EarFun Air S review: good, low-cost earbuds with tons of options

“Sound high quality and noise-canceling beat many earbuds at twice this worth.”


  • Comfy match
  • Good sound high quality courtesy of in-app EQ
  • Spectacular ANC efficiency
  • Customizable controls
  • Multipoint assist


  • Poor battery life
  • Finicky contact controls
  • Default sound wants tweaking

EarFun is the sort of firm that tries to take much less of your cash because it makes merchandise of a budget, cheerful, and inexpensive variety. That features wi-fi earbuds, the place it has all the time buttered its bread on undercutting opponents by providing good worth relative to value.

That’s what the EarFun Air S are alleged to be, presenting a bundle of options for $70 that might make you’re feeling such as you bought an awesome deal each time you place them on. Whether or not or not it’s the sort of deal you’ll wish to make relies on what compromises you’re prepared to just accept.

What’s within the field

Cleaning brush with the Earfun Air S.Ted Kritsonis / Digital Tendencies

EarFun contains 4 pairs of ear ideas, from x-small to giant, broadening the very best match choices simply sufficient for extra listeners. You additionally get a brief USB-C charging cable and a person guide. The opposite distinctive addition is a cleansing stick, whose objective is to maintain the magnetic connectors clear, thus avoiding any prospect of the earbuds not charging if you put them within the case.


Earfun Air S earbuds loose in front of case.Ted Kritsonis / Digital Tendencies

As yet one more pair of earbuds drawing inspiration from the AirPods, the Air S have stems with thicker buds, which is to say they bear a robust resemblance to many different inexpensive pairs on the market. Once I first unboxed them and examined the construct and design, I stored pondering of manufacturers like Anker, Soundpeats, Tribit, Edifier, and others — all of which routinely experiment with comparable designs or type components.

I discovered the construct excellent to remain in place for longer listening stretches.

That’s to say, the Air S don’t stand out for his or her appears to be like, they keep on with a well-known components to maintain issues impartial. Should you’re not trying to flip any heads and simply need the performance, then chances are you’ll care little concerning the aesthetics, however in case you are in search of a bit flash, I’m unsure these are it. To me, they’re not dangerous, although I did discover it off-putting that the EarFun emblem appeared the wrong way up on the left earbud.

The nice factor is they’re fairly comfy, and the eartip choice all however ensures it, as you’re greater than possible going to discover a pair that fits you. Neither too thick nor too skinny and slippery, I discovered the construct excellent to remain in place for longer listening stretches with out feeling like they had been about to fall out.

The onboard controls are plentiful however finicky to function.

Thoughts you, they’re a bit delicate. Regardless of a matte end, the earbuds and case confirmed scuffs and scratches extra simply than I anticipated. The IPX5 safety is okay for the odd run or exercise, although I might advocate vigilantly cleansing them after sweating with them on. They’ll do a fairly good job staying in place whilst you transfer, but when they get slippery, you’ll have to regulate them alongside the way in which.

The onboard controls are plentiful. Faucet as soon as on the best to lift the quantity, as soon as on the left to decrease it. Twice to play/pause, thrice on the best to skip a observe. I used to be questioning why the guide omitted the triple faucet to repeat a observe on the left earbud, solely to find EarFun assigned that operate to toggle Recreation mode on and off. Faucet and maintain on the best prompts the cellphone’s voice assistant, whereas doing it on the left toggles between energetic noise cancelation (ANC) and ambient mode. For calls, tapping twice solutions or ends a name, whereas a triple faucet can swap between two concurrent calls, which is fairly cool.

Overhead view of Earfun Air S earbuds.Ted Kritsonis / Digital Tendencies

The one drawback is these controls are finicky to the purpose the place making an attempt that may inadvertently finish each calls. It’s the state of affairs throughout the board with the controls, which I discovered inconsistent and difficult to grasp. That’s a disgrace because the EarFun app gives a method to customise what the controls do. Assuming the corporate points a firmware replace that may by some means repair that, it’s a studying curve that can keep it up for a while.

The Air S assist multipoint connections, albeit not fairly as seamless as different earbuds do. I may pair to 2 gadgets without delay, solely switching between them is totally guide, that means the earbuds don’t all the time swap from one machine to a different robotically. As an example, if I wish to swap to listening to music on a cellphone from a pill, I’ve to manually choose the Air S within the Bluetooth menu. Tapping play on the cellphone doesn’t wake the earbuds into motion in any computerized means.

This may need been an issue with our review mannequin — different reviewers haven’t reported comparable issues. Fortunately, in circumstances the place it’s music on one machine, and a cellphone name on one other, it stayed linked to the cellphone I used to be utilizing for the decision.

EarFun app and customized settings

I prefer it when cheaper earbuds include good app assist, and EarFun does a great job with the Air S. I discussed the customizable contact controls, and you may sit up for a fairly good set of EQ settings on high of that. It comes with 4 presets and a six-band EQ you’ll be able to tinker with to create your personal. The earbuds all the time keep in mind the final preset you selected, protecting issues constant each time you are taking them out for a pay attention.

The Air S sound significantly higher than the Third-Gen AirPods.

Below the settings, it’s also possible to go to Mode Switching and resolve in case you solely wish to toggle between ANC and Ambient, leaving Regular mode out, toggle between all three, or simply stick to at least one. There’s a toggle for Recreation mode, which reduces latency, and works effectively sufficient for gaming and watching exhibits or motion pictures. Firmware updates route by means of the app, and I noticed one come by means of throughout my testing. In my expertise, EarFun has proven a willingness to assist its merchandise, so right here’s hoping that continues with the Air S.

A product tutorial and FAQ are additionally in there, together with a “How you can Put on” part in case you want a refresher on methods to get these buds to suit excellent.

Sound high quality

Side view of Earfun Air S earbuds.Ted Kritsonis / Digital Tendencies

EarFun tuned the Air S to stay to a balanced soundstage, but as an alternative of skewing additional towards the bass, as so many cheap earbuds do, these truly go straightforward on the lows. Bass response is flat from the beginning, by no means actually hitting its stride except you drive the difficulty within the EQ. With middling mids, the highs stand out extra, as I noticed when enjoying round with the bands to see what sort of sound I may finagle by way of pure experimentation.

Regardless of the awkward beginnings, I discovered that boosting the bass and mids, whereas leaving the highs considerably restrained delivered a fairly punchy sound, no matter music or style. It was extra work to get there than I managed with the Anker Soundcore Life P3 or Soundpeats Air3 Professional, for instance. Each of these got here by means of with cleaner sound out of the field, and the Life P3 significantly stand out for Anker’s glorious app assist.

The irony, a minimum of for me, is that the Air S sound significantly higher than the newer Third-Gen AirPods, primarily as a result of the EQ presents wider audio flexibility, and the tighter match retains these tunes from leaking away out of your ears. That places the $70 price ticket in better perspective as a $100 financial savings over Apple’s iconic earbuds. For the budget-conscious, the Air S must be a win, given the general discrepancies I’ve noticed. It additionally doesn’t damage that EarFun contains assist for SBC, AAC, and aptX Bluetooth codecs, the latter of which aren’t a part of the AirPods’ repertoire.

Canceling noise, letting it in

Closer view of Earfun Air S in ear.Ted Kritsonis / Digital Tendencies

To not preserve beating up on the AirPods, however as they don’t have ANC assist, the Air S take one other shot at being the worth different. Noise cancellation on these earbuds impressed me, doing an excellent job at blocking out low-frequency sounds in methods I haven’t all the time seen on earbuds at double the value. It struggles extra with greater frequencies, and sure pitches will slip by means of the cracks, however all informed, the outcomes are positively nothing to scoff at.

By the way, in case you go away the controls as is, in order that ANC activates by tapping and holding the left bud for 2 seconds, it finally ends up being probably the most constant of all of the controls. I used to be in a position to simply toggle between ANC and ambient once I needed to dam out noise and once I wanted to listen to it.

Ambient mode is ok for what it’s, enough sufficient to listen to the background or interact somebody in dialog with out eradicating the earbuds. I discovered it becoming and about proper for a pair of earbuds on this worth vary, although I’ll give the Air S a nod for good cellphone name high quality, particularly in quieter settings. In louder environments, background sounds can get by means of, making calls more difficult on either side.

Battery life

Earfun Air S case closed.Ted Kritsonis / Digital Tendencies

EarFun received’t be a lot enjoyable on the subject of battery life. It charges the Air S at as much as six hours with ANC off, and 5 hours with it on. I can all however assure you received’t hit these numbers. One motive is quantity ranges, the place creeping it up will knock the battery down. It’s the identical with Recreation mode, if you find yourself utilizing that, too. In my testing, I heard a verbal low battery warning — a pleasant contact — after about three hours and 45 minutes. That’s with ANC on, or a mixture of ANC and ambient.

By any measure, or any worth, these aren’t nice numbers, and but, they’re proper in keeping with the AirPods. What’s attention-grabbing is the case, being noticeably larger than that of the AirPods, carries one other 5 costs. That’s yet one more than Apple’s, general, however extra importantly, a mandatory function as a result of the Air S will likely be sitting of their cradles to cost usually.

You get wi-fi charging, which is good, although no quick charging potential. The earbuds will take about an hour to completely cost from empty when you’ve positioned them of their case. There’s quick charging, or a minimum of what passes for it. EarFun claims the Air S can play for as much as two hours on a 10-minute cost, nevertheless it’s truly nearer to twenty minutes. And the 2 hours could be very elastic as a result of the batteries within the earbuds are so delicate to the options and quantity ranges you in the end use.

What I discovered attention-grabbing concerning the EarFun Air S is that they have powerful competitors from not-so-well-known manufacturers in the identical worth bracket, whereas additionally standing out as stable options to the favored AirPods. They could not have spatial audio, the very best controls, or the clearest cellphone calls, however they sound higher, cancel noise, match tighter, and have an app with extra customization.

For $70, it’s arduous to argue in opposition to that mixture, and there’s all the time the chance the value drops to pile up the financial savings much more. Not dangerous for a pair of buds that aren’t all that distinctive in a decent market, nevertheless it’s additionally why the Soundcore Life P3 are a greater guess in case you’re prepared to pay a bit further for them.

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