Earin Review: Versatile and Tiny Wireless Earbuds
Headphones seem to keep getting smaller and bigger in alternating waves. There are the massive Beats by Dr. Dre earphones, and the teeny tiny earbuds you now receive whenever you buy a new phone or mp3 player – and everything in between! However while some styles of headphones have gotten ever bigger, getting smaller was a hard goal to reach. Enter Earin.
Earin price when reviewed: $199.00
Earin Review – What we expected or a completely different product?
Earin was launched in July 2014 in the form of a highly successful Kickstarter campaign that raised nearly $1 million. The founders Olle Lindén, Per Sennström and Kiril Trajkovski started the campaign in Sweden, where the earbuds are also being developed.
The first time we mentioned the Earin earbuds here we were comparing it with its main rivals, the Bragi Dash and the FreeWavz. The size of the Earin stood as their most conspicuous feature and questions were raised over the essence of this tininess. The real thing is out now, and shipping to the project’s backers on Kickstarter has already taken place.
Before we dive into the Earin review – if you had ruled out Earin for being overly small, you might want to have a closer look. They are bigger than you thought, believe me, by 20-30% actually, and they fit perfectly well within your ear. Either the prototype description was exaggerated or the folks at Earin had to react to the discrediting reviews of their upcoming product all over the internet. The bottom line is we have been presented with a product much better and of a size we can tolerate in our ears, at the very least.
So, is the information we received earlier on reflected on the product or was the prototype description completely misleading? Let’s find out.
The buds come wrapped in a very presentable package, with every single unit inside it packed in its own box, a smaller version of the main package.
The charging capsule, which is the first thing you’ll probably come across, is silvery grey and a little bit different from the prototype in design. This one is fairly sleeker, wide at the middle of its length and sports an awesome and very efficient opening and closing mechanism, allowing you to comfortably reach the tiny buds enclosed inside.
The package features a pair of stabilisers as well. These ones are made of soft, flexible-quality rubber, and are designed to hold the buds in place within the ears. They may not be that important if your main purpose is to listen to music, but if you would want to utilise the buds for outdoor purposes such as running, the stabilisers might come in handy.
Another accessory that comes with the Earin earbuds is a USB cable which you can use to charge the capsule. It should be the shortest cord you’ve ever seen, and while this may count as a shortcoming to most users, to people like me who have a sorry history with long cords and strings, this could as well be our favourite part of the unit.
Earin Charging System
The earphones come with their charging capsule, three different sizes of foam tips (to ensure “perfect fit and comfort”), a concha lock to further increase fit, and a USB cable to charge your capsule’s internal battery. The charging capsule has a smartphone-size USB port and can be charged by connecting the cord to a USB outlet on a wall socket or a PC.
First, though, you have to make sure the buds are placed correctly in their positions within the capsule before you close it and plug it to charge. A red light lights at the top end of the capsule to signify capsule charging, while a green one right above it indicates bud charging.
Once the capsule is 100% charged, the red light turns green. The green one goes out when the buds are fully charged. The mechanism is simple and straightforward, but has a slight shortcoming. For someone who may want to plug the capsule to a socket next to their bed to charge at night may find the LED lights quite disturbing.
Unlike the flashy lights common with other devices of this kind, though, the LED lights on the Earin capsule are actually very dim and can be covered with a piece of cloth to completely bury their unsolicited glow in a dark room. I tried that and it worked perfectly. I’ve also left the lights uncovered a couple of times and they wouldn’t distract me from sleeping. It all depends on your sensitivity to light.
A fully charged capsule can charge both buds three times before getting drained
A fully charged capsule can charge both buds three times before getting drained. The buds themselves can hold charge for up to three hours of continuous use. This means that fully charged buds and capsule can serve you for a full 12 hours of continuous use. Under realistic circumstances, that translates to a whole day of wireless stereo entertainment. I just wish i would charge them right from the ears; the whole process of retracting and removing them in and out of the shell every three hours can be quite tiring.
Compatibility with Android and iOS devices
This is a front you would expect many devices to flop in. That doesn’t seem to be the case with Earin though. As long as you’re within Bluetooth range, typically up to 10 metres, these earbuds will connect excellently to your smartphone. Even with a wall in between, i didn’t experience any connection issues.
Simply take out the buds from the capsule, switch on your phone’s Bluetooth and give it time to find them and create a connection. Once they’re successfully paired, you will realise that only one bud is displayed on your phone screen as paired. That’s the left bud, which is the master bud and the only one that can connect to a Bluetooth device. The right bud is the slave bud and can only connect to the left bud.
Control and Battery
To control the left bud directly from your phone you have to install a smartphone app that comes with the unit. The app lets you control the volume and timbre of each of the earbuds separately. If you need to keep the volume of one bud low so you can keep up with people around you, this feature may come in handy.
For a more stereophonic sound, the app has a base booster for either buds which you can control using a virtual knob that you can rotate using your finger. Lastly, the app displays to you the battery level of each of the earbuds. The left earbud being the master bud tends to be overworked and will thus run low faster than the right bud.
The battery time-out difference between the two buds should not be a reason to worry though as it can be no more than 5 minutes. That’s the longest I recorded.
The Earin Wireless Earbuds – In Conclusion
Except for one shortcoming where there are irregular drop outs between the two buds, the Earin is a world-beater product. My main fear was that the final version would be too small to fit restfully in the ear but that seems to have been worked on perfectly and the product is ready to go head to head on the market with its main competitors: Bragi Dash, FreeWavz and Dot.
As it stands, the Earin is still larger than Dot earbuds (arguably the tiniest there is), almost as big and heavy as the Bragi Dash, but still way smaller and lighter than the FreeWavz. It’s best suited for indoors, unlike both the Dash and FreeWavz, but can still be used for outdoor purposes such as running, with the help of stabilisers.
Earin headphones are currently only available for pre-order. At time of writing this article the popular new earbuds are in fact completely sold out, despite the rather steep $239 (£160) price tag for a pair.
I’m sure Earin will be an absolute hit in the UK (and elsewhere in the world!) and cannot wait to get our hands on a pair. I mean, who can say no to this: “No cables, no attachments just magically small delivering high quality audio sound.”
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