With a motto of “Better Sound, Better Life,” I definitely want to be a part of the Earfün ride.
When it comes to portable entertainment, our smartphones/tablets reign supreme. From music to movies to games to communications to productivity, many are never very far from their expensive devices. Even though the onboard speakers have improved alongside the phone/tablet tech, portable Bluetooth earphones have improved at a much faster clip. Whether you prefer over-ear, on-ear, or in-ear speakers, we get to decide how to interact with our media. Excitingly, we do not need to break the bank to obtain a quality pair of earphones.
The earfün Bluetooth 5.2 earbuds arrived in a 4 inches wide by 4 7/8 inches tall by 2 inches thick white retail package. The earfün name was proudly displayed along the top left of the package in black/yellow font. I liked the placement and the color of the yellow-ü, and the vibrant warmth that it projected. Just beneath the title, you will find the name of the product, “EarFun Free Pro ANC WIRELESS EARBUDS.” Looking to the bottom of the panel, you will find five product feature icons: 32h+, Active Noise Cancelling, 4-mic, IPX5, and Bluetooth 5.2. Despite the allure of the contrasting black font upon the white background, the main focal point was the slightly raised, glossy image of the earfün earbuds. The image showed the silicone ear tips, the dark grey rim, the central black button, and the dark-grey earfün name. With the packaging face up, the side panel toward my left displayed “ANC WIRELESS EARBUDS,” while the opposing side panel listed contact addresses for the product (firstname.lastname@example.org and www.myearfun.com). The top panel had an opaque-plastic product hanging tab, and the bottom panel provided information about the company (address, FCC rules/regulations, Bluetooth information).
Turning the packaging face down, I was able to evaluate the back panel. Although the panel lacked the cover’s visual appeal, this panel provided all of the information that one would need to purchase this device. The product name was placed along the top of the panel, followed by a useful table of the packaging contents package contents: Earfun Free PRo, Charging Case, 4x Ear Tips, 3x Ear Hooks, USB-C cable, User Manual. Next, you will find a list of 10 feature-icons: 1. Feed-Forward Active Noise Cancellation up to 28db. 2. Enhanced 4-Microphone Noise Cancellation Technology for Crystal Clear Calls. 3. Balanced Superior Sound with Dual Composite Dynamic Drivers. 4. 32-hour Playtime: 7 hours+ 25 hours with charging case. 5. Wireless Charging Compatible. 6. IPX5 Sweat & Water Resistance. 7. Low Latency Mode Improves Video and Gaming Experience. 8. Intuitive Touch Control + Volume Control. 9. Single Earbud Mode Right or Left. 10. Active Voice Assistant. Lastly, along the panel’s bottom, you will find the TW301 model number, DC 5V-1A input, FCC ID, product manufacturing labels, and the SKU barcode.
I removed the outer plastic film, lifted the top off of the box, and found the earfün charging case nestled within the cutout of a foam layer. Once the foam and charging case were removed, I found a yellow Like/Dislike pamphlet (30-day money-back guarantee for any reason, 18-month Replacement Warranty, email@example.com email, and social media handles #earfun, @EarFunAudio, and Snapchat earfun_official), the multilingual user manual (English, Japanese, German, French, Spanish, and Chinese), and the plastic accessory card. The accessory card housed the 12-inches long USB-A to USB-C cable, three extra sizes of ear tips (XS/S/L), and two additional sets of ear hooks (S/L). The medium tips and medium hooks came pre-installed on the EarFun Free Pro earbuds. Before charging the earbuds/case, make sure that you remove the thin film blocking the earbuds from charging. I replaced the earbuds with the film removed, closed the lid, and perused the user manual. The first panel provided a useful labeled-diagram of the earfün earbuds/charging case: Touch multifunction control, LED indicator, microphone, Charging Contactors, USB-C charging port, charging case, charging dock, charging case indicator. The second panel reviewed the wired/wireless charging features of the case. Before testing, I followed the instructions and charged the earbuds and case before first use. If you are unsure about the battery status, open or close the lid to activate the LED battery indicator. Instead of an LED bank, the company chose to use a color system: Green >30%, Orange <30%, Red <10%, Red Flashing <5% Please charge.
The third page provided a useful list of product specifications, which became my favorite page of the manual (Bluetooth V5.2, Freq 2.402GHz-2.48GHz, Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP, 15m working range, 50mAh battery earbuds, 400mAh battery charging case, 1-hour earbud charging time, 2 hours USB-C case charging time, 3.5-hours Wireless case charging time, 7-hour playback sans ANC/Total of 32 hours from the case, 7-hours playback with ANC activated/Total of 27 hours from the case, DC 5V/1A input, 67mm x 25mm x 31mm dimensions, and 42g weight). Additionally, the panel detailed the customization of the earbud tips/hooks within your ear. The fourth page walked the user through the straightforward pairing process. Like the AirPods Pro case, once you open the charging case, the device will start the pairing process. Navigate to Settings, then to Bluetooth on your phone, and select Earfun Free Pro from the list. I did not have any issues with this step. However, the manual will walk you through two additional methods to connect your earbuds if you do. Pages five through seven detailed the functions of the earbuds:
Right: Increase Volume
Left: Decrease Volume
Right or Left: Play/Pause
Right or Left” Answer/End Call
Right: Next Track
Left: Activate AANC, Ambient Sound, Normal
Right or Left: Answer and Transfer Call.
Tap and Hold 2s:
Right: Voice assistant.
Left: Activate/Deactivate Low Latency mode.
Right or Left: Reject a Call
Blue Flashing x 1 second: Power ON
Red Flashing x 1 second: Power OFF
Blue Flashing Continuous: Pairing Mode
Purple Flashing: Factory Reset
I loved that they chose to display the information in tabular format but would have preferred that they listed it as I did above. To make the earbuds truly hands free, I would have loved a previous track option. Unfortunately, I have tested several pairs of headphones where this feature was not an option. Thus, it was not solely a limitation of this device. To access and remove the earbuds from the case, open the lid, and then remove each of the 0.1-ounce earbuds. Place the right ear tip into the right ear, the left ear tip into the left ear, and then rotate each of them into the ear concha. If desired, you can remove either of the earbuds to use them in single earbud mode. However, the button combinations did not change when using a single earbud.
Whenever I receive a new pair of earphones, I begin my review with the audiocheck.net website. Starting with the Low-Frequency Response and Subwoofer Audio Test (10-200 Hz) bass test, I was pleased to hear the rumble at 20Hz. If you have never used the website, a male announcer will start at 10Hz and will vocalize the pitch at 10Hz increments. The bass range proved to be in-line with the lower range of human hearing. With the lower end evaluated, I turned to the High-Frequency Response and Hearing Audio Test (22-8 kHz) to evaluate the high end. Similar to the test above, the male announcer will start at 22kHz and will announce the change in frequency. This time, however, he announced every one kHz decrease, instead of every 10Hz increase. I was able to hear the higher-pitched whining sound at 15kHz, which was in line with my age-ability to hear. It is important to note, humans tend to lose higher pitched hearing first and most adults cannot hear above 14-15kHz. My 9-year-old and 12-year-old sons were able to hear to 17kHz. Thus, make sure that you protect your hearing and avoid barotrauma.
Once the range tests were completed, I tested the Left/Right/Center programming with the Left/Right (Stereo) Test. With the correctly labeled earbuds in their respective ears, I found that the Left/Right/Center programming worked properly. As my final test (my favorite feature of the audio check website), I used the Original Binaural Recording Stereo Perception and Sound Localization Test. If you have never heard binaural recordings, I would highly encourage you to check them out. The test above will show some of the staging of the earbuds through a knocking sound. Essentially, it sounds as if the knocking is coming from behind you. Even though they are aware of the sounds to come, my children still jump when they hear this test. If you are interested in more binaural recordings, I would recommend that you trial “8D Sound of Silence from Disturbed,” “Sound Of Silence (3D Binaural Audio)- Simon and Garfunkel Cover-Jarvis Brothers (Ear to Ear), Gladiator “In the Air Tonight,” “Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen,” “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith. The 8D songs are a bit different than a binaural recording, but the back and forth arcuate sounds repeatedly prove to be a neat experience.
As an Apple fan, I have enjoyed the integration of the AirPods Pro with my iPhone 12 Pro Max. However, the limiting factor of the AirPods Pro has been the lack of customization. Whenever I turn my head from side to side, jump up or down, or jog, I have to continually press them back into my ear canals. Out-of-the-box, the EarFun Free Pro earbuds fit my canal like they were uniquely designed for me. I tested each of the ear tips/wings and returned to the pre-installed/shipped configuration. I was pleased with the above tests, with the sound output, the frequency range, the bass output, with the comfort, and with the fit and feel of these earbuds. I loved the Bluetooth V5.2, the Codecs, the accessory ear tips/wings, and the design of the case/earbuds. The ability to charge via USB-C or Wirelessly, coupled with a 7 hour 50mAh battery life and the 400mAh case were exceptional. I was able to use the earbuds on my commute to and from work (30 minutes each way), plus several hours each night (total of about ~2.5-3 hours per night) to listen to music, to watch TV (Star Trek Discovery, American Idol, The Goldbergs), and the new Snyder Cut of Justice League. Excitedly, after a week of use, I still had a green LED when I opened/closed the lid to the case. To further test the earbuds, I paired the EarFun Free Pros with my iPad Pro 11”, with my iPhone 12 Pro Max, and with my MacBook Pro 15”. I used the earbuds to listen to music through a variety of Apps: Amazon Prime Music, Apple Music, Pandora, and the “Energy Bus” on Audible. While riding passenger in my wife’s Nissan NV, or in our Thor Class C Motorhome, I loved to use the Noise Cancelling feature. While driving, I placed a single earbud into my right ear and used the Ambient Sound feature. With a triple tap of the left earbud, a female voice will announce the modes as you cycle through the Noise Canceling, Ambient Sound, and normal modes. I was pleased that the noise canceling and ambient sound modes did not create an abnormal pressure/buzzing within my ears. Unlike AirPods Pro, the earbuds will not pause the movie/song when removed from the ears and will not power off if music is playing.
To finish the testing process, I navigated to Amazon Music Unlimited and tested my favorite tracks. To test the bass, I typically start with “Train Song” by Holly Cole.” I have found that the jazzy, bounding-bass serves as a reliable indicator for the quality of bass. Pleased with the test, I turned to CeeLo Green and listened to the clashing city sounds of “Bright Lights Bigger City.” Similar to the “Train Song” experience, the sounds were balanced and not too muddy, even up to 75% volume. Next, I used “Far Over The Misty Mountains Cold” from the Hobbit, and Dark Knight Rises Joker Theme “Why So Serious.” My favorite section of the song is the buildup from about 3:00 to 3:27 and then the ascending, back-and-forth bass pulses up to about 4:40. Lastly, I used Home Free “Ring of Fire” for the terminal low growl by Tim Faust. To test the mids/highs/staging and balance, I like to use several options from Anthem Lights, “What a day that will by By Gospel Plowboys, “Chain Breaker” by Gaither Vocal Band, Bob Marley and the Wailers “Turn Your Lights Down Low,” Radiohead “The National Anthem,” “Carribean Blue” by Enya, and “Bubbles” by Yosi Horikawa. To round out the musical testing, I used the instrumental soundtracks from Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Far and Away, and Braveheart. I moved to Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Movies Anywhere, VUDU, HULU, and Netflix with my music tests conducted. I watched several movies/television shows utilizing both the normal and low latency modes. Whether playing games or watching movies, I did not notice that much of a difference in sound. When I compared older Bluetooth earbuds, I noticed a more significant lag with YouTube. The Bluetooth V5.2/codecs worked well, better than older Bluetooth technology at reducing the latency between video/sound.
To summarize my experience with the Earfun Free Pro, I was impressed with the earbuds and loved their fullness/sound. The bass never became muddy, and the mids/upper sounds never felt tinny or harsh throughout any of the tests. The bass, starting at 20Hz, was supportive throughout all of the volume levels. I enjoyed the touch controls and felt that they were quite sensitive. In fact, I found that I could not lay with my ear near my arm because my skin activated the low latency mode of the earbuds. After a few uses, the button combinations became intuitive. My only critique was that there was not an option to return to a previous track. Coupled with the long battery life, the size, shape, and charging capabilities will ensure hours of listening enjoyment. The pill-shaped case design provided increased pocketability. Overall, I would rate the Earfün earbuds at 10/10 for sound, 10/10 for comfort, 10/10 for battery life, 10/10 for accessories, 10/10 for charging capabilities, and 10/10 for packaging.