Released Monday, EarFun’s new Air 2 wireless earbuds are damned good for $50, even without noise cancellation. It’s a testament to how far earbuds have come that you can get Hi-Res Audio-certified wireless buds for so little money.
That said, I wouldn’t throw away your AirPods Pro 2 buds just yet.
EarFun Air 2 True Wireless Earbuds
EarFun called Air 2 “the best hi-res earbuds under $50” when they sent me a pair to try out. And it’s true, they are 1 cent under $50 at $49.99. But are they the best under $50? I can’t buy loads of earbuds to test the claim, but it wouldn’t surprise me much.
That’s because I’ve reviewed several EarFun products and they always impress me for their good value, like my favorite, EarFun Free Pro 3. Earfun’s buds are pretty close in quality to products from well-established brands like Soundcore, owned by Anker.
And these EarFun Air 2 earbuds are so far under the unofficial $150 “premium” threshold for earbuds, I’d recommend them to anyone, even as just a backup pair or a gift. They lack the much-ballyhooed active noise cancellation (ANC), but that’s not always a big drawback for reasons I’ll get into below.
Fit and finish
EarFun Air 2 come pretty standard-issue out of the box, with the stemmed earbuds in a sleek black wireless charging case (lighter than AirPods Pro 2’s case), five sets of eartips in different sizes, a USB-C cable, a cleaning stick and a user manual.
I found the earbuds easily paired — and stayed paired — with one or two of my devices via Bluetooth 5.3.
The case has a slightly cheap feel to it, but the earbuds’ build quality seems solid. They are silver along the stem and black elsewhere. And to my delight, they fit securely right away. I didn’t even need to experiment with ear tips in the box. The ones already on the earbuds fit snugly. And I usually don’t care for stemmed earbuds. But these fit and felt great, and might even stay in during a gym workout.
And it’s worth noting that a good fit goes a long way toward passive noise cancellation. That’s because the ear tips block the ear canal, which is also, of course, full of sound from the buds. So it could be argued ANC is a little bit overrated if what you really love is fantastic sound quality.
Good sound quality
EarFun Air 2 earbuds sound very good, with plenty of clarity across the spectrum from lows to highs.
They fall short of the sophistication I hear in AirPods Pro (2nd generation) earbuds, but that’s not surprising. I’m in the Apple ecosystem, after all. So given EarFun’s far lower price, lack of Spatial Audio with Dynamic Head Tracking and use of Sony’ proprietary LDAC codec to reach their best audio quality, these would be best-suited to Android devices that support LDAC. And yet they sound quite good in my ecosystem, too.
Testing EarFun’s buds and AirPods Pro 2 side by side, I notice a difference. I heard more detail in the music through AirPods Pro 2. But it’s not a day-and-night difference. And EarFun Air 2 are impressive especially because they’re not even in the company’s “pro” line of earbuds. And they cost one-fifth as much as AirPods Pro 2 and plenty of other premium earbuds that would count as more-direct competitors (see the chart below).
The EarFun Audio app easily found the right earbuds and let me play with various settings. You can customize what the touch controls on each bud do, like pausing or calling the voice assistant. You can choose from various equalizers, including the default “EarFun Classic,” 10 presets by musical genre or preference (e.g., Bass Boost) or a Custom Equalizer for finer tuning. EarFun Classic worked for me for a variety of rock and jazz tunes.
EarFun Air 2 features:
- Bluetooth 5.3 for low latency, stable connections and audio quality
- Personalization through EarFun Audio App
- Easy switching and dual-device connectivity
- Certified Hi-Res Audio
- LDAC technology transfers 3x more data than some other Bluetooth codecs.
- Enhanced 4-microphone array ENC for noiseless calls and precise voice isolation
- 10mm wool composite dynamic drivers.
- Single Earbud Mode: Independent use of left and right ears for seamless switching.
- Up to 40-hour playtime: 9 hours + 31 hours with charging case. LDAC mode is 23-hour playtime: 5.5 hours + 17.5 hours
- IPX7 waterproof with Sweatshield technology
- Fast charging: 10 mins charging = 2 hours playtime.
- All-in-one touch control customized via EarFun Audio app.
- USB-C charging or wireless charging
- Low latency Gaming Mode via app
- Secure and ergonomic fit
Given EarFun Air 2’s good sound quality and impressive features list — minus ANC but including Certified Hi-Res Audio, dual-device connectivity with easy switching, long battery life, good app control and a wireless charging case — they’re a good value for the price. If they’d managed to fit in ANC, this would be a 5-star review. They’re not on Amazon yet, but they probably will be soon.
Where to buy: EarFun