course. Many true wireless earbuds tend to have issues with connectivity, especially the cheaper ones. Well, you’ll be glad to know that you don’t have to worry about the HONOR Earbuds 2 Lite having such a problem. Well, at least we didn’t have any such issues. There was one slight skip-the-beat moment, but other than that, the earbuds were constantly connected during my usage.
Really, really good battery life across the board, even on standby
The battery life on these earbuds is really good. HONOR is claiming you’ll get 10 hours of battery life per earbud with noise-canceling disabled, 7.5 hours with it enabled. Well, that’s not far off from what I was able to pull out of them. I hit around 8-8.5 hours of use time, with breaks and around 50-60% volume, before I had to insert them in the charging case. I didn’t use noise canceling during that time. When I did throw it in the mix, it did affect battery life, for sure. Do note that the case can provide you with over 3 full charges. It’s also worth noting that calls do affect the battery life the most, but you won’t notice that if you’re not constantly on a call. These earbuds also won’t lose charge quickly if you don’t use them and they sit in a case. HONOR is actually claiming they can last for a whole year in that state, on a full charge.
The HONOR Earbuds 2 Lite are definitely worth the money
The HONOR Earbuds 2 Lite earphones are not a bad choice at the given price tag, not at all. This is yet another solid offering from HONOR. They do not offer the very premium features, nor sound, but they are quite solid on both fronts… one again, having the price tag in mind. This is something we’re used to seeing from HONOR when it comes to truly wireless earphones, though, which is a good thing. If you’re on a limited budget, but these are within your grasp, we do consider checking them out. They’re now available via AliExpress, but will become available from local channels in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Finland soon. The price will start from €69.9, but it may vary from one market to the next.