Everybody loves an underdog, right? While major tech companies like Apple and Samsung continue to dominate the earbuds market, Hong Kong-based company EarFun is making a small splash with its line of fun, affordable products.
And there’s the key word: affordable. While the latest generations of Apple AirPods and Galaxy Buds will have you spending well into the triple figures, EarFun has wisely noticed that not everybody has the resources to spend on these (admittedly fantastic) earbuds. Advances in tech mean that there’s now a burgeoning market out there for true wireless earbuds that can cost well under £100 – such as the EarFun Free Pro.
But low in price doesn’t necessarily mean light in features – and the EarFun’s major claim on behalf of the Free Pro is that they are the world’s smallest noise-cancelling earbuds. On top of that, they boast a low-latency feature that’s aimed squarely at gamers who want to minimise the lag between what they’re seeing and what they’re playing.
Forgive us, though, if we’re a tad suspicious of such features being included in a device that’s priced at just under £60. So how did the EarFun Free Pro perform when we put them to the test? Read on for our full, hands-on review. And to see how these earbuds compared to other budget-friendly options, make sure you look at our best budget wireless earbuds round-up.
- What are the EarFun Free Pro?
- How much are the EarFun Free Pro?
- EarFun Free Pro design
- EarFun Free Pro features
- EarFun Free Pro set-up
- Our verdict
- Where to buy
EarFun Free Pro review: summary
Ultimately, we were really taken with the EarFun Free Pro, and we would most definitely recommend them to anybody seeking out a budget-end set of true wireless earbuds. They’re not perfect, with a fiddly button-tapping interface that will take a little perseverance, but they were a comfortable fit and delivered a solid level of ANC given the price. But one thing that’s missing is an app where you can control the low-latency and noise-cancelling features from your device.
The EarFun Free Pro earbuds are available at Amazon.
The EarFun Free Pro are EarFun’s cheaper pair of ANC true wireless earbuds. Other earbuds in the EarFun range include the EarFun Air Pro, which deliver noise cancellation to a higher decibel level (38dB), and the EarFun Free, which are the most basic earbuds in the brand’s range and don’t feature any ANC tech.
What do the EarFun Free Pro do?
The EarFun Free Pro offers the following features:
- Audio playback via a Bluetooth 5.2 wireless connection
- Noise-cancelling ANC mode
- Low-latency mode for gaming and movies
- IPX5 sweat- and water-resistant
- Compatibility with wireless chargers (except for MagSafe charging)
- Your device’s voice assistant can be activated via the earbuds
The EarFun Free Pro have an RRP of £59.99.
Are the EarFun Free Pro good value for money?
Yes – while the ANC tech doesn’t compare to significantly more expensive earbuds like the AirPods Pro, the EarFun Free Pro more than hold their own at the budget end of the market. The fact they fit so comfortably is no minor win either in a product at this price, either – these will serve you in good stead during your commute, run or gym session.
The EarFun Free Pro are essentially rounded rectangles that, unlike lots of other earbuds, go backwards across your ears rather than forward. Like the Skullcandy Indy ANC, they feature a convenient two-component eartip design – the inner part goes into your ear canal; the outer part features a little hook that lets you lift them from their case. We found the eartips already in place on the EarFun Free Pro were a perfect fit – but if that’s not the case for you, then there are another three sizes in the box to try out.
We would be lying if we said they were the prettiest earbuds out there, but they are – as EarFun is so eager to remind us – the small ANC earbuds out there, measuring 20mm across the face and 25mm from face to eartip. Where other earbuds from the likes of Skullcandy and Beats are pretty ostentatious, these are small and unassuming.
The compact nature of the EarFun Free Pro extends to the case, which measures a svelte 67mm by 25mm by 31mm. They’re available exclusively in black, although there was a limited-run Oluv Edition available for some time, specially tuned by the musician Olaf Lubanski.
Given the EarFun Free Pro’s price, we went in with measured expectations, but we were happily surprised by their sound quality. Certainly, bass-lovers will be pleased by the lows that are delivered – the funky bass track on Thundercat’s ‘Them Changes’ was resoundingly deep and clear. The mids and highs suffered and grew a little tinny as we pushed the volume to the max – but in terms of volume itself, these earbuds won’t disappoint.
The ANC feature also delivered well. In the marketing blurb, EarFun says the Free Pro’s noise-cancelling tech will mask out sounds of up to 28dB – to give you some context, a nearby whisper averages at 30dB. It’s in environments with this kind of low-level ambient noise that ANC works most effectively: ideal if you’re worried about returning to the office after many long months of working in silence at home.
Unfortunately, the Free Pro suffer from an overly complex UI that will likely take some patience and gritted teeth to master. Unsurprisingly, given how small these earbuds are, the designers have decided to eschew any actual buttons or toggles in favour of a sensor-tapping system across both faces. You’ll most definitely need to consult the manual for these: some commands require double-taps or even triple-taps on specific earbuds to activate. And they’re not entirely intuitive: to increase and decrease the volume, you’ll need to slowly tap either earbud. Tap any faster, and chances are you’ll pause whatever you’re listening to instead.
The Free Pro certainly aren’t the only earbuds out there hampered by such a convoluted system of commands – you can read our Skullcandy Indy ANC review to see how those earbuds had similar issues. But with the Indy ANC, you could always resort to using the Skullcandy app on your device to activate features like noise-cancellation. This sadly isn’t the case with these earbuds since EarFun has yet to put out their own app.
What is the EarFun Free Pro battery like?
In normal mode, EarFun advertises the Free Pro’s battery life as seven hours by themselves and 32 hours with the charging case. With the ANC switched on, that drops to six hours or 27 hours with the charging case. After testing these earbuds for a day, we found those figures were accurate.
We were also impressed by the charging times, which were also advertised accurately. The Free Pro will return to full power after an hour in the case, while the case itself will charge in two hours via the included USB-C cable. If you own a wireless charger, the case will charge in three and a half hours – though it’s not compatible with Apple’s MagSafe magnetic charger.
Setting up the Free Pro on our iPhone was an exceptionally smooth process. Since they came pre-charged and automatically entered pairing mode when removed from their case, we had them playing music in our ears in less than a minute.
Inside the white-coloured packaging, you’ll find the EarFun Free Pro inside their case, already charged and ready to go. Beneath that, there’s the extra eartips, a frustratingly short 10cm USB-C charging cable, as well as the instruction booklet. Like we say, best hang on to these: you’ll probably need to consult it as you get the hang of the sensor-tapping commands.
If you want to keep your spending to a minimum, these are most definitely worth the purchase. There’s a trade-off in terms of sound profile and ANC quality, but that’s to be expected in these budget-end earbuds. The tapping system is annoying, but that’s counterbalanced by the compact design and comfy fit.
Maybe it’s EarFun’s little-guy position on the market that makes us fond of these wireless earbuds – the next thing this young company really needs to do is channel its energies into an app befitting its products.
Features (average): 3.5/5
Sound quality: 3/5
Value for money: 4/5
Overall rating: 3.5
At present, the Ear Fun Free Pro is only available from Amazon.
Looking for new home audio too? Don’t miss our best smart speaker round-up.