Budget Multipoint Earbuds With Decent ANC

If you’ve not yet tried a pair of EarFun earbuds, you really must. The EarFun Air S is a tidy set of earbuds that won’t set you back heaps and deliver enough quality in the key areas of sound, battery life, comfort, and ANC that you’ll find them a useful set of buds to keep around.

Specifications

  • Brand: EarFun
  • Battery Life: 5 hours with ANC, 6 without / up to 24 hours in charging case
  • Bluetooth: 5.2
  • Additional Tips: 4
  • Noise Cancellation: Yes
  • Charging Case: Yes
  • Codecs: AAC, SBC, aptX
  • Drivers: 10mm wool composite
  • IP rating: IPX5
  • Wireless charging: No
  • Microphones: 4, with Qualcomm cVc
  • Multipoint support: Yes
  • Weight: 4.9g (0.17oz)
Pros

  • New companion app extends options
  • Battery life decent
  • Comfortable wear
  • Decent ANC for price
  • Familiar sound from EQ tuning
Cons

  • Sound won’t suit everyone; bass and high can distort mids
  • Doesn’t sound quite as good as previous EarFun models
  • Touch controls can be very sensitive
Buy This Product

If you’ve not used a set of EarFun earbuds yet, the EarFun Air S could be the perfect set to try. Combining clear and accurate audio with decent enough ANC and a very alluring price point, the Air S is a great option from EarFun that’s sure to draw in more than a few new users to the brand.


They’re not audiophile quality; they’re not trying to be. But the EarFun Air S earbuds deliver enough to make them worth a shout for anyone that wants quality earbuds without spending a fortune.


EarFun Air S Style and Comfort

As with other EarFun Air earbuds, the EarFun Air S use the tried and tested ear stem design. Interestingly, the EarFun Air S comes with a slightly slimmed-down version of this ear stem compared to the EarFun Air Pro 2 buds, released in mid-2021. The stem is slightly longer than the Air Pro 2 but also slightly slimmer, and the main earbud housing feels maybe ever so slightly smaller.

Whatever the case, the EarFun Air S are comfortable, with the rounded ear tips slotting easily into place and remaining secure while walking and at a gentle run (note, the Air S are rated IPX5 for some sweat and water resistance). Each Air S bud weighs 4.9g (0.17oz), so barely noticeable once secure in your ear, while the combined earbuds and case weigh 52g (1.83oz). All in all, the EarFun Air S are lightweight and will suit almost every user. Adding to the comfort and customization are the four different ear tip sizes, ranging from small to extra large, meaning there is something for every ear.

The all-black earbuds are accompanied by an all-black flip-top charging carry case. It’s an all-plastic affair, smooth to touch and nicely rounded, but I suspect fairly susceptible to scratches and other drop or key-in-pocket-related issues. However, the magnetic clasp works well and doesn’t come undone easily, which is a definite plus point in the event you do mishandle the EarFun Air S case.

EarFun Air S Battery Life and Bluetooth

Now, let’s talk about the next big feature you should care about: battery life. What good is a set of earbuds that cannot keep the noise out during your commute or a flight? Well, the EarFun Air S battery life is good. On a full charge, you’ll get up to six hours of playback without ANC, dropping to around five with ANC switched. During testing, I found these numbers reasonably accurate, though never quite managed a full five or six hours of use in either mode. The battery life worked well enough for me going into town, shopping, and so on, and the Air S will remain juiced during a bike ride or trip to the gym. However, for longer journeys, a period back in the charging case is inevitable.

Overall, most users will be very pleased with the EarFun Air S battery life. Also, note that the charging carry case can deliver another 24 hours of battery without ANC, falling to 20 hours with ANC switched on. Again, these are very respectable numbers that mean with a few moments of downtime here and there, your music will keep playing all day. On that, the EarFun Air S earbuds reach a full charge within one hour, and you can grab a handy two hours of playback on a rapid ten-minute fast charge. You certainly won’t have to wait long to get your Air S buds back and running if they do run out of power.

Charging is via USB Type-C, but there is no wireless charging option.

Connectivity comes from Bluetooth 5.2, and I found pairing fast and easy with my desktop, laptop, and smartphone. In all cases, the earbuds were recognized near instantaneously and, once connected, remained so. The EarFun Air S buds support AAC, SBC, and handily, aptX, which encodes and transmits data slightly faster and with better latency than the other two options. As a result, listening using aptX delivers a smooth experience, though I should say that listening was equally fine while using AAC or SBC. Still, it’s a useful option, and I’d rather have it than not.

EarFun Air S Touch Controls

Happily, the EarFun Air S touch controls respond to your touch. What you might find is that they’re a little too sensitive, registering touches even when you attempt to adjust them in your ears. At one point, they turned the volume up when I put on a beanie hat. All things considered, I’ll take slightly overzealous touch controls than ones that don’t work at all or take forever to realize you’ve tapped once, then register three taps simultaneously.

The three levels of touch controls are also customizable using the EarFun companion app, but more on this in a moment.

EarFun Air S Sound Quality and ANC

Something that stood out on the EarFun Air S box was the “10mm wool composite driver.” Composite drivers are hardly anything new, and a cursory internet search reveals thousands of links for wool composite drivers, but I cannot remember seeing this combination of words on the side of an earbuds box before.

Which begs the question: how does the EarFun Air S sound?

Alongside the wool composite driver description are the words “superior sound,” which is a lofty claim. On that, the EarFun Air S has a pleasing, warm sound with elevation at each end of the spectrum. Sound delivery is relatively clear, but you definitely notice the extra sparkle and polish given to the low and high-end. EarFun hasn’t overdone it here, and the Air S sound profile is one that is familiar and will resonate with most people who pick a pair of these up. Audiophile-quality they are not, but comforting familiarity they may well be.

However, due to those elevated highs and lows, you’ll find some of the midrange at times becoming a little lost, not able to overcome the tuning that emphasizes either end of the spectrum. For example, listening to Tim Buckley reveals that the Air S cannot quite handle the changes in pitch and tone you’ll find on nearly all of his albums, held back by the somewhat depressing mids.

For the price, which we’ll come to in a moment, I’m not complaining; the vast majority of music still sounds good enough, and you can make adjustments to the EQ using the EarFun companion app.

As for the EarFun Air S active noise cancelation, again, it’s not the best, but it definitely does a job. It won’t block out everything, but it provides enough noise cancelation to provide a sense of immersion and isolation in busier environments. The EarFun Air S ANC works well enough to block out most of the sound of my typing on a mechanical keyboard, which is louder than you think, but was found wanting on a noisy bus journey into town. Some background noise was blocked and reduced, and you can more easily focus on a podcast or your music, but don’t expect absolute perfection.

EarFun Air S Companion App

One of the biggest improvements that come with the EarFun Air S is the new EarFun Audio companion app, something that EarFun users have been requesting for years.

Download: EarFun Audio for Android | iOS (Free)

It’s a handy addition to the EarFun Air S, though it doesn’t work with many other EarFun earbuds at the time of writing—only the EarFun Air S and EarFun Air Pro SV.

The EarFun Audio app includes a basic-yet-useful equalizer that you adjust up to six frequencies on, along with four different programmed options, including a bass boost and treble boost. You can use the EQ to streamline your listening experience, which is a handy option for those that might want to adjust the default EarFun Air S sound profile. Once you create an EQ you like, you can save it to the app for future use.

There’s also the option to change your touch control options, switching the various tap and long press functions to whatever suits you, along with the Game Mode, which reduces latency as much as possible and helps to sync audio while gaming.

EarFun will continue to bring new features to the EarFun Audio app in time, but it’s a welcome addition to the EarFun product lineup and one that has been requested for some time.

Are the EarFun Air S Earbuds Worth the Money?

The EarFun Air S earbuds retail for $70, and for that money, they’re a great shout.

I wouldn’t call any specific part of the EarFun Air S exceptional, nor is the design going to win any awards. But for seventy bucks, you get a pair of earbuds that will play music for most of the day, come with decent enough ANC that you can actually enjoy your music wherever you go and are comfortable to wear for long periods while you’re at it.

If you want a solid pair of earbuds that don’t cost the Earth, give the EarFun Air S earbuds a try.

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