Worlds First MagSafe TWS Earphones. Comfortable fit, quality sound!

When you want to listen to music, you can reach for the trendy name brand product or you can do a little research to find a quality brand at a fair price and save yourself some money. I have never been an audiophile and likely will never be a card-carrying member of that club. I tend to be an Apple brand loyalist and have purchased the AirPods Pro for use with my MacBook Pro 15″, iPad Pro 11″, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. I have grown fond of earbuds and have stuck mostly with that style of earphone due to portability, reliability, weight, and convenience. Luckily, I have been able to stave off buyer’s remorse thus far despite evaluating dozens of on-ear, in-ear, and over-ear devices. I have grown fond of the AirPods Pro, plus Catalyst Waterproof Case, but have found that there are times that I have left them home when I needed them most. With need comes ingenuity and the Scendo Earbuds may solve the need for an ever-ready portable earphone setup.

The Scendo TWS EARPHONES arrived in a 3 1/8 inches wide by 4 11/16 inches tall by 1 3/8 inches thick black cardboard box.  The main cover panel had a centralized fingerprint-like logo with a slightly raised “Scendo” title.  I liked the black-on-black color scheme and the tacti-cool feel of the case.  The rear panel could be divided into an upper section and a lower section. The top section provided a front view of the charging case and a front/side view of the Earphones.  Like the cover panel, the imagery was slightly raised, glossy, and had a pleasing touch-feel.  The lower half of the panel provided a useful product specifications panel: Model Snapods, BT V 5.2, 10M range, Frequency 20Hz-20kHz, 5Hr listening time per charge, 1.5-hour earphone charging time (35mAh battery), Type-C charging case interface, 700mAh case capacity, DC5V/40mA input earbuds, DC5V/600mA case input, 60hr standby, and 120day stored in charging case. Lastly, you will find product manufacturing labels along the bottom of the panel.  

Accessing the earbuds proved to be a little more difficult than expected without a pull tab.  I attempted to shake the lower-inner box out of the upper section but found that it did not want to slide outward.  I used a butter knife to work around the edges and eventually slid the two halves apart.  The lower plastic tray displayed the earbud case separate from each of the earbuds.  I removed the left and right earbud and found that they slid easily into their respective case slots with a reassuring click.  My initial concern was that the earbuds would fall out of the charging slots, but my fear was quickly allayed when I realized they were magnetically attached. The 2 1/4 inches wide by 2 11/16 inches tall case had slots for the left and right earbud along the top (5/8 inches thick) and a flatter section along the bottom (3/8 inches thick).  Like the outer packaging, the case benefited from the same black-on-black color scheme.  The front of the case had three small, vertically oriented signal LEDs, the right side of the charging case had a USB-C charging slot, and the back had the same SCENDO logo/name as the cover, as well as “TWS Earphones,” product manufacturing labels, and product specifications.  Beneath the plastic tray, you will find a 17 inches long USB-A to USB-C cable, a thin foam 2 1/8 inches wide by 2 5/8 inches iron sheet sticker, and the bilingual instruction manual.  

The instruction manual proved to be rather useful.  The first panel demonstrated the title/name and the second panel provided a diagram and accessory description (charging box, headset, charging line, iron sheet, manual).  The third panel provided a general instruction/warning section (1. Avoid listening to prolonged high decibel sounds, do not use while driving, caution around small children to avoid swallowing the headphones, avoid contact with pacemakers/medical supplies, caution with charging, avoid contact with water) and product parameters (Scendo Brand, snapods model, BT 5.2, type C charging interface, Frequency Response Range 20hz-20khz, Charging time 1.5 hours, Bluetooth distance 10m, 5 hour listening time, 35 mAh battery in headsets, 700mAh battery capacity in charger). The fourth and fifth panels walked me through a useful how-to instructional segment, detailed the charging box, when the headset was charged, and reviewed information about the LED indicators. The last panel provided a list of the voice cues (Power on, Power off, Connected, Disconnected, Pairing, battery low) and tone cues (single ding for volume up/down and ding/ding when minimized or maximized). Despite a few word choice errors (“the phone is connected back to the phone, and the phone cannot be connected back to the pairing state.”) the instruction manual did a great job at summarizing the features of the device. I would rate my initial impression at 4.5/5 stars.

Before using the headset, I plugged the included 17-inches long USB-A to USB-C cable between a 20W KickPOWER wall charger and the Scendo charging case. Out of the box, I noticed that the third LED was flashing. According to the instruction manual, each of the three LEDs represented ~33% of the power. As LED 1 flashed, the case was at 33% power. Once the battery reached 66% power, the first LED remained illuminated, and the second LED flashed. Once the battery was fully charged, all three lights remained illuminated. When the earbud case was removed from the charging cable, the LED extinguished. I removed the right, then the left earbud, and placed them into my ears; a female voice announced, “power on… pairing…” I navigated to settings, to Bluetooth, and selected Scendo from the list and the female voice announced “connected.” If I tapped disconnect, the voice announced “disconnected.” If I tapped the Scendo again, the voice announced “connected.” I was impressed with the rate of connection and with the Bluetooth connection distance. I placed my iPhone 12 Pro Max on the main floor of my home and found that I could have signal upstairs, within my basement, and quite a way onto my long driveway. With a direct line of sight, I connected to the earbuds at a distance of approximately 40 feet before starting to experience cutouts/static. Anything that blocked direct access between the phone and earbuds significantly reduced the range.

This style of earbud was designed more like a blended on-ear than a true in-ear setup. Each of the 5/8 inches long earbuds had a main angled speaker and a posterior speaker. With the earbud angled within the concha (bowl) of the ear, the two speakers sent sound down the edges of my ear canal. The 1 1/8 inches tall earbud extended downward slightly with a slender 3/4 inches long by 5/16 inches wide tail. Each of the earbuds had a 1/4 inches diameter metallic-grey capacitive-touch button along the upper posterior edge and two metallic charging posts on the inner surface of the tail. Orient the right and left earbuds into the respective ears by observing the small silver R/L on the inner surface of each of the earbud tails. When powered on, a single press of the right earbud capacitive-touch button increased the volume, while a single touch of the left earbud decreased the volume. With each change, the earbud provided an audible ding. When I short-pressed either one of the earbuds twice, the current music/movie either played or paused. A long press of the right earbud advanced to the subsequent track, while a long press of the left earbud returned to the previous track. Lastly, a triple tap of either of the earbuds activated Siri. I loved that they chose to include volume up/volume down, next/previous track, and voice assistant activation. The shape reminded me of the Apple AirPods and the black color was more discrete than the white Apple color scheme. The earbuds connected to their base with strong magnets and were easy to remove with upward pressure. My only complaint about the device was with the sensitivity of the capacitive touch. Unfortunately, I found the volume changed too frequently when trying to reposition the earbuds within my ears. With time, I realized that I needed to use the tail and the lower section of the backing to find the optimal listening position. Thankfully, the earbuds did not extend into the ear canals and did not cause fatigue or irritation. Thus, the design allowed for prolonged listening.

To test the parameters of the earbuds, I navigated to the website. If you have not used their website, I encourage you to evaluate earbuds with their tests. I typically start with the Low-Frequency Response and Subwoofer Audio Test (10-200 Hz). Starting at 10Hz, a male voice will announce each successive 10Hz level. With the range of human hearing from 20Hz-20kHz, I was pleased to find a deep tactile bass feel at 20Hz. For the second test, I utilized the High-Frequency Response and Hearing Audio Test (22-8 kHz).  As we get older, we experience loss of higher frequency sounds. Due to this, many people can only hear up to 14-15kHz. Like other earphone tests, I could hear up to 15kHz, which is rather good for a 40-year old. It is thus important to wear hearing protection and to avoid prolonged noise pollution. With the above tests completed, I turned to the Left/Right/Center test. This test showed that the earbuds were correctly programmed for stereo sound. For the final test, I used my favorite feature of the website. Navigate to the Stereo Perception and Sound Localization Test, turn off the lights, close your eyes, and have the volume set to roughly 75%. If you have never used a test like this, be prepared for visceral startle response.

Once the tests were complete, I turned to Amazon Music, Apple Music, Youtube, and Spotify to complete my test-track evaluation.  To examine the bass, I used the city-pop sounds of “Bright Lights Bigger City” by CeeLo Green, the sultry bass line from the opening of “Train Song” by Holly Cole, the melodic Ballad “Far Over the Misty Mounts Cold” from The Hobbit, and the cacophony of sounds from “Why So Serious” Joker Theme from Dark Knight Rises (3:30-3:40). To further test the bass, I listened to the opening scene from Star Wars Episode 2 Attack of the Clones. I found the strong bass supported the mid and upper sounds without becoming muddy or harsh. Since the earbuds did not form a true seal with the ear canal, I found that I had to increase the sound slightly to feel the full effect. To test the balance and sound placement, I used Bob Marley and the Wailers “Turn Your Lights Down Low,” Radiohead “The National Anthem,” the soothing sounds from “Caribbean Blue” by Enya, and the jovial bouncing sounds of “Bubbles” from Yosi Horikawa. To test the blending, clarity, and treble/bass balance, I listened to various songs from Home Free, Anthem Lights, Pentatonix, Home Free, and Anthem Lights.  Additionally, as a guilty pleasure, I listened to several of my favorite instrumental music pieces like Polovetsian Dances, Pevensey Castle, Lincolnshire Posey, and Holst Suite in E flat.  Lastly, I played the Far and Away, Braveheart, and Robin Hood Prince of Thieves Soundtracks.  I found the upper frequency sounds to be smooth and lacked raspy/harsh quality. Overall, I found the blend quite pleasing for jazz, R+B, rock, pop, and classical music. I would rate the fit/quality of sound at above-average 4.5/5 stars.

The device touch controls proved to be quite responsive and intuitive. I used the earbuds for 2-3 hours each day and returned them to the case. I found that I could use the setup for ten days without needing to charge the case. I made several calls and enjoyed the microphone placement (the website lists 2) on each of the 0.1-ounce earbuds. The sounds did not get muffled, lost, or sound like I was talking in a tunnel. The longest stretch of continued usage was four hours on a recent road trip. With the volume set to 75%, I listened for a solid four hours uninterrupted. The earbuds fit securely within the concha of my ears and remained in place even with running, jumping, and turning my head side to side. Sweat did not seem to bother the earbuds and I found that I could add one earbud and seamlessly swap out the devices for monaural utility. I did not experience any sound/audio lag when changing between earbuds or when watching television shows or movies on any streaming services that I tried: YouTube, Hulu, CBS All Access, HBO Max, Movies Anywhere, Amazon Prime Video, or VUDU.  I liked that the charging case utilized USB-C, but I wish that they would have used a USB-C to USB-C cable instead of a USB-A to USB-C. Instead of a carry case, the lightweight earbuds/earbud case utilized a magnetic backplate that affixed firmly to the back of the iPhone 12 Pro Max. I thought that this was a unique and ingenious feature. I loved the shape of the charging case, the color, the size, and the lightweight earbuds. I loved that the flush design allowed me to rest my head on my pillow without pressure into the ear. I enjoyed the comfortable fit, the quality of sound, and the ability to have a readily available headset.

Learn more about the Scendo Earbuds on Indiegogo.

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