There are a handful of wireless earbuds for less than a hundred that have value, but new brands surprise me every day. I have never listened to anything from EarFun, but I am excited to see what they’re capable of. The Air S is currently listed for only $69.99, which seems like a great get for those looking for a pair of affordable earbuds. Let’s see how well they stack up.
What You Get
- EarFun Air S
- Charging case
- 4x ear tips
- USB Type C cable
- User Manual
Look and Feel
The overall style of the Air S is quite simplistic. There are no other color variations other than black. You won’t see any points for aesthetics granted to these earbuds, but for the price, they are still well put together. They have a long stem and a small oval housing for easy support and comfort. When you have them in your ear, they feel light as a feather. Most of the time you won’t even notice you’re wearing them.
Design and Functionality
Inside the Air S is a 10mm dynamic wool driver, with a Qualcomm QCC3046 chipset. For a pair of wireless earbuds that cost less than a hundred dollars, I find them to have a bit more volume than your standard set. Most earbuds tend to hit max volume to just get a good enough gain, but the Air S gives you a bit more headroom. Noise-canceling and ambient mode helps this a bit more, and the isolation is effective for the price. This ANC mode won’t cut out voices, but general noise from vents is made quiet. Most of these features are best used inside EarFun’s companion app. With it, you can quickly select between ambient noise settings, use EQ, and switch on gaming mode. Activating gaming mode simply reduces latency for game streaming and doesn’t change the sound. You can also customize the touch-sensitive controls on the earbuds, which is a cool feature, but I found the controls to be finicky most of the time.
The Air S supports Bluetooth 5.2, offering fast pairing and high bandwidth. While testing these earbuds, I never experienced any dropouts or imbalances in the connection. They offer all the standard CODECs and include Qualcomm aptX.
At 30 hours total, with around 6 hours of playtime from a single charge, the Air S doesn’t boast the biggest battery life. For the price, it is perfectly adequate, but might not be the amount of playtime you are looking for.
On the box, the Air S promises “immersive sound.” I thought this inferred a spatial audio feature, but these earbuds don’t offer that. Instead, the immersive part of the Air S describes the natural experience of its sound signature. After listening to the Air S for a significant amount of time, I would say that notion is mostly accurate. At the start, I wasn’t sure that all the parts were really sticking. However, through EQ you can add some good depth and height to the soundstage.
Adjusting the bass to the right place properly increases the region’s separation, relegating frequencies to appear around your jaw and at the tip of your throat. The treble frequencies can open up the headspace marginally, but the positioning is still effectively communicated. For a budget pair of truly wireless earbuds, the sound elements are spaced out well. It feels like the Air S teeters just on the edge of an open headspace, but the imaging is still mostly in your head.
Without EQ, this bass might not be up to par. It is mostly a flat, surface-level response that features balance but little texture to sink your teeth into. Using EQ, the lows can really come alive. Boosting 63-180Hz in the app delivers great results, like stronger sub-bass and a greater rumble. You’ll never get muddiness from increasing the gain. Instead, the resonance is clean and well-controlled, even granting the listener a clear separation between ranges of frequency. Adjusting the bass where I wanted it to, gave the sound signature a more impactful foundation of tone, and the experience was all the better for it.
In the mids, I didn’t feel EQ was as necessary for the sound of the Air S. If you’re more into a v-shaped timbre though, the app will definitely let you do that. As they are, the midrange does a fair job of giving instruments clean responses and a sense of place in the mix. With busier tracks, sometimes sound elements have a bit of trouble properly cutting through and individualizing their tone. This is where a proper setting for Q size would have given the mids a bit more character. Boosting 1 or 8kHz only does so much to give the tracks more drive. Vocals do well with slight EQ adjustments, but never quite reach forward. Even with room for more adjustment, the mids still hold more clarity here than most other wireless earbuds at this price point.
Like the bass, the highs were in need of some major EQ. However, this was more to fit my personal taste in the treble that other listeners might want to do without. In its standard state, the highs are smooth and don’t call much attention to themselves. They keep the sound signature even across most high-end frequencies, with a flat timbre that establishes balance over texture. With the highs adjusted through EQ, the Air S takes on a bit more spark and sizzle, which was more to my liking.
For a budget set of earbuds, the Air S has a lot to offer. While some of its features are average, the sound responds very well to EQ. The bass is solid and the highs include some nice details. The connection is quick and painless, and the app is super user-friendly. Overall, the Air S is easy to have fun with, and for the price, it is a perfectly suitable set of earbuds.
The EarFun Air S is available from Amazon.