Billed as “the world’s first carbon nanotube true wi-fi” earphones, the Crazybaby Air ($169) have a glossy design however are very very similar to each different true wireless (cable-free) pair we have examined. For individuals who aren’t acquainted, carbon nanotube know-how refers to not the included charging case, however to the diaphragm for the speaker drivers. From an audio standpoint, the earphones ship wealthy lows and sculpted, shiny highs. However they’re held again by numerous options which are something however user-friendly.
Obtainable in black or silver fashions, the Crazybaby Air’s most distinguishing characteristic is the included charging case. Formed like a tube, at first look it is laborious to even find a seam the place it opens, however the tray housing the earpieces slides out simply. It isn’t the primary tray-style charging case we have seen, nevertheless it’s one of many extra interesting-looking choices.
Impressively, the earpieces, which match very securely in every ear, are rated at IP66—this implies they’re protected against mud ingress in addition to excessive stress water coming from any course. Other than being submersible, which they aren’t, that is about as excessive of an IP ranking as you will get. Crazybaby additionally contains an adjunct known as the Air Leash—it fastens to every earpiece, making a neckband that holds the 2 items collectively.
The only button on the outer panel of every earpiece lights as much as let you recognize what mode you are in. The left ear’s button handles name administration and can summon your voice assistant, and the precise ear’s button controls playback, or with a number of faucets, observe navigation. Quantity management is lacking, which is a characteristic competing fashions have managed to incorporate with out making issues overly difficult.
Internally, the earpieces home a 5.2mm driver that makes use of the aforementioned carbon nanotube diaphragm. The benefit of the fabric is that it is exceptionally light-weight and thus can transfer exceptionally quick, permitting for extra correct audio replica. In fact, the fabric does not routinely create superb sound—the drivers nonetheless must be tuned correctly. There’s additionally a CSR chip in every ear that delivers what Crazybaby claims is a stronger-than-usual Bluetooth connection that ought to by no means drop out. We had zero drop-out points, however we truly hardly ever do with moden Bluetooth pairs.
A standing LED on the middle of one of many tube’s rounded ends tells you when the case is absolutely charged; the included (and extremely brief) USB-C charging cable connects to a port on the alternative finish. Past the Crazybaby brand and a small demarcation that traces up if you correctly shut the tray and seal the tube, the brushed exterior of the charging case is spare—the main focus is on the fabric and the form.
The earpieces snap into place magnetically on the slide-out tray contained in the charging case. You get 4 pairs of semi-transparent silicone eartips in numerous sizes, in addition to semi-transparent gels (Sport Sleeves) that wrap across the exterior of every earpiece and add stability to the match. These, too, can be found in small, medium, and enormous sizes.
The pairing course of is just not nice. The earphones behave very similar to the primary wave of true wi-fi pairs did—they take some time for some telephones to acknowledge them, and it is not at all times constant. Re-pairing is just not at all times automated, both. A number of instances, just one earpiece paired. This is a matter a lot of the competitors has labored out at this level.
There is a free Crazybaby app that, as soon as paired, will acknowledge the earphones. However you’ll be able to’t entry the EQ characteristic —the one cause to make use of the app—till you register the product. We have been unsuccessful in registering our gadget and gave in after a number of tries. For those who too are unsuccessful, there are myriad free or cheap EQ apps that may work simply positive with out asking on your private data or entry to your digital camera just like the Crazybaby app does.
The mic affords respectable intelligibility. Utilizing the Voice Memos app on an iPhone 6s, we understood each phrase we recorded, nevertheless it sounded distant, and also you solely hear audio in a single ear on calls.
As for the battery life, the earphones will get roughly three to 4 hours per cost, and the case carries about 12 hours’ value of additional costs. These numbers are approximate, and your quantity ranges will play a big function in how a lot life you get out of every cost.
On tracks with intense sub-bass content material, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the earphones ship thunderous low frequency response that may enchantment to bass fiends. At high, unwise listening ranges, there is not any distortion, and at extra reasonable ranges, the lows are nonetheless intense. It is essential to get a constant ear-to-ear match, nevertheless, or one ear will sound extra bass-heavy than the opposite.
Invoice Callahan’s “Drover,” a observe with far much less deep bass within the combine, offers us a greater sense of the Air’s total sound signature. The drums on this observe sound full and wealthy with out being overly bass-heavy—they get some low-end boosting, nevertheless it’s not excessive. The identical will be mentioned for Callahan’s baritone vocals—they’ve a pleasing low-mid richness to them. The guitar strums and better register percussion stand out—there’s some added brightness right here, whereas the bass presence appears positioned extra within the lows and low-mids and fewer within the sub-bass realm.
On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church within the Wild,” the kick drum loop’s assault will get loads of high-mid punch to permit it to slice via the layers of the combination, and the vinyl crackle usually relegated to background standing will get some added boosting and comes ahead right here. The sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat are delivered with stable presence, however they don’t seem to be as boosted within the lows as they usually are via bass-forward earphones. The vocals on this observe are delivered with stable readability, however somewhat added sibilance. This can be a extremely sculpted sound signature, with wealthy bass and shiny highs.
Orchestral tracks, just like the opening scene from John Adams’ The Gospel Based on the Different Mary, get loads of added bass depth, pushing the decrease register instrumentation ahead within the combine. The highs are boosted too, nevertheless, so the upper register brass, strings, and vocals, nonetheless personal the highlight. This isn’t a sound signature for purists—the lows stand out, and the highs are closely sculpted.
For those who might match the Crazybaby Air’s considerate bodily design with ease of use and higher apps, you’d even have a reasonably sturdy pair of wire-free earphones. Because it stands, the pairing course of is clunky, the app is annoying, and the audio efficiency is superb, however not astounding. Within the sub-$200 realm, our favourite true wi-fi choices so far are the Bose SoundSport Free, JLab Epic Air, and JayBird Run. The B&O Play Beoplay E8 earphones are costlier, but in addition an incredible possibility. It is clear that producers are nonetheless figuring this new class out, however that is not an excuse to ship a lackluster person expertise.