Wicked Audio Gnar headphones (review)

When Wicked Audio launched its first true wireless earbuds with the “Arq,” it was proof that you didn’t need to spend more than $100 to get a good pair of true wireless earbuds. But it was also a blueprint for what Wicked Audio can build upon. The Gnar is Wicked Audio’s latest model to join its line of true wireless earbuds, which is priced just under $60. But can this smaller and more affordable version prove that Wicked Audio is on the right track?

DESIGN

The Gnar comes in a very simplistic design that uses a traditional oval shape to make for a better fit. It measures just about the size of your fingertip and is incredibly light. Its build quality is made entirely from plastic, but it doesn’t have a cheap feel to it. In fact, while holding it, you can feel that the earbuds do have a sense of hardiness. 

Each earbud features a single button with multi-function purposes, an LED light to notify you of connection and battery status, and two metal contacts on the back that allows the earbuds to charge once placed inside its case. You’ll also get various ear tip sizes that are made from silicon. To give the earbuds a little bit of flair, Wicked Audio stamped its logo on the side of each earbud.

The charging case for the Gnar is also simplistic in design as the earbuds. It comes in a pill shape that is about the size of your palm, making it comfortable to hold in your hand or pockets. The case has no lid so it relies on the magnets inside to keep the earbuds in place. These magnets are strong enough to make sure that the earbuds don’t fall out if you hold the case upside down. For those with big hands, the earbuds will be a little bit tricky to pull out of the case. I don’t have big hands myself, but at times, I did have difficulty taking out the earbuds. 

PERFORMANCE

For such a small size, the Gnar produces some very large audio. Built with only a 6mm neodymium driver, some would instantly think that sound quality would be lackluster. But what Wicked Audio has done was tune the audio to give your music a broader range. Now the audio profile might not be perfect, but the lows do come in with a very entertaining punch and some crisp mids. The highs did suffer just a bit, coming in with a slightly distorted sound. Nonetheless, all the music I listened to while wearing the Gnar was still pleasant.

The earbuds are rated IPX4, making them sweat-proof, and they are perfect for physical activity. While wearing them at the gym, the earbuds never felt too cumbersome and distracting. I did appreciate the earbuds while wearing them, and they provided a good enough seal that it blocked out any of the outside noise. It does also help that the earbuds can get fairly loud.

With its built-in buttons, the Gnar will give you access to play or pause your music, skip tracks, and take or hangup calls. You can operate these functions using either the left or right earbud, although you will need to remember what presses are required to pull off some of these functions. In terms of battery life, the earbuds themselves will give you up to 4 hours of use, while the charging case will extend that to another 16 hours. The earbuds integrate the use of Bluetooth 5.0 which gave a very clear and reliable connection throughout use.

FINAL REACTION

When it comes to the Gnar true wireless earbuds, Wicked Audio didn’t set out to reinvent the wheel. Instead, they took the foundation laid out with their Arq earbuds and improved it. The end result was a new pair of true wireless earbuds that has a straightforward design that packs a lot of punch. The oval shape makes the earbuds comfortable to wear while at the same time eliminating most of the outside noise. Pair that with an audio profile that is well-tuned and balanced that gives music a lot of vim and vigor, which will meet the standards of any music enthusiasts. 

FINAL SCORE 4.5/5 Atoms

 

 

 

*A pair of the Gnar headphones were provided from Wicked Audio for review purposes.

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Arvin Santiago
Arvin Santiago 336 posts

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