Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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EarFun’s Wave Pro headphones are a decent budget option

EarFun is expanding from earbuds with its new ‘Wave Pro’ wireless headphones. They’re a good first effort, but a few issues leave the headphones in an awkward spot. For some people looking for the ultimate value options, the Wave Pros could scratch the itch — it all comes down to what tradeoffs you want to make.

To start, EarFun’s headphones cost $79.99 USD (about $108.87 CAD), which is pretty decent considering what’s on offer. EarFun claims the Wave Pro headphones have an 80-hour battery life, active noise cancellation (ANC) up to 45dB and anti-wind capabilities, fast charging, a low-latency game mode, multipoint connection support and more. The headphones sport 40mm “diamond-like carbon (LDC) & PET composite dynamic drivers.” EarFun also touted that the headphones have five microphones with an AI algorithm for calls. Plus, the EarFun Wave Pros come with a nice carrying case that smells like the inside of a Candian Tire for some strange reason.On paper, this all sounds great, especially the 80-hour battery life (though it does drop to 55 hours with ANC). In my testing, I haven’t exhausted that battery life yet, but even if it gets close to 50 hours, that’d still put it ahead of current headphone champs like Sony’s WH-1000XM5, which clock in at 30 hours with ANC. Notably, a spec comparison chart shared with me by EarFun compares the Wave Pro’s on-ANC battery life with the ANC battery life of the 1000XM5s, which isn’t exactly fair. Fast-charging support is also welcome, with EarFun promising 10 hours of playtime from a 10-minute charge.

But while battery and charging are strong points, things start to fall apart when actually using them. I thought the Wave Pro’s sound quality was nice when I could bear to wear them. The earcups were, unfortunately, slightly too small for my ears and ended up pinching my earlobes, which became incredibly uncomfortable after just ten minutes of wearing the headphones. Aside from the too-small cup size, I found the headphones to be overall good, with nice padding on the headband and decent, although mostly plastic construction.My wife was in the market for new headphones, so she took the Wave Pros for a spin as well. They fit her much better and she found them comfortable. She’s more of an audiophile than I am and described the sound as a bit thin and high-heavy, but depending on your preference, that might be fine (and it can be mitigated via EQ adjustments). However, she also noted that the sound quality takes a significant hit if you don’t use ANC, with low-end frequencies tending to clip in ambient and normal modes.

For some, these issues might prove too much, but for others, these could be easily addressed. For my part, I think if the earcups were a tad bigger and didn’t cause me discomfort, I’d be able to happily use the Wave Pro headphones without issue. I’d almost exclusively use the headphones with ANC, so the sound quality issues don’t concern me too much.

At the time of writing, the EarFun Wave Pro headphones weren’t listed on Amazon Canada, leaving the EarFun website as the only place to get them, which means paying $79.99 USD (roughly $108.88 CAD) for them.

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