Affordable EarFun Air S earbuds feature good sound, questionable fit [Review] | Cult of Mac

Affordable EarFun Air S earbuds feature good sound, questionable fit [Review]

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You can get a discount on these, lowering their already-reasonable $70 price.★★★
You can get a discount on these, lowering their already-reasonable $70 price.
Photo: EarFun

EarFun has been putting out affordable audio gear since 2018. It released its latest active noise cancelling (ANC) wireless earbuds, EarFun Air S, in June. The company recently sent me a pair to try out.

The name of the game here is value. Like some of the company’s other earbuds, Air S offers quality sound and features found in more expensive earbuds. But the product is not without a few drawbacks, which I’ll describe below.

Note that if you want to give these a try and buy on Amazon by September 12, you get a discount plus a coupon that bring the regular price of $69.99 down to $56.41, EarFun said.

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EarFun Air S ANC Wirelesss Earbuds

As I often say in reviews, the two most important aspects of earbuds for most people are high-quality sound and a comfortable, secure fit. If you don’t have a good fit, you’re probably not going to wear them. Or you might lose them if they fall out.

However, both of those characteristics are pretty subjective. One person might want detail and clarity across all audio frequencies. Another person might treasure bass above all else. And, of course, people’s ears are shaped differently, so what fits me might not fit you.

With EarFun Air S ANC Wireless Earbuds, the sound and up-to-date features are there. But I found the fit lacking in a way that effected the sound quality.

Quality sound but questionable fit

Featuring 10mm wool composite drivers and three Bluetooth codecs (SBC, AAC and the high-quality Qualcomm aptX), EarFun Air S deliver good sound on par with various bigger-brand buds, which are often more expensive than these.

Call quality is also good thanks to that Qualcomm chipset.

But the problem for me came with the fit. Sure, these buds, like many, come with several sizes of ear tips to help you find a good fit. But I found changing tips didn’t help much. For me, the body of each bud was too bulbous to allow the ear tip to quite fit far enough into my ear.

So I couldn’t quite get a good seal in the ear canal and the full extent of the sound was not quite present enough. I could tell the sound had good balance and detail, but I couldn’t hear it well enough.

These earbuds feature a game mode for low latency, which is good news for gamers.

Overall, I’d say I had more success with the company’s EarFun Free Pro 2 wireless ANC earbuds, which feature a stemless design that tends to work better for me.

EarFun Air S, left, pictured alongside the stemless EarFun Free Pro 2.
EarFun Air S, left, pictured alongside the stemless EarFun Free Pro 2.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

Fair-to-middling noise cancellation

And a poor fit can also mess with the effectiveness of noise cancellation. I found it tough to distinguish between the buds’ Normal and Ambient Sound settings.

The Noise Cancelling setting clearly cancelled out more external sound, as it should, but not nearly to the extent I’ve found in some other earbuds.

On the plus side, the sound of music did not change just because I switched ANC settings. With some earbuds and headphones it does, often with a sense of fuller sound with maximum noise cancellation activated.

There’s an app for that, but it could do a bit more

Like many earbuds, EarFun Air S come with touch controls on each bud for all functions — music playback, taking calls, activating ANC modes, summoning a voice assistant, etc. It comes down to learning the moves — one tap, two taps, three taps or tap and hold on either earbud to do various things.

Not all earbuds come with an app, but this product does. That’s convenient, but it would be nice if the EarFun Audio app did a little more. Some apps let you play more with music settings, for example.

You can use the app to select Noise Cancelling, Ambient Sound or Normal mode. You can turn Game Mode on or off. And there’s an equalizer with bars for bass, mid and treble you can adjust (or click on presets — Bass Boost, Treble Boost, Bass Reducer, Treble Reducer).

You can also access the User Manual through the app’s Product Tutorial button. That could be convenient, say, if you’re out and about and you can’t remember how many taps it takes to reject a call (tap and hold for 2 seconds on either bud).

Features:

  • EarFun Audio App lets you personalize the earbuds.
  • Connect to two devices at once with easy switching.
  • Qualcomm QCC3040 SoC with aptX audio technology
  • Feed-forward active noise cancellation (ANC) up to 30dB
  • Bluetooth 5.2 offers stable connection and 15m range.
  • Qualcomm TrueWireless Mirroring technology
  • Qualcomm cVc 8.0 Echo Cancelling and Noise Suppression (ECNS) for calls
  • 10mm wool composite dynamic drivers
  • <100ms low latency mode improves video and gaming experience.
  • Up to 30-hour playtime: 6 Hours + 24 hours with charging case
  • Fast charging: 10 mins charging = 2 hours playtime
  • Intuitive touch control with all-in-one volume control
  • Wireless charging or USB-C charging
EarFun provided a chart comparing the Air S buds to others.
EarFun provided a chart comparing the Air S buds to other popular products (though not necessarily the newest ones).
Photo: EarFun

Bottom line: If the earbud fits, buy it. The EarFun Air S earbuds are a good value. You can grab them at Amazon for $69.99 (or $56.41 with price drop through September 12, plus 5% off coupon on the product page).

Where to buy: Amazon

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

★★★