The Cowin Apex Elite Truly Wireless are comfortable in-ears that come with a portable charging case. While they come with an ANC feature, it offers mediocre performance overall, so you can still hear bass-heavy background noises like bus or plane engines as well as higher-frequency ambient sound like the hum of an AC unit. Also, they have a boomy, uneven sound profile that adds a lot of extra punch to your audio, which can be overwhelming for some listeners. That said, they're stable enough to wear to the gym, which is nice.
The Cowin Apex Elite are mediocre for neutral sound. They have a boomy, uneven sound profile that adds a lot of extra thump and punch to your audio, which can be overwhelming for fans of more neutral sound. Vocals and lead instruments can be a bit weak and distant, while sibilants like S and T sounds are sharp and piercing. Unfortunately, they lack an EQ for sound customization.
The Cowin Apex Elite are satisfactory for commute and travel. They're comfortable enough to wear during long flights, and their portable design makes it easy to carry them in your pocket. Their continuous battery life may not last through long international flights, but you can recharge them using their portable case. Unfortunately, they really struggle to block out bass-heavy background noises like bus and plane engines, which can be distracting.
The Cowin Apex Elite are impressive for sports and fitness. These in-ears have a comfortable, stable fit, so they shouldn't fall out of your ears during your workout. Thanks to their truly wireless design, they don't make you sweat more than usual, and you don't have to worry about snagging any cords on exercise equipment. Unfortunately, you can't use their touch-sensitive controls to skip tracks or adjust the volume, which can be inconvenient if you're out on a run.
The Cowin Apex Elite are alright for office use. These comfortable headphones don't leak a lot of noise, so you can listen to audio at loud volumes without really bothering those around you. They last for just over seven hours off of a single charge, which may not last through your 9-5 workday, but their portable charging case offers around three extra charges so you can power up on-the-go. Unfortunately, their ANC feature offers a mediocre performance, so you may be distracted by sounds like the hum of AC units.
The Cowin Apex Elite are compatible with Bluetooth-enabled PCs, but their latency is likely too high to be suitable for gaming, even with their Game Mode turned on. They also aren't compatible with PlayStation or Xbox consoles.
The Cowin Apex Elite are wireless-only headphones that can't be used wired, so they aren't suitable for wired gaming.
The Cowin Apex Elite are passable for phone calls. Their integrated microphone has a mediocre recording quality, so while whoever's on the other end of the line can understand you, your voice may also sound thin and muffled. The mic also struggles to separate your voice from background noises, and these headphones offer mediocre noise isolation, so they're better suited for taking phone calls in quiet settings.
The Cowin Apex Elite Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds are an upgraded version of the Cowin Apex Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds. They're advertised to have an improved ANC performance and a different design with a long stem that's more comfortable for long listening sessions. They're available in 'Black' and 'White'. We tested the Black variant, but we expect the other color variants to perform similarly.
If you come across another version, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.
The Cowin Apex Elite are budget-friendly truly wireless headphones that offer an active noise cancelling feature. They're advertised to have a more comfortable fit and a better ANC performance compared to the Cowin Apex Truly Wireless. However, their ANC feature offers a mediocre overall performance, and their boomy, uneven sound profile can be overwhelming for some listeners.
See also our recommendations for the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds under $100, the best noise cancelling earbuds, and the best noise cancelling headphones under $100.
The Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless are better headphones than the Cowin Apex Elite Truly Wireless. The Apple are better-built and have a more balanced sound profile. Also, their ANC feature performs much better than the Cowin's. That said, the Cowin's mic has a better recording quality.
The Mpow X3 Truly Wireless are better headphones than the Cowin Apex Elite Truly Wireless. The Mpow are better-built, more stable, and offer a more neutral sound profile. However, the Cowin's ANC feature isolates against more background noise, though its overall performance isn't that impressive.
The ENACFIRE E60 Truly Wireless are better than the Cowin Apex Elite Truly Wireless. The ENACFIRE are better-built, and even though they lack an ANC feature, they have better noise isolation. They also leak less audio, and have a more neutral sound, especially in the mid-range. However, the Cowin have a better mic performance, which is more suited for making phone calls.
The TOZO NC9 Truly Wireless are better headphones than the Cowin Apex Elite Truly Wireless. The TOZO are better-built, and they offer a more balanced mid-range. Also, their ANC feature isolates against more background noise, and they leak less audio. That said, the Cowin are more comfortable.
The Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless are better headphones than the Cowin Apex Elite Truly Wireless. The Anker are better-built, and their v-shaped sound profile has a more balanced mid-range than the Cowin, which some listeners may prefer. They have a better noise isolation performance, leak less audio, and come with a graphic EQ for more sound customization. However, the Cowin are more comfortable.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless are better headphones than the Cowin Apex Elite Truly Wireless. The Samsung are better-built, more stable, and have a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box. Thanks to their companion app, you can even customize their sound using EQ presets. Their continuous battery life is longer, and they can passively isolate against more background noises than the Cowin can with their ANC feature turned on.
Update 02/22/2022: The headphones' weight was originally reported as '0.2 lbs'. However, their correct weight is '0.02 lbs'. The results have been corrected.
The Cowin Apex Elite are comfortable. They're lightweight, and they don't go deep in your ear. You can use their touch-sensitive controls without putting extra pressure on your ear, which is nice. They should be comfortable for long listening sessions.
The controls are okay. You can double-tap either bud to answer/end a call or play/pause your audio. You can also tap and hold either bud for two seconds to reject a call, or to cycle between ANC On, Ambient Mode, and ANC Off. You can also triple press the right bud to turn Game Mode on and off, or triple press the left bud to activate the voice assistant. There's a chime that registers the number of taps you make, as well as voice prompts for turning Game Mode on/off and cycling through the ANC features. Unfortunately, you can't control the volume or skip tracks using these controls, and the touch panel can be a bit difficult to locate at first.
The case is decent. It's made of plastic, which feels a bit flimsy and cheap. The lid also doesn't feel very sturdy, and it moves a bit when closed. However, there are four LED indicator lights to help you keep track of the battery level, which is handy.
The Cowin Apex Elite have a boomy sound profile that adds a lot of extra punch to your audio, which is ideal for fans of bass-heavy music genres like EDM but may be overwhelming for fans of a more neutral sound. They're also lacking some low-bass, so you don't really feel the deep thump and rumble in your audio. Sibilants like S and T sounds are a bit bright, too, which may be too piercing for some listeners.
The Cowin Apex Elite have mediocre bass accuracy. They're lacking in low-bass, so you don't really feel the deep thump and rumble in your audio. The rest of the range is overemphasized, however, resulting in a boomy sound that can be overwhelming for some listeners.
The mid accuracy is okay. There's an overemphasis in the low-mids that extends from the bass range, which can muddy vocals and lead instruments. The underemphasized high-mid can make those same instruments weak and distant in the mix.
The Cowin Apex Elite have disappointing treble accuracy. The underemphasized low-treble can hurt the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments, while the overemphasized mid-treble can make sibilants like S and T sounds sharp and piercing.
These headphones have middling peaks and dips performance. The underemphasized low-bass means that you don't feel the deep thump and rumble in bass-heavy audio, while the peak in the high-bass and low-mids adds a boomy quality to your mix. The dip in the high-mids and low-treble makes vocals and lead instruments weak, veiled, and distant, while the peak in the mid-treble makes sibilants like cymbals piercing and harsh.
The Cowin Apex Elite have an outstanding imaging performance. Their weighted group delay falls below the audibility threshold for the entire range, ensuring a tight bass and transparent treble. Also, the L/R drivers are well-matched in amplitude, frequency, and phase response, so objects in the stereo image like voices or footsteps are accurately placed and localized. However, these results are only valid for our test unit, and your real-world experience may vary.
These headphones have a terrible passive soundstage performance. Due to their in-ear design, they bypass any interaction with the outer ear, which is one of the key components in creating an out-of-body, speaker-like soundstage. As a result, audio seems like it's coming from inside your head, rather than from speakers placed all around you.
These are the settings we used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when using these settings.
The Cowin Apex Elite have mediocre noise isolation. Even with their ANC feature turned on, they struggle to block out bass-heavy background noises like bus and plane engines. They perform a bit better with mid-range background noises, like voices, but they also struggle with treble-range ambient noise like the hum of a nearby AC unit.
The mic's noise handling performance is middling. It struggles to separate your voice from background noise, even if you're calling from a moderately noisy setting.
The Cowin Apex Elite have a decent battery performance. They last for a little over seven hours off of a single charge, which is okay. That said, battery life can vary depending on usage, so your experience may vary. Fortunately, their portable charging case offers around three extra charges to help you power up while on-the-go. There's even an auto-off timer that turns the buds off after five minutes without audio, which can help conserve battery life.
Update 02/24/2022: These headphones were updated to Test Bench 1.5 and their latency values have changed. Our previous Test Bench 1.4 measurements reported that the Game Mode's latency was 243 ms on PC (SBC), 74 ms on iOS, and 117 ms on Android devices. However, our new test bench uses an average of three measurements instead of one, resulting in different values. As a result, we have updated our text to better reflect test bench 1.5 measurements.
The Cowin Apex Elite have satisfactory Bluetooth connectivity. They have high latency on PCs, which isn't great if you like to stream video, although it's slightly better on iOS and Android devices. However, you may still notice slight syncing issues. These headphones also have a Game Mode, which aims to lower latency. With this feature turned on, they have 224 ms of latency on PC (SBC), 168 ms on iOS, and 203 ms on Android devices. These values fall outside of good levels, and you may notice your audio and visuals fall out of sync.
The Cowin Apex Elite come with a portable charging case that offers around three extra charges. It can be charged using the included USB-C to USB-A cable.