EarFun Sets Record for Lightest ANC Wireless Earbuds with New EarFun Free Pro

December 7 2020, 00:50
EarFun is one of those consumer brands, established in 2018 by an experienced group of industrial designers and acoustic engineers, focused on next-generation wireless audio devices and leveraging their manufacturing network in Shenzhen, China. Committed to deliver solutions that use the latest technology and improve sound quality, the EarFun engineering team has been pushing the envelope on how affordable and sophisticated true wireless earbuds can be. With the new EarFun Free Pro, the brand seems to have come full circle.

For their latest EarFun Free Pro, the company took the successful formula of their previous EarFun Free model and improved on every area: audio quality, wireless connectivity, controls, battery life, and most dramatically, weight. The new EarFun Free Pro wireless earbuds with ANC are on sale for just $59.99 MSRP.

Confusing the market message - and reveling that Earfun is not even certain of what will be the main differentiator for their new design, which is extremely light, at just 4.1 grams each individual earbud - the company describes the EarFun Free Pro as the "world's smallest active noise cancelling true wireless earbuds," but we doubt that consumers will focus on that claim. 

The original EarFun Free was an example of how leveled the true wireless earbuds segment already is, with a model that exuded quality and provided more than the price tag indicated. It featured Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C charging, and the company's proprietary SweatShield waterproof technology, which earned it a CES 2020 Innovation Award. Two years later, and anticipating the virtual CES 2021, the company launched the Free Pro, significantly upgrading the design in every respect.

It seems that for EarFun, having active noise cancellation and having up to 28 dB noise cancelling is clearly no longer the focus. The form-factor is also difficult to highlight as a selling factor - even if EarFun does attempt to compete directly the fact that the EarFun Free Pro are in fact extremely compact when placed in the ear, and much less visible when compared with any recognized model from the major brands.

While the EarFun Free was already light and comfortable, and of course the company also tried the AirPods design route with the EarFun Air and the recent EarFun Air Pro with hybrid ANC (up to 38dB), the company now focused on reducing the size and the weight. The new EarFun Free Pro shaves off almost a gram and a half, leaving a feather-like 4.1 grams, which "sets a record for the lightest available ANC earbuds in the world." (Something that would be hard to verify, but there's no harm in claiming).

"The benefit here is obvious, an extraordinarily lightweight earbud that is less likely to fatigue the wearer. Not only is there a noticeable weight decrease, the earbuds have been scaled down in size, adding to the lightness and barely-there sense of presence. While the Free Pro is a smaller pair compared to its predecessor, it still maintains a robust and solid appearance, this time vying for more squared lines rather than circular curves," the company states.

This is all the more noteworthy since underneath this feather-weight design is an embedded Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) processing solution, which uses the built-in microphones to enable Ambient Sound Mode, allowing users to let the environment sound in without the need to pause or stop the music altogether and providing environmental awareness and allowing for momentary interactions. Call quality is another area that receives a significant upgrade. Where the Free had 2 microphones, the Free Pro hosts a newly developed Enhanced 4-Microphone Noise Cancellation (ENC) Technology that makes tremendous improvements in call quality.

And wireless connectivity also makes gains since EarFun reveals its latest design adopts the latest Bluetooth 5.2 protocol, increasing security and extending the connections range up to 49ft (15m). The company also details that, thanks to Bluetooth 5.2, the Free Pro will offer lower-latency performance, improving video streaming and gaming experiences, while its lower-power communication also helps to extend the earbuds battery life.

On the audio design side - always an interesting aspect for companies who basically have access to all state-of-the art components and production methods - the Free Pro received updated Dual Composite Dynamic Drivers, measuring 6.1mm, which the company says helps to generate balanced sound with "weighty and punchy bass." Keeping the music in rotation, the Free Pro offers 7 hours of playback on a single charge, with an additional 25 hours using the USB-C charging case for a total of 32 hours. The provided USB-C case also receives wireless charging compatibility, while fast charging is also possible with a 10-minute charge giving 2 hours of Playtime.

Single Earbud Mode makes also allows for either earbud to be used independently - a feature that remains unsupported to date by the majority of wireless audio brands. EarFun also opted to allow users ti manage music and calls using Touch Controls housed on each earbud. A single finger press to the exterior of either earbud allows people to engage all the necessary toggle functions including Voice Assistant, preventing the need to reach for the phone. Each earbud is rate IPX5 for sweat and water resistance.

The new EarFun Free Pro earbuds are now available at myearfun.com and Amazon.com.
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