These $80 Earbuds Are Some Of The Best We’ve Ever Tested For The Price

These $80 Earbuds Are Some Of The Best We’ve Ever Tested For The Price

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EarFun has quietly become a major player in the wireless earbuds space, delivering premium audio quality for decidedly non-premium prices. The company’s EarFun Air have long reigned as our best budget earbuds pick, with other models like the EarFun Free and EarFun Air Pro serving as strong runner-ups.

The EarFun Air Pro 2 are the brand’s latest higher-end option, offering useful features such as active noise cancellation and a Transparency mode for a very competitive $89, and which sometimes drops to way less. After using them as my main headphones for a week, it turns out I’m not in any rush to go back to my much more expensive Beats Fit Pro. Here’s why.

Great sound on a budget

The EarFun Air Pro 2 wireless earbuds are an excellent choice for budget-conscious shoppers who want good sound, great battery life and decent noise cancellation for less than $80.

What we liked Premium sound, comfort and features on a budget Mike Andronico/CNN

The biggest compliment I can give the EarFun Air Pro 2 is that after switching over from my much more expensive Beats Fit Pro, I don’t feel like I sacrificed much in terms of sound quality and comfort. EarFun’s buds have pumped out my daily playlists with satisfying crispness and clarity, whether I’m enjoying walls of distorted guitars in my favorite punk tracks or bathing in the somber guitars and quiet crooning of Phoebe Bridgers’ discography.

I often dread donnin a cheap pair of earbuds, but the EarFun Air Pro 2 feel fantastic. The buds’ soft silicone tips immediately formed a comfy and secure seal in my ear, to the point where I never gave them much thought as I wore them during walks and long hours of working. And if you need something bigger or smaller, you can swap in one of three additional sets of tips that come in the box.

The EarFun Air Pro 2 offer both active noise cancellation (ANC) for blocking out unwanted noise and an ambient sound mode for better hearing your surroundings — two features you’ll rarely find on a pair of earbuds at this price. The earbuds’ ambient noise capabilities were reliable for amplifying the sounds of cars and pedestrians when I was out walking my dog, while the ANC effect was pretty subtle compared to that of my Beats Fit Pro. While I wouldn’t necessarily rely on the Air Pro 2 for a noisy flight, I appreciated having some degree of noise canceling and the ability to let outside sounds in when I needed them..

Lots of controls and superb battery life While I generally prefer earbuds that have physical buttons, I found the EarFun Air Pro 2’s tap controls to be both reliable and incredibly expansive. Using a combination of different taps and holds, you can do everything from basic pausing and playing to switching sound modes and even adjusting the volume. I was especially happy with the latter, as even expensive models like the AirPods Pro don’t offer on-ear volume control.

Speaking of outdoing pricier earbuds, the EarFun Air Pro 2 have some of the best battery life of any pair of wireless earbuds I’ve tested recently. After a full charge, the Air Pro 2 got me through nearly three full days of regular on-and-off use (while using a mix of ambient noise and active noise cancellation) before the buds and case finally ran out of juice. I also appreciate that the Air Pro 2 case offers wireless charging — something you won’t find on other budget earbuds like the Pixel Buds A and even more expensive models like the Beats Fit Pro.

What we didn’t like A decidedly budget design Mike Andronico/CNN

The EarFun Air Pro 2 may outperform pricier competition in some areas, but they still look like a pair of budget earbuds. Their long stems make them appear more like a black knockoff of the standard 2nd Gen AirPods, a design that I generally find to be unsightly and outdated compared to the slicker Galaxy Buds, Pixel Buds and Jabra Elites of the world. The plastic charging case is bulky, feels cheap and accrued a good amount of smudges and scratches after a few days in my pocket.

Call quality isn’t the best The EarFun Air Pro 2’s microphones will get the job done for quick calls, but I wouldn’t recommend picking these earbuds up to use for important work meetings. The recordings I captured using EarFun’s buds, while audible, were noticeably fuzzy and distorted. I got similar feedback when calling a friend, who noted that he was able to hear everything I was saying, but that I also sounded distant.

Bottom line Mike Andronico/CNN

If you can find them on sale, the EarFun Air Pro 2 are among the best budget earbuds you can buy. Their sound quality and comfort rivals much more expensive models, and you’ll get some decent noise canceling and ambient sound capabilities for the price.

Those who want something more subdued and stylish for a similarly low price should go with the $79 Jabra Elite 3, which also benefit from better call quality and a companion app for customizing your sound. And if your budget is firmly under $50, the standard EarFun Air — which deliver a similar experience but without ANC and ambient noise — remain our best wireless earbuds pick for the wallet-conscious.

How the EarFun Air Pro 2 compare to other earbuds we tested EarFun Air 2 Pro

EarFun Air

Jabra Elite 3

Google Pixel Buds A

Active noise cancellation Yes No No No Transparency mode Yes No Yes No Water resistance IPX5 IPX7 IP55 IPX4 Battery life (rated) 7 hours (earbuds only); 34 hours (with case) 7 hours (earbuds only); 35 hours (with case) 7 hours (earbuds only); 28 hours (with case) 5 hours (earbuds only); 24 hours (with case) Wireless charging Yes Yes No No

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