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Everything you need to know about the Galaxy Note 9!

A look back at one of 2018's best phones."Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."Ferris Bueller said it best back in 1986, and that sentiment applies perfectly to the Android landscape. It feels like new phones are coming out every single day, meaning your current phone is probably a lot older than you may think.The Galaxy Note 9 was released back in August 2018, meaning it's quickly approaching its second birthday. In regards to smartphones, that's basically a lifetime. The Note 9 is no longer a hip and modern phone we actively recommend people buy, but if you still have the device yourself or are simply interested in learning more about it, that's what this article is for. Without further ado, here's everything you need to know about the Galaxy Note 9 in 2020.Looking back at the Note 9Read and watch our reviewsOne UI 2 is now availableCheck out these tips and tricksNeed accessories? Look hereThe…

EarFun Free review: You can't do much better for $50 true wireless earbuds

Another day, another great earbud value.

I'll be honest — I had a hard time coming up with a way to start this review. I've tested a ton of true wireless earbuds over the last few months, with one of the drawers in my office closet now dedicated to holding all of them.

They all start to blur together after a while, offering the same basic experience but with little tweaks here and there. Taking a look at Amazon, I have to imagine it's just as difficult for these companies to make a dent in the true wireless market with so many competitors out there.

Recently, I was contacted by a company called "EarFun" to review its EarFun Free earbuds. I've never heard of these before, and looking at the Amazon page, they sounded a lot like other earbuds I'd previously reviewed. Seeing as how you can't judge a book by its cover, I decided to go ahead and try them out.

The EarFun Free are not perfect earbuds and are far from the only ones in this price range, but if you decide to pick them up over one of the many alternatives out there, I think you'll be rather happy.

EarFun Free

Bottom line: It's incredibly hard to stand out in the market for true wireless earbuds, and while the EarFun Free aren't a complete home-run, they do deliver a pretty good experience for the money. The EarFun Free have one of the comfiest designs I've ever encountered, long battery life, wireless charging, and an IPX7 rating for water-resistance. If you can overlook some Bluetooth wonkiness and the generic case, there's a lot to like for not much money.

Pros

  • Extremely comfortable
  • Passive isolation is excellent
  • Good, reliable audio
  • IPX7 water resistance
  • 30 hours of total battery life
  • USB-C and Qi wireless charging

Cons

  • Inconsistent Bluetooth connection
  • Case is cheap-feeling and bulky

$50 at EarFun $58 at eBay

EarFun Free What's fun

Looking at the EarFun Free, they don't look like anything special at first glance. The earbuds themselves have a pretty common waterdrop-esque shape with customizable ear tips, which is something we've seen a hundred times before.

These are some of the most comfortable earbuds I've ever worn.

I don't really care that the earbuds have a generic design, though, because these things are insanely comfortable. It's hard to pinpoint exactly why they feel so good to wear, but the EarFun Free fit almost perfectly in my ears, cause virtually no discomfort, and go in with ease. Also, because of the fit being so good, the EarFun Free offer some of the best passive sound isolation I've experienced.

Fit/comfort is a pretty subjective thing seeing as everyone has differently-shaped ears, but at least for my personal experience, the EarFun Free excel with flying colors.

Speaking of the design, EarFun offers an IPX7 rating for sweat and water-resistance. Combine that with the extreme comfort mentioned above, and the EarFun Free stand out as a fantastic pair of workout buds.

Also offered is the usual array of playback controls. Both the left and right earbud have playback buttons, which can be used as follows:

  • Tap once — Play/pause
  • Tap twice — Control volume
  • Tap three times — Skip/next track
  • Tap and hold — Active your phone's voice assistant

All of the controls have worked as intended, and while using them does mean you have to press the earbuds deeper into your ears, the good responsiveness of the buttons has made using them as comfortable as possible.

Looking at the included charging case, it's not without its own strengths. You'll find a USB-C charging port on the back, in addition to support for Qi wireless charging. EarFun promises up to six hours of use for continuous playback, with the charging case offering another 24 hours — for a total package of 30 hours. Whether you refuel the case with USB-C or Qi, you get two hours of use after just ten minutes of charging and a completely full charge after one and a half hours.

Finally, I suppose we should talk about how the EarFun Free sound.

They're good! The earbuds tend to favor the low-end with great bass output, but overall, it's a fairly generic sound that gets the job done and not much more. You'll get better audio with something like the Key Series EP-T18NC, but those also cost considerably more money.

For as little as EarFun is asking for the earbuds, there's not too much to complain about in this department.

EarFun Free What's dull

EarFun obviously had to make some cuts in order to hit the price that it did, and that's most apparent with the charging case.

Having USB-C and Qi wireless charging is great, but the case itself is far from the best I've ever used. It's made out of a very lightweight plastic, the top portion feels like it could snap off without too much hassle, and the overall form factor is definitely on the larger end of the spectrum. You don't buy true wireless earbuds for the exquisite design of their case, but even at this price, I think EarFun has some room for improvement.

As for complaints about the actual earbuds, I have just one.

The Bluetooth 5.0 connection to my Pixel 4 XL has been rock solid, but for whatever reason, the earbuds don't play nicely with my iMac. They connect to it just fine, but after using them for a few minutes, they'll automatically disconnect and then reconnect but refuse to play any audio — forcing me to manually disconnect and reconnect all over again.

I'm not sure if this is an isolated issue with my specific unit or not, but it definitely caused for some annoyance using the EarFun Free.

EarFun Free Should you buy them?

Whether or not the EarFun Free are your first choice when it comes to true wireless earbuds, I really do think they're worth checking out. EarFun isn't asking much money for the earbuds, but in spite of that, you get a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Audio quality is perfectly adequate, there's legit water resistance, the in-ear feel is amazing, and you even get wireless charging.

For $50, it's seriously impressive just how much is on offer here.

The problem for EarFun, however, is that it's not the only company offering great value. The TOZO T6 are a perfect example. They cost the same, have a sturdier charging case, and (at least to my ears) sound better. That said, you get Micro-USB charging and they aren't quite as comfy.

4 out of 5

That's what so much of the true wireless earbud market is — a sea of choice with minuscule differences between each model. The EarFun Free may not be super appealing to you, and if not, there are plenty of other options out there. However, if they do strike a chord with you, buy 'em up. They're about as good as you get for earbuds this cheap, and a perfect antidote to the likes of AirPods Pro and Pixel Buds.

EarFun Free

Fun for your ears (and wallet)

It's incredibly hard to stand out in the market for true wireless earbuds, and while the EarFun Free aren't a complete home-run, they do deliver a pretty good experience for the money, especially for some of the comfiest earbuds I've used to date.

$50 at EarFun $58 at eBay



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