Costar Mateband N300 review: An attempt to stand out amid budget earphones

Debuting in the global neckband market with its Mateband N300 earphones, the Singapore-based electronics maker Costar has made a vivid attempt in marking a spot for itself by introducing a few uncommon features within the budget segment of wearable devices. Priced at Rs 799, the Mateband N300 sports a dedicated bass booster button, which makes for a great first impression. Besides, the magnetic earbuds serve a bigger purpose than just keeping the two ends together. They carry an in-built feature of switching between play and pause when in use and lying free. On that note, let us assess the efficacy of the aforementioned and other features that otherwise make the product no less than an eye-catching deal.

To begin, the Costar Mateband N300 neckband earphones seem to lag behind in terms of design and comfort. No doubt, the neckband is lightweight and designed to fit perfectly in the ear. However, compared with the build quality of its competitors in the market, it has slightly enlarged play control (battery) units that could be felt during an intense neck movement. Besides, the silicon band does not justify the ‘flexible’ tag as one cannot fit it in the pocket without bending the frame. Downgrading it in terms of durability are the uncoated wires, which are susceptible to tearing.

Moving on to the earbuds, Costar’s promise to deliver a comfortable experience to its users did not land well either. The attached anti-slip hooks end up causing pain and discomfort after a short while as their edges are a bit stiff and pointed. In case the detachable hooks are taken off, apparently, the earbuds alone fail to hold the in-ear grip while also negating the passive noise cancellation feature.

Nevertheless, on a positive note, the Mateband N300 boasts a multi-function button that stands true to its name. From switching the earphones on and off, changing music tracks or videos, controlling play and pause, accepting or rejecting calls to also waking up the voice assistant, the single key does it all. It is, however, to be noted that while trying to go back to the previous music track on a three-click command, the button poses a glitch and plays the current song from the beginning.

The volume buttons are unique in terms of their shape, a plus design for raising the volume, and a minus one for lowering it. Such a design helps in adjusting the volume levels without the need to look at the bar. Lastly, the magnetic back of the earbuds offers a surprise deal as they automatically pause streaming when joined together, and eventually resume it when separated. Make sure you do not miss noticing this feature!

Next in line is the earphones’ performance and while the device checks many boxes, let’s first talk about the areas where it did not meet expectations. As someone who generally uses earphones while on a call, you will often receive complaints of a low, echoing or distorted voice from the person on the other end. As for the sound, the earphones took the noise cancellation feature a little too seriously. Even with the volume set at around 4 points on a scale of 10, you will have to remove the earplugs in order to hear anything outside of your virtual world. This could, however, serve as a bonus for the ones who are looking for an immersive experience, particularly gamers.

Coming to the bass control button that claims to make the audio bass-rich with a single click, the Mateband N300 steals the show with a noticeable difference in the audio with and without the feature. For all heavy metal and EDM music lovers, the bass boost option qualifies for a steal deal. Further, there are no issues with the latency, the audio runs in complete sync with the videos without any lagging up to a fair range of distance from the connected device.

Talking about Costar’s claim of 24-hour battery life, the earphones more or less perform at par with the expectations. The 1.5-hour time slot to fully restore power when in a low battery state is also a fair deal in the given price range. Besides, on a full charge, the device gives the promised playback time of one whole day with its 130mAh battery. That being said, the earphones cannot be used while charging as they instantly get disconnected from the device as soon as the charging cord is plugged in. Similarly, you will not be able to trace it on the Bluetooth device scanner until the charging cable is removed. Apart from this, the Mateband N300 boasts an automatic power-off feature in case of idleness for 30 minutes where one has to restart it every time they resume audio streaming.


Available in two standard colour variants – black and blue, the neckband earphones offer much more than what meets the eye at the first glance. In the battle of quantity and quality of its features, the product wins the race in the former category while missing out on a few areas in the latter one. However, its Rs 799 price tag and a 12-month warranty for performance-related issues neutralise the setbacks to an extent. Even though the sound quality and precision are not up to what an audiophile would expect, the earphones are a good alternative for buyers looking for a low-cost product. With a decent audio output and long-lasting battery life, the Costar Mateband N300 neckband earphones are a good choice for everyday use.

Originally appeared on: TheSpuzz