Price $80/£70 (plus 20% discount code below)
EarFun has done it again. For the third time in a row, the award-winning audio manufacturer has impressed MusicTech with another pair of affordable wireless active noise cancelling (ANC) earbuds. This time, EarFun has opted for a design that’s reminiscent of Apple’s industry-leading AirPods Pro. However, EarFun’s Air Pro 2 manages to trump AirPods Pro’s listening time and high price tag, and boast vital features that keep up with rival brands. But can they really compete on audio quality, connectivity and ease-of-use, where it truly matters?
As the name suggests, the Air Pro 2 earbuds are the successor to EarFun’s Air Pros. The update brings a sleeker stem design, ANC with a further 2dB noise reduction and wind noise reduction, longer playtime and enhanced dynamic drivers for an “authentic and balanced sound”, EarFun says. Plus, the price tag remains an appealing $80/£70.
Air Pro 2 comes with a compact charging case that can easily fit in your pocket – if a little bulkier than Apple’s AirPods Pro case. You’ll get seven hours of playtime on a single charge, with the case providing a further 27 hours. We seldom had to charge up the buds in our six weeks of testing. Conversely, our AirPods Pro require regular charging, with just four and a half hours of playtime on a single charge.
Connecting the Air Pro 2s to your Bluetooth device is as easy as you’d expect, with the earbuds reconnecting to the previously paired device when taken out of the case again. This is a little frustrating if you’re switching between a laptop and a phone, but if you listen on only one device, you’ll have no hiccups. You should also have no issues with connection when walking around an office or house, with very few dropouts, even when a wall gets between you and your device.
EarFun has achieved excellent ANC in the Air Pro 2, dramatically reducing outside noise when activated. It’s competitive with AirPods Pro’s ANC, and their Normal mode disables ANC and lets a little bit of noise in – though, frankly, this isn’t a mode that we found ourselves using. Ambient Noise mode is the equivalent of AirPods Pro’s Transparency function, allowing you to hear your surroundings.
EarFun’s Ambient Mode could be more effective by temporarily reducing the volume of your music while activated. At high volumes, it’s tough to make out what’s happening around you. Take out one earbud, though, and playback will stop, resuming again once reinserted.
To switch between listening modes, you’ll need to touch and hold the head of the left earbud. Touch and hold the head of the right earbud, and you’ll activate your device’s voice assistant. You can also pause, play, skip and jump to a previous track, adjust volume, and answer and reject calls.
As we mentioned in our review of EarFun’s Free 2 earbuds, 10 different touch controls can be tough to master. EarFun should have taken a leaf out of Apple’s book and made the stem of the Air Pro 2 touch-sensitive to make other controls less confusing.
We compared the sound of Air Pro 2 to Apple’s AirPods Pro, too. We found that Air Pro 2 lacks clarity in the high-end, making for a darker listen but slightly emphasises bass frequencies, which some listeners may love. Unfortunately, though, Air Pro 2 only supports SBC and AAC Bluetooth codec, meaning it’s capable of a maximum of 320kbps data transmission, or ‘compressed lossy’ audio quality (equal to Apple’s AirPods Pro).
- Jungle’s Romeo sounds rich through the Air Pro 2, pronouncing the mids of the delicate guitar and Bas’ layered vocals and backing vocals. The sub-bass is defined, and the gritty synth stab packs a punch. AirPods Pro boast a more open sound with clearer highs, despite holding back on lower-end sounds.
- Channel Tres’ bass-led Topdown sounds exciting on the Air Pro 2, thanks to the accentuation of the low-end. The AirPods Pro offer a more balanced sound and give the claps and high parts more clarity whilst maintaining the excitement of the bass. We prefer the Air Pro 2 ever so slightly here, thanks to its robust low-end performance.
- Little Simz’ Woman sounds fantastic on Apple’s AirPods Pro, allowing Little Simz and Cleo Sol’s vocals to shine brightly atop a defined backline of organ, strings, bass guitar, boom-bap drums and adlibs. EarFun’s Air Pro 2 struggle slightly, with the low-end being a touch too pronounced. Regardless, the track still sounds great, and we enjoy listening with Air Pro 2.
A lack of low-latency mode makes the Air Pro 2 impractical for mobile music-makers. There’s a noticeable delay which makes it near-impossible to play notes or pads in time with a backing track, no matter which app you use. For that reason, we recommend these earbuds for general listening and referencing rather than for music production – business as usual, then, for wireless earbuds.
For consumers and day-to-day listening, EarFun’s Air Pro 2 are ideal. They’re seriously affordable, provide great sound quality, and boast a capable feature set. We’ve already recommended the earbuds to friends, and we’d certainly recommend them for listeners on a budget.
With more extravagant earbuds such as the AirPods Pro, Galaxy Buds and NuraTrue, you’re equipped with more advanced and nuanced features that will give you a streamlined experience. We’d love to see quirks like personalised sound, aptX HD Bluetooth codec, SharePlay, and a dedicated app, but the price of EarFun’s products would likely be less appealing with such capabilities.
- 40dB Active Noise Cancelling, Ambient Sound and Normal listening modes
- 7 hours playback time, plus additional 27 hours with USB-C charging case
- IPX5 sweat & water-resistant
- In-ear playback detection
- 10mm titanium composite dynamic drivers
- Touch controls and voice assistant activation