Amid the growing number of budget audio companies, Wings Lifestyle, a homegrown audio brand, is slowly but surely becoming a notable brand with its range of affordable true wireless earphones and neckband style wireless earphones. The Wings Slay is the latest addition to the relatively up-and-coming company’s true wireless portfolio, and is also the cheapest TWS earphones they offer, priced at just 1,799. Let’s see if Wings has developed a product worth considering under Rs 2,000 in our review.
Construction and comfort
Cheap and well built. These are two terms that don’t really go hand in hand in most cases, as a drop in price usually also means a drop in build quality. However, the Wings Slay true wireless earphones, priced competitively at Rs 1,799, are inexpensive earphones with a surprisingly good build. Starting with the charging case, the Wings Slay has one of the smallest true wireless charging cases we’ve come across. This small case has a square design with nice, rounded edges and a smooth finish.
The earphones are available in two color variants – Gray and Red. Both variants have a dual-tone with black as the secondary color. We received the grey-black variant for review, which looks relatively more subtle than the striking red-black variant. The Wings logo is on top of the lid, while the front of the case features two white LEDs indicating the battery status of the case and buttons. The back includes a micro USB port, which is disappointing considering many cheap true wireless earphones are shifting to Type-C, but we’ll give it a pass for Rs 1,799.
The outside of the case is black, while the inside is the secondary color – gray or red, depending on the one you bought. The earphones also carry along with the dual-tone color. Speaking of the earbuds, they are quite ergonomic and lightweight and also have the Wings logo on the rear housings. This is where the physical buttons are placed and it makes sense that Wings left the touch controls at this price point.
The buttons are easy to click, so the earbuds don’t dig too much into your ears when you press the buttons. The buttons allow you to pause/play music by clicking once, skip to the next track, and skip to the previous one by double clicking the right and left controls respectively, and clicking the right three times increases the volume, while the same on the left lowers it. In addition, the voice assistant is activated by holding down either button for 2 seconds. We found the controls responsive and accurate, but the volume control is a chore, especially if you want to increase or decrease the volume by multiple levels.
In general, the tops are comfortable to wear even for extended periods of time and have a good fit. The fit was close enough for us to perform activities like house chores and jogging. Due to the relatively good fit, passive insulation is also quite good. In addition, if the applied silicone tips don’t work well for you, the company has provided two extra pairs in the box. Overall, the build quality and fit of the earphones impressed us, especially at this price.
Of course, at Rs 1,799, you can’t expect a pair of truly wireless earphones to be packed with features. So the Wings Slay isn’t packed with features you’d get as a pair of true wireless under 5K or 10K, but they’ve checked some basics. The earphones have an IPX5 water and sweat resistant rating, which means you can use these earphones while exercising or in light rain. As mentioned above, it also comes with voice assistant support. You also get Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, but you’re limited to the standard SBC codec as the earphones don’t come with AAC or aptX support.
One feature we liked to see on these earphones is the mono listening mode. Both earbuds are masters, which is why you can use each earbud separately even when the other is in the case. Note that you can only use the pause/play button in mono mode.
The battery life, on the other hand, is somewhat disappointing. You get a total battery life of just 14 hours, with just 3.5 hours of listening time through the earbuds themselves on a single charge. While we understand that the case has a shorter battery life due to the small form factor, it’s a shame the earbuds only have 3.5 hours of playtime despite being pretty much normal. In our testing, at 50 percent volume, we recorded a playback time of 3 hours and 10 minutes on the earbuds, while the charging case refilled them three times.
Equipped with 6mm dynamic drivers, the Wings Slay have an easily detectable bias towards the lower end of the frequency spectrum. The bass is significantly boosted to a point where it sometimes sounds thumping. In songs like Another bites the Dust by Queen, the vocals and instruments are relegated to the background due to the booming and thumping bass response. There is also a lot of auditory masking in the mids, which is due to the exaggerated bass and underexposed mids.
In addition, there is a distinct lack of detail, especially in the low bass, which is easily heard in Hunter through Bjork. The sub-bass notes at the beginning of the track are very sketchy on detail and the earphones fail to reproduce the texture of these notes in a convincing way. There’s punch, but not enough content to back it up.
Mids, as mentioned before, are slightly underexposed, meaning they tend to get lost in songs that have too much going for them at times. The highs are reasonable and in most cases do not sound tinny. Something we were quite impressed with was the imaging. The Wings Slay accurately positions instruments even in crowded tracks, creating tracks such as: Hotel California through The Eagles a joy to listen to, for the most part.
As for connectivity via Bluetooth 5.0, we got a stable connection for the duration of our testing and there were no lags or drops in audio. However, when we played Among Us with these earphones on, there was a strange and erratic beeping sound that crept over and over. We checked with another pair of true wireless earphones and the problem did not persist so it was an issue with the Wings Slay itself. Finally, the call quality is pretty decent. The microphone picks up the voice quite clearly, and while it picks up background noise during conversations, we didn’t expect a cheap earphone to have ambient noise cancellation for conversations.
At Rs 1,799, the Wings Slay is a pretty decent budget buy as they come with a pretty good build quality, comfortable fit, compact charging case, IPX5 rating and mono listening. However, the mediocre sound quality and low battery life make it difficult for us to recommend these earphones wholeheartedly. If you can stretch your budget to 3K, there are some better sounding earphones with a bigger feature set, such as the Playgo T44 and the Boult Audio Airbass Livebuds. However, if you want to stick to TWS earphones below 2K, these earphones can be a good buy