Imagine a pair of earphones that are truly wire-free. Zero. None.
Meet Earin. It does exactly just that. Music that transmits to both earbuds wirelessly.
Earin is the result of a successful crowdfunding project and a team of innovators who made it a reality. Wireless audio technology is already in a mature phase. For Earin, the makers have to find a way to transmit the audio to one earbud and redirect one of the audio channels to the other. This is achieved without audio lag.
There are obvious constraints in such product, which is why such products have never existed for the longest time. I believe you are also asking these questions so I shall answer them and at the same time reveal more about Earin.
How’s the Battery Life?
For such a small device, the battery life is certainly shorter than any wireless headphones in the market. The Earin max out at 2 hours when playing in stereo. If you use only the primary left-ear for mono listening, it can last 11 hours on paper. There are no charge connectors on the earbuds unlike conventional headsets. The makers have devised a carrying case that doubles as a charging chamber with power bank. Every time you place the earbuds into the capsule case, they start charging. The case can charge the earbuds for 3 times before it runs flat.
As such, the Earin is more suitable for short commute so that you can give the earbuds a charge now and then.
There are 2 charging LEDs, one for the power bank and the other for the earbuds. Once the charge is complete, the LED switches off. However, there is no battery remaining indicator for the earbuds, which means you would not know whether it has completed charging or the power bank ran out of battery to charge. The workaround is simply to charge the power bank regularly.
The earbuds auto shut down after several minutes of inactivity. To enable them again, you have to place them back to the charging chamber and take them out again. There is a bug though: if the charging chamber battery is flat, there is no way to make the earbuds power up again even though the battery is sufficient, unless you plug the chamber to a charger.
How is the Quality of Connection?
The earbuds are more prone to interference, because there are 2 points of transmission: from the device to the left earbud, and from the left earbud to the right earbud.
There are occasional dropouts, which are quickly rectified and reconnected. The audio will twitch from both ears to one and back again. When the right ear loses connection, the left ear will play in mono. It does disrupt the listening process if you are immersed in your music, so if you require absolute no distraction, you will be annoyed with the Earin, even though the dropouts does not occur that frequently.
How Does it Sound?
The audio is produced with balanced armature drivers. I enjoy the clear airy treble, detailed mids presence, and natural bass. Transmitting in apt-X, I cannot hear any transmission artifacts. There is an option to enable bass boost via the smartphone app but it merely amplified the upper bass region, which makes the sound boomy and suppresses the treble clarity. When running the music through equalizer to boost the bass, the audio gets distorted. The Earin would do well for conventional genres – like classical, jazz, pop – without any extreme sonic requirements.
Volume control is managed from the audio device, and I find the volume level is not high enough, though that can be compensated with gain control via the app. Using the app, you can also adjust the L-R balancing if you need adjustment. Any changes made via the app is saved into the Earin, so the settings remain even if you connect to another Bluetooth audio device.
The Earin comes with ear stabilizers to keep the earbuds secure during rigorous workouts. It also comes with Comply foam tips that are known to be better in isolating noise than normal silicone ear tips, though they wear out faster and cost more. There is also a short USB cable.
Does It Have A Microphone for Voice Conversation?
Why Get it?
There are 2 inconveniences: one, people do not know you are plugged in, and so you might be socially misunderstood. Second, it is prone to be misplaced. For instance, while having a brief conversation, you had to remove one earbud and hold it in your hand or in your pocket. Or you might drop it. You won’t have such issues for traditional wireless headsets as you can hang them around your neck.
At S$349, the Earin is rather pricey, but you are paying for the innovation and freedom from wires. The audio quality is above average, and with more occurrences of disruption, it may be a small trade-off for true wireless experience.