The latest true-wireless earbuds from Earin is now available in Singapore distributed by weareready.sg. The Earin A-3 is uniquely the smallest and lightest open-fit earbuds in the world. I had the fortune of reviewing the first-generation Earin, which is also the world’s first true wireless earbuds launched, in 2015. I also reviewed the second-generation Earin M-2 which has similar design to the first-gen.
The A-3 however is a re-design, but they remain committed to creating a tiny product footprint. The case is compact and made of aluminium while the back has a black silicone layer to support wireless charging. I guess the black case option will make it look sleeker, though I wonder why Earin did not consider applying a silver tone to the silicone just for colour coordination.
There are almost no similarities with M-2: the drivers are 14.3mm dynamic drivers instead of Balanced Armature, it uses TWS+ technology which connects both earbuds to the smartphone directly instead of NFMI. Finally, the A-3 features an open-fit design just like AirPods.
And it’s precisely the last feature that makes the Earin A-3 so unique. Most open-fit earbuds come with a stem heavily inspired by AirPods, but Earin removed that completely. It’s quite remarkable that so much can be fitted into a tiny enclosure, with enough battery to last 5 hours. Earin A-3 uses Qualcomm QCC5121 low-power Bluetooth chipset and supports aptX, AAC and SBC.
One feature that Earin inherits from the predecessors is the automatic placement recognition for the earbuds. Simply put, there is no fixed L-R channel for the earbuds. Just insert them to your ears and the sensor will detect the orientation. The earbuds are somewhat protected from dust and water drops with IP52 rating.
The companion smartphone app offers battery information, firmware updates and selection of custom control. There are 2 options of custom control – the “Classic” or “Hybrid”. In Classic control mode, you can do various touch gestures on the sensor to play-pause, change tracks, and answer calls. In Hybrid mode, you can control by double tap anywhere on the earbuds for play-pause, and touch the sensor for voice assistant. Clearly the Classic control offers more gestures and the better option, so I am not sure why the Hybrid control is even an option.
Earin A-3 uses a customised 14.3mm dynamic driver, one of the largest on a true wireless earbuds. Earin’s previous earbuds have the tendency to sound warm without emphasis on the treble. With the A-3’s larger driver, the lower frequencies are further enhanced which I’m sure would delight bass heads. Despite its open-fit design, the bass is impressively massive with no problems experiencing the deep bass resonance on EDM tracks, but because it’s open-fit, it still does not sound as tight and enclosed. The bass also lacks speed, making the musical presentation sluggish and bloated. Treble is overshadowed by the bass, more so when you align the earbuds grille into the ear. But as you wear it during your commute, there is tendency for the earbuds to shift, so in actual use-case, the bass is not as annoyingly bloated.
I did a quick EQ using PowerAmp to tune the A-3 to my preferred listening profile, and this is how it looks like:
In public areas, you can still hear ambient noise, but when the music is loud, you cannot really discern any conversations around you unless it’s very loud, like someone shouting. The Earin A-3 is probably one of the best open-fit earbuds with powerful bass delivery, and very comfortable. It delivers the aural prowess without the claustrophobic silicone seal.
- Bass – 8/10. Strong forward performance
- Midrange – 6.8/10. Muddied by the heavy low resonance
- Treble – 6/10. Good potential detail, overpowered by the bass
The Earin A-3 detects which earbud is being worn and switches the mic to the active earbud. If both earbuds are worn, the left earbud will take precedence. The mic quality is very thin, and because the mic is position on the earbud without the assistance of a stem to reach towards the mouth, there is a tendency to pick up ambient noise over and above your voice. The overall tone is also skewed towards the upper frequency without any warmth, so it can sound very shrill when someone is shouting behind the wearer.
Earin brings to the world the first commercial true-wireless earbuds. It pushes its boundaries to create uniquely designed TWS that differentiates itself from the rest of the market. Their third-generation earbuds, A-3, demonstrates that earbuds do not have to look like AirPods. I like to wear them at home as they feel so comfortable, non-intrusive to my ear canals, while at the same time, I am not detached from the environment. I would prefer the bass to be less pronounced, so I would apply EQ for my enjoyment. Retailing at S$299 in Singapore, enjoy 1-year local warranty by weareready.sg.