EarFun offered me another opportunity to review one of their new products, the EarFun Free 2 Wireless Earbuds. This set is different than the EarFun Air Pro that I reviewed previously as this one doesn’t have a shaft nor noise cancelling, but after a few days of use, I have to admit that I prefer this one over the EarFun Air Pros.
The unit I received is an engineering prototype so a few caveats: A) it doesn’t come with any information about its features, but a few email exchanges with my contact at EarFun quickly resolved that problem. B) no fancy packaging, so I didn’t really take any photos of my unboxing.
Let’s take a quick look at the features:
- Qualcomm’s latest Bluetooth chip QCC3040 which features very low power consumption
- Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity
- Qualcomm aptX audio technology
- Qualcomm TrueWireless Mirroring technology offers uninterrupted and seamless switching between both earbuds
- Supports low latency mode within 100ms to improve your video experience
- High-quality 6mm composite film dynamic speaker which reduces sound distortion and provides powerful bass (although when I measured it, it’s only 4mm…)
- Touch sensors
- IPX7 waterproof rating
- Wireless charging of the case + USB-C charging
- Up to 7 hours battery life + 30 hours with the case
Based on the above features, this is a great little headset. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have sensors to pause the audio when you remove it from your ears, but regardless, I was very excited to try out this and compare it to the EarFun Air Pro and EarFun Air, neither of which come with Qualcomm’s Bluetooth technology.
The first thing I did was charge up the headphones in the included case. It has a USB-C connector The case has an LED on the front of the case which blinks to indicate that it’s charging. Although I could have charged it wirelessly, I wanted to get it juiced up as soon as possible so I used a USB-A to USB-C cable. There’s also a reset button on the back, but when pushing it down, the case doesn’t give you any indication whether the reset has been performed. No LED blinking, nothing.
Pairing and Bluetooth Range
Just like its cousins, it’s really easy to pair the device. I opened the case and EarFun Free 2 shows up on my MacBook Pro. I connected it and we were off to the races! I have a simple test to measure range with my Bluetooth headsets: I play music on my computer and see if I can stay connected as I walk to my hallway. Every headset I own breaks up right before I get to the hallway. This set was no different, but I would say it’s actually a bit weaker in range than my other two EarFun headsets – I couldn’t walk as far through my house as I normally could. Not a big deal, it’s definitely within the advertised range of 15 meters.
The EarFun Free 2 doesn’t support Bluetooth multipoint so you’d have to disconnect from one device before connecting to the other.
I didn’t notice any big problems connecting to my phone, but I did notice some weirdness when playing music on my computer. I’d get these millisecond skips in my music. Not sure if it’s due to the engineering sample or some other interference, but that’s something to keep in mind.
These earphones achieve passive noise cancelling by providing a tight seal around your ear. As such, it’s very important to pick the right size ear tips to achieve a tight seal. I was able to stick with the default ear tips with my other two EarFun headphones, and the same applies for the EarFun Free 2. I popped them out of the case and into my ear and achieved a fantastic seal from the get go.
I listened to a few tracks, including my all time favorite Eagles – Hotel California (Live on MTV, 1994 version). I noticed very clear vocals and a strong, but not overpowering, bassline for such a small set of headphones. The bongo drums sounded fantastic in the song’s lead-in.
I did notice some weirdness when using just one headset during video conference calls. Sometimes the audio level is so low, despite having increased the volume to max. I don’t know why this happens, but it’s irritating to say the least. I know these headphones can be really loud when they don’t exhibit this weirdness… that’s the reason for the A- rating.
The microphone works really well! After many hours of video conference calls, I’ve not had one complaint from the other video participants. This is in stark contrast to the EarFun Air Pro which would distort my voice whenever I started speaking in some meetings.
The microphone does make my voice sound a little more “distant” than the other devices, but it’s still loud and clear! I recorded a sample for you to listen – what do you think?
Here’s the microphone in a quiet room:
I am using the default silicone ear tips which is a size M. You’re also given 2 other sizes, S and L, so you can mix and match to your ear’s desire.
The M size fits me perfectly and is very comfortable in my ears. I can keep them on for several hours, and because of how they fit nicely in the concha cavum of the ear, I never have to adjust them. (I had to look up the exact name of this area). I must admit, I’ve never used wireless earbuds of this sort before – but I’d imagine they would be great for running and sports since they sit very snugly, and there’s nothing to knock them out like with shaft-based earbuds.
The EarFun Free 2 has a lot of different functions that you can activate with a tap on the left or right earbud. A big improvement on previous earbuds – you can now skip to a previous track and adjust the volume! See the full list here:
Play/Pause: Tap Twice (L/R)
Next Track: Tap Triple (R)
Previous Track: Tap Triple (L)
Volume Up: Tap Once (R)
Volume Down: Tap Once (L)
Answer/End a call: Tap twice (L/R)
Reject a call：Tap and Hold for 2 Seconds (L/R)
Answer and Transfer Two Calls: Tap Triple (L/R)
Voice assistant: Tap and Hold for 2 Seconds (R)
Low Latency On/Off: Tap and Hold for 2 Seconds (L)
The case has two magnets which help guide the headphones into the right position in the case. One complaint is how hard it is to take the earbuds out of the case. I have to find my grip at the right angle, and more than once, my earbuds went flying across the floor since it popped out with such force. They really need to put some indents in the case so that users can get a proper grip on the earbuds.
I also had a problem after using one headset for meetings – when I wanted to switch ears, I couldn’t get the other headset to connect. It’s supposed to feature Qualcomm’s TrueWireless Mirroring technology but it failed gloriously during that meeting.
I did not test the Low Latency mode.
Build Quality and Warranty
The earbuds are solid; they’re light but are well constructed. The mold lines match up and the metal mesh for the microphones looks good. It’s an attractive combination of matte and shiny plastic. Just like with the EarFun Air Pro, I’m unhappy with the case. While it’s very light, it feels extremely plasticky and the earbuds are very hard to take out.
These are not on sale yet, so I don’t know what sort of satisfaction guarantee or warranty EarFun will provide, but if it’s anything like their other products, it’ll be a 30-day no questions asked guarantee, and an 18-month replacement warranty.
They’re advertised for 7 hours of use and although I’ve used it extensively for video conference calls, I haven’t quite used it long enough to get a low battery message (that’s a good thing!) I will report back once I’ve hit that threshold, but so far so good!
Charging, however, is another issue. Regardless of whether I am charging wirelessly or with a USB-C cable, I hear some whining/clicking noise from the case. It sounds like capacitor/transistor noise. I hope they fix this before the retail release.
This is an impressive product, especially at the price of $49.99. I love the fit and the ability to do so much (skip tracks, pause tracks, adjust volume, etc) with some tapping. The fit on these are better and more comfortable than the EarFun Air Pro; I feel they just fit so securely.
(Edit: I thought the MSRP was $79.99 but EarFun contacted me and told me these would only be $49.99. At $79.99 I thought they were great, but at $49.99, I’d say BUY!)
Another job well done, EarFun!
Overall rating: A-
- Great sound quality but with passive noise cancellation.
- Excellent battery life.
- Comfortable fit no matter how long you use it.
- Good feature set, including ability to skip forward and backwards AND adjust volume!
- Good microphone quality – listen to my samples!
- Wireless charging.
- Value for price! You should be able to get this for about $79 / 695 kr before any sales or deals.
- No technology to detect whether your headphones are in your ear.
- No active noise cancellation, but the passive noise cancellation works really well.
- Range is a okay, but not spectacular.
- No Bluetooth multipoint support to support multiple devices.
- Case build quality leaves a lot to be desired.
- Weirdness with pairing between the two headsets from time to time. Often have to reset the headsets, or at the very least take them off and re-pair them with your device.