These earbuds check all the boxes for less than $100 [Review]

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EarFun's Free Pro 2 wireless ANC earbuds offer a comfortable fit and good sound at an affordable price point.
EarFun's Free Pro 2 wireless ANC earbuds offer a comfortable fit and good sound at an affordable price point.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

In my recent review of Earfun’s Air Pro 2 wireless active noise cancellation (ANC) earbuds, I said they packed good enough features — sound quality, active noise cancellation, comfortable fit —  to be worth their affordable price tag. With the new EarFun Free Pro 2 wireless ANC earbuds, that’s even more the case. Especially because the same high quality comes in an even smaller package.

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The just-released EarFun Free Pro 2 earbuds are currently available for the same price as the EarFun Air Pro 2 buds, $79. To my ears, they’re easily worth that price (even better with special discounts, as described below). For a handful of reasons, I prefer them to the Earfun Air Pro 2 wireless ANC earbuds, which are themselves quite good. The Free Pro 2 buds are an upgrade on the previous Free Pro set, offering an array of improvements.

Great fit

To me, the two most important aspects of earbuds are good sound quality and a secure fit. You want the best sound quality for music and phone calls. But you’re not likely to wear the earbuds unless they have a comfortably snug fit.

I recently lost a premium earbud at the gym precisely because it didn’t quite fit well enough. A well-fitting earbud stays put even during moderate exercise. It doesn’t easily jostle loose and fall out.

EarFun Free Pro 2 earbuds come with four sets of silicone ear tips in different sizes as well as three sets of silicone ear hooks to help you find a good fit. Just as importantly, the earbuds are small and rest easily in the ear. There is no stem that sticks out of your ear. The ear tip creates a seal in the ear canal that blocks out exterior sound. The hook finds a little extra purchase in the curve of the ear to make the fit more secure.

Of the earbuds I’ve tried lately, the EarFun Free Pro 2 buds may offer my favorite fit. The excellent Jabra Elite 7 Pro ANC earbuds are a little bigger but about as comfortable and secure. But they cost about twice the price for their premium features and sound. The Earfun Air Pro 2 buds have stems and don’t fit as securely in my ears as the Free Pro 2 set does.

Good sound

Both sets of EarFun earbuds have high-quality sound with reasonable clarity and well-defined bass for their sub-$100 price points — especially with ANC turned on. The fuller sound is more obvious with the Air Pro 2 buds, with the “normal” and “ambient sound” settings sounding a little thinner, with brighter treble. With the Free Pro 2 set, the differences among the settings are more subtle, with the ANC setting sounding only slightly more full and lush.

Voice call quality seems acceptably clear with both sets of earbuds, too — perhaps a little more so with the EarFun Free Pro 2 buds. This model added two more microphones to the mix over its predecessor.

This model also improved its noise cancellation. EarFun’s exclusive QuietSmart 2.0 hybrid active noise cancellation blocks up to 40dB of exterior noise, like airplane hum or voices.

And because the earbuds don’t stick out of the ear much, they may offer a little more shelter from wind sound than some earbuds. That, plus EarFun said they have a customized anti-wind algorithm that works with the buds’ mic placement to reduce wind noise.

Touch controls, no app

Like the Earfun Air Pro 2 set, the EarFun Free Pro 2 set lacks an app to use to control the earbuds. This is pretty common at the price point. It’s usually the more premium buds that give you an app in which you can, for example, select the level of noise cancellation and adjust an equalizer to tweak the sound.

Instead, you get touch controls. Many earbud wearers are familiar with those. You just have to get used to the commands, where you tap one or the other earbud one or more times, or press for a longer period. Simple actions like that, outlined in the user manual, let you change volume, advance tracks, answer calls, switch the level of noise cancellation, etc. It’s like memorizing a little code book (or carrying the tiny user manual around with you until you get the hang of it). The Free Pro 2 controls work fine, though I tend to wish there was an app for that.

The EarFun Free Pro 2 ANC earbuds are rated IPX5, making them effectively sweat and splash-proof.

The wireless charging case for the EarFun Free Pro 2 earbuds is easily slim enough to pocket.
The wireless charging case for the EarFun Free Pro 2 earbuds is easily slim enough to pocket.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

Main features

The features and specs listed below come from EarFun. During normal use, I didn’t notice real-world use that contradicts any of the stated features and specs.

  • Compact aluminum alloy charging case
  • Advanced Bluetooth 5.2 supported by the Latest AIROHA AB1562A Chip with low power consumption
  • QuietSmart 2.0 Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation up to 40dB with transparent mode for ambient sound
  • Enhanced 4-microphone array with environmental noise cancellation for clear calls
  • Dual 6.0 mm low-distortion composite dynamic drivers
  • Intuitive touch control + all-in-one volume control
  • Up to 30-hour playtime: up to 6 Hours + 24 hours with charging case
  • <80ms low latency mode for gaming
  • Wireless charging compatible and USB-C charging
  • Each earbud weighs 4.1g
  • IPX5 sweat and water resistant
  • 10 mins charging = 2 hours playtime
  • Single earbud mode with right or left earbud
  • Voice assistant

EarFun Free Pro 2 specifications

  • Bluetooth version: V5.2
  • Bluetooth frequency: 2.402GHz-2.48GHz
  • Bluetooth transmitted power: <7dBm
  • Bluetooth profile: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP
  • Maximum working range: 15m (without obstacle)
  • Battery capacity: 35mAh x 2 (earbuds); 420mAh (charging case)
  • Charging time: 1 hour (for earbuds); 2 hours (for charging case via USB-C) ; 3.5 hours(for charging case via wireless charger)
  • Playtime with ANC off: up to 6 hours, or a total of 30 hours with the charging case (varies by volume level and audio content)
  • Playtime with ANC on: up to 5 hours, or a total of 25 hours with the charging case (varies by volume level and audio content)
  • Input: DC 5V / 1A

You can grab the EarFun Free Pro 2 wireless ANC earbuds for the price of $79 at EarFun or Amazon. At Amazon, you can click the box to add an extra 10% off coupon to your order. Earfun said you can also use the coupon code EFFPROTW for an additional 15% off, for a total of 25% off with both coupons.

Where to buy: Amazon

EarFun provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out other in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.