The wireless earbud trend is gaining steam, and I for one welcome earbuds that aren't connected to anything, not even to each other, by wires. It's futuristic and so cool to just tap or press a 'bud to answer a call or play and pause your music.
Many of these wireless earbuds can be pretty expensive, so when offered LiteXim's Aerobuds for review, I took the opportunity to see how the budget wireless earbuds segment is coming along. It's uh… It's getting there.
Price: $60Bottom line: The Aerobuds are convenient and connect well, but they're lacking in the sound department.
- Painless setup
- Battery life is solid
- Light and fit very well
- Passive noise isolation is excellent
- LED indicators are all over the place
- Sound quality is underwhelming
- Bluetooth connection isn't all that strong
LiteXim Aerobuds What I like
First and foremost, the best thing the Aerobuds have going for them is passive noise isolation. You put these in your ears and the outside world goes away, leaving you to just enjoy your music. The Aerobuds are so adept and blocking out sound that I can actually play the drums along with music without the need for extra ear protection. I normally wear construction earmuffs over regular earbuds, but with Aerobuds I don't have to.
The convenience of totally wireless earbuds is also a massive boon — popping them in your ears without hiding a cable under your shirt or any of that nonsense is gold, Jerry. Gold. I'm also really impressed with the call quality you get. I'm told by people I've called that the microphone is very quiet, which is understandable since it's so far from your mouth, but the audio coming in is actually quite decent.
The Aerobuds and their included charging look great. They're all black and they're not huge like other wireless earbuds I've used. They fit well, don't fall out while I'm jogging, and they're quite comfortable.
LiteXim Aerobuds What I don't like
The sound. I was so disappointed when I first turned the Aerobuds on and connected them to my phone. I figured they look great, they don't feel cheap — surely they'll sound as good as they look. Alas, no, and this is where they lose points. At their core, headphones are for enjoying music, podcasts, and whatever you like to listen to. Take the enjoyment out of that aspect, and all the convenience and good looks are meaningless.
The Aerobuds are all mids. They do have a rather present low end, which is relatively warm, but the high end has no punch whatsoever. Music sounds very flat and muffled — cymbal strokes lack that satisfying crispness and vocals can just plain get lost in the mix.
The earbuds themselves and the included charging case feature LED indicators to let you know when they're charging, but they may as well not have them at all. They're supposed to be red when charging, then turn white briefly to let you know they're fully charged, and then turn off. I've never once seen the white indicator, and the LED on the charging case just stays red, even if I leave it charging for over 24 hours. I've seen Amazon reviews that mention the same issue. It's just plain broken.
One earbud is louder than the other, and that's a weird problem. It's not super noticeable while you're listening to music, but when powering the Aerobuds on, the right 'bud says it's connected loudly and proudly, while the left mutters the sentiment. I understand that only the right earbud is active for calls, which probably explains this problem, but still.
Lastly, the connection isn't always consistent. While the Aerobuds connect to my phone quickly, they don't seem to hold onto it all that well. I've worn these while mowing the lawn and jogging, and there's a hiccup at least once per song. It's minor, but it's annoying as hell.
Are these the best truly wireless earbuds on the market? No. Are these the best budget truly wireless earbuds you can buy? Likely not, but for $60 they're certainly worth a try. If you're an audiophile, look elsewhere, but if you don't mind taking a few minutes to get used to how your music sounds through these, then go for it.
To their merit, the LiteXim Aerobuds set up easily, connect quickly, and have superb passive noise isolation. They just lose big marks when it comes to sound quality and a consistent connection.
Mick is a staff writer who's as frugal as they come, so he always does extensive research (much to the exhaustion of his wife) before making a purchase. If it's not worth the price, Mick ain't buying.