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Review: Punkcase EarStud Bluetooth Earplug

Update: These are no longer available. We suggest taking a look at our comprehensive list of wireless earbuds here.

Overview

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What we liked:

IPX8 water resistance level gives you a 100% waterproof and sweatproof security. Though according manufacturer it is not suited for swimming. Sound is transferred via latest bluetooth 4.2 technology resulting in HD sound with normal basses.

You can choose from five colors to suite your wear or put specific accents of color: black, light blue, pink, white or teal. Device is extremely lightweight, weighing only 4.5g/0.15oz.

Worth mentioning is that manufacturer gives lifetime exchange warranty overtaking many similar products.

So, let’s look to Punkcase EarStud earbud more detailed.

Overall look and feel. The earplug is a light small device. As for one ear peace – we would expect it to bigger and more visible from outside. But it’s not. Of course it is visible from the side, but looking from the front it does not come out more than the back part of our ear. EarStud does not have over ear hook as most double sided earphones do, but it uses its lightness to stay fit.

Sound quality is steady and clear. Though, true lovers of bases would be left a side here. And it’s is not stereo, of course. But for the size of product, it’s great.

What’s in the box? The package comes with:
– wireless and waterproof earbud
– short USB to micro USB charging cable
– a “key holder” hook with string and a small rubber case the EarStud slides into
– two extra buds for use quality (actually seems like for swimming)
– a nice firm zipper case

Waterproof? Yes. Officially it is IPX8 (highest rating) claiming to be fully waterproof. It is worth mentioning that quite few users have bought it to use for swimming, but were disappointed with working distance under water. On the other hand the seller has added a notice that Puncase Earstud is not for swimming or using underwater. What we can see here – the product would have a higher rating on Amazon if users did not buy it for swimming in the first place. On the other side, this product is is well tested to be waterproof, so rain, sweat will not affect your purchase for sure.

Bluetooth and working distance. EarStud wireless earphone uses the last 4.2 version witch differs from 4.1 mainly on battery saving. Working distance is standard: 33 feet (10 meters) in the clear path. I’ll come back to users, who complain for a short distance in swimming pool. The reason is not the earphone primary, but limitations of bluetooth technology overall. Current versions of bluetooth have a possibility to break even when phone is in your backpack, since bluetooth is not piercing body.

Controls are done with one button. With single or double tap you can control volume, tracks, receive and end calls.

What we didn’t like:
– It is actually a one-side plug only into one ear (on the other way, it can be a plus also). If you thought to buy two separate, it is not possible to pair them together to one device.
– Battery life is up to 4-5 hours, which is sufficient for many activities, but could be more.
– Doing all controls with one button can be tricky.
– User experience on phone conversations are not amazing claiming other side can less clear understand the person with the earbud.

Specifications

Product Dimensions0.47 x 0.77 x 0.73 in
Item model numberEARSTUD
Weight0.16 ounces
MicrophoneYes
WaterproofIPX-8 Sweatproof. Tested to withstand up 60 minutes UNDER 1.5m/5ft of water
Bluetooth4.2+EDR
SoundHD sound with deep basses
Noise cancellationPassive
Connection to two devices(N/A)
BatteryLithium-ion Polymer 70 mAh. Up to 4-5h playback time
Frequency Response(N/A)
ChargingMicro Usb Cable
WarrantyLifetime Exchage Warranty

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Review: POOME Bluetooth Waterproof Earbuds

Update: The Poome earbuds are no longer available. We recommend you try either the Senso or Bluefit earbuds as a better alternative, based on design, customer feedback and price.

Our overview

What we liked:

POOME Wireless Bluetooth Headphones have a Secure-Fit design to stay fixed to your ears while jogging, cycling or doing exercises. We would call it having the classical look of over ear hooks that is basically what you need for a good workout earbuds. What do go into your ears are nice transparent silicone and foam ear tips.

Battery. One of standing out features is 80 mAH polymer battery providing play time up to 9 hours and stand-by time up to 220 hours. A nice day-long playtime for multiple workouts or a 8 hours work time at office. To charge POOME you need about two hours.

Style and feel. Wireless headphones have modern and sporty design. Over ear hooks are very soft. If in rain, they can became loose if you are wearing a bigger ear tips together. With a normal sized ear tip for your ears and in rain headphones are holding without many problems.

Sound quality. APT-X compression allows to transfer better quality sound via bluetooth. This codec is used if both sides of devices support it. As for sport earbuds, sound quality is good. Bases are heard quite well (not weak and not excessive also). If using bigger ear tips, you will get a deeper bass effect. But primary, ear tips should help to hold earphones in place, so comfort and hold should go before extra bass. Concerning treble, it is clear and crisp.

Bluetooth. Wireless headphones use bluetooth 4.1 CSR technology. You can expect a distance up to 33 feet ( about 10 meters) with the current version of bluetooth with one simple condition – clear path between earphones and bluetooth device.
Seller also mentions bluetooth profiles: HFP, HSP, A2DP, AVRCP. That it was not a marketing trick, we will explain shortly these abbreviations to find out, that mostly all bluetooth headsets have these same profiles.

Headset Profile (HSP) – most commonly used profile to maintain communication between bluetooth headsets and mobile phones.

Hands Free Profile (HFP) – primary built for cars to allow bluetooth connection to a mobile phone. HFP has more features than HSP, including using some of phone features, while phone is in the pocket or bag (e.g. making calls, last number redial, call waiting and voice dialing, display battery level of headset).

Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) – profile deals and determines how multimedia can be streamed (phone to wireless headphones, car audio or from laptop to headset).

Audio / Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) is used for remote controlling devices from headset or from transmitting device. E.g. adjusting volume, skipping tracks or pausing and playing.

How good are POOME wireless headphones on water resistance? As sport earbuds, they have more than a full sweatproof rating of IPX7. You should not worry at all about sweat or rain catching you while jogging.

What’s in the box? In the package you would find:
– Bluetooth earphones
– round and firm waterproof carrying case with zipper
– standard short USB to micro USB charging cable
– 3 pairs of silicone ear tips (Small, Medium, Large)
– 1 pair of foam ear tips
– cord shortening clip
– user manual with warranty.

Noise cancellation is passive. When using ear tips that cover all entering of your ear without leaving gaps, noise isolation effect is strong. Same as many other similar type headphones. POOME also suggests a pair of foam ear tips to get full of possible noise isolation.

Worth considering:
– Over ear hooks are very soft. When they get wet in the rain they can become loose.
– The cord of the earphones is quite stiff and less flexible. While in active sport you are turning your neck, earphones can become little loose in your ears.
– while indoors and paying more attention to the quality of sound, you would not get a full spectrum of rich sound. If using these headphones outside or for active sport, they are very good.

Specifications

Product Dimensions4.9 x 1.3 x 4.7 inches
Item model number715120496786
Weight2.4 ounces
MicrophoneYes
WaterproofIPX7 Sweatproof
Bluetooth4.1 CSR technology
SoundTRUE HD HIGH FIDELITY SOUND
Noise cancellationPassive CVC 6.0
Connection to two devicesYes
BatteryLithium-ion Polymer (80mAH). Up to 9h playback time
Frequency Response20Hz-20kHz
ChargingMicro Usb Cable
Warranty1 Year

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Review: USTEK WP-593 Waterproof Earbuds

Overview

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Specifications

Product Dimensions2.95 x 2.95 x 0.75 in
Item model numberWP-539
Weight0.6 ounces
MicrophoneNo
WaterproofIPX7 Sweatproof
BluetoothNo
SoundStereo Crisp, clear sound
Noise cancellationPassive
Connection to two devicesNo
BatteryNo
Frequency Response20-20,000Hz
ChargingNo
Cable / plug120±2cm / Standard 3.5mm
Warranty(N/A)

 Our Overview

What we liked:
USTEK WP-593 Earbuds are probably the best wired sport buds you can buy for the price. Crisp, clear sound give you a great music enjoyment every time without distortion. These have very good response on the high end, decent on the mids and normal on low end bass, since you don’t spend a king’s ransom on these things.

Though these earbuds are classic wired with 1.2 m cable (with universal 3.5 mm plug), you are free from the need to charge the device so in many cases it can work as your back-up earbuds. It is compatible universal standard audio playback devices with 3.5mm jack.

Can I swim with these earbuds? Manufacturer gives an IPX7 index and promises that you are free to listen to music in any wet environment including shower, hot tub or beach. Officially, the construction is not for swimming, but consumers are using or at least trying to use for a swimming. People who bought USTEK WP-593 primarily for using in swimming pool, partly were let down and did not suggest others to use it for swimming with more negative ratings. People, who bought it for all weather activities are fully content with water resistance attributes.

The package comes with white ultra-soft earpads to match your ears (S/M/L) for a perfect fit.

Worth considering:
– Classic 1.2 m cable. Old-school simplicity can be a negative thing for some users. But it is a reliable pros for a simple “work horse”.
– Do not buy USTEK WP-593 in ear earphones for swimming as it is not made for it. IPX7 does not allow it.
– Sound is nice and clear as sport buds should have with smaller audio drivers, but if you are a base lover, you would not be fully content.

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Review: TaoTronics TT-BH12 Black Bluetooth Earphones

tataotronics earbuds wireless

Overview

What we liked:

The TaoTronics TT-BH12 earphones have a sweet design with functionality that will keep you active without unnecessary distractions from your earbuds.

At a glance:

These earbuds have a battery that supports music playback up to 8 hours. Audio and music from player or phone are transferred via bluetooth 4.1 technology. TaoTronics are more sport earbuds, but playback quality itself is good, giving you clear treble and mids with decent bass.

Lets look to the main attributes in more detail.

tataotronics earbuds wireless

TaoTronics Wireless Bluetooth Earphones Review

Style and feel

The TT-BH12 model of the TaoTronics earbuds are fit for office use as well as for active sport. The Over ear hooks are oval shaped, flexible and fairly soft, but they are not fully adjustable (bendable to form a new shape).

How do they feel while wearing glasses?

These earbuds may interfere while wearing glasses. Your glasses will either sit on top of the ear hooks or side by side with them, between your head and ear, which may cause tension or cause your glasses to be slightly crooked if not adjusted.

Specifically for those wearing glasses, we’ve reviewed the SoundWhiz Turbo, (somewhat harshly as they are wildly popular) which may be a better option.

Sound quality.

A nice feature is the aptX codec which allows transferring better quality via less data. Though if the bluetooth device does not support this codec (though most do), sound transmission will fall back to the best supported codec.

Earbuds are more focused on the clarity of mids and highs. Rich basses do not fit into its spectrum. But for the price, sound quality is decent as they are sport bluetooth earbuds. Taotronics wireless headphones offer three pairs of closed ear tips and two pairs of semi-closed to match your ear size and your activity.

Controls.

Control buttons are placed on the cord lower to the right earbud. With two buttons on the opposite sides you can control volume with short pressings.

If pressing and holding buttons longer (1 second), they will work as forward/backward tracks. Center multifunction button works as pause and play, answering calls, turning headphones on/off. By pressing and holding middle button longer (2-3 seconds) you can activate Siri (IOS) to use voice activated calling.

Battery.

When the TT-BH12 runs out of battery it will let you know by beeping. While charging red light will be flashing and when battery is full, red will turn into blue.

taotronics wireless headphone specs

What’s in the box? In the package you will find:
– in-ear bluetooth headphones
– short charging cable micro USB to USB
– 3 pairs of closed buds and 2 pairs of semi-closed buds
– cord clip is placed on the earphones cable

Noise cancellation.

These earbuds do not have active sound cancellation as one might expect for the price. In ear phones isolate surrounding sound quite well.

Also, you can try different type and size ear tips for the best fit. The TaoTronics do not have CVC noise reduction for phone conversations that many similarly priced sport earphones have. But that is not primary need for sport.

What we didn’t like:
– There’s no carry case in the package.
– Users experience using microphone is not great.
– We are worried a little that there’s more than naturally expected
– We were trying to find an actual index of water resistance (IPX), but found only “Sweatproof” attribute, of which we assume it is at least IPX5 (fully sweatproof) .

Specifications

Product Dimensions1.46 x 26.02 x 1.18 inches
Item model numberTT-BH12 Black
Weight6.6 ounces
MicrophoneYes
WaterproofSweatproof
Bluetooth4.1
SoundRich and Natural Sound with aptX support
Noise cancellationPassive
Connection to two devices(N/A)
BatteryUp to 8 hours.
Frequency Response(N/A)
ChargingMicro Usb Cable
Warranty12 months

Bottom line: these are a decent option in our opinion (and apparently Amazon’s as well since it is an Amazon’s choice), and some users may prefer the look and feel of these headphones. Given its relatively price point, they provide a good value.

Water Resistant (Waterproof) Headphones Indexes IPX[0-8]

Important table if you are considering and looking for sport / work out headphones. It gives you list of official water resistance ratings which every manufacturer should put in specification table.

IPX0:No  water resistant. Headphones will be destroyed.
IPX1:Headphones are not suited for exercising. They are not sweat proof. Minimal impact of water is dangerous. Protection from dripping water from above for at least 10 mins is given.
IPX2:Protects from dripping water when the headphones are at specific 15 degree angle. Headphones having this rating should not be wireless for outdoors wear.
IPX3:A little better. Headphones can get a spray of water at 60 degrees angle from the vertical for at least 5 minutes. It is too weak for sweat protection. At a worst case – you can use it for exercising.
IPX4:Your headphones are sweat proof. It is suited for workouts. It can handle splashing of water from any directions. But it is not water-resistant.
IPX5:Headphones are protected from water spray at 6.3mm (12.5 liters/min) at any angle for at least 3 minutes.
IPX6:Your device is secured from 12.5mm distance spray of water (100 liters per minute) at any direction for at least 3 minutes.
IPX7:Headphones are OK if completely submersed up to 1 meter (3 feet) for up to 30 minutes.
IPX8:The best index. Look for it if buying swimming earphones. Look for specific details given by manufacturer similar like “The device was tested at “x” meters for “x” minutes”.