The wearable industry is very much competitive nowadays, especially in India. There are plenty of brands, where most are newcomers and these brands are dropping new new products almost every single day. So, it’s important to put something eye-catching to stay top of the line.
Costar refreshed its neckband portfolio with the Costar Champion LE01 in March this year. It was the brand’s second neckband where they added a massive battery and it can last for up to 120 hours. The Mateband N300 was Costar’s debut neckband, you can read our review here. As I already said, brands need to do something eye-catching to stay top of the line in the market and in this case, Costar has this insane 120 hours long power backup. Obviously, there are other features as well.
I was testing this Costar Champion LE01 neckband over the last few weeks and let’s break all the features down one by one to understand the product better. It is available in two colour options – Power Black and Energy Red. You can get any of these two variants from either Amazon India or Costar’s official website at a cost of only Rs.799.
Costar Champion LE01 neckband REVIEW
Pros and Cons:
|Exceptional battery life of 100+ hours||Average microphone performance|
|Respectable audio quality, especially with bass boost mode enabled||Bulky design|
|Reliable connectivity with Bluetooth 5.3||Longer charging time|
|Comfortable and secure fit|
In the Box:
- The Mateband Champion LE01
- Type-C charging cable
- Extra ear tips
- 120 hours of playtime on a single charge.
- 10 hours of playtime in just 10 minutes of charging.
- 10mm Bass Boost drivers for powerful bass and clear sound.
- Magnetic metal earbuds for easy play and pause.
- Soft silicone neckband for comfort and flexibility.
- Earwing design for a secure fit.
- IPX5 sweatproof for workouts.
Design & Build:
The Costar Champion LE01 neckband is made of a silicone material with plastic edges. The metallic buds have magnets that help to keep them together when not in use. The earbuds come with silicone ear tips that provide a comfortable and secure fit. The overall design is a bit bulky, weighing in at around 55 grams. This is heavier than some other neckbands on the market, which typically weigh around 30 grams.
The right side of the neckband has four buttons: a power button, a volume up button, a volume down button, and a call button. The LED indicator is also located on the right side of the neckband. The Type-C charging port is placed on the edge of the right arm of the neckband. The branding is visible on the left side of the neckband.
Connectivity & Control:
The updated Bluetooth 5.3 is onboarded to ensure reliable connectivity during all your entertainment times and essential calls. To ensure the audio transmission quality, there are AAC and SBC audio codecs support as well. In regular usage, there will be no issue with the connectivity range. I got sufficient distance within the room and did not find any problem. However, the initial connectivity process is a bit different than the regular neckbands.
As I already mentioned, there are four buttons on the right side. As usual, need to press and hold the power button to power on the neckband. However, to enable the pairing initially, you need to extend the duration further for a second. If you miss it, we need to press and hold both the volume buttons. But after using it for a while, this process will be okay and it was the same for me as well. Rest other controls are good enough and responsive at the same time.
Other than the buttons, you can manage the track with the magnetic buds too. The ongoing track or any content will pause if you attach both the buds magnets and will resume once you detach.
Battery life is the highlight of this Costar Champion LE01. On paper, it claimed to provide an insane 120 hours of playtime against a single full charge. Obviously, to add this lucrative feature, the Costar team needs to add a bigger battery and this makes the design a bit bulky.
Fortunately, I got sufficient time to test the battery life, and let me tell you, it’s very hard to drain it up to zero level intentionally. It took me around 112 hours in this process which is still easily admirable. I have consumed all kinds of content and attended a few calls. The volume was inbetween 50% to 80% most of the time and I kept the Bass Boost mode on.
Just like I need to struggle to drain the full battery life, it’s time taking to refill the battery as well. The brand claims that the neckband will get fully charged in 2 hours. For me, it took around 2 hours and 20 minutes. You need not to carry a separate cable to charge this Champion LE01, thanks to the Type-C port.
It is true that Costart has focused on the battery life for the Champion LE01 neckband. But the audio quality matters above qualities. This earphone houses a 10mm bass boost audio driver inside. It is offering two different audio modes – normal mode and bass boost mode. You need to just press the call button twice to enable or disable this mode.
Considering the price point, the overall audio output was good. I have tried tracks and podcasts from Spotify, content from YouTube, Netflix, Prime Video, and a few more platforms. The output in the normal mode was kind of flat to me, but in bass boost mode it got fixed. This opinion may vary based on the user’s choice. Across the contents, the audio output was good and enjoyable. I have no complaints about it. During the calls also I was able to other people properly, there there were other issues, coming to that part in the next section.
Microphone & Calling:
Besides consuming media content, for calling people prefer a neckband over a TWS, where the microphone also needs to support. In Rs.799 price range, usually, we can’t expect much. For the CHampion LE01, it’s the same. The performance of the microphone during the calls was unsatisfactory. Though I was able to hear the people clearly, they were hardly getting my words. Basically, the microphone was not able to pick up my voice properly. That’s the reason I took very few calls while testing. In case your main focus is calling, my suggestion will be to avoid this product.
To conclude, the Costar Champion LE01 neckband offers a diverse range of features and performance. It comes with a larger form factor compared to other neckbands. Its connectivity is reliable, equipped with Bluetooth 5.3 and AAC/SBC codec compatibility. Remarkably, the battery life is exceptional, enduring approximately 112 hours with mixed usage patterns. The charging process lasts approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes.
The audio quality is respectable, particularly with the enabled bass boost mode for enhanced output. However, the microphone performance during calls falls short of expectations, which may not be suitable for individuals with a focus on call-related functionalities.
In summary, the LE01 delivers commendable battery life and satisfactory audio quality considering its price range. Nevertheless, the average microphone capability might pose a limitation for certain users.
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