Earfun is back with the successor to the popular Earfun Free earphones we reviewed last year. At the time, we were impressed by their waterproof design, sound quality, and budget-friendly price and concluded that they were “one of the hands-down best true wireless headphones you can buy under $50.” The Earfun Free 2 are officially here to improve upon the originals and once again challenge exactly what you should expect from a $50 earbud. Spoiler alert: they’re great.
- Current Price: $49.99 (Amazon, Earfun)
- Key Features:
- Qualcomm aptX Audio Technology
- Balanced Immersive Sound with Dynamic Composite Drivers
- 60ms Super Low Latency Mode for Better Video and Gaming
- Intuitive Touch Control, Including Volume Control
- IPX7 Waterproof with Sweatshield Technology
- 30 Hour Playtime with Sweatshield Technology
- Bluetooth Version: 5.2
- Bluetooth Profile: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP
- Bluetooth Codec: aptX™, AAC, SBC
- Maximum Working Range: 15m (without obstacle)
- Capacity: 50mAh*2 (earbuds); 400mAh (charging case)
- Charging Time: 1.5 hours (earbuds), 2 hours (charging case), 3.5 hours (for charging case with wireless charger)
- Playtime: Up to 7 hours; 30 hours with charging case (varies by volume level and audio codec)
- Dimensions: 66mm x 39mm x 29mm
- Weight: 48 grams
Unboxing and Overview
The Earfun Free 2 evolve the design of the original Frees and brings it up with the times. The earbuds are slightly smaller this time around and have a refined, more angular shape that improves its fit. Despite the subtle changes, each bud still features a 50mAh battery, just like the originals. Even though the battery is the same, the technology inside has changed making them more energy efficient while also improving sound quality. The Free 2s now use power-sipping Bluetooth 5.2 which allows the buds to extend their battery life a full hour up to 7 hours. The buds are now also able to transmit using the higher-bandwidth aptX codec to reduce some of the compression typical to bluetooth earbuds, so you’re getting higher quality audio and improved battery life without sacrificing size and portability.
The charging case has experienced a big face lift and it is a wholesale improvement over the original. It’s much smaller and more pocketable, almost exactly like the case with the Jabra Elite 75ts. The original was a long oval and, while still pocketable, was too big to carry with keys or a phone comfortably. The new case can easily be slid into a pocket and is easier to retrieve thanks to the new soft touch finish. When it comes to recharge ability, the case is good for a bit over three recharges bringing total playtime up to 30 hours.
Like the original, I have to draw comparisons to the Jabras here. It is very clear that Earfun has taken inspiration from the Elite line and that’s a good thing. Given their low cost, it’s like you’re getting the Jabra wear experience without needing to pay for Jabras. Here, the design allows for a fit that is almost immediately secure and lends itself to all day comfort. This isn’t to take anything away from the Earfun team — the earphones and case are not exactly alike but they’re close enough that they each offer a great wearing experience.
Where the Earfuns really stand out from the competition is in their waterproof design. The Free 2s are IPX7 rated, which means they can be submerged in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes and still work fine. If you’re looking for a pair of buds to jump in the pool with, these should fit the bill. At the same time, rain and sweat won’t impact them at all, so you can feel free to use them for workouts. Note that this does not protect the earbuds against jets of water like from a shower. When water does make its way into the earbud, they’ll simply shut off.
Pro-tip not endorsed by the manufacturer: if you don’t need the earbuds for calls, a drop of super glue over the microphone port solves the water jet problem so you can use them in the shower without interruption.
Another design change I appreciate this time around is with the nozzles. The originals used a thin film right where the earbud opens. These use a metal grill with wide open spaces. Presumably, the water-blocking film likes below these grilles further down the nozzle (you can also pour water out of these nozzles, so it’s clearly blocked further down). This is a big improvement as the films on the original had a tendency to get clogged over time and decrease volume. The increased distance here should help ensure the Free 2s performance over time.
Before getting into performance, it’s also worth highlighting that EarFun has switched to touch controls with the Free 2s versus a multifunction button. Controls are largely the same — tap once for volume, twice for play/pause, three times for track control, hold for low latency mode, hold longer for your virtual assistant — but you’ll be tapping the face of each bud. It works well and consistently, so the implementation here is well done.
Listening, Gaming, and Use Impressions
Under the hood, these earphones use custom dual-composite drivers. EarFun claims these deliver a balanced sound. Specifically, “the bespoke drivers of the new EarFun Free 2 True Wireless deliver high-fidelity sound with deep bass, natural mids and a clear, detailed treble.” They’re definitely an improvement and made for a fun listen, whether I was listening to Spotify, watching movies, or playing games.
Yes, you read that right: playing games. EarFun actually markets these based on their gaming ability thanks to included low-latency mode that drops latency down to 60ms. In practice, that means these are a much better fit for gaming than the vast majority of true wireless earbuds on sale today especially at this price. Playing Call of Duty with these, there is a delay I thought I could perceive but it’s so minor that it didn’t impact my gameplay at all. Compare that to Sony’s new WF-1000XM4s where playing shooters felt almost impossible. Sound quality doesn’t take a hit either. What does is the distance you can be from the transmitting device. You’ll lose connection more quickly in low latency mode if you decide to walk away. If you’re always near the device you’re listening from, however, it’s worth leaving on for the best multimedia experience.
When it comes to sound quality, EarFun has made some big gains with the Free 2s. Bass performance is much improved. These offer a bigger, fuller sound than the originals. Mid and treble performance is also improved with better presentation of small details, like the ring of cymbals or ambient sounds in the environment in games and movies. aptX definitely helps here, but just as importantly, the change to the nozzles means this improved performance should last longer. Over time, the original EarFuns would degrade as the filters became dirty and would require dedicated cleaning to restore. It’s important to note that short of pouring hydrogen peroxide inside the nozzle, it’s not clear you can clean the filter at all — but without coming in direct contact with ear debris, it will surely preserve the performance of these earbuds well into the future.
For $50, the EarFun Free 2s are an outstanding value. They offer performance and features not found elsewhere at this price. Whether you’re gaming, swimming, or just need a new pair of great sounding earbuds that won’t break the bank, these are an excellent choice.
The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.