1. Packaging and overall quality
The packaging, quality of the charging case and buds was surprisingly good considering the price of the product. The charging case is a soft touch plastic with a glossy plastic lid that when raised, shows the earbuds and the three charging level LED's. The earbuds are a similar plastic with both buds containing a rubber-like center button which severs as a multi-function. Nothing really negative to say regarding the fit and finish of the buds or the case. When putting the buds back into the case, there's a satisfying magnetic "snap" as the buds fall into place. Whatever magnets are in that battery case holding the buds in place are pretty darn strong as I can literally shake the case up and down without the buds falling out. Taking the buds out require a slight pinch of the thumb and the index finger and is relatively easy to do.
Packaging and overall quality Score: B+
2. Setup and Initial Connectivity
Take the buds out of the case, and two things happen: 1) The master will pair with the phone or any device requesting to pair, and 2) the right earbud pairs to the left. This process worked well and had no issues pairing to my iPhone Xs. Every time after the initial process, taking the buds out of the case will automatically connect to your device. Overall, not as flashy or a finely tuned as the AirPods, but understandable and certainly not a laborious or complex process by any means..
Setup score: B+
3. Fit and Comfort
The Zeus earbuds fit well for me and your mileage may vary. The buds sit inside the ear with the three sizes of plastic ear tips are provided (small, medium, and large). Once they are fully situated, they stay in. I jumped up and down, shook my head from side to side and the buds continued to be firmly placed in my ear. Since they are relatively light, they don't present much of a problem wearing them for extended amounts of time. I have been able to wear them through my commutes, when out and about, and have no issues with ear fatigue or pain.
Fit and Comfort score: A
4. Connectivity Reliability
Bluetooth connectivity is where the Zeus TWS really shine. I suspect mostly due to the implementation of Bluetooth 5.0, connectivity has been excellent with no discernible cutouts from either earbuds. Indoors I was able to travel around my house with nary a dropout and was able to get almost as far away from my iPhone as with a pair of AirPods. No issues there. The true test of BT connectivity is outdoor performance. My Bluetooth acid test is walking the streets of NYC with the iPhone situated in a coat or back pocket. The Zeus again yielded more rock-solid connections and no drop-outs. I am very impressed with the strength of signal and connectivity.
Connectivity Reliability score: A
5. Sound Quality
Sound is such an objective measure and what sounds good to one person may not be what another person cares for. That being said, the sound isolating nature of these earbuds make for a good listening experience. When I initially started to use the Zeus TWS, I was using the medium size earbuds and found the sound to be very tinny and relatively little bass. I substituted the medium buds with the large ones and it made a striking difference. With the larger buds and better sound isolation, I get good bass and decent mids/lows. The TWS's are no Bose, but they sound better overall than the open-air AirPods. Another benefit of having a good in-ear seal is the blocking of external noise and listening to podcasts and music at much lower volume levels. Contrast this to the AirPods which in the same situations, would require full iPhone volume to hear music and podcasts, especially outdoors.
Sound Quality score: B+
Each Zeus earbud has a large multifunction button which is offers a satisfying tactile response when pressed. The buttons allow controls such as start/stop, volume control, next/skip, and voice assistant activation. The combination of presses and holds take a bit of time to get used to, but once mastered allow mostly everything you want to do to control the sound you are listening to.
Single Press (Right/Left) - Start/Stop, Call answer,
Press and hold - (Right: Skip forward) / (Left: Skip Backward)
Double Press (Right) - Volume Up (Left) - Volume Down
Triple press - Voice activation
The one complaint I have with the control methods of the Zeus is the Siri activation using the Triple button press. It appears that the triple press only works when the earbuds are in a paused state (i.e. no music or sound playing). So when I want to summon Siri to perform some action while playing music, I would need a single press to stop the music, then another triple press to get Siri activated. Not exactly the most efficient use of clicks and clunky to be sure, but I have gotten pretty good at performing the combo of presses. Overall, I would have given the control set on these buds a A for ease of use, but the quirky Siri activation, knocks the score down a solid letter.
Convenience score: B
7. Battery Life
Dudious claims 3 1/2 hours of audio playback and through my use, they have come in right about that mark. The battery case provides an extra 500mah charge for the buds and adds an extra 15 hours to music playback.. There are certainly buds that surpass these levels, but with a light and relatively small sized hockey puck case, the buds battery life should not disappoint for most people.
Battery Life score: B
Call and microphone quality is not a strength for these buds. Unlike many buds in this category, the call is played in stereo on both buds. Volume levels for calls always seem to be really low even when I have the buds on a high volume for music and podcasts. I am not sure why this is, but it something that should be noted. As for the mics, there are no beam-forming extensions like the AirPods, so folks on the other side of the call can definitely tell you are on a pair of headphones. External wind noise can be a distraction and I find myself having to raise my voice outdoors. Calls taken indoors aren't too bad, but still don't compare to the AirPods. If phone calls are a primary use for wireless buds for you, I recommend looking at a pair of AirPods or the Jabra Elites. The Zeus are ok when it comes to phone calls, but certainly nothing to write home about.
Using the Zeus with watching video on YouTube and downloaded movies, audio and video where perfectly in-sync which plagued many totally wireless devices in the past. Bluetooth 5.0 addresses this in a big way and look forward to future products using this standard.
Dudious also claims that the Zeus can be used in both stereo and mono modes which just means you can take one bud out and share it with someone else without affecting playback. Not a particular feature I would use, but I guess it's good to know if I should ever need it.
For anyone that is active and is concerned about sweat or moisture, the Zeus are rating IPX5 rated so they should be well equipped to resist sweat and rain if needed.
Miscellaneous score: B-
9. Summary and Musings
Let's get one thing out front and center, these are a relatively inexpensive pair of totally wireless earbuds from a company I have never heard from until I read the reviews on Amazon. The Zeus has good sound (when the correct bud is fitted), good functionality controls with one quirk, and decent battery life. The connectivity, thanks to BT 5.0 is rock solid and compares favorably to buds costing three to four times as much. Are the Zeus as finely polished as AirPods or equivalent Bose SoundSport Free? Not at all. But for the cost/value proposition, the Dudious Zeus TWS offer a good listening experience for a pair of totally wireless earbuds when compared to more expensive options. I would highly recommend these to anyone that wants a good listening experience but doesn't want to break the bank for some of the completion. The price may be inexpensive, but for most of what these buds offer, it's a steal.
As of this writing, the Zeus TWS rate at a 4.7 out of 5 rating on Amazon, with many people calling these the low-cost AirPods. While AirPods are in a class by themselves mostly due to the iOS and Apple ecosystem integration, the Dudios Zeus TWS hold their own against the pricier completion and I can certainly agree with the notion of calling these the low cost version of AirPods.
10. Product Marketing and Technical Specifications
Dudios Zeus TWS- True Wireless Stereo Earbuds
The Zeus TWS is true wireless, you could feel free to wear it to work or walking. It has only one-button to control media and phone calls.
●Reliable Bluetooth connection
With advanced Bluetooth chipset and Bluetooth 5.0 technology, it could provide up to 33 feets/10m connection range, ensure no latency and cut in and out issue.
●Stereo mode/ mono mode
Once take both earbuds out of charging case, it will be power on and enter into pairing mode automatically. If want to use it as a single one, power off the earbuds firstly, then hold and press the multifunction button for 5 seconds to enter into pairing mode, search your device to pair it.
Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth Profile: HSP / HFP / A2DP /AVRCP
Bluetooth chipset: AB1526P
Speaker: 2x Φ5.8mm
Mic:2x -42dB ±3dB
Dimension (L * W * H): 1.06*0.78*0.98inch/ 27*20*25mm
Weight: 0.17oz/ 5g
1 x Dudios Zeus TWS earbuds
1 x Charging Case
6 x Interchangeable Ear Tips
1 x USB Charging Cable
1 x User Manual
●Tips: To Get Better Sound Quality
A KEY to ensure sound quality is the FIT of the foam or rubber earpiece to the listener. If you don't have a snug fit, you could lose up to 30-75% of the sound quality.
Overall Dudious Zeus TWS Score: B+
:Dudious Zeus TWS (Amazon Link) - $49.99