What’s New in the headphones World? The True Wireless Earbuds. If you haven’t tried one of these you need to.
These are different in comparison to the normal wireless headphones as both left and right headphones are independent, there is no joining cables.
The Samsung Gear IconX (Rs. 17,000) or the more popular Apple Airpods (Rs. 12,500) are the two high selling True Wireless Earphones. But today we are talking about relatively affordable Astrum ET300.
The Astrum ET300 costs Rs. 4,999, that is affordable in comparison to the Airpods or Icon X. Moreover, if you compare the truly wireless Bose Sound Sport( Rs. 18,999) or even the Sony WF-1000X (Rs. 12,999) these are quite gettable.
For a lot of people headphones with a price tag of Rs. 4,999 is insanely expensive, but if we consider the range of Truly Wireless Headphones, this is indeed low cost.
So What’s the Benefit of Buying a True Wireless Headphone:
- They look Stylish and Unique, different from conventional Wireless Headphones that everyone uses.
- Compatible With Future phones that lack 3.5 mm headphone jack.
- The Wireless Headphones save you from the struggle of managing cables.
So Now we have a little background about the true wireless headphones let’s begin our review of the Astrum ET300 without further ado.
UnBoxing the ET300
The headphones are neatly packaged in a White & Blue Box that is not too large. At the back of it you can find all the specs and necessary details. Inside the box, you get a pair of earbuds, Charging Dock, extra earphone caps, silicon ear-hooks, and a micro-USB cable.
A Pair of Earbuds, Earhooks 2X and Earbuds 3X, Micro-USB Charging Cable
- Impedance – 32 ohm.
- Driver – 8 mm driver
- Frequency Response – 20 Hz to 20 kHz.
- Bluetooth Version – 4.1
- Sensitivity – 105dB
- Playback time – About 2 Hours
- Charging Time – 1.5 Hours.
- Weight – 50 grams
- IP X5 Rating – Water and Dust resistant.
Build Quality And Design
The charging Dock (as shown in above image) has a glossy finish and comes with a poly-plastic build. The dock doubles up as a carry case, and you can easily keep your headphones inside it at all times when you are not using them.
Moreover, there is an On/Off button inside it that enables or disables the charging of earbuds.
A thoughtful design consideration is, the top surface is made translucent and shows the Red LED indication when the earpods are charging. At the back of the dock, there is a micro-USB port to charge it, which takes about 2 hours to charge from 0 to 100%.
Also, there are 4 white LED indicators at the back side of the dock that serves as a battery life indicator. Inside it, we have two grooves for resting the earpods that have magnetic pins for charging the earpods.
Aforementioned, the Astrum ET 300 earpods weighs 50 grams and that is a bit heavy. I am more used to the lighter earphones, even the iBFree Wireless earphones that I am currently using weighs less.
The earbuds have a slightly inclined design that makes them snuggly fit into the ear-canals. Add to it, the silicon grip (hooks) that makes them less prone to falling even when you are on the move. You can easily use these while exercising or jogging without fear of dropping it.
However, I have smaller ears and these came out once or twice while I was walking swiftly during my morning walk.
Also, the earpods are made of high-quality plastic and carry all the circuitry for producing the sound and pairing to Bluetooth devices.
Also, inside each of the earbuds, is a tiny battery that makes these work, all this adds to the extra weight.
Features and Usage
First, let’s talk about some of the exciting features and controls that ET300 offers :
There are no buttons on the earphones but these come with a touch interface on the earphone body itself. As these are true wireless buds, there is no controller for increasing sound or other functions.
Pairing with Your Android or Apple Phone:
Unlike most wired headphones that are straightforward plug and play devices, these take a little bit of time to understand. Initially, I was not able to figure it out but with some trial and error, I finally managed it.
There is a bit of a learning curve but once you get used to it, the process is straightforward.
Pairing ET 300 With Your Phone
Long Press the touch panel on both the earbuds simultaneously, the led indicator on both the earbuds will turn blue and will start blinking. Make sure that both the earphones are ready to be paired.
Next Open the Bluetooth connection on your phone and you will see “ET300” as Bluetooth device. Just press pair icon. If you have the earphones plugged in your ears you will be able to listen to the prompt that pairing is successful.
Power Off – You can turn off the earpods by long pressing the touch console on the earbuds and holding it for 4 seconds. Besides, the Bluetooth indicator will turn red and the earphones will shut down.
You can even pair a single Earphone with your mobile for making calls by long pressing the touch console on the earbud.
Touch Controls on the Earpods:
Play and Pause – While listening to a song on your favorite music App or on Youtube, tap once to pause the song and re-tap the earbud once again to resume the playback.
Next Track – You can tap twice on the touch console to move to the next track. However, there is no option to move to the previous track.
Charging the Earphones and the Dock
Charging the earphones is straightforward, you can simply place the earpods inside the dock and just make sure that the magnetic charging contacts are aligned properly. While charging, the earphones will display red light indicating the charging is happening.
Also, the dock comes with an inbuilt battery that can charge the earphones even without connecting it to the power source.
You can charge the earphones up to 3 times using the dock without a need for plugging the dock into a power adapter. Also, after listening to music for some time or watching videos, you can place the earphone inside the dock so they get charged.
Experience & Sound Quality
Coming to the meat of the matter, let’s first talk about the experience with the ET300. Initially, as I have also mentioned above, I found that there is a bit of a learning curve for using these earpods due to the unconventional touch interface.
If you are tech savvy or have used any similar earbuds before, you will not find it difficult. But for a newbie, it can be a bit of a challenge. Once you get past the troubles of learning to pair and using the earphones, you are good to go.
I like the nifty feature of just tapping it once to pause the song or tapping twice to move to the next song. Also, these look quite futuristic and a couple of family members, especially the young guys asked me about these and even they tried them.
I listened to several songs in the HD quality (Maroon 5, some Adele tracks, and Shape of You), also played several of my favorite Hindi numbers from Coke Studio and Songs with lots of instruments.
The first thing you will notice about the sound is, it is loud as these come with the 105dB sensitivity. You can easily listen to music in the outdoor conditions, however, these do not have an active noise cancellation found on some more expensive headphones like the Sony WF-1000X.
The music experience on ET300 is average, the soundstage is not that wide. I have experienced better sound on some of the less expensive wired or wireless headphones. The bass is there but it is more hollow than deep and vocal and mids overpowers the highs and lows.
Watching videos and making calls is a better match for these than to use these for listening to music, especially if you are an audiophile.
I made some calls using the earphones and it works without any issues.
The call audio is clear and loud but there is a setting as shown in the image above that you need to enable to listen to calls.
The Astrum ET300 are affordable true wireless headphones and to compare these to the Gear Icon X by Samsung or the Airpods will not be fair. Both those earphones cost at least 2X more than the ET300.
While the ET 300 looks superb and voguish, they still lack the punch for an Audiophile to give up the old wired headphones. However, since a lot of companies are moving away from the 3.5 mm headphone jack there is a case to switch to wireless experience in near future.