The folks from EarFun, which includes some former employees from budget audio favorite Tribit, have been trying to get me to review the startup's new Free true wireless earbuds for a while. Unfortunately, when I received my first review sample, I could only pair one of the earbuds to my phone -- the buds wouldn't join up into a stereo pair. But I've had much better luck with a second review sample, and after using it for a few weeks, have determined that it's a notch up from the gaggle of no-name generic true wireless buds on Amazon and a bargain at less than $50 (and sometimes less than $40).
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What's most impressive about the EarFun Free is the features: Bluetooth 5.0, both USB-C and wireless charging, and fully waterproof (), according to their specs. Do they sound fantastic? No, but they sound surprisingly good for their low price. They don't have quite the clarity of higher-end true wireless earbuds that cost $150 or more, but they do have plump bass and enough detail to avoid sounding dull. Wearing them for an hour straight, I didn't experience any listening fatigue, which is a big win when you're listening to budget-priced buds. They also play plenty loud (for me anyway).
Getting a tight seal is vital to maximizing the sound quality, particularly the bass. But when I used the largest of the included tips I didn't have a problem getting a comfortable, secure fit with a tight seal. I was able to run with them in my ears (they're pretty lightweight and not too bulky). This type of fit, however -- where the ear tip dips into your ear canal -- isn't for everyone. It's a noise-isolating design so you get some passive noise cancelation, which helps when you're walking around a noisy city like New York.