Published on December 1st, 2014 | by Greg0
Noizy Kameleon: Bluetooth 4.0 In A Fitter, Cheaper Package
It’s a rough world out there for an upstart tech company, especially one trying to enter the very competitive consumer electronics space, and the even more difficult Bluetooth audio world. There are big names out there with huge marketing budgets and brands that can afford splashy ads and celebrity spokespeople. And it can be especially challenging to stand out when people can’t easily test out your product and the feature sets are pretty similar- specs on most audio gear look about the same on paper.
Which is why we were happy to check out the Noizy Kameleon Bluetooth Stereo earbuds, wireless headphones of the wrap-around style, lightweight and very portable. They have cool tubular packaging, and immediately offered a compelling value proposition- a lower pricepoint than many others, and Bluetooth 4.0 support. Even more attractive was the lack of ostentatious branding on them, and the Comply foam tips that are included (generally more comfortable and better at sound isolation than most other types of earbuds). Short of including flanged tips, the Kameleon were off to a good start- they’re especially designed for exercise too, with little loops to help them stay in place while running.
But things did get a little bit shakier out of the package- the Kameleons don’t include high-definition apt-X but instead the lesser SBC codec, a small detail that does typically (but not necessarily) result in lower fidelity audio. Audiophiles might also have reason to worry from the specs, with a somewhat telling reduced frequency range of 50Hz – 20Khz. 10mm drivers are decent though, but the rated battery life of only four and a half hours is only so-so. We had no issues connecting or with the controls, and like the multi-point functionality (ability to connect two devices) that comes with the Bluetooth 4.0 spec. Range too was typical, but the slightly glossy, fuzzy undertones were less likable. There’s a slight delay too, which wasn’t an issue with music, but was a bit noticeable with movies (definitely not limited to this pair and often a problem with Bluetooth). The Kameleons felt cheap though- all plastic- which left the bass rattling rather than booming, and lent a cold, metallic tone and distance to songs of most any variety.
The Kameleons are truly lightweight, and Noizy clearly did some work figuring out a niche- their slogan, “Designed to Move” makes a lot of sense. But compared with, say, models from Jaybird, they seemed not quite worth it, despite the price difference. If you are committed to spending under $100 on a pair of fitness wireless earbuds, these will certainly do the trick, and we like many of the extras that Noizy included. Available in pink or black for around $100, online primarily.