True wireless earbuds are commonplace these days with options ranging from around $30 all the way up to a few hundred and while the abundance of choice can be nice it is also a little paralyzing as you try to find the right pair for you.
The EarFun Air earbuds were announced just prior to CES this year and earned a CES Innovation Award, just like the well-liked previous true wireless earbuds from EarFun, the Free. The Air improves on a few things from the Free with additional mics, longer battery life, and a new design while maintaining an affordable price point.
After a few weeks with the EarFun Air while they aren’t perfect, I’ve been thoroughly impressed with what these currently sub-$50 earbuds can do, here’s an in-depth look at what you can expect if you decide to pick up the EarFun Air for yourself.
- Touch Controls
- Battery life:
- Up to 7 hours per charge
- Additional 28 hours with the case
- 10 minutes get you 2 hours
- Supports wireless Qi charging
- Re-charge in less than 2 hours
- Four microphones
- Wear-detect sensor
- IPX7 waterproof
- Bluetooth 5.0
Design is definitely one knock against the EarFun Air, they have moved to the basic stem design popularized by the AirPods and available in only a glossy black finish, it’s not bad, just extremely generic.
I do prefer the shorter stem design used here to that of the AirPods, these are more comparable to the AirPods Pro in length. The capacitive touch sensors on the earbuds are a personal preference thing as I know there are those that didn’t like the physical buttons on the EarFun Free, but personally I would rather deal with the slight discomfort that comes from pressing on something in my ear than the unreliability of tapping at a capacitive sensor.
The earbuds come with four pairs of silicone ear tips to provide a more comfortable fit. They lack any kind of fins or wraparound stabilization, which depending on your workout routine could be problematic, I didn’t have any issues with them falling out when running or cycling, but your mileage may vary.
The EarFun Air case blessedly uses a matte finish and thus avoids fingerprints, while there is some flex in the case it feels sturdy enough and has held up fine to the daily abuse of life in my pocket or bag without ever opening or having one of the earbuds fall out. The earbuds are held in by magnets so even if it were to pop open it would take a serious jolt to knock them out of the case. The case supports charging by the USB-C on the bottom or via wireless Qi. While the case is a bit thicker than I would like, it still fits easily in a pocket and the 28 hours of battery life and support for Qi charging are worth it.
Battery life is definitely a strength for the EarFun Air with up to 7 hours on a charge for the Earbuds themselves and then an additional 28 hours of battery life when you include the charging case.
Not only that but the charging options are similarly impressive with 2 hours for a full charge of the case via USB-C or 3.5 hours via wireless charging, while the earbuds themselves charge up to full in 1.5 hours in the case. Although if you don’t need them fully charged up 10 minutes in the case from completely dead will give you about 2 hours of battery life.
My experience with them over the last couple of weeks aligned just about perfectly with these figures, given the somewhat absurd battery life running too many full rundowns, wasn’t really practical, but in two rundowns of the earbuds alone I got 6 hours and 42 minutes and then 6 hours and 53 minutes before they died.
Given my use case, particularly during the pandemic, that was plenty to get me beyond a week without having to worry about charging up. Even in more normal times, I can’t imagine battery life ever being a concern with the EarFun Air with the ability to just drop them on the wireless charger on my desk at the end of the day or even on my smartphone with reverse wireless charging.
I am far from our resident audiophile, however, I don’t think many that identify as such would be looking at true wireless earbuds at all, let alone a pair that goes for under $50. So the fact that I use a variety of true wireless earbuds for hours every day listening to a pretty wide variety of audio content is going to have to be enough as my credentials to judge the audio quality of the EarFun Air.
I’m frequently listening to instrumentals, often film soundtracks, as I need something to drown out the noise of either my household or in the past the coffee shop, while I work and lyrics don’t gel well with that for me. The EarFun Air are brilliant for this kind of typically orchestral music with the lows coming through well without dominating the crisp highs. Even at max volume, not something that I typically use, it remained clean and clear.
Turning to more modern tracks the bass performance on the EarFun Air is solid without being overpowering and similarly is able to maintain through high volumes without distorting. Vocals offer a rich tone that also carries over to spoken word content, something that I also turn to frequently with audiobooks and podcasts.
To boil it down simply, the EarFun Air sound excellent, far better than the majority of the earbuds that I have tested anywhere near this price range and while options like the Jabra Elite Active 75t absolutely do offer superior performance, the question is whether that is worth roughly an extra $150 to you.
Odds & ends
Much like their predecessors the EarFun Air pack in an amazing array of features for the price point, so let’s take a look at some of the extras.
Easily one of the highlights and the feature that earned it a CES Innovation Award is the proprietary SweatShield waterproofing that gives it an IPX7 certification, meaning the EarFun Air can be completely submerged in water for up to 30 minutes without a problem. This is just not something you’ll see on many budget-focused earbuds, just remember that this doesn’t carry over to the case so dry your earbuds off before you charge them up again..
Two features that I found to be hit or miss were the wear-detect that allows you to remove an earbud and have it pause the audio that you are listening to and the capacitive touch controls. I addressed the latter in the design section as well, but the touch controls are something that rarely works properly for me even on $150+ earbuds, so I’m not shocked and am accustomed to just controlling from my Amazfit T-Rex or on my phone.
The addition of two additional mics to the EarFun Air versus the Free gives the Air much better performance on calls and while I feel like it renders your voice a bit flat, it does a good job of keeping it clear even in relatively noisy environments now and callers come through loud and clear for you.
USB-C should be the only option out there at this point, but that isn’t always the case so I’m glad to see it as I consolidate everything down to one connector again. Wireless charging is absolutely the icing on the cake, if anything I like it more for accessories like headphones as it is so easy to drop on a charging pad and with the relatively small battery sizes, it’s topped up in just a few hours.
This is one area where the EarFun Air just won’t be beaten, the value proposition on these earbuds at under $60 is simply amazing. While the basic stem design isn’t reinventing the wheel, the sheer volume of features packed into that unassuming shell more than makes up for it and that’s before you get to the sound quality that in my experience holds up well against headphones twice its price and beyond.
And we actually have a special 10% off discount code (“EARFUN42”) to offer as well which can be stacked with the current $10 off coupon available on Amazon that brings the price down to $43.99, it’s a solid value at its full price and with these discounts, it’s just phenomenal.
Quite simply the EarFun Air earbuds are better than they have any right to be at this price point. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t perfect, the touch controls aren’t always as responsive as I would like, the overall design is a bit bland and of course, if you are looking for ANC you have to move upmarket, but the EarFun Airs cover all of the basics and then some for under $50.
I can easily wear these headphones comfortably all day and they have the battery life to make that happen. The fact that they are actually waterproof and not just water-resistant means I can wear them in the rain or while exercising without an ounce of concern. If you are looking for a do it all pair of earbuds that won’t break the bank these are easily one of the best options on the market.
Rating: star_fullstar_fullstar_fullstar_fullstar_empty (4 / 5)
- Comfortable and secure fit
- Dynamic audio range with solid bass
- Battery life & wireless charging
- Waterproof design
- Design is a bit drab
- Mic is clear, but a bit flat
- Unreliable touch controls
The Bottom Line
I was blown away by what these earbuds offer for less than $60 (less than $50 presently), features like a fully waterproof design and wireless charging along with the excellent sound quality and astounding battery life put these on par with headphones that cost well over double the price of the EarFun Air.