Price £45 (Discount at the end of this article)
True wireless earbuds can be an extravagant purchase, particularly from megacorps like Apple and Sony. Before saving up for those AirPods, then, it’s worth taking a look at the smaller brands that are making big strides in affordable earbud solutions. Enter EarFun, whose recent EarFun Free Pro were touted as the world’s smallest ANC (Active Noise Cancelling) wireless earbuds and cost less than half of a pair of AirPods.
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With EarFun’s Free 2 ‘buds, the brand strives for high-quality audio products at even lower prices. These sit at a modest £45 and boast aptX codecs, low-latency modes and more high-end features, which may have you wondering if they’re too good to be true.
The Free 2 earbuds look quite different to EarFun’s Free Pro, with a bulkier design that reminds us of Samsung’s Galaxy Buds+ and Jabra’s Elite range. This design makes room for the dynamic composite drivers, which deliver an impressively deep low-end and fairly neutral mid-range.
However, much like their stablemates, the Free Pros, their high-frequency response isn’t quite glistening. You’ll still find them enjoyable for casual listening, streaming, podcasting and gaming, but if you’re after pristine audio quality, they fall a little short. This might be a fair trade-off, given the price.
Comparing the EarFun Free 2’s audio quality to the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro, we find Soundcore’s offering gives us much more clarity in the high-end and distinctly deeper sub-bass. However, the Liberty 2 Pros will set you back a further £55 for this luxury.
The Free 2s support Qualcomm’s aptX Bluetooth codec, making them capable of audio playback at around 352kbps. That’s higher than the AAC codec found on earbuds such as Apple’s AirPods Pro, but the real-world difference is minimal. Comparing the AAC codec to AptX highlights a slight difference in clarity when listening to Justice’s distortion-heavy Waters of Nazareth, but it doesn’t make a significant impact on our listening experience.
What the aptX codec does mean, however, is that the Earfun Free 2s are marginally better equipped for high-resolution streaming services such as Tidal and the imminent Spotify HiFi. Plus, thanks to its Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, you’ll be able to sport the buds at a distance from your playback source and experience swift pairing.
Moving on, we test out the Free 2’s 60ms Super Low Latency Mode, which the company touts as being ideal for video and gaming experiences. We trial it for music-making – specifically tapping in a drumbeat on Reason Compact. The latency is low, that’s for sure, but you may need to reach for the quantise button for faster passages. You may also notice a slight crackle in the signal from time to time, which can be off-putting. However, for gaming, this shouldn’t cause any problems.
You’ll want low-latency mode off when you’re listening to music, though – that crackle comes in fairly often and can be pretty distracting. This is easily toggled by holding the pad on the left earbud. As with the EarFun Free Pro, the Free 2s are packed with several touch controls – nine in this case. If you’re interested in mastering these, you’ll need to refer to the manual several times.
These earbuds come in a case that easily fits in your pocket and charges them for a further 23 hours. In total, you can listen to the Free 2 for 30 hours before needing to plug in a USB-C charger. They’re also IPX7 Waterproof with SweatShield Technology, making them suitable for working out and listening outdoors. With three bud sizes to choose from, you should find them relatively secure when in the ear, too, as long as you’ve picked the correct size.
EarFun’s new true wireless earbuds don’t come without their imperfections. At £45, though, it’s hard to criticise the brand too much for its efforts, particularly when competing earbuds can fetch upwards of £150. You’ll be more than happy with this purchase if you’re looking for an everyday pair that are a fun listen with a smart design and impressive battery life.
Discount Code: FREETWO1 (10% off at checkout)
- True wireless earbuds with Bluetooth 5.2
- aptX Codec for 352kbps playback
- 60ms low latency mode
- 30-hour playtime with charging case, wireless charging compatible
- IPX7 water resistance
- Dynamic Composite Drivers
- Touch control functionality