Really wi-fi earphones (particular person earpieces that are not related by a wire) are a rising class, and like all new tech, you are paying a premium to be among the many first to get in on the motion. At $99.99, Altec Lansing’s True Evo earphones are extra reasonably priced than a lot of the true wireless choices we have examined. They characteristic a easy, waterproof design with a safe in-ear match and a plethora of included eartips. Additionally they include a novel charging case that is suitable with wi-fi Qi charging bases. When it comes to audio efficiency, they ship super-boosted bass response that may attraction to low-end lovers. On-ear management choices are restricted, however in the end the earphones ship respectable efficiency for his or her comparatively cheap value.

Design

A easy black plastic-and-rubber design makes the True Evo one of many extra nondescript true wi-fi pairs we have examined currently. Apart from the delicate white Altec Lansing emblem on the earpieces, there’s little or no ornamentation. The case, too, is matte black, with a rounded contour and a metallic-looking lid on high. Press a button beneath the lid, and it pops open, revealing the docked earpieces.

The earpieces are massive, like all true wi-fi pairs. They press towards your ear barely to stabilize and take strain off of the ear canal. An IPX6 ranking means the earpieces are water-resistant and might deal with rain, sweat, and even a fast rinse beneath the tap.

To pair the earphones, you press and maintain each buttons, positioned on the outer panel of every earpiece, for a couple of seconds. That is about as streamlined a pairing course of as we have skilled on this class. Every earpeice has an LED that flashes varied colours to explain varied modes and battery charging eventualities—they sync up in gradual blue flashes when pairing is profitable.

The outer panels of the earpieces are additionally the buttons, and that is barely problematic. If an earpiece feels free, urgent it in your ear is the pure response, however it’s going to begin or cease playback, or worse, energy the earphones down. You be taught not to do that, but it surely’s not perfect.

The actual situation with the controls is their lack of, effectively, management. The buttons energy up, energy down, activate pairing, and deal with name administration, however after that, they solely management play/pause and summon your cellphone’s voice assistant. You possibly can maintain a button down for 3 seconds to reject an incoming name—however do not unintentionally maintain it down for 5 seconds, as that turns the facility off. There aren’t any quantity controls or monitor navigation controls. If you wish to skip a monitor or regulate quantity, you may must do it in your cellphone itself, which is not perfect.

On the plus facet, Altec Lansing features a beneficiant array of in-ear match equipment. In all, there are six pairs of silicone eartips and three pairs of froth eartips in varied sizes, in addition to three pairs of FreeBit earfins (S, M, and L) that assist guarantee a safe in-ear match. For my ears, the froth ideas provided a vastly safer and secure in-canal match than the silicone ones. A black drawstring carrying pouch for the eartips and case can also be included.

Battery life is unimpressive (and par for the course), at roughly 4 hours on a full cost. The charging case carries an extra 16 hours or so, and is the primary Qi-compatible case we have seen on this class. You possibly can cost it through the included cable, or by merely inserting it on high of a Qi wi-fi charging base, although you may want to produce your individual.

The mic gives better-than-average intelligibility. Utilizing the Voice Memos app on an iPhone 6s, we may perceive each phrase we recorded, with out a lot in the way in which of fuzzy audio artifacts. However like practically all true wi-fi pairs we have examined, the audio is in a single ear solely throughout calls.

Efficiency

On tracks with intense sub-bass content material, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the earphones ship some severe thunder. At high, unwise listening ranges, there is no distortion, and at average volumes, the bass depth remains to be fairly intense. That is undoubtedly a pair that may attraction to bass lovers—particularly when worn with the froth eartips, which improve the low-end much more.

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Invoice Callahan’s “Drover,” a monitor with far much less deep bass within the combine, sounds prefer it has intense thunder by means of the True Evo’s drivers. The drums sound bass-heavy and large, and Callahan’s vocals are wealthy within the low-mids, however obtain some good added readability within the high-mids and highs. The acoustic guitar additionally advantages from some sculpting within the excessive mids. It is a considerably balanced sound signature that leans towards the lows, with some sculpted high-mids to maintain issues crisp.

On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church within the Wild,” the kick drum loop would not obtain fairly the high-mid presence we’re used to listening to, thus its assault sounds barely much less edgy and sharp, however nonetheless has some good punch to it. The drum loop will get some additional bass thump although, and the sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat are delivered with severe gusto. It is a bass-forward sound that may scare off anybody in search of an correct combine, however will attraction to these trying some added thump for his or her exercises.

Orchestral tracks, just like the opening scene from John Adams’ The Gospel Based on the Different Mary, sound borderline ridiculous by means of the True Evo, with a boosted bass response that pushes the decrease register instrumentation to unnatural ranges. The crispness of the upper register brass, strings, and vocals remains to be there, but it surely’s matched by some low frequency boosting that’s not often this intense on tracks of this nature. I’d advocate utilizing the silicone eartips, on the very least, in case you plan to hearken to orchestral or jazz music on these—that ought to dial the bass presence again barely, although it’s going to nonetheless be highly effective.

Conclusions

Each pair of true wi-fi earphones we have examined up to now have at the very least a few drawbacks, and the Altec Lansing True Evo aren’t any exception. For the value, nevertheless, points like mediocre on-ear controls are simpler to get previous. The earphones ship thunderous bass, if that is what you are after, and do not distort. Should you’re keen to spend extra, you may get extra nuance in sound division. Our favorites are at the moment the Bose SoundSport Free, B&O Play Beoplay E8, JLab Epic Air, and Jaybird Run, all of that are considerably or considerably dearer than the True Evo. So if you’d like a cable-free expertise and $100 is your restrict (and you’re keen on boosted bass), the True Evo earphones are value a pay attention.