Enjoy up to 40 hours of playback with a pair of comfortable, affordable over-ear Bluetooth 5.0 headphones.
Many of us gain a sense of music from our parents. Growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, my family listened to a lot of CCR, Beach Boys, Journey, Fleetwood Mac, The Beetles, Bon Jovi, Rod Stewart, Peter Paul and Mary, several oldies from the ’60s and ’70s, and many more. Portable music did not really exist outside of the 8-track, cassette tapes, or radio’s inside of our cars. In fact, to enjoy private music at home, my father had to plug a huge pair of headphone cans into his humongous, space-occupying stereo system. Looking back, our headphone technology has advanced significantly. With the advent of Bluetooth technology in 1994, and subsequent enhancements thereafter, we now have several options of on-ear, in-ear, and around-ear headphones to enjoy movies, audiobooks, movies, and games. With so many options now on the market, it can become a challenge to separate the good from the mediocre to the poor. Luckily with so much competition, you can find a pair of comfortable headphones with good sound, plenty of features and at an affordable price. Stop paying a premium for a product name.
The Earfün Wave Wireless Headphones arrived in an attractive 5 3/4 inches wide by 7 3/4 inches tall by 3 5/8 inches thick colorful retail package. My eyes were immediately drawn to the sun-yellow coloration of the two side panels and the translation of the color to the earfün logo/title. The main focus of the cover was the 6 1/2 inches tall by 3 1/4 inches wide side view of the earcuff. The Bluetooth logo was found along the bottom left and four black 7/16 inches diameter icons with yellow font were found along the bottom right. The icons detailed the 40h+ playtime, a music note, a person wearing headphones and a microphone. Rotating the packaging ninety degrees clockwise, the yellow right panel informed the customer that the headphones could be used with a mobile phone, tablet or computer. Personally, this was a wasted panel and by now this information should be well known. The opposite side panel listed the www.myearfun.com website, firstname.lastname@example.org email address and a QR code that linked to the FaceBook page. The back panel provided a list of six icons detailing the Bluetooth Wireless Connection, Superior Sound with 40mm Driver, Ultra-comfort with Cortical Earmuffs, Up to 40-hour Playback, 3.5mm Port Audio Input, and Voice Assistant. Along the bottom of the panel, earfün included a list of package contents (earfün wave, travel case, audio cable, charging cable, instruction manual), listed the HP100 Model number, several of the manufacturing labels and an SKU sticker.
To remove the product from the packaging, press the plastic hanging tab into the box as you slide the lower black panel out of the tight-fitting white/yellow slipcover. My eye was immediately drawn to the black card stock panel that covered the inner box. The panel showed the two-step Bluetooth connection process: 1. Press MFB (Multifunction button for 2s) and 2. Activate the Bluetooth on your Bluetooth-Enabled device and search for EarFün Wave. The remainder of the inner box was devoid of any product labels, imagery, or verbiage. Lifting the Bluetooth flap, I found the matte black 7 inches tall by 5 1/2 inches wide by 4 1/2 inches thick zippered clamshell pouch. The soft surface felt like foam and I was pleased that it did not seem to absorb fingerprints, to show scuff marks or to attract lint. The earfün logo was found in darker black font along the cover, and a single pull tab zipper was found surrounding all but the 4 1/4 inches long spine. Opening the smooth action zipper, I found the 9.38-ounce earphones, a $1 UNICEF donation card, an earfün like/dislike comment card, a rather short 12 1/2 inches long USB-A to USB-micro cable, and a 48 inches long 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable. The inside of the case was divided into a top half, which had a 1 3/4 inches tall mesh pouch along the top section, and a bottom half, which contained the foldable headphones.
To open the headphones, apply outward pressure at each of the earcups and you will hear a reassuring click. Each of the hinges will expand by 1 1/4 inches and will accommodate a variety of head shapes. For added comfort, you will find a 1/2 inches thick foam padding along the apex of the headphones. The left and right earcups measured 3 1/4 inches wide by 3 3/4 inches tall by 1 inch thick and provided ample cushioning against the side of my head. To orient the headphones, you can either look into the earcups or at the inner surface of the hinges to ascertain the left and right cups. Additionally, the base of the left earcup possessed the 3.5mm input port and the base of the right earcup had the micro-USB charging port. The master control buttons, “+,” “MFB,” and “-” were located along the back surface of the right earcup and were easily accessible.
Before powering on the device, I used the short USB-A to USB-micro cable to ensure the earfün wave headphones were fully charged. In the interim, I perused the multilingual instruction manual (English, Japanese, Spanish, French) hiding beneath the carry case. The layout/function of the three buttons proved to be quite intuitive. The central MFB button will answer/end a call, play/pause music, and will power on/off the device. The “+” button will increase the volume with a short press and will advance the track with a long press. Similarly, a short press of the “-“ button decreased the volume and a long press reversed to a previous track. To connect to the device to a smartphone/tablet, press the MFB for two seconds to turn the device on and to enter into pairing mode. You can then navigate to Settings, then to Bluetooth, and then select the “EarFün wave” option from the list. The earfün wave headphones employed Bluetooth V5.0, supported the A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP codecs, contained a 680mAh/3.7V battery, and promised 40-hours of playback time with a two hour charge. Comfortable and stylish, I was excited to test the sound quality of the earphones.
Each time that you power on the device, an Aussie female voice will announce “power on,” “pairing,” and then “paired.” As an added convenience, it will automatically connect to the last known paired device. To add a secondary device, hold the power button for 5 seconds during the power-on process. Once the headphones were paired, I navigated to audiocheck.net to test them. I used the Low-Frequency Response and Subwoofer Audio Test (10-200 Hz) and heard bass starting at 20Hz and felt the vibration around 30Hz. I was pleased with the lower range of the headphones, although they may not dive deep enough into the sub-bass range for some. I liked that the sound output seemed well balanced and favored blend instead of exceptionally bass-centric sound. The headphones worked well for pop, rock, soul, instrumentals and left me wanting more. I personally like when the headphones do not over-focus upon the bass; I prefer an equalizer option to adjust the bass up/down to taste. Utilizing the High-Frequency Response and Hearing Audio Test (22-8 kHz), I was able to hear the test tone at 15kHz. If you have read any of my reviews then you know that humans lose the upper range prior to the lower range. Most adults can hear 13-14kHz due to loss of upper tones with age. My children, aged 7 and 10, were able to hear up to 17kHz. While waiting for a doctor’s appointment, I turned to Amazon Prime Music and listened to a few tracks from Ultimate Alabama, Purple Rain by Prince, several of Michael Jackson’s best, “Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, a few of my favorite Megan Trainer songs, Charlie Puth, and Disturbed Sound of Silence. I loved the passive noise reduction and the fullness of the sound. I completed most of the review with my iPhone XS Max at 5-6 ticks on my iPhone XS Max and used a combination of YouTube and Amazon Prime Music.
Pleased with the frequency range, I used the Left/Right/Center test and found the earbuds to be appropriately programmed. To test the stereo nature of the headphones, I love to use Queen “Bohemian rhapsody,” and more specifically, the binaural version of the song. The Stereo Perception and Sound Localization Test remains my favorite part of the audiocheck.net experience. Whenever I get a chance, I love to catch unsuspecting individuals with the knocking on the Stereo perception test and with the “Sound Of Silence (3D Binaural Audio)- Simon and Garfunkel Cover-Jarvis Brothers (Ear to Ear). Throughout the testing process, my wife noted that it was harder to get my attention and that she was surprised that there was minimal sound leak from the earcuffs. To further test the headphones, I listened to Bob Marley and the Wailers “Turn Your Lights Down Low,” Radiohead “The National Anthem,” “Caribbean Blue” by Enya, the “Dragonborn” Skyrim Theme by Jason Soule, and “Far Over The Misty Mountains Cold” from The Hobbit. These selections have proven time and again to test the bare minimums of a speaker or pair of headphones.
As noted above, I liked that I was able to hear the blended sounds, and was able to locate many of the instruments in space. At times I wished for an equalizer to turn up the bass, but overall for a pair of $50 headphones, they did a great job. The synth-pop “Bright Lights Bigger City” by CeeLo Green bounced and excited the auricles with good mids, upper range, and a reasonable bass experience. The sultry bass line of “Train Song” by Holly Cole transported me to smokey jazz bar and the cacophony of urban sounds present in Dark Knight Rises “Why so serious, Jokers Theme” were crisp and exciting. Lastly, to test the instrumentals, I turned to my comfort tracks from the Far and Away Soundtrack, Braveheart soundtrack and the Robin Hood Prince of Thieves Soundtrack. Instrumental music reminds me of my years playing music with various ensembles. Listening for the various solos, blends, and harmonies, was a refreshing experience.
There were several aspects of the headphones that I found refreshing. Watching Movies Anywhere, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, and VUDU with headphones tends to be a gamble. I have found many headphones to have a lag/distortion in the audio/video source. The earfün Wave headphones were well programmed and the codecs/Bluetooth 5.0 proved to eliminate the lag. With X-men Dark Phoenix downloaded, I was able to enjoy the movie on a recent campout. The buttons were expertly placed, easily accessible, and quickly controlled the volume and the playback of the movie/music/book. The battery widget was clearly visible on my iPhone CS max, which provided useful recharging information. The included carry case was an exciting and thoughtful inclusion but I would have liked a carry handle or strap attachment points. With the sub $50 cost of the headphones, I felt that I received a steal.