Motorola has recently released two pairs of new TWS headphones: moto buds and moto buds+. The older model is interesting because it was developed in collaboration with Bose, a company well known for active noise cancellation and sound quality. But this is not the only interesting feature of the headphones. Now we’ll tell you what the overall result is.

Specifications of moto buds+

Headphone type In-channel
Type of emitters Dynamic, 11 mm + 6 mm
Connection type Wireless, True Wireless
Compatibility Android, iOS, PC
Bluetooth version 5.3
Range of action 10 meters
Support for codecs SBC, AAC, LHDC
Management Sensory
Volume control +
Microphones 3 for each earbud, noise cancellation support
Weight of headphones with case 42.8 grams
Protection against moisture IP54
Battery life Up to 8 g, up to 38 g with case
Charging USB Type-C, wireless
Recommended price in Ukraine UAH 4,699

Package contents

moto buds+ come in a small navy blue box with a standard set of printing: an image of the headphones, the main technical features, and the Motorola and Sound by Bose logos.

Moto buds+ TWS headphones review: ANC and pleasant sound from Bose

The set will not surprise you with anything unusual, everything is standard. Headphones with a charging case, 3 pairs of interchangeable ear cushions of different sizes, a Type-C cable for charging, and documentation.

Design and usability

moto buds+ have the usual TWS headphone design with a leg. They are very light and compact, made almost entirely of matte plastic. Thanks to their minimal weight, they are almost invisible in the ears and can be worn for hours without discomfort. In addition to the sand color, the headphones are available in dark gray.

Moto buds+ TWS headphones review: ANC and pleasant sound from Bose

There is a small touch area on the leg, and a little higher up is one of the three microphones that each of the headphones is equipped with. The leg ends with a small glossy insert, at the end of which there is another microphone.

Moto buds+ TWS headphones review: ANC and pleasant sound from Bose

There are two charging contacts on the inside of the headphones, with another microphone between them. There are small markings for the left and right earbuds.

Moto buds+ TWS headphones review: ANC and pleasant sound from Bose

The drivers are quite short and have an elongated shape, which does not allow the use of third-party ear cushions. There are usual meshes in the drivers to prevent dirt from getting inside.

Moto buds+ TWS headphones review: ANC and pleasant sound from Bose

The planting of moto buds+ is not very deep. Whether you like it or not is a matter of individual preference. Due to their small size, the headphones hardly protrude from the auricles. So there should be no problems with clothing. There is IP54 protection, which is quite enough for sports.

Moto buds+ TWS headphones review: ANC and pleasant sound from Bose

The charging case is made in the form of a clamshell. There are Motorola and Sound by Bose logos on the top. The front has a light indicator that shows the battery level and pairing mode. On the back is a USB Type-C port for charging.

The case is small and thin and can be carried in a pocket. The lid has an auto-close feature in both open and closed positions and locks well. But in the closed position, it wobbles a bit and the case squeaks.

Moto buds+ TWS headphones review: ANC and pleasant sound from Bose

Inside there are places for headphones with charging contacts and a button in the middle to activate the pairing mode. Unlike cases with vertical headphones, moto buds+ is very easy to remove.

Management

You can control moto buds+ using the touch zones on the top of the headphone legs. They are small, so it will take some getting used to. The control scheme is also not the most convenient: double, triple, and long taps on both headphones are used. It is strange and illogical that there are no single-touch actions.

Moto buds+ TWS headphones review: ANC and pleasant sound from Bose

Control is set up in the proprietary Moto Buds app. And the customization options are rather limited. You can set up play/pause, track switching, and volume control with double taps.

Triple tap is used only for play/pause and track switching. Long press can only be used to launch the voice assistant and switch between noise reduction modes. You can select not all available modes. For example, you can leave only ANC and transparency mode active.

So far, the control scheme is not very convenient and a bit limited in customization. Hopefully, with updates, there will be more options for customizing gestures.

Connectivity and functionality

Moto buds+ is connected via Bluetooth version 5.3. There is support for SBC, AAC, and LHDC codecs. The latter can theoretically provide a maximum bitrate of 900 kbps at a sampling rate of 24-bit/96 kHz. The aptX and LDAC variants are not supported. It is worth noting that LHDC, unlike LDAC, is not supported by all Android smartphones.

Moto buds+ TWS headphones review: ANC and pleasant sound from Bose

To customize the headphones, you use the aforementioned Moto Buds application. The interface looks quite minimalistic and pleasant. It is quite clear and easy to use.

The main screen shows images of headphones with an indication of the charge of each of them and the case. Below are the noise canceling modes: off, transparency mode, adaptive mode, and active noise canceling. Below are three buttons to go to other sections of the settings and activate Multipoint (dual connection).

In the Sound section, there is an equalizer with several standard settings and 10 bands of adjustment. In the same section, there is a “Game Mode” with minimal latency and a “High Resolution Mode”. But this item appears only when connected using LHDC.

The “More” section has a few more useful features. Headphone in ear detection is responsible for automatically pausing and resuming playback. Search for headphones with a beep. Software update.

And checking if the size of the ear cushions is correct. The earbuds emit several signals that (and microphones) determine how tightly the moto buds+ fit in your ears.

The only thing left to add is that the headphones support Dolby Atmos virtual surround sound and Dolby Head Tracking technology. But you need the right content.

Sound and noise reduction

As we wrote earlier, Motorola worked with Bose on the sound of the headphones. It’s hard to say how much Bose was involved. From a physical point of view, the sound in moto buds+ is based on a circuit with dynamic radiators at home: 11 mm for low frequencies and 6 mm for high frequencies.

Moto buds+ TWS headphones review: ANC and pleasant sound from Bose

The sound character turned out to be quite typical for modern mass TWS models. The V-shaped frequency response with an emphasis on low frequencies is clearly expressed. There are really a lot of them, they are massive, with a clear good attack and a sub-bass base that adds weight and juiciness to the sound. High frequencies are a bit softened, but there is enough of them and they perfectly add air and liveliness to the sound.

The weak point of moto buds+ is the midrange. The middle is generally a bit weaker compared to the bass and treble. And it has not the best detail. This is not critical when listening to various electronics or pop music. But live instruments sound a little worse and dirtier than I would like. The imaginary scene is quite wide, as for a model of this kind, and the separation of instruments is also at a good level.

Moto buds+ TWS headphones review: ANC and pleasant sound from Bose

Moto buds+ active noise reduction works at a good level. It does a good job of removing monotonous low-frequency noise such as air conditioning, tap water, and even a vacuum cleaner. High-frequency, especially sporadic noise is more difficult for the headphones to remove. In general, this is not the level of the top Sony or Bose. But the price is much lower.

The built-in microphones do their job well during conversations. The voice sounds quite clear even in the presence of external noise. Although, of course, the frequency range is quite narrow and the sound is a bit plastic.

Battery life

The manufacturer does not indicate the battery capacity of moto buds+, but promises up to 8 hours of listening without active noise reduction. Together with the case, this figure is 38 hours. The actual figures are approximately the same as stated. With active ANC and 80-90% volume, the headphones last about 6.5 hours.

Moto buds+ TWS headphones review: ANC and pleasant sound from Bose

Using the cable, the headphones charge in about an hour. Wireless charging is supported, but it will take a little less than 2 hours to fully charge. There is also support for fast charging, 10 minutes should provide up to 3 hours of listening without ANC.