For $120, the EarFun Air Pro may well be the best value earphones in Australia, and a genuine surprise, at that.
Truly wireless earphones aren’t so new that you can’t find them everywhere, but good options typically cost dollar bucks. Great sounding earphones aren’t cheap, and once you start rolling in some of those extra features, things like noise cancellation, you start to see the prices rise.
Glance at the big players in the market and you’ll see proof of that, with options like the Apple AirPods Pro, Sony WF-1000XM4, and Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 all exhibiting big sound, no cables, and high price tags.
But truly wireless noise cancelling earphones don’t always have to be expensive. In fact, a new brand on the scene might end up giving those other players a run for their money.
Priced at $119.95, the EarFun Air Pro come with a weird name and a cheap price tag, while offering no cables and noise cancellation. In the past few months, we’ve seen earphone prices fall, but for $120, we’ve never seen value driven like this. Are the Air Pro genuine value, or just cheap as chips for a reason?
Design and features
Looking a little like what happens when the stylings of a fast car meets the Apple AirPods, the good news is you’re not likely to confuse the EarFun Air Pro with Apple’s popular earphones. They’re just too different.
Take the AirPods, apply angles to the stem, and wedge the earpieces slightly, and you’ll have a rough idea of what the Air Pro look like. In fact, they almost look like little shrunken golf clubs. Kinda. Sorta.
Inside these miniature angular golf clubs for your ears, EarFun has thrown in 10mm drivers tuned by Edifier, noise cancelling algorithms, sensors for in-ear detection to pause and play the earphones automatically, IPX5 water and sweat resistance, plus noise cancellation supported by six microphones.
You go get a little case to the store the earphones in, and while it’s not the slimmest case in the world, it’s small enough to slip in your pocket.
Take the Air Pro out of their case and pair them with your phone, and you are largely good to go, though you may not have a lot in the way of controls here.
EarFun does include touch controls on the Air Pro, but they’re severely limited, offering pause and play with next track control, but no previous track or volume control.
You’ll find a sequence of taps gets you through the Air Pro, with a triple tap on the right for next track and double tap for pause and play, while the left ear sees a triple tap for voice assistant and two taps for noise cancellation mode switching. Perhaps for the first time, single taps don’t appear to do anything on the EarFun Air Pro.
There’s also no app here and no way to tweak the sound of the AirPro, or even change those controls. You are relatively limited in what you change on these earphones, and what you see is largely what you get.
That should also apply to what you hear, and just like we do with every earphone and headphone we review, we’re running the earphones through the Pickr Sound Test, which you can listen to for yourself.
However from the get-go, the Air Pro give you a taste of something not normally seen in budget earphones: warmth.
Starting with Tycho, we found a strong punch of bass complete with that deep drop we start our regular sound test playlist, with a warming sound. There’s bass, and then there’s mids and highs more or less paired, with a meaty sound found in electronic and some really solid punch for the size.
It’s a feeling we picked up in the bass hits of Ariana Grande and Mark Ronson, with a delivery more reminiscent of what Sony might do, but with a little less detail. The highs can feel like they’re lacking in detail at points, but there’s still balance, even if the sounds at the upper end of the spectrum aren’t as strong.
For the most part, the sound is one that comes out like you might imagine a decent speaker to, with a notable punch and boom, while the mids and highs drive the rest home.
Take the bass drum in Maroon 5’s “Animals”, which delivers a resounding boom in your ears, but doesn’t sound overkill in comparison to a typically bass-heavy pair of earphones. The highs of Adam Levine’s voice aren’t nearly as rounded as the lows in the track, but they’re balanced enough to provide a win. It’s much the same in rock, where Muse’s “Madness” demonstrates a big bass sound, but one that doesn’t drown out the rest of the song, letting you know it exists and that it’s here to deliver.
It’s a delivery that isn’t all about overhyped or overly pronounced bass, but rather one that makes sense, and means that whether you’re listening to rock, pop, soul, or electronic, the fun of listening is largely being catered for. We guess that’s where the name is coming from.
And it’s enough to tell us Edifier’s hand in tuning the earphones has likely helped here, delivering a sound that feels more refined than what we’re used to seeing from new brands.
The noise cancellation isn’t quite as on-target, mind you. You do get noise cancellation with the EarFun Air Pro, but it’s slim pickings in terms of how it works, with a choice of “noise reduction”, “ambient sound”, and a “normal mode” that switches the mics off, complete with a voice guide that’s a dead ringer for Sony’s voice saying the same in its headphones.
The battery is also on a bit of a win, much like the sound, which sees 9 hours in the Earfun Air Pro, plus an extra 23 in the case, which isn’t a bad result, at all.
While 32 hours isn’t entirely game changing, it’s enough to make a dent on your commute, and means you probably can make it through a few days to a week without needing to look for the USB Type C charging cable.
At $119.95 in Australia, however, the EarFun Air Pro are practically unbeatable value.
It’s true that truly wireless earphones are now in the cheap-as-chips part of the market, and you can find them for peanuts at your local department or even grocery store. We can’t vouch for the quality of the cheapest truly wireless earphones out there, but cordless earphones can be found anywhere and everywhere.
Noise cancelling truly wireless earphones are a different story, however. With the release of the $149.95 Nothing Ear 1, we thought we’d seen noise cancelling earphones at the lowest price point around. Not so, it seems.
For a hair under $120, the EarFun is not what you’d expect, and takes a page out of something fans of Transformers would probably like: there’s more here than meets the eye, or even the ear.
What needs work?
With value the name of the game for the EarFun Air Pro, it’s perhaps unsurprisingly (and quite understandable) that you’re going to miss some of the premium features that come to other noise cancelling in-earphones.
One of these is a wireless charging case, which is missing in action. You’ll get a standard charging case that charges the Air Pro earphones, and the case is charged by Type C USB, but no wireless charging for the case itself, a minor issue altogether.
The noise cancellation is also a touch basic, not helped by the fact that there’s no app for the EarFun earphones. Ignoring the “there’s an app for that” rhetoric some of us have grown up accustomed to hearing, an app for earphones not only provides a way to name the earphones, but also customise them, changing noise cancellation settings, an equaliser, profiles, and more.
Here on the EarFun Air Pro, the lack of an app means the Air Pro earphones are basic. Great, but basic, limiting the ability to maximise what they do.
Final thoughts (TLDR)
When I first heard the name “EarFun”, I didn’t hold out a lot of hope for the Air Pro earphones.
Boy, was I wrong.
The name feels like the sort of thing you’d expect from a cheap company, and will get a few laughs. I’ll admit that when I told other reviewers what I was checking out, there were giggles. It’s hard to blame them, too: “EarFun” isn’t a name connected with any established audio heritage, so it’s hard to give it the respect the company possibly expects.
Edifier is, however. With the Air Pro, EarFun has teamed up with a name folks who love audio are possibly quite familiar with, leveraging the audio company’s expertise to make the Air Pro something formidable.
The result is something that seems almost impossible: budget earphones that sound bigger than what they cost. It’s almost crazy, too. With the EarFun Air Pro, budget has never sounded so good. Simply put, these things really deliver. Recommended.