The wireless earbud marketplace is a crowded one with electronics manufacturers determined to help us sever the umbilical cord from our phones to our ears. The latest entrant into this Bluetooth battle is EFM who have just released some very attractive wireless earbuds.
Available in jet black, rose gold and white to match your phone, these handsomely designed earbuds give you 7 hours of music and hands-free talk time with 4.5 days standby. Only two sizes of ear gels come in the box (small and medium) along with a charging pod to store the earbuds in.
Such a sleek minimal design comes with a loss of ease of use and functionality however. Each earbud has one large button which controls power, playback, pairing and answering calls. The trouble is that it is very easy to accidentally push the button when adjusting the earbud in your ear and attempting to pair with your phone or the other earbud can be maddeningly frustrating as music is stopping and starting and the power is switching on and off.
Sound quality is not great, but at this price point acceptable. Music on the EFMs sounds a bit tinny and hollow when compared with the more expensive Fitbit Flyer or Apple Earpods. The EFMs are much better suited for listening to podcasts or audiobooks.
Being earbuds with no cable to join them together I had my doubts that they would stay in my ear during my daily commute, but to my surprise they sit very nicely in my ears and never feel as though they are about to fall out. They are rated for rain and sweat resistance, however I would not recommend using them for exercise as activities like running will make them drop out.
And speaking of drop outs, interference is a problem. All Bluetooth devices suffer from it but the EFMs don’t even like it when I put my phone in my pocket. I’ve been carrying my phone in my hand while I walk just so I can keep listening.
The earbuds also have small microphones built in for truly hands-free phone operation. Sound quality is good, but I couldn’t help but feel a little self-conscious standing in the street seemingly carrying on a conversation with myself. The EFM Wireless earbuds are really better suited to using at your desk, at home in bed or anywhere that you won’t be moving too much. They are just too susceptible to interference to be used reliably outdoors.
- Nice design
- Stay in place
- Siri and Google Now connection
- Battery life
- Music sound quality
- Unintuitive controls