The holidays are nigh upon us here at MajorHiFi, with revelries already in full swing. My fellow reviewers are merrily enjoying my signature blend of frozen eggnog, moonshine, and Red Bull (or as it is lovingly referred to up north, a Red Christmas). However, I’m still sitting at my desk, checking out the new Purity One wireless earphones. Retailing for a very affordable $29, this might be the cheapest true wireless earphone I’ve ever reviewed. But at a price this low, what’s the catch?
Purity One True Wireless Review
The Purity One comes in a fairly no-frills package. Some cardboard and plastic hold a charging case, the earphones, three pairs of eatips, and a micro-USB charging cable.
Appearing slim, the earpieces provide an okay fit. However, the odd shape and protruding shell do feel a little uncomfortable during longer listening sessions.
Powering on and pairing are non-issues. This earphone uses Bluetooth 5.0, and offers support for AVRCP, A2DP, HFP, and HSP codecs. Connectivity strength seems decent, too, and I only experienced one or two drop-outs during my street tests.
Isolation could be a little better, and I would attribute this to the shape of the earpieces, which don’t sit flush with the ear and protrude a bit. This probably allows a little bit of surrounding noise to get in, though if you’re listening in a quiet environment, you should be fine.
Battery life measures 4 hours on the earpieces, with another 14 hours available through the charging case.
A touch sensor allows users to control playback from the earpieces, but there’s no controls for adjusting volume. These earphones do allow for one-ear listening, and the integrated microphone facilitates taking phone calls on the go. However, due to the placement of the microphone, I did have to speak measurably louder in order for my voice to be heard on phone calls. With that being said, the sound of other folks comes through pretty clear.
The Purity One features an IPX5 rating, and should stand up to some moisture, including sweat. As such, these should work okay for exercise.
Purity One True Wireless Review – Sound Quality
There’s a distinct lack of bass in the low end, which gives this part of the frequency range a very love-or-hate sound. Bassheads definitely won’t enjoy the sound here, but folks who prefer a more relaxed and less intense low end might still enjoy it. Having listened to a lot of earphones and headphones over the years, this sound doesn’t feel abominable. Truthfully, there’s still a slight amount of detail to bass guitars and drums. But beats still feel woefully underpowered, leaving the sound a poor match for hip-hop, electronica, and some pop music.
Mids come across as okay; there’s some detail here, and the presentation feels fairly forward. As a result, vocals feel fairly clear. I make the distinction of saying “fairly clear” because there’s still a small amount of compression in the mids. While this may detract from the impression of clarity with some music, it’s more than to be expected on an earphone that retails for under $30. Still, the Purity One sounds okay with rock, pop, and electronica, but I wouldn’t recommend this midrange for fans of classical, jazz, or hip-hop.
The Purity One feels a little sibilant here, but otherwise solid. Highs feel a little rolled off, preventing the sound from ever becoming too sharp or uncomfortable. And if not for that whisper of sibilance, I would probably enjoy this high end a lot more. To be fair, instrumentation feels fairly tight and well controlled with okay detail. But the minute vocals make an appearance in the higher frequencies, you’re likely to get an earful of hiss. Granted, folks who don’t listen for this quality may escape unscathed, but once heard, it can’t be un-heard.
True wireless in-ear headphones don’t exactly tout a bulletproof reputation when it comes to soundstage. And to this general rule, the Purity One is no exception. Instruments seem to overlap, occupying the same general space. While not a total mess with simpler compositions, the slope proves slippery when moving to more intricate compositions. As such, the sense of soundstage might feel to narrow or lax for classical and jazz, but seems to squeak by with some rock, hip hop, and pop.
Purity One True Wireless Review – Conclusion
Pros and Cons
Pros: The low cost of the Purity One, coupled with the IPX5 rating offers a lot of promise. Adding to this, the sound quality remains passable for some genres.
Cons: Unfortunately, the uncomfortable shape of the earphones wears on me after a while. Lackluster battery life and some issues with sound quality ma further prevent this earphone from shining.
The Purity One aims to please listeners on a budget, and it might accomplish this goal. If you’re willing to forgive the poor sound quality and uncomfortable fit, this $29 earphone can still jingle some bells. But more discerning listeners can still be left out in the cold. Personally, I still recommend the Strauss & Wagner SW-TW401 as my go-to budget-friendly stocking stuffer.
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