True wireless headphones are getting increasingly common, but the best ones are still a little pricey. Recently, however, companies have started shipping true wireless headphones that aren’t quite as expensive — like, for example, Wicked Audio, with the new Aicked Audio ARQ true wireless headphones.
But just because the headphones are inexpensive, that doesn’t necessarily make them worth buying. Not only that, but Wicked Audio doesn’t exactly have the best track record in our reviews, after we scored the Wicked Audio Endo headphones 6.1/10, and the Wicked Audio Enix headphones an even worse 4.4/10. Do the Wicked Audio ARQ headphones revive the Wicked Audio name? We put them to the test to find out.
Like other true wireless headphones, the Wicked Audio ARQ headphones are small and subtle. When it comes to the earbuds themselves, the main unit is oval-shaped and each has a small oval-shaped button on the end. There’s not much else to say about the earbuds — they’re pretty generic-looking, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially for those that want a subtle look.
Unfortunately, the button isn’t very well-designed. It works fine, but it’s a little hard to push, meaning that to press the button you really have to push the headphones — right into your ears. That seems a little careless in the design of the headphones, and has an impact on their comfort level too.
The charging case isn’t quite what you would expect. It’s cylinder-shaped, with a door that opens up on the right-side for placing the headphones into. Unlike other true wireless headphones, the earbuds don’t really snap into place as easily as we would have liked, but thankfully it’s not too difficult to place into the case. That section of the charging case actually only takes up a little less than half — the rest is battery, with a small LED indicator on the far left of the front, and a USB-A and microUSB port on the left side. That USB-A port means that you can use the case for more than just charging the headphones — you can also use it to charge up your phone. That’s a nice touch.
All that to say — the charging case is a little big, and won’t fit very well in your pocket, but the trade-off is extra battery life. Considering the fact that true wireless headphones are really supposed to be portable, we would have preferred Wicked Audio cut down on the size a little, even if it meant sacrificing battery capacity.
In the box, you’ll find the earbuds themselves, along with the charging case, a microUSB charging cable, and two extra pairs of ear tips — bringing the total to three pairs. That’s pretty much all we would expect to see from a pair of true wireless headphones in this price range.
The Wicked Audio ARQ headphones look fine, but the charging case is really too big for carrying around in a pocket.
True wireless headphones have a seriously tough time in the comfort department — and unfortunately the Wicked Audio ARQ headphones are no exception to that rule. Because of their basic shape, the headphones aren’t really designed with any special bumps or grooves to keep them in the ear — and we found that with any moderate movement, the headphones were at serious danger of falling out.
Despite the danger of the headphones falling out, when they did stay in the ears they were relatively comfortable. The headphones are pretty light, and the arm that extends into your ears isn’t overly thick, which is very helpful in ensuring a comfortable fit. That’s unlike headphones like the Master & Dynamic MW07, which offer a great fit that’s unlikely to fall out.
In the end, sound quality is the most important thing to consider — and previous Wicked Audio headphones have failed to deliver. How do the Wicked Audio ARQ headphones do? Thankfully, a little better than their predecessors — but they still don’t sound amazing.
For starters, the bass is pretty heavy and thick. It’s by far the best aspect of the sound-quality of these headphones, and allows kick drums and bass guitars in bass-heavy songs like Eminem’s Forgot About Dre to really shine through.
The mid range on the headphones isn’t bad-sounding by any means. The low mids are nice and warm, while there seems to be a slight dip in the high mid response.
The high end is the weakest aspect of the headphones. The high end is somewhat there, but it doesn’t extend as high as we would have liked, ultimately creating a slightly boring listening experience. There also seems to be a lot of distortion in the high end, which doesn’t bode well for a good listening experience.
We found that the headphones seemed to perform perfectly fine when it comes to connectivity. The Wicked Audio ARQ headphones connect through Bluetooth 4.2, and they rarely skipped or lost connectivity except at unreasonable distances or with a ton of obstacles.
Battery life is another story though. Unfortunately, the earbuds themselves only have a battery life of 3 hours on a charge, which really is on the low end of true wireless headphones battery life. Thankfully, the charging case does remedy that a little — thanks to the fact that it’s so big. The battery case will get you an extra 60 hours of battery life, which equates to 20 charges. It feels like Wicked Audio is compensating a little for the low battery life of the headphones themselves.
Are the Wicked Audio ARQ true wireless headphones worth buying? Well…that depends. If you’re looking for true wireless headphones and have less than $100 to spend, then these are probably the way to go, If, however, you can spend a little more cash, we recommend doing so.
You could get, for example, the Soul X-Shock headphones, which come at $150 and offer much better sound quality and comfort. Or, you could go all out and buy the Master & Dynamic MW07 headphones, which fit amazingly, look awesome, and sound great — but they come at $300.
Still, considering the low price and decent value for money, we’ve awarded the Wicked Audio ARQ true wireless headphones the Headphone Review Bronze Medal.
|Frequency response||20Hz – 20kHz||Active noise cancellation
|Driver size||10mm||Noise attenuation||Unknown|
|Total harmonic distortion
|Rated input power
||Unknown||Battery life||3 Hours (+60 hours)|
|Maximum input power
||Unknown||Wireless distance||10m (33ft)|
||Bluetooth 4.2||Cable length||N/A|
||N/A||Case type||Charging case|