There have been a few true wireless earphones that have come from Noble Audio, and they've all been good to great. The FoKus Pro, happened to be one of the great ones. Its sound profile and design reminded me most of what a great pair of IEMs are like translating that experience to Bluetooth successfully. The Mystique is the latest follow-up to that model, hoping to expand on the sound with a new tuning. Can it reach the heights of its former iteration?
What You Get
- FoKus Mystique Earbuds
- Charging Case
- Carrying Pouch
- USB Type C Charging Cable
- S/M/L Ear Tips
Look and Feel
The Mystique would be a great design for a wired IEM, and that alone makes it one of the best-looking true wireless earbuds around. This is a darker blue than the FoKus Pro, and contains a whole different pattern on its front plate. It's shaped like a lot of mid-fi and high-fi IEMs are, reminding me, particularly of Kinera or Queen of Audio earphones. These 3D-printed shells have an ergonomic fit as well, offering natural comfort for long hours of listening.
Design and Functionality
Inside the FoKus Mystique is an 8.2mm driver and two balanced armatures made by Knowles. Not many true wireless earbuds contain a hybrid system, but they make a big difference not just in terms of the sound quality, but the output power. The Mystique boasts a powerful signal that outdoes a lot of true wireless earbuds in this region. Its volume boasts plenty of headroom, giving you more versatility for music with a higher dynamic range.
These earbuds have a touch-sensitive faceplate, where most of the controls can be operated. They can play/pause music, adjust volume, and skip/rewind tracks. The controls are responsive after a short delay, and the earbuds will give you audible feedback when the action is registered. You can also customize these controls in the Noble FoKus app, not to be confused with the Noble Falcon app which is another companion app made for their other true wireless series. Like many companion apps for wireless headphones, you'll get an EQ that you can add presets to and adjust yourself. It offers a graphic EQ with 10 different frequencies to boost and attenuate. You can't adjust Q size, but this is still a good EQ that will give you plenty of tuning adjustments.
Version 5.2 of Bluetooth is supported here, and it offers SBC, ACC, APTX, and APTX adaptive CODECs. The connection here is very stable, and I never experienced a single dropout while testing the Mystique.
While using the Mystique, you should get around seven and a half hours of total playtime depending on how high a volume you're listening at. The case supplies four extra charges so you'll be able to make the Mystique last a good few days before it needs to completely recharge.
I've been impressed with a lot of Noble Audio's true wireless earbuds, especially with their soundstages. With the new FoKus Mystique, the stage isn't as expansive, at least in terms of width. The left and right channels feel stretched out toward their extreme ends, but they never lose too much fidelity. Mostly, the Mystique sticks to a more intimate headspace, and it ends up working really well. What makes it work is the Mystique's sizable imaging. Instruments have a great scale to them, and they appear in identifiable positions that add more spaciousness to the mix.
Layers of different performances are stacked and separated in an interesting fashion. For a true wireless earphone, the Mystique shows some good inward depth. Certain elements will appear behind others, and the Mystique handles it articulately. This is still a mostly linear response, but it offers enough spatial qualities to make your tracks really stand out.
Although the bass here has a good presence to it, the impact isn't very substantial. Its tone has some thicker details that are presented clearly, but you never really feel their movement in the sound signature. It's a slower response than what you might like in your bass, but on the Mystique, it's performed naturally. There is a sense of a solid bass foundation underneath each performance, but the Mystique never brings these frequencies into focus. You still get a good body of bass to enjoy, but don't expect to be completely gripped by it without heavy amounts of EQ. Boosting the bass inside the app really brings out the sub-bass rumble of the Mystique. It can quite reach too deep, but the underlining tone establishes a strong vibrating body that brings life to each track.
To make up for some missing parts of the bass, the Mystique brings up its low mids to give instruments a weightier tone. It helps accentuate a few different characteristics of certain performances. When notes are hit, you can sense its echos propagate through the midrange, but the response can be hit or miss. Most of it is kept clean, but there's a bit of a recession in the fundamental frequencies. This leaves more room for the low mids to show more drive and gives the Mystique a warmer timbre. This doesn't sacrifice vocal fidelity though, as singers come through elegantly and with an underlining crispness that highlights their resolution.
The Mystique keeps things relatively simple in the highs. Its treble is soft, but never feels rolled off. Each element feels complete, but the highs don't add any additional sizzle. They keep things natural in the mix, presenting a more neutral timbre that should satisfy most listeners. I liked to bump the EQ the most here, as some of that height and glisten is added back to certain tracks, and the Mystique responds well to it.
It's good to see Noble Audio with another really good true wireless earbud. The FoKus line is definitely their best wireless series yet, and the Mystique is a great continuation of it. Getting the sound profile just right with EQ can give you some great results depending on your taste, and they can always add more to the app with future updates. I just wish Noble would consolidate their companion apps into one to avoid confusion. If you're looking for a pair of wireless earbuds that most resemble the experience of mid-fi IEMs, then the Fokus Mystique is a great get.
The Noble Audio FoKus Mystique is available here.