EarFun Air S review: Plenty of perks, but low cost makes too many compromises

EarFun Air S: SpecsPrice: $69Colors: Black/darkish greyBattery life (rated): 5 hours (ANC on); 6 hours (ANC off); 25 hours (charging case with ANC on); 30 hours (charging case with ANC off)Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2 (codec: SBC, AAC, aptX) Water resistance: Yes (IPX5 rated)Size: 1.48 x 0.86 x 0.9 inches; 2.2 x 2.5 x 1.2 (charging case)Weight: 1.8 ounces (earbuds + charging case)EarFun is one of the newer true wi-fi manufacturers that’s grown in recognition over the previous two years. They’re an Amazon darling that sells high quality wi-fi earbuds at cheap worth factors. Past releases just like the EarFun Air and the noise-cancelling EarFun Air Pro SV have been properly acquired, granted the latter left a lot to be desired on the noise neutralization entrance. The all-new Air S goals to repair a number of of its predecessor’s flaws…but does it?These buds come loaded with fancy options like energetic noise cancellation (ANC), Bluetooth 5.2 with aptX and multipoint expertise, EQ customization, wi-fi charging, and a low latency mode for cell gaming. Unfortunately, EarFun continues to ignore useful flaws, making its newest creation extra miss than hit.Check out our full EarFun Air S evaluate for the total breakdown.EarFun Air S evaluate: Price and availabilityLow-cost priceAvailable in black/slate grey solelyThe Air S might be out there now for $69 on Amazon (opens in new tab) in black/slate grey. Inside the field are a wi-fi charging case, USB-C charging cable, 4 units of totally different sized ideas, and a consumer handbook.It falls in the identical worth vary as different entry-level noise-cancellers just like the extremely advisable Donner DoBuds One ($49), 1More PistonBuds Pro ($59), and sibling Air Pro SV ($89). For elite efficiency, we propose splurging on premium fashions just like the AirPods Pro ($249) or Sony WF-1000XM4 ($279).For all of the newest wi-fi earbuds gross sales, bookmark our finest headphones offers web page.EarFun Air S evaluate: Design and comfortSleek and sophisticatedCharging case lacks sturdinessNot as snug as AirPodsI’m not a long-stem wi-fi earbuds man, but even I can admit when somebody makes a beautiful true wi-fi dangler like many of the designs in our greatest faux AirPods roundup. The Air S has an elegant, enterprise class look to it, which I credit score to the matte end and slate grey tone. Build high quality is sturdy, due to this fact, you gained’t want to fret concerning the buds breaking, ought to they take a tough tumble to the bottom. IPX5 certification additionally protects them from extreme sweat and splashing. Bear in thoughts that they’ve a stronger IP ranking than the AirPods Pro (IPX4).(Image credit score: Alex Bracetti/Future)The charging case is generic in phrases of development. It’s an oval block of plastic with the brand debossed on prime, and the fabric feels low cost in comparison with different EarFun circumstances. On the opposite hand, it’s small and lightweight to hold round. The pairing button on the within provides to its worth.(Image credit score: Alex Bracetti/Future)These buds are much less comfortable than the Air Pro SV. The thick cavity presses up in opposition to the ear, leading to soreness after about an hour of use. Some individuals would possibly discover the lengthy stems irritating when touching the earlobe, but this isn’t a giant deal.(Image credit score: Alex Bracetti/Future)The ideas type a good seal and hold the buds in place if you transfer round. Don’t assume this makes them ultimate for exercising as a result of it doesn’t; you will discover a number of higher choices on our greatest exercise headphones listing.EarFun Air S evaluate: Controls and digital assistantPoor contact accuracyDigital assistant unavailable on macOSEarFun could need to change out their contact sensors as a result of the contact accuracy on these buds is method off. Double faucets learn as single faucets, triple faucets learn as double faucets, and the lengthy press gesture is commonly uncared for. It acquired to a degree the place I needed to strive one thing totally different, so I swapped out faucets for swipes and located my method more practical for operation. Not having put on detection to auto-pause music when eradicating the buds or resume playback when inserting them again in your ears provides insult to harm.(Image credit score: Alex Bracetti/Future)One constructive is that EarFun programmed a full suite of media controls on the Air S: playback, name administration, quantity, digital help, and listening mode activation.Bixby, Google Assistant, and Siri are all appropriate with the buds. However, it looks like the latter isn’t useable on macOS gadgets. I tried many instances to allow Siri on my MacBook Pro, and nothing occurred. Accessing the digital assistant on iOS and Android gadgets was not a difficulty and all three AI bots registered and executed voice instructions precisely.EarFun Air S evaluate: Sound qualityRobust bass that may usually come on too strongCustomizable sound settingsANC mode doesn’t have an effect on performanceIf you need highly effective bass out of your wi-fi earbuds, then the Air S has you lined. EarFun’s sound profile leans in the direction of the nice and cozy finish of the audio spectrum with emphasised lows which are punchy, and at instances overly aggressive, producing fuzz on some tracks.Thankfully, you might have the EQ within the companion app to manually alter frequencies to your liking or choose from a handful of totally different presets — Bass Boost, Bass Reducer, Treble Boost, and Treble Reducer — to personalize sound. As you may see, these focus extra on low- and mid- frequencies. Highs are unnoticed of the customization course of, but they’re nonetheless discernible on orchestral recordings. Furthermore, listening in ANC Mode doesn’t compromise high quality.(Image credit score: Alex Bracetti/Future)The brassy synths on Beyonce’s “Party” have been properly balanced and reproduced, which accentuated the document’s enjoyable and laidback vibes. Harmonies and adlibs additionally sounded crisp. Bass wasn’t at all times constant, as evidenced on boom-centric information just like the Flatbush Zombies’ “Fly Away.” The sub-heavy 808 line muddied the soundstage and diminished the readability on what are already low-pitched vocals.Jazz classics like Oliver Nelson’s “Stolen Moments” have been serene listens. The double bass was thick, and the hi-hats have been distinctive. What impressed me most was the channel separation. Hearing light flutes tickle my proper ear whereas soulful horns performed on the left was nice.(Image credit score: Alex Bracetti/Future)EarFun’s Game Mode is out there for lowering latency on cell video games. Dialogue and sound results have been extra correct and synchronized when turning on the function.                             Unlike the the Air Pro SV, the Air S has aptX help for higher audio dealing with over Bluetooth. AAC and SBC codecs additionally carry out as much as par on iOS/macOS and Android gadgets. You’ll need to watch out with the amount ranges on the Air S as a result of they’ll get harmfully loud.EarFun Air S evaluate: Active noise cancellationMediocre noise neutralizationAdequate transparency modeThe Air Pro SV confirmed that ANC was not EarFun’s biggest energy, and the identical is true with the Air S. The advertising and marketing locations an emphasis on Qualcomm’s QCC3046 SOC expertise, which is alleged to dam out undesirable noise whereas permitting some sounds to leak via for security causes. In my expertise, sounds throughout all frequencies leaked in and captured my consideration. Walking into my laundry room, I heard the tumbling from our washer and dryer, together with our cat meowing for consideration by the door. Baby cries have been loud, kitchen home equipment have been distracting, and wind was outstanding when listening to music in gusty situations. The Air S might solely deal with a number of mid-frequency sounds. I barely heard any chatter when strolling across the neighborhood or hanging within the gazebo, nor did I discover any barking when passing by canine parks. But that’s about it.(Image credit score: Alex Bracetti/Future)Ambient Sound is adequate for growing consciousness of your environment. Common outdoors noises like development instruments and dashing automobiles are audible from about 80 toes away, although voices don’t come via as clearly as one would really like. This makes it troublesome to have conversations with the buds nonetheless in your ears. I attempted utilizing the function in the home and will barely make out my spouse’s phrases.EarFun Air S evaluate: Special options and appControl app supportPlenty of helpful additional featuresNo Find My Buds operateNot many sub-$70 wi-fi earbuds have a companion app, but the Air S does. The EarFun Audio app is the place you’ll discover all options that reach performance, together with aforementioned ones like ANC/Ambient Sound, management customization, Equalizer, and Game Mode. Rounding issues out are battery stage indicators, firmware updates, toggle controls, and a product tutorial.(Image credit score: Alex Bracetti/Future)We’ve seen equally priced rivals provide a number of extra options similar to Dolby Atmos help and a Find My Buds operate. Rivals just like the Sony WF-C500 even come stocked with high-end options like 3D audio (360 Reality Audio) and upscaling expertise (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine). Nonetheless, EarFun offers you a beneficiant quantity of perks contemplating the very low MSRP.EarFun Air S evaluate: Battery life and charging caseMediocre battery lifeCharging case comes Qi-enabledEarFun charges battery life at 5 hours with ANC on and 6 hours with ANC off. High quantity and Game Mode drop these down by about 1 hour. These are much like AirPods Pro playtimes (4.5 to five hours), which isn’t engaging. I didn’t like having to recharge the buds each different day.(Image credit score: Alex Bracetti/Future)The charging case holds a most of 30 hours, 6 hours greater than the AirPods Pro’s case. Do the maths and also you get about 5 further costs to work with. EarFun additionally made the Air S case wi-fi charging appropriate.EarFun Air S evaluate: Call high quality and connectivityAcceptable for voice and video callsSolid connectivityTo my shock, the Air S functioned properly as a calling headset, but solely in fairly quiet settings. Any calls I took indoors have been principally met with constructive suggestions; two individuals complained about minor muffle. Outside was 50/50. EarFun’s ANC expertise did little to attenuate ambient noise throughout calls and demonstrated horrible wind resistance. I needed to choose a quiet and remoted nook for individuals to listen to me clearly.(Image credit score: Alex Bracetti/Future)You’ll get some implausible wi-fi efficiency through Bluetooth 5.2. Range is excessive, peaking at 70 toes (21 meters) in open areas, and connections stay secure throughout calls and streaming periods. Pairing is on the spot with acknowledged gadgets. There’s additionally multipoint expertise to pair the buds with two gadgets on the identical time, although there may be some latency when switching between audio sources. The solely factor lacking is one-tap Google Fast Pair to expedite the pairing course of with Android gadgets.EarFun Air S evaluate: VerdictAs a lot as you’ll benefit from the energetic sound and terrific wi-fi efficiency, the EarFun Air S is an general letdown and never one thing we’d think about finest low cost wi-fi earbuds materials.Expectations for ANC have been already low after experiencing some of the model’s earlier entries, and these buds did little to alter our minds. What stings extra is that EarFun couldn’t get the fundamentals down, like battery life, controls, and traditional capabilities (e.g., Siri on macOS). You can discover different fashions within the EarFun lineup that provide a extra well-rounded package deal for below $100.Next: Want high quality buds for a cut price? Here are the most effective low cost wi-fi earbuds proper now.


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