These days when it comes to headphones, or earbuds for that matter, going wireless is where everything is heading. We’ve all had the displeasure of dealing with wired headphones and getting ourselves in a tangled mess so going wireless is quite the liberating experience, especially when it comes to exercising and listening to music.
Samsung and Apple have been the dominant force when it comes to earbuds but 3SIXT have entered the market now and with a price point of $149.95 make for a great alternative without breaking the bank. Price is one thing though but if performance isn’t up to par then you’d just be throwing your money down the drain. Thankfully 3SIXT have come up with a pair of earbuds that balance price and performance.
The first thing to note with the 3SIXT BT Studio True earbuds is that the case they come in is actually a charged in its own right. That’s right, you don’t need to have the case plugged into power all the time in order to charge the earbuds. This is quite handy especially if you are planning on taking the earbuds with you on a commute to and from work. You can plug the case into power, charge it up then unplug it and use it to charge the earbuds during the day. The earbuds will get about 3 hours on a single charge so there is enough juice in them to get you through the main parts of the day when you are likely to use them but if you do need a top up throw them back in the case and within 15 minutes you’ll have enough juice to buy you another hour of juice. 3 hours on a full charge is a little on the light side but for most people that shouldn’t be a problem. I tend to only use earbuds when I’m either travelling to or from work or when I’m exercising so the battery life in the earbuds isn’t a particular problem for me.
When pairing them up it is a two stage process, first the earbuds will pair with each other then they will pair with your phone. When you take the ear buds out of the case a brief message will play to tell you they are paired but you need to be quick. The message plays very quickly after taking them out of the case and a few times I missed the message or just the tail end of it before I’d got them in my ears. They will pair with Android and iOS phones and tablets as well as macOS and Windows PC devices that have Bluetooth 4.2.
The earbuds are also IPX4 certified. I’m sure most won’t know what that means so allow me to explain. In short IPX4 means that the earbuds are sweatproof. They will work perfectly fine while running or at the gym but they aren’t waterproof so don’t try swimming with them or staying out in heavy rain because you’ll quickly find out that water and these earbuds are not on the best of terms. I’d like to see the next iteration fully waterproof which would add a lot of value.
In terms of fit, the earbuds come with a few different sized gel tips to fit a variety of ear holes. Getting the right fit is important to not only ensure you get the best sound performance but also so they don’t fall out on you while they are in use. The first time I went on a run I had the wrong sized gel tips in so as I was running I could feel the earbuds slipping out. Changing the gel tips though fixed this so I’d recommend putting them in and then doing some on the spot jogging or jumping just to test the fit to ensure everything is snug and not going to fall out mid-exercise.
There is also a built in microphone on board so you can answer calls without needing to grab your phone out of your pocket. It’s a handy feature to have and works well. I took calls while out running and had no issues, other than having to stop so it didn’t sound like I was trying to talk while having a heart attack (I’m an unfit beast so believe me when I say you don’t wanna hear me trying to talk while running). The buttons on the earbuds are what allow you to take (or reject) calls as well as skip through audio so it pays to have a read of the manual before you use these so you know what button does what.
All that is well and good but sound quality is the main thing you wanna know about so let me fill you in. As the name would suggest, 3SIXT says these earbuds produce studio quality sound. In a practical sense they certainly aren’t far off that. As mentioned before, to get the best sound quality you need to make sure you have the right gel tips in for your ears so you get a nice snug fit. When you get the fit right, the sound quality is very solid especially for the price compared to the likes of Samsung and Apple. Listening to music is a pleasant experience with a good level of bass coming through without drowning out vocals. I’d say that in terms of low, mid or high sound profiles these earbuds would fit right in that mid-range. In essence what you get is a good all-round performance for bass and treble. Volume levels are also good and at any level, mix well with the sound profile. When I’m out running I of course have them set louder so that I can drown out the outside world but when I’m travelling or out around people I set them lower so that others don’t hear my terrible taste in music.
Wireless earbuds are an absolute joy to use. Super convenient and of course there are no wires. They can also be pretty damn expensive which has held them back. Thanks to 3SIXT the day of affordable, good quality earbuds has arrived. Anyone who is keen to get into this wireless earbuds craze should take a close look at the 3SIXT BT Studio True Earbuds because at a price of $149.95 they are very hard to beat.
3SIXT BT Studio True Earbuds are available in New Zealand through the 3SIXT website, Noel Leeming, Newslink, Spark and Tech2Go.