The true wireless earbud world has been in the process of rapid expansion. Only a few years ago, it was difficult to find a pair without connection issues, decent sound, or reasonable battery life. If you did, you’d probably be paying upwards of $200 for the privilege. Today, all of those things couldn’t be further from the truth and nowhere is that more true than the EarFun Free. These headphones promise great sound and battery life, IPX7 waterproofing, and more for only $49 — and less now if you catch them on sale. If you’re on the fence, this is definitely a pair you won’t want to miss.
- Retail Price: $49
- Current Sale Price: $34.79 - Until 6/14 with code EARFUNFY on Amazon
- Bluetooth Version: V5.0
- Bluetooth Profile: A2DP , AVRCP , HFP , HSP
- Earbuds Battery: 2*50mAh
- Earbuds Battery Life: Up to 6 hours ?varies by volume level and audio content?
- Earbuds Charging time: About 1.5 hour
- Charging Case battery: 500mAh , it can charge about 4 times for earbuds
- Battey Case Charging Time: USB-C about 2 hours , Wireless charging about 2.5 hours
- Input: DC5V / 1A
- Material: ABC , PC , TPU
- Total Weight: 60g / 2.08oz?including charging case?
- Net Weight: 5.5g / 0.19oz each earbud on average
- Listening Distance: Up to 15m
If you’ve been following our headphone coverage for any time, you know I love true wireless earbuds. I’ve covered quite a few of them — so much so that it’s not unusual for me to receive emails on new pairs at least a couple times a month. When EarFun reached out to me, I admit to not having heard of them and almost passing the opportunity by. I’m glad I didn’t because these have become one of my biggest surprises of the year. The EarFun Frees are fantastic and one of the hands-down best true wireless headphones you can buy under $50.
But let’s back up. These earbuds started their life as a crowdfunding success story, earning more than a quarter million dollars from excited fans. These seemed to hinge around three key features: IPX7 waterproofing (rare in the true wireless world), features exceeding top brands, and a budget price point of only $49. With that kind of pitch, it’s no surprise that EarFun was so successful. It sounds almost too good to be true!
So let’s look at how they actually are!
The EarFun Free earbuds ship with a charging case, USB Type-C charging cable, and two pairs of alternate tips to help you find the best fit. That’s especially important with these earbuds, as you’ll likely be using them in situations where others would be likely to fall out. They feel solid in the hand, right on par with my Jaybirds and Jabras that are four times the cost.
Both the earbuds and the case are a bit on the larger side, but neither are bad. The case is a little on the larger side but easily slides in my pocket. I did find that it was a bit too large to comfortably keep in the same pocket as my smartphone however. The earbuds also follow this trend: slightly bigger, but not much. For reference, here is a comparison shot next to the Jabra Elite 75t:
The earbuds also offer impressive battery life. At 80% volume, I was able to achieve about five and a half hours of playtime. The charging case can fully recharge the earbuds four times and also supports fast charging. Ten minutes of charge deliver two hours of listening, which believe me, can be a god send if you keep an earbud in most of the day. To completely recharge the earbuds can take two hours. The charging case also supports wireless Qi charging, so if you have a charger for your phone, you can take advantage of that too.
The buds sport Bluetooth 5.0 and the latest in wireless tech. Bluetooth 5.0 allows for a more reliable connection, especially over distance, and lower power consumption over time. Honestly, though, I find the wireless chip to be much more intriguing as it lets you use each earbud independently and completely seamlessly. It’s perfect if you like to listen while driving or to keep one earbud in for podcasts or audiobooks. This is my most common use-case, so being able to run one earbud dry and then swap to the other essentially doubles the usable life of these buds.
When it comes to sound, the EarFuns sound remarkably good. They’re bass driven, which will make them a good, fun choice for most mainstream listeners. This comes at the expense of some detail in the treble, but these aren’t meant for analytical listening. They’re an active bud, meant to keep your pace up and heart pumping. For that, they’re great and I loved listening to high-energy music with them. EarFun also seems to have tweaked the mids, where vocals live, to add a bit of forwardness and crispness to the sound, which is great for spoken word.
This also makes them a good choice for intense, action oriented gaming. If you don’t need high-end detail in the treble (which I enjoy but, let’s face it, isn’t “necessary” for most games), you’ll find these to be a very fun choice that’s competitive with gaming headsets if paired with Windows Sonic. The soundstage is rather narrow without it, but positionality is good, so Sonic actually makes for quite an elevated audio experience. They also paired easily with my PC and offered a more reliable connection than my Jabra Elite 75ts.
That said, true wireless earbuds suffer from greater latency. Watching videos with these was no problem; audio stayed in sync with the video, so it’s not bad, but timing a gunshot definitely showed a bit of lag. I would love to see AptX Low Latency on a future revision of these earbuds to improve this, but doing so would likely increase the cost, and it never impacted me to the point where I felt hindered.
But let’s get to the key feature here: waterproofing. These headphones are IPX7 rated, which means they can be submerged in up to a meter of water for up to 30 minutes. It’s important to note, however, that even though other IP ratings reference “jets of water,” the levels don’t stack and these earbuds are not designed for swimming or showering.
That said, I put them to the test. Submerging them is a complete non-issue. So long as you’re not exceeding 1 meter in depth or directly splashing them (thereby adding force to the water), they should be fine. I would have no issue taking them in a pool, even though it’s not a recommended use. Showering, on the other hand, presented a problem and quickly resulted in water making its way into the microphone port causing the earbud to turn off. Since the rest of the unit (except the nozzle, of course) is sealed, this is really the only point of ingress.
The right earbud worked fine after a day drying out, and EarFun was kind enough to send a replacement pair when we thought it was dead, so I wound up with a second pair. Since my main use for waterproof earbuds would be in the shower (I can’t use a speaker for a number of reasons), I decided to completely waterproof them by putting a dot of super glue over the mic port. That was all it took. They’ve worked perfectly ever since, sans the microphone, and are completely waterproof.
Now, I wouldn’t recommend you do this if you ever see yourself needing a mic. But if you need a great waterproof earbud without spending upwards of $100, this was the solution that worked for me.
Editor’s Note: Obviously, this is something you would do at your own risk. It’s not endorsed by the manufacturer, would surely void your warranty, and potentially permanently damage your earbuds. We are not responsible for any damage that might happen should you try this modification.
The EarFun Free true wireless earbuds are one of my most pleasant surprises so far this year. They sound great and offer features that compete with headphones four times the price. They’re not the smallest, and aren’t encouraged for swimming or shower use, but at $50 ($34.79 this week with the sale code above), these are simply some of the best value true wireless earbuds you can buy right now.
The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of review.