Waterproof, portable, and inexpensive Bluetooth speaker.
Music may be the one factor that unites people across the Globe. Even though you may not enjoy the same genre of music, a catchy melody or beat can turn a smile on even the most melancholic of individuals. We can choose to utilize earbuds or over-ear earphones for a more private/personal listening experience, or we can turn towards Bluetooth Speakers and bring the party with us. If you have ever perused the speaker aisles at Best Buy or Walmart, then you may have warily looked upon the prices of some of the big named brands. What if there was a device that provided many of the same features but at a fraction of the cost? What would you pay for a small-lightweight, Bluetooth speaker that was also waterproof, capable of TWS pairing, provided a 24-hour battery life, modern Bluetooth technology, and USB-C charging? The Earfün Go speaker may be the sub $40 device that you did not even know that you were looking for.
The earfün Go speaker arrived in an attractive 8 inches long by 3 3/8 inches tall by 3 3/8 inches thick retail package. My eyes were immediately drawn to the stark contrast between the 4 1/8 inches wide by 1 3/8 inches tall black image of the earfün Bluetooth speaker and the clean white cover. I loved the minimalism of the outer box. The cover provided a black/yellow title along the top left, and the “EarFün Go” product name, Portable Bluetooth Speaker and four icons along the bottom left. Instead of overwhelming me with details/imagery and verbiage, earfün painted a succinct portrait of their product. I appreciated that earfün chose to add splashes of yellow into their name and within each of the four icons. I loved that the yellow accents became the primary background color of the side panels. The left panel provided a QR code linking to the earfün FaceBook page, as well as the firstname.lastname@example.org email and the www.myearfun.com website. The opposing panel provided information about the ability to use the Bluetooth speaker with a phone, tablet, or computer. The back panel was a little more involved than the other panels. Beneath the product title, earfün provided five icons detailing the Bluetooth Wireless Connection, the superior sound, the up to 24-hour playtime, IPX7 waterproof status and include speakerphone. Within the box, you can expect to find the SP100 speaker, a USB-C charging cable, and a user manual. Lastly, you will find many of the traditional product manufacturing labels next to an oblique image of the speaker. To round out the description of the packaging, the bottom white panel was clear and the top panel provided the same black/yellow title as the cover.
When I opened the top panel, I found a UNICEF $1 donation card from earfun, a square like/dislike card and the instruction manual. The like/dislike card provided the www.myearfun.com web address and listed the 30-day money-back guarantee for any reason, the 18-month replacement warranty (defects), the email@example.com website for feedback, as well as the #earfun, @EarFunAudio Facebook, and earfun_official Instragam information. The multi-lingual user manual proved to be well designed. Instead of breaking up the book into individual languages, they chose to break it up into sections. The first section detailed the package contents and the second section detailed the five speaker buttons (power, bluetooth, play/pause/call multi-function button (MFB), volume down and volume up). The third section showed an image of the reverse face of the speaker, the 3.5mm jack/USB charging port, and provided information about the ability to monitor speaker battery levels with your smart device. Section four demonstrated how to connect to your smart device via bluetooth by simply pressing the button and navigating to Settings, Bluetooth and choosing Earfun go from the list. Section 5 detailed the ability to pair two devices together via True Wireless Connection (TWS). Section 6 showed the functions of the speaker and specifically the multifunction nature of the central button. A short press of the volume up/down buttons will change the volume but the track selection was not linked with those buttons. Instead, the central MFB will play/pause after a single short press, will advance the track with a double press and will reverse a track with a triple press. During a call, a single press will start a call, end a call, whereas a 1 second hold will cancel a call. The last section detailed the product specifications in English, Spanish, Japanese, French and German: Bluetooth Version 5.0, A2DP/AVRCP, HFP, HSP profiles, 2200 mAh battery, up to 24hour playtime, 4 hour charge time, 430 gram weight and 58mm x 171mm x 62mm dimensions.
I removed the speaker and the thin black plastic end caps from the box. I was excited to learn about the USB-C but was a little disappointed with the inclusion of the 24 3/4 inches long USB-A to USB-C cable. I would have preferred a USB-C to USB-C cable. The 15.2 ounce, 6 3/4 inches long by 2 1/8 inches tall by 2 1/2 inches thick black, pill-shaped speaker had a strong tactical feel. At just about a pound, the speaker was heavy, yet not overly burdensome. The outer rubberized shell screamed “waterproof” and the device appeared to be well constructed. To test the waterproof nature of the speaker, I placed it into the shower and I held it underwater for about ten minutes. The speaker survived and thrived in this test. The rubberized buttons jutted upward from the surface of the outer speaker shell, providing a refreshing tactile feel.
Along the bottom of the speaker, you will find four 3/16 inches diameter, rubberized feet. Along the lower left of the back panel, you will find a 1 9/16 inches long by 1 17/32 inches tall waterproof rubberized plug. Just to the left of the plug, you will find a 1 5/8 inches long nylon loop. Pressing the power button, the speaker will make a series of four ascending tones, followed by a short pause, and then two additional ascending tones. I pressed the Bluetooth Button and the speaker provided the same ascending two tones as previously described. I navigated to Settings, Bluetooth and chose “Earfun Go” from the list. The speaker alerted me to the status change with two descending tones.
With the Earfun Go speaker paired to my iPhone XS Max, I navigated to the audiocheck.net website to test the sound output. I used the Low-Frequency Response and Subwoofer Audio Test (10-200 Hz) and heard the reassuring rumble of bass at 30-40Hz. There was a high pitched whirring noise from 20Hz-30Hz, which was a little disappointing. Utilizing the High-Frequency Response and Hearing Audio Test (22-8 kHz), I was able to hear the test tone at 15kHz, which was typical for my upper limit of my hearing. Throughout the testing, I was pleased with the quality/balance of the speaker at higher volumes, but was immediately impressed with the quality of the sound at the lower limits of volume. I was quite shocked that I was able to enjoy personal sound at 1 tick on my iPhone XS Max and even more impressed that the balance did not appear to change as the volume changed. I set the speaker 1 foot from my iPad Pro 10.5” and checked the volume using the Decibel X app. At the lowest volume setting on my iPhone XS Max, the Decibel X app registered 40-48 Decibels and at 50% volume, it registered 78-82 Decibels. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has set 85 Decibels as the typical upper limit of safety. At this level, you can safely listen for up to 8 hours without any lasting damage. For every 3 decibel increase, you can expect to cut the safe listening time in half. At around 110 decibels, you cannot listen for more than a minute without pain and the possibility of permanent hearing damage.
It appears that the speaker was designed for living rooms, dorm rooms, bedrooms and possibly an office/cubicle space. For added sound/enjoyment, you can pair two devices for a true TWS experience. Unfortunately, I only has a single speaker and was unable to test that feature. While completing this review, my four-year-old daughter wanted to hear “A whole New World” and “Speechless” from the new Aladdin soundtrack, as well as Anna Kendrick’s Trolls “Get Back Up Again.” My seven-year-old son chimed in and requested Imagine Dragons “Believer” and “Natural,” and “Sunflower” from Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. Once I was able to take a turn, I listened to several features from Johnny Cash, and CCR, “Carribean Blue” by Enya, “Bright Lights Bigger City” by CeeLo Green, the country version of “Ring of Fire” from Home Free, Prince “Purple Rain,” and “Sound of Silence” by disturbed. Basically, I was able to play/test, while enjoying many of my favorite songs. I was pleased with the crisp sound at both low and high volume and with the quality of the sound of a variety of music genres. I turned to Movies Anywhere and watched “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “A star is Born” to test the sync between audio/video and to appreciate the music. Lastly, I turned to Amazon prime and watched “The Boys.”
The bass output of this little speaker will not rock your world, nor will it leave you disgusted. Instead, it is in the middle. I loved the fullness of Tim Foust in Home Free Ring of Fire, and appreciated the blended sounds of Pentatonix and Anthem Lights. It did not matter who I listened to; Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, Meghan Trainer, Charlie Puth, Michael Jackson, The Beach Boys, Alabama, Johnny Cash, CeeLo Green, and Prince, all provided an enjoyable listening experience. If you are looking for a fun Jacuzzi, sauna, or hot-tub speaker, or simply a speaker to spice up your personal space, the earfun go will add a little pizzazz to the ordinary. With the waterproof nature of the speaker, my wife has started using the earfun go to listen to several Christian artists while taking her evening bath. At just under a pound, this lightweight waterproof speaker will work well for my upcoming Cub Scout/Boy Scout outing. I look forward to clipping the speaker to the outside of my water bag. Combined with a music streaming service, the 24 hour battery playback will prove ideal for our weekend camping events.
The speakerphone option was a nice feature but I do not like to use Bluetooth speakers for phone calls. The included microphone, located between the MFB button and the Bluetooth button, captured a lot of the ambient background noises. My wife noted that she could hear more background noises than with the speakerphone on my iPhone XS Max. Despite the negative opinion, and my dislike of the USB-A to USB-C cable, I would still rate the portable/personal speaker at ~9.5/10. To summarize, the 24-our battery life, waterproof nature, and sound quality were definite positives for the speaker. The rear access panel was a little difficult to open, but that added to the overall level of waterproofing. The raised buttons were responsive, the sleek black color was visibly enjoyable, and the button layout was quite intuitive. I loved that the volume controls and the track controls were separated. A short press of the volume buttons easily adjusted the sound on my iPhone, and a double press or triple press of the MFB button altered the tracks. Lastly, I was pleased that earfün chose to use Bluetooth 5.0 for this speaker. I was able to use this speaker nearly everywhere in my 2 story plus basement home thanks to the extra range of the Bluetooth 5.0. I do not think that I could fairly ask for more features from a sub $40 speaker. In fact, throughout the testing, I had to remind myself of the cost. If you are looking for a fun, on-the-go, budget-friendly listening experience, look to earfün.