Now that Free True Wireless (TWS) earphones are all the rage I am bombarded with review requests, most affordable random Chinese brands. The earphones themselves are normally reasonable good but they are all suspiciously similar. It is almost certain that these are white label products being sold under different brands. These companies will even produce different designs but functionally the same earphone.
With that rant out of the way, it was refreshing to be approached by a new company that was clearly using something a little different than the generic Chinese options, while remaining affordable.
- Bluetooth: 5.0
- Support: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP
- Earbuds Battery: 2 x 50mAh
- Earbuds Battery Life: Up to 6 hours, up to 30 hours with included charging case
- Earbuds Charging Time: 1.5 hours
- Charging Case Battery: 500mAh, it can charge about 4 times for earbuds
- Battery Case Charging Time: About 2-hours via USB Type-C
- IP Rating: IPX7
While these are a touch more expensive than the Chinese options, there are a few stand out features that almost immediately justify the marginally more expensive price tag. As with all TWS earphones, this comes in a charging case, unlike many though these use USB Type-C so I can finally stop carrying around the microUSB cable, you can even charge them via QI wireless charging. The earphones themselves have a 50mAh battery which is apparently good for 6 hours charge and this is extended up to 30 hours with included charging case. The 6-hour battery life is notable as most decent earphones go up to 5 hours, while many still linger around 3 hours. I spend a lot of time in the gym or running, so quite often 3 hours isn't quite enough for me and my favourite running earphones, the Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100 can't last a full marathon.
The design of these is generic, I now have a table full of earphones in a case that looks almost identical. My current TWS earphones that I use the most are the Groov-e SoundBuds and both the cases of these look identical, but the Groov-E charges via microUSB and they also cost more at £64.99.
These earbuds have a 3 pin charging connector and fit snugly into the case with the ear tip on and stay there with a magnetic connection, it's not something I would have pointed out in the past but if I am comparing these to the Groov-e SoundBuds it is worth noting as they fit terribly into the case.
The earphones themselves follow a similar design to many others, again not all that different to the Groov-e SoundBuds or the Lenovo HT10 TWS Wire-Free Earphones and all the other Chinese knockoffs. It is generally a decent design, as it sits in your ear without dangling out too much keeping the centre of gravity close to you and reducing the odds of them dropping out.
They are IPX7 sweat and water-resistant. and I find that TWS earbuds are inherently better at sweat protection than the wired counterparts as there are no wires with controls getting in the way.
Performance & Fit
These had a bit of a bad start, when I first took them out of the case and switched them on, they both powered up, I paired with my phone fine, but the left ear didn't get audio. This could have been a charging issue with the left not having a full charge, as when I retried them the next day, they worked fine. I do find that sometimes the left channel doesn't immediately play, but over the past couple of weeks of regular use I haven't had them completely fail to play.
I have found the fit to be good, you get three eartips and I always need to use the larger one. I am yet to try an outdoor run with them, but indoors on the treadmill or cross-trainer, I have not had any frustrating incidents with them falling out.
The earbuds have basic controls, holding down the button on each side will power them on or off. Music playback is all done on the left earbud such as pausing is one press, skipping to the next song is two presses and going back to the previous song is three presses. The right earbud can also pause and play music but it is then used for things like voice assistant. One press will answer a phone call, a double press will bring up Google Assistant.
Now down to the important bit, sound. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for, but these perform very well for their price bracket. Firstly, I find a lot of cheap earphones give me tinnitus when listening to them moderately loud, I think this is the harshness of the high notes, and I have not found this to be the case with these. Bass is always a big issue for TWS earphones, while these can't compete with the amazing £100 1MORE Triple Driver BT In-Ear Headphones, bass is well represented, in particular, I found when I was not listening to the volume too loud tracks from Sofi Tukker were able to produce a deep well rounded bass with no distortion.
Similarily I have been pleased with all the other ranges there was no obvious distortion or muffled noise, nor any harshness with the upper ranges.
During my time with them, including on the treadmill or more vigorous workouts, I didn't experience any dropouts, similarily when using them in the house I didn't find they would drop out as soon as I walked away from my phone.
Overall I have come away impressed with the EarFun Free True Wireless Earbuds, I would put the sound quality on par with the Groov-e SoundBuds I use, but they cost 44% more, use microUSB and have much worse battery life.
These currently cost £45.99 on Amazon, and I think this is a sweet spot for earphones, not super cheap but cheap enough for you not to be devastated if you lose them
EarFun True Wireless Earbuds Review Score
- Overall - 88%88%
Decent sound, USB-C, wireless charging, 6 hours playback, and IPX7 all for well under £50 – can't complain about that.
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