Bit Charge provides great sound and awesome charging capabilities for earbuds and phones.
For quite some time I’ve been on the search for some really great wireless earbuds. The problem is that no one really makes completely wireless earbuds. Most models still have a wire connecting the two ear pieces, which, in my opinion, just makes them a more complicated, tangled mess. I hate having that cord wrapped around my head. I’ve been wanting to get more active recently but don’t want to do so without the ‘right’ equipment. There just aren’t many truly wireless earbuds in the market. Fortunately, I found the Rowkin Mini Earbuds.
Rowkin designed the Mini Earbuds to be virtually invisible. They sit just inside the ear and end up just looking like a small dot. The earbuds feature Bluetooth 4.1 technology and have a built-in microphone. They are fully capable of taking phone calls and listening to music while you’re on the go. Only about the size of a penny, the Rowkin Mini Earbud measures 0.83 inches long by 0.55 inches wide.
One of the most unique aspects of the Rowkin Mini Earbuds is their conductive charging capabilities. Rowkin ships the earbuds with a ‘charging system’, which is essentially a case that acts as a portable battery. The earbuds have a talk time of up to 60 minutes and the portable charging case gives an additional 6 hours if you continue to store your earbuds in it while you are on the go. What’s truly amazing is that Rowkin boasts a very impressive standby time of 80 hours with the power on and 60 days with the power off. Now, I have not been able to truly test this timing because I’ve only had the earbuds for a couple of weeks, but I have noticed that they have an exceptional battery life. For example, I left the power on for a couple of days and dropped them into a bag I had with me at a hospital and when I went back to use them, they still had a charge.
This charging system is actually what differentiates the earbuds – model-to-model. You can get the mini earbuds on their own, or with the charging case. There are two different types of cases the Bit Stereo and the Bit Charge. I’ve had the Bit Charge and not too long ago, MacSources writer, Jon, penned a review of the Bit Stereo. The headphones are the same, but the different in the two charging cases is really the standout feature of the Rowkin’s.
The Bit Charge case is in actuality a 2100 mAh rechargeable battery. And you can not only plug your earbuds into it, but you can also recharge your phone from it. This makes the Bit Charge the most useful set of earbuds I’ve ever laid my hands on. During the hospital stay I mentioned above, I found myself killing a lot of time on my phone either watching videos or listening to music. The Bit Charge case came in very handy because while the earbuds have a great battery life, my phone’s charge quickly diminished. No matter where I was in the hospital, I could just pull out the charging case and plug my phone into it. I did have to carry a spare Lighting cable, but it’s a small price to pay for being able to carry less in my pockets overall.
I’m no stranger to portable battery packs, but because of the materials the Bit Charge is made with (lots of metal), the case is a little heavier than some battery packs of the same capacity. I really feel that it’s a fair trade though for being able to charge both your phone and your earbuds using one device.
One last main feature I wanted to point out is that the Rowkin Mini Earbuds are designed for sport. They are made using a WaterSafe nano-coating technology, which is sweatproof, water resistant, and IPX5 waterproof. That means you can do most activities while wearing them and you don’t have to worry about the earbuds getting damaged.
Naturally, the first thing I did once I gave the earbuds a good ‘once over’ was pair them to my iPhone. Pairing the earbuds was painless. I will advise that it’s not like pairing a single headset; it’s a tad different, so please read the instructions. I’ve noticed some complaints online because of the pairing process, but if you follow the instructions it’s very easy. You simply press both buttons on the earbuds at the same time. When the LED starts blinking (red, then red/white), you will know they are in pairing mode. After that, you simply select the device from your phone, tablet, or computer’s Bluetooth menu to pair. It is important to note that one earbuds is considered a ‘master’ and it’s the one that will receive the calls when they come in. If by chance you only wear one earbud at a time, this is important so that you are wearing the correct earbud.
So, the big question is “how is the sound?” It is actually quite good. In my opinion, sound quality with earbuds is directly proportional to how well the speaker fits into your ear canal. This is based off of my experience with my fiance. We just had a discussion about this when I saw her put Apple Earpods into her ears. I said, “How do you get those to stay in your ears? They always fall out of mine!” She responded with, “That’s why I usually don’t like earbuds. They just pop out of my ear when I start moving, but the Earpod shape stays in place.” Ears are all shaped differently and even with different ear gels that a lot of companies provide, earbuds may just not fit into your ear enough for you to experience great sound. Fortunately for me, the speaker slid into just the right place for me to get really great quality from the sound output. For wireless earbuds, you would expect some degradation in the sound, but I didn’t hear it with the Rowkins.
While testing the Rowkin Mini Earbuds, I found that I could hear podcasts as well as full pieces of music. Do the Rowkin Mini Earbuds have as diverse of a sound as my Monster Elements Headphones, no. But that’s not really a fair comparison because those are over the ear headphones and not earbuds. I feel that the Rowkin earbuds offer a surprising amount of volume and a decent amount of noise cancellization for earbuds. I couldn’t fully isolate myself from the room noise, but the Rowkin’s provided enough sound deadening that I could tune out the machine noise in the hospital rooms.
I did have a little problem with wireless range. Most Bluetooth devices I have boast a range of 30 feet or more. The Rowkin’s had a little problem with more than about 12 feet. I could get up and walk around a room, but not much farther than that. As long as I stayed within my 10-12 foot bubble with the device my earbuds were paired to, I didn’t lose a connection.
Phone calls sounded great. I called my fiance while she was at work and had an extended conversation with her and she never suspected I was using the earbuds. At the end of the call, I asked if I sounded ok. She said, “Yeah. You sound like you’re on speakerphone. Why?” Then I told her. Given that the iPhone speakerphone is almost superior to the non-speakerphone option, I took that as a compliment to the microphone on the Rowkin.
From the moment I unpackaged the Rowkin Bit Charge, I was in love. The style and design of the earbuds and case were enough for me to be smitten and then once I started using them, I knew I had a new sound solution for pure mobility with my iPhone. These are fantastic headphones and even with the few small, minuscule issues I had with them, I would invest in them again.
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