MEElectronics Air-Fi AF32 Bluetooth Headset (Red/Black) review: MEElectronics Air-Fi AF32 Bluetooth Headset (Red/Black)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.7
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 8.0

Average User Rating

4 stars 10 user reviews
Reviewed:
Updated:

The Good The MEElectronics Air-Fi AF32 on-ear stereo Bluetooth headphones are comfortable and relatively affordable, offering good sound quality for Bluetooth standards. They have a built-in microphone for making calls, are rated for 12 hours of battery life on a single charge, and can also be used as corded headphones (cable included).

The Bad They don't fold flat, and the on-ear design makes your ears steamy in warm weather.

The Bottom Line The MEElectronics Air-Fi AF32 Bluetooth headphones are very solid for the money.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

After I favorably reviewed the Creative WP-350 Bluetooth headphones ($79.99), the folks over at MEElectronics contacted me to tell me that they also had a pair of $79.99 stereo Blueooth headphones, the Air-Fi AF32, claiming better performance than the Creatives.

Like Creative, MEElectronics is known for being a value brand that delivers good bang for the buck, so I expected the AF32s to be good -- and they are. They feature a comfortable on-ear design with padded red earpieces and a glossy black finish on the band. They seem pretty well built and the band is nicely padded at the top. One small gripe I had is that while the headphones fold up, they don't fold completely flat so it doesn't sufficiently shrink their footprint when you do break them down. Regardless, a simple canvas carrying case is included for storage.

Aside from that criticism, they do get high marks for comfort level, even more so than the Creative WP-350s. I had no problem wearing them on a 30-minute commute every day to and from work. They feature a similar fit to the Sennheiser HD 238i headphones (a non-Bluetooth model), but they will make your ears a little steamy on warmer days.

I did get a pretty tight seal on my ears, and these headphones do a decent but not great job blocking the outside world. In terms of controls, you get three slim buttons on the right earcup that are all the same size. Once you memorize what each is for (bottom for volume, middle skipping tracks, and top for power and answering/ending calls), you can do everything by touch without taking the headphones off.

It's worth mentioning that these can actually be used as corded headphones, which is a nice bonus because you really get a sense of the difference between listening to music over Bluetooth and over a wired connection. One small irritation: you charge the headphones via that headphone port with an included USB cable to 3.5mm adapter. I prefer it to recharge with a standard Micro-USB connection, because if you lose the AF32's charger, you'll likely need to buy another cable unless you happen to have another one lying around (most people have a Micro-USB cable to charge other electronics).

Like other Bluetooth headphones I've encountered, pairing your smartphone, tablet, or other Bluetooth-enabled device with these guys is easy enough, though you'll run into an occasional snag from time to time. Also, expect to have some drop-outs now and again; that's par for the course for Bluetooth, which has an estimated range of 30 feet.

The AF32s performed well for Bluetooth headphones in this price range. In going wireless with Bluetooth, you have to give up some sound quality because it compresses your music over the wireless signal and has a tendency to flatten sonic detail. You'll get some of that with these headphones, but like the Creative WP-35s, the sound quality holds up pretty well against that of comparably priced wired headphones.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

 

Discuss MEElectronics Air-Fi AF32 Bluetooth Headset (Red/Black)

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy See all prices

MEElectronics Air-Fi AF32 Bluetooth Headset (Red/Black)

Part Number: CNETHP-AF32-RB-MEE
MSRP: $79.99 Low Price: $59.99 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Type headset
  • Headphones Form Factor on-ear
  • Weight 4.1 oz
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Connector Type mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm
  • Additional Features adjustable headband
    foldable