A review of my new Bluetooth earphones

Adel Gabot

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3:06PM

I have a hell of a lot of headsets. A hell of a lot. Some of them come from my old days as tech reviewer for Technoodling and the Inquirer but most of them I bought for myself.

I guess I like them because they were an essential part of my old job/career/hobby of being an FM disc jockey. I began using them as a trainee in 1983 in DWRK-FM. and ended as president and announcer of my network in DWKX-FM in 2004. Over two decades of using one headset or another for at least four hours everyday. More if you count my time as commercial producer.

After I began my journalism and publishing career, I still used them, largely just for listening to my music, and stupidly kept buying them. I have around ten pairs now, ranging from elaborate sets that wrap comfortably around your head and envelop your ears in the sound and experience, to simple, inexpensive earbuds for daily use.

I especially loved my old Bluetooth earphones because they did away with the pesky cords. I wore them everywhere I went, listening to music, radio programs, podcasts, anything you could think of, and you couldn’t separate me from my BTs. But I simply used them to death, and now they’ve given up the ghost. I miss them.

Which is why I finally got another pair.

I must admit, it took me over a year to finally buy another set. I made a case for not buying by telling myself that all the headphones are the same, it’s just that some have cords and cables, and some don’t. Since I had a bunch of them already it would be wasteful to get another pair.

But it isn’t quite the same.

Often, I like to listen when I’m out, and having to use a pair with a cord and sticking it to your player and being bothered with it dangling and hanging off your person is at the very least troublesome and irritating. Fine if I’m just stuck somewhere, in the house or in an office and don’t have to move around. Cables are fine then. But what if you’re mobile and out and about?

So I finally got another pair, this time an Awei A920 110dB Smart Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Sports Stereo Earphone Noise Reduction with Mic (Gold), to use its official name. It’s inexpensive, costing a little under a grand, and is made in China. It can connect simultaneously to two devices, has HD audio, noise reduction and has “explosive bass.” At least that’s what it says on the packaging (which is coincidentally very nice and professional looking).

It’s a deceptively simple contraption, and its cord is a bit shorter than I’m comfortable with, but it’s ok on the whole. It’s not as bulky as my late, lamented old pair. It’s basically two (gold) earbuds connected by a cord, and along the cord is a tiny contraption where all the controls are, and the battery. There are buttons for song selections and volume control. You charge it using a microUSB port on the control pod for an hour, and the power lasts for around another four to six, depending on use.

You wear it around the back of your neck, with the control pod hanging off on the right side. The pod has a microphone on it so you can use it talk to people on the phone. The best thing about it is that the two earbuds have a magnet inside each, and attaches to each other when not in use, forming a de facto necklace of sorts and keeping it from falling off your neck.

I paired it with my iPhone, and it works fine, although it’s a bit bassy when you’re playing music (no doubt a function of that “explosive bass” feature). It’s certainly nice and loud. It cuts down on the noise some, but I haven’t really tried it in a very noisy environment yet, so that remains to be seen. Calls are loud and clear, too.

I plan to use it with my iPhone, iPad, iMac, Macbook Pro and Apple TV. So far I’ve just paired it with the phone, but I’ll get around to connecting it to the other devices soon. I’m going to test this thing to death and bring it around with me whenever I go out of the house.

Time will tell if this earphones will last. My experience with inexpensive pairs has been that one or the other bud will fail soon, or it may stop connecting, or the power will gradually shorten until it doesn’t charge at all. I give it three months, and if it’s still fine then, I expect a couple of years of satisfaction with it.

I’m pretty happy with it so far.


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