These affordable buds boast a low profile design and fair quality audio.
A few weeks ago, Roccat unveiled the latest product in its line-up, the wired earbuds, Syn Buds Core. This device clocks in at a very reasonable £19.99 / €24.99 price tag, and boasts 10mm drivers for a clear audio profile. To see how the earbuds stack up, I've been testing out a pair for the past couple of weeks, using a variety of different platforms, and I have some thoughts.
First of all, it's worth noting that the Syn Buds Core are not a very complex pair of earbuds. This device comes in all-black, bar a grey Roccat logo on each earbud, and aside from a basic in-line mic and volume control module, are pretty much just a regular pair of earbuds in appearance. There's very little that would make you see these as gaming earbuds at all, as they don't feature the typical 'gamer' aesthetical tropes of broad RGB, for example. In fact, the best way to describe these would be low profile.
As for the actual body and shape of the Syn Buds Core, the only thing worth pointing out is that the actual earbuds themselves are quite large. The blocky design makes for a rather wide profile, which would become an issue if they had some heft to them. Fortunately, they don't. These earbuds are incredibly lightweight and thanks to their silicone tips, make for a solid seal, and over my time testing, I haven't experienced any issues with them falling out. The build quality isn't fantastic however, and the buds do feel as though they're made from quite basic plastic, but with such a reasonable price tag, you can't expect aluminium or a finer plastic as the main building component.
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Even though the physical appearance of the Syn Buds Core isn't exactly anything to harp on about, the audio quality is surprisingly good. Again, don't expect a wide and deep audio profile as some top-of-the-line gaming earbuds deliver, but the 10mm drivers nestled in each earbud do deliver quite the broad and pleasant bassy sound, which will serve you more than well when playing a lot of video games or listening to music. I have found that as you crank up the volume when listening to music in particular, the audio does become distorted and far less clear. This is hardly an issue if you intend to use the Syn Buds Core for on-the-go Nintendo Switch gaming, as in this case, they do their job adequately.
Which brings me onto the topic of connectivity. The Syn Buds Core, being wired, uses a 3.5mm jack to connect them to your devices. For the Nintendo Switch, this is ideal as it perfectly fits the headphone jack in the system, with the same applying for PlayStation and Xbox controllers, PCs, and even a lot of phones. Essentially, you won't have a problem using these earbuds, unless you're an Apple pureblood, as in this case you will need the Lightning to 3.5mm jack adapter for these to fit. The wire itself is 1.2m in length and should serve you without issues in most cases, and quite frankly from a very basic usability standpoint, there's not a lot to really complain about. Well, apart from the mic and volume module.
I say this as (and this could be down to a fault in the review unit) I have yet to find any way to use the volume module. Whether I plug the Syn Buds Core into a Switch, a PC, a phone, you name it, the volume buttons simply do not do anything. In fact the volume module may as well not exist, as the microphone isn't anything to shout from the rooftops about and doesn't offset the pointless nature of the buttons and bulky module that house all these features.
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Still, it's hard to look at the Syn Buds Core and really complain all that much, as £20 is incredibly cheap for gaming earbuds these days, and this system, from a recognisable and renowned brand, does the job well and even excels in places. If you're looking to grab a cheap pair of earbuds for on-the-go gaming, look no further than these, but if you're after a more defined and high-quality audio experience, you will need to shell out a little more cash.