New noise-canceling EarFun Air Pro earbuds: High on features, low on cost [Review]


EarFun Air Pro 3 ANC wireless earbuds are another great-value product from the company.★★★
EarFun Air Pro 3 ANC wireless earbuds are another great-value product from the company.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

Calling them “the world’s 1st LE-Audio ANC true wireless earbuds,” EarFun plans to launch its new flagship Air Pro 3 active noise-canceling (ANC) wireless earbuds Thursday, February 2. The company recently sent me a pair to try out.

True to form, EarFun brings good value for the price with these buds, as it has with others. They’re not perfect, but for discounted pre-launch and launch prices at or below $60, you can’t really go wrong. See below for more details about the buds, including LE Audio.

EarFun Air Pro 3 ANC wireless earbuds

EarFun Air Pro 3 ANC wireless earbuds are another high-value product from EarFun. Like Edifier does with speakers, headphones and earbuds, EarFun finds a sweet spot where good sound and quality features meet a reasonable asking price.

And what is that asking price? EarFun Air Pro 3 list for $79.99, but you can get them for $55.99 through a pre-launch discount (and then $59.99 as of Thursday with the Amazon launch discount code below). That makes them a great buy for anyone who wants good ANC wireless earbuds with a few premium features for a low price.

Another EarFun set that I really like, by the way, is the EarFun Free Pro 2 stemless ANC wireless earbuds.

Good audio quality

The aptX Adaptive codec should make the earbuds sound especially good on compatible Android devices.
The aptX Adaptive codec should make the earbuds sound especially good on compatible Android devices.
Photo: EarFun

Some of the cool features EarFun includes with its new flagship Air Pro 3 buds relate to audio quality — especially for Android users with compatible devices. As someone wandering around in the Apple ecosystem, I might not benefit as much as they do from every feature.

For example, the buds use the Qualcomm QCC3071 chip with aptX adaptive audio for high-quality wireless sound. This works best with an Android device using a corresponding chipset.

While I find EarFun’s earbuds don’t quite compare to my AirPods Pro (2nd generation) earbuds with their H2 chip for great sound quality, they’re not too far behind.

I would say the EarFun Air Pro 3 buds, which feature 11mm wool composite drivers, compare pretty well with excellent products from Soundcore, Edifier and Jabra. At least they’re in the same audio ballpark. And the call quality, using six microphones, is good.

EarFun’s buds present a moderately expansive soundstage with a relatively full range of expression across frequencies. But you won’t find the pristine clarity and exquisite detail in the sound that high-end buds often provide, much less features like Spatial Audio.

Comfortable fit

Regarding fit, I found Air Pro 3 plenty comfy for stemmed earbuds. If earbuds don’t fit well or fall out, it almost doesn’t matter how good they sound.

Unlike stemmed buds that are meant to dangle, these go securely in the ear canal with a good seal. That’s my preference. And they come with four sets of ear tips in different sizes to help with your personal fit.

Along the way I noticed an example of a feature these buds lack. They don’t automatically pause playback when you remove one earbud like AirPods Pro 2 and some others do.

Mostly solid connectivity

The new earbuds also incorporate the latest in connectivity — Bluetooth 5.3, LE Audio and the LC3 codec. Those can contribute to sound quality, longer battery life, low power consumption and, most of all, stable wireless connections.

And yet I experienced a drawback when I paired the earbuds with my M1 Pro MacBook Pro. They paired well with my iPhone 13 Pro and iPad Air (4th gen), never dropping the Bluetooth connection. But with my laptop they hiccuped every so often.

They didn’t drop the connection entirely. But a garbled sound interrupted the flow for a split-second. That happened a lot at first and then less and less so. But it didn’t disappear entirely.

That’s too bad, because I found the sound quality most impressive coming from my laptop — probably because I’ve enabled aptX support on the machine, which you can read more about in this previous review.

And note that the earbuds are engineered to connect to more than one device. At first I thought that wasn’t working, but then I realized I’d just have to follow the directions in the manual to do it correctly. It works.

ANC: Good, not great

The ANC uses three of the six microphones to suppress external noise.
The ANC uses three of the six microphones to suppress external noise.
Photo: EarFun

EarFun brands its ANC as QuietSmart 2.0 Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation and promises to deal with noise up to 43 decibels. While I can’t pretend to distinguish a few decibels’ difference either way with music playing in my ears, that sounds about right to me.

The ANC system, which relies on three of the earbuds’ six mics, works like it should. You can set it to Normal (none), Ambient Mode (some sound allowed through) and ANC (full noise cancellation).

I have used earbuds with stronger noise cancellation, for sure, but these aren’t bad. The ANC will shut up those annoying voices chattering down the hall and silence the occasional lawnmower down the street.

There’s an app for that

It’s always a guessing game as to whether a moderately priced set of earbuds will come with a dedicated app or not. Thankfully, EarFun’s new top buds do.

I like a dedicated app because I don’t much like tapping buds in my ears, using the touch controls that you have to learn like code (was it two taps on the left bud to advance the track, or three?). But touch controls can be convenient, of course, if you just want to nudge up the volume or take a call.

The EarFun app is nothing to write home about, but it does a few things. You can select which level of noise cancellation, switch Game Mode for low latency, adjust an equalizer to tweak the sound or browse a tutorial (just the user manual that comes in the box).

Unlike earbuds that come with a ton of presets for different audio settings, Air Pro 3 comes with a simple equalizer with six moveable EQ points (or bands) that go up or down, plus some basic presets. With the presets, clicking on Bass Boost, Bass Reducer, Treble Boost or Treble Reducer will redraw the EQ line, modifying the sound. And of course there’s a reset button to put it back to neutral.

EarFun Air Pro 3 features:

  • Qualcomm QCC3071 SoC with aptX adaptive audio
  • QuietSmart 2.0 hybrid ANC up to 43dB
  • Multi-device connectivity
  • Six-microphone array and cVc 8.0 tech for call clarity
  • Bluetooth 5.3, LE Audio and LC3 codec for low power consumption and stable transmission
  • 11mm wool composite drivers
  • <55ms ultra-low latency mode for video and gaming
  • IPX5 sweat and water resistance
  • 45-hour playtime: 9 hours + 36 hours with charging case
  • Fast charging: 10-min charging = 2 hours playtime
  • Wireless charging
  • Personalization through EarFun app
  • Intuitive touch controls

Bottom line: good value

Note that in addition to the slick audio and ANC technologies on board, Air Pro 3 buds boast good battery life. They promise 45 hours of playtime — 9 hours by themselves and 36 hours with the wireless charging case. That’s not quite the 50 hours some products now claim, but it’s good.

You can pick up the earbuds (only in black) on EarFun’s website or on Amazon.

Following its pre-launch early-bird discount of 30% off the regular $79.99 price ($55.99), EarFun said it would offer a launch discount with code AP325OFF on Amazon starting Thursday. That will bring the regular price down to $59.99.

Where to buy: EarFun or, starting February 2, 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.



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