Noble Audio FoKus Mystique TWS headphones review: time to ditch the wires?

By: Alex Chub | 18.07.2023, 21:36

Wireless headphones are still a compromise when it comes to sound quality. So far, they can't compete with good wired IEMs. But TWS models such as Noble Audio FoKus Mystique are bringing us closer to the moment when even the most demanding music lovers will be able to ditch the wires. Noble Audio FoKus Mystique have a great driving sound with good detail. In this respect, the headphones are among the best TWS models available. And those who like to tweak the sound to their liking will be interested in the 10-band equaliser and the proprietary function of automatically creating an individual preset based on the user's hearing. The advantages of the headphones do not end there. They have a very comfortable fit that allows you to listen to them for hours without discomfort. They also have excellent passive sound isolation, which means that the lack of active noise cancellation is not critical. In addition to this, Noble Audio FoKus Mystique have a long battery life and support fast charging.

Noble Audio FoKus Mystique
Noble Audio FoKus Mystique
Flagship in-ear hybrid TWS headphones with one dynamic 8.2 mm and two armature emitters. They have excellent sound quality, last a long time from one charge and support touch control. Equipped with a 10-band equalizer and the function of automatic adjustment of individual sound. Bluetooth 5.2 is used for connection, SBC, AAC, aptX and aptX Adaptive codecs are supported.

Current price on Amazon

5 reasons to buy Noble Audio FoKus Mystique:

  • Excellent sound quality (as for TWS)
  • Comfortable design and fit
  • Functional 10-band equaliser with the ability to automatically create an individual preset
  • Long battery life and fast charging
  • Pleasant appearance

2 reasons not to buy Noble Audio FoKus Mystique:

  • You need a model with active noise cancellation
  • You are not ready to spend such a sum on TWS headphones

Fast forward:

  1. What has changed in Noble Audio FoKus Mystique compared to Noble Audio FoKus Pro?
  2. What's in the box?
  3. What do Noble Audio FoKus Mystique look like?
  4. How convenient is it to use Noble Audio FoKus Mystique?
  5. What about sound quality, microphone, and sound insulation?
  6. What about battery life?
  7. In a nutshell

What has changed in Noble Audio FoKus Mystique compared to Noble Audio FoKus Pro?

At one time, I was pleasantly impressed with Noble Audio FoKus Pro TWS headphones and was almost ready to finally give up wires. Now Noble Audio has released an updated version called FoKus Mystique. In fact, looking at the characteristics, it becomes clear that you should not expect any cardinal differences. Nevertheless, the company has changed something. The hybrid configuration of 8.2 dynamic and two reinforcing emitters remained unchanged, but the sound is tuned differently, although it was still done by the same De John Moulton (Wizard). The design of the headphones was slightly changed, and the microphones were moved to the outside. A quite logical question arises: why are there two very similar models in the lineup? The answer is quite prosaic: the company believes that the new Noble Audio FoKus Mystique is better and has discontinued the FoKus Pro. So there is no competition with its own model. And we will listen to whether the headphones have really become better.

What's in the box?

The set and packaging are quite traditional for Noble Audio's flagship TWS: a rather large (for headphones) blue box with a picture of Noble Audio FoKus Mystique, a charging case and all the main features. The package includes quite a lot of stuff: the headphones themselves, a charging case, a small plastic box with interchangeable tips (there are three pairs of standard and three pairs of bunk tips), a black pouch with a drawstring, a USB Type-C cable for charging, and documentation.

What does Noble Audio FoKus Mystique look like?

Noble Audio FoKus Mystique cases are made of acrylic on a 3D printer and have an ergonomic rather complex shape without sharp corners, which is very similar to expensive custom IEMs. They are massive, much larger than regular TWS headphones. The faceplates have a very interesting design, which the company called Deep Galaxy. They are dark blue in colour with an abstract pattern that really resembles some kind of nebula in space. There are also silver Noble Audio logos on each headphone.

LEDs for operation indication are hidden under the outer covers. And there are microphones next to them. There are only two of them (one per earphone). This is quite expected: first of all, Noble Audio FoKus Mystique is about sound, not about conversations. And the model does not have active noise control. The faceplates flow smoothly into the main part of the black case. The headphones are smooth and glossy, which looks good, but not very comfortable from a practical point of view: they are very slippery.

On the inside of the headphones there are additional large protrusions for better fixation in the ear.

Also on the inside of the headphones are the usual double contacts for charging in the case.

The sound guides are long and have a non-standard, slightly larger than usual diameter. There is a mesh inside to prevent dirt from getting inside. There are thickenings around the perimeter for more reliable fixation of the tips, and there are compensation holes at the base. Third-party nozzles will not fit, so you should not lose the included ones.

As well as the previous model, Noble Audio FoKus Mystique looks great. The case is completely monolithic, so there can be no complaints about the assembly. There is no protection against moisture or dust. But the headphones can withstand training in the gym. You should not go out in the rain with them.

The charging case seems to have remained unchanged. It is quite large and you can't carry it in your pocket. But it would be quite difficult to make a compact case given the size of the headphones themselves and the 500 mAh battery inside. The metal lid is blue with the Noble Audio logo. The lower part is made of black matte plastic. The case has four LED charge indicators on the front. The two outer ones light up when the headphones are charging. The lid is attached with a single hinge. There is an auto-finish, but only in the closed position. In the upper position, the lid is not very well fixed and shakes a little. Although it is worth noting here that we had a showcase sample for review. It is difficult to say how much and how it was used. Inside there are places for headphones with contacts, left-right marks and a reset button. The headphones are very securely attached and will not fall out. But taking them out of the case is a nightmare, especially given the slippery cases.

There is a USB Type-C port on the back for charging.

How convenient is it to use Noble Audio FoKus Mystique?

Despite the large size and quite a bit of weight, Noble Audio FoKus Mystique are very comfortable thanks to their successful anatomical shape. They can be used for hours without discomfort. The fit is secure and they do not fall out even while running. The fit in the ears is deep, which is worth considering and trying before you buy. There is no active noise reduction, but well-chosen two-tiered earbuds provide excellent passive sound insulation.

The electronics inside Noble Audio FoKus Mystique are completely similar to the previous version of FoKus Pro. The Qualcomm QCC3040 SoC is installed, and Bluetooth 5.2 is used for connection. There is Qualcomm cVc noise cancellation for microphones during conversations. It seems that the company has worked on the software: the connection is more stable than the previous model. In general, there were no crashes during use. The headphones are able to work in mono mode, but the Multipoint function was not included. The headphonessupport SBC, AAC, aptX and aptX Adaptive codecs. The latter supports a dynamic bitrate of 279 kbps to 420 kbps, depending on the conditions and signal stability. Qualcomm claims that thanks to its proprietary compression algorithms, aptX Adaptive is capable of transmitting signals up to 24bit / 48kHz. Unfortunately, the headphones do not support LDAC.

Touch panels on the outside of the headphones are used for on-the-go control. The area and sensitivity are sufficient for comfortable use. The standard scheme is as follows: one touch of any headphone - play/pause, answer a call. Double and triple tap on the right earbud to switch tracks, double and triple tap on the left earbud to adjust the volume. A long touch on the left earbud turns the transparency mode on/off. You can change the settings in the proprietary app.

The Noble FoKus app is designed to configure three models at once: Noble Audio FoKus Mystique, FoKus Pro and FoKus H-ANC. The main screen of the app displays the charge level of each headphone and has playback controls. Among the new features (compared to FoKus Pro), there is a transparency mode: the sound from the microphones is transmitted to the headphones. This is a very useful feature when you need to talk to someone on the street or in a store. Or you just don't want to completely disconnect from the world around you. There are several sections in the drop-down menu. The most interesting is the proprietary 10-band equaliser, which can be adjusted manually, selected from existing presets, or made based on your own hearing. The headphones receive 1, 2, or 3 short signals in different frequency bands. You need to specify how many signals were heard. After the entire range is covered, the app generates an individual equaliser. In a separate section, you can configure touch control: double and triple-touch actions. There is a separate section for language selection, volume settings, ANC Display (in this case, Ambient Mode) and Promt Tone Switch. The function of this feature has been a mystery since the days of FoKus Pro. A separate item in the menu is the firmware update. In general, the app is easy to use and has everything you need.

What about the sound quality and microphone?

Noble Audio FoKus Mystique has a hybrid emitter circuit. It includes one 8.2 mm dynamic driver and two armature drivers manufactured by Knowles.

As expected, Noble Audio FoKus Mystique sound great, especially considering that it is TWS after all. Theheadphones were used exclusively with the AptX Adaptive codec (the best available option in terms of quality). Of course, the comparison with Noble Audio FoKus Pro is obvious. And here it is worth saying that Noble Audio FoKus Mystique have a slightly more exciting and vivid sound. The Pro model was more neutral in mood. The new model offers more drive and emotion. In a certain sense, it is the merit of slightly more pronounced low and high frequencies. At the same time, the model remained surprisingly detailed and demonstrates a very wide and quite accurate imaginary scene for its form factor, good positioning and separation of instruments. The headphones are not very picky about musical genres, everything sounds great. Both classical orchestral music, jazz, heavy styles and other instrumental music. As well as a variety of bass-oriented electronics, hip-hop or pop music. The recording quality is also not critical, but the difference is clearly audible: tracks from Deezer Hi-Fi (FLAC up to 1411 kbps) sound significantly better than MP3s from YouTube Music.

The frequency response is V-shaped, which is quite expected. Low frequencies are noticeably accentuated, and there are a lot of them. They have a good attack and elasticity. But, for all its density and power, the speed and detail are at a fairly high level, all parts remain legible and textured, do not merge into humming. There is a large amount of sub-bass, which adds to the overall sound depth. Middle frequencies are very well developed. Detailing is not record-breaking, but sufficient, as well as the transmission of the character of instruments. The bass is realistic and natural. Live instruments and vocals sound very pleasant, with a tangible texture and a lot of resonance. As well as various samples and effects in electronic music. Compared to the pumped-up bass, I found the midrange to be a little low, which I corrected with the help of the equaliser. Although this is all very subjective, some people may be happy with the "out of the box" delivery. Thanks to the reinforcing emitters, there are enough high frequencies, they are clear and detailed. They add a certain brightness to the sound and compensate for the raised low frequencies, so the whole composition sounds holistic, driving and powerful. At the same time, after a certain part of the range, the high-frequency drivers have a slight drop, thanks to which they do not overload and do not strain the hearing. So, I think, the headphones will also suit HF-phobes.

Unlike Noble Audio FoKus Pro, FoKus Mystique has microphones on the outer parts of the headphones. This, in theory, should have a good effect on their performance. There is no way to compare. But, in general, the voice quality is quite acceptable. The interlocutor can be heard well and clearly in most cases. Of course, this does not apply to the subway, the noise of which is beyond the power of the vast majority of headphones.

What about battery life?

Official information says that at 50% volume, the headphones will work for 7.5 hours. Noble Audio FoKus Mystique were used at 70-80% volume, aptX Adaptive codec. Under these conditions, the headphones lasted about 6 hours. A very good indicator for a TWS model. Fast charging is supported: it is stated that 15 minutes in the case will be enough for 70 minutes of work. It takes about 1.5 hours to fully charge the case. Unfortunately, wireless charging is not supported.

Noble Audio FoKus Mystique
Noble Audio FoKus Mystique
  • Excellent sound quality (as for TWS)
  • Comfortable design and fit
  • Functional 10-band equaliser with the ability to automatically create an individual preset
  • Long battery life and fast charging
  • Pleasant appearance

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To summarise: four things you need to know about Noble Audio FoKus Mystique:

  • Noble Audio FoKus Mystique is a TWS headphone with a hybrid emitter configuration.
  • They have excellent sound quality for TWS.
  • They work for more than 6 hours on a single charge.
  • Do not have an active noise cancellation system
Noble Audio FoKus Mystique
Emitters hybrid: 8.2-mm dynamic + two reinforcement drivers
Range of reproduced frequencies 20 Hz - 24 000 Hz
Form factor in-channel
Connectivity. Bluetooth 5.2, SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX Adaptive
Range of action 10 м
Wired connection USB Type-C
Battery headphones: up to 7.5 hours, case: 500 mAh, 3-4 charges; fast charging
Noble Audio FoKus Mystique
Flagship in-ear hybrid TWS headphones

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