The Earfun Waves are a budget set of over-ear wireless headphones costing less than £35 or $50, supporting the latest Bluetooth 5.0 standard and with an impressive 40 hours of claimed battery life.
If you don’t need active noise cancellation but just good sound quality and battery life, without spending too much, are these worth considering? How do they sound compared to other headphones I’ve tried recently like the Mpow H10s and the Taotronics BH046s. Let’s find out.
The headphones come smartly packaged. Inside the box, you get a quality, branded hard case, the headphones themselves, a 3.5mm audio cable for a wired connection and a micro-USB – not the more modern and robust USB-C – charging cable. There’s also a pretty decent user manual buried at the bottom of the box.
The headphones are nice and compact and come folded with a quite snug fit in their case. The headband needs to be fully closed for them to fit.
The chunky earcups don’t have the 90 degree rotation of the other headphones I’ve tested recently. They just have a small amount of movement around their joint to the headband, which should still be enough for a comfortable fit.
They measure 180mm by 150mm x 80mm when folded expanding to 180mm when opened up. They weigh a very reasonable 267g.
Their build quality is very good – it’d be easy to mistake these for a set of headphones costing considerably more. They have a matte finish with earfun branding embossed on the outside of the earcup.
The underside of the headband and the earcups use a very soft synthetic material. The headband expands and contracts with positive clicks and there’s little creaking, flexing and twisting them. The snap as you fold and unfold the earcups is a little severe but I’ve not had any issues testing them over the last few weeks.
The left earcup just has the 3.5mm audio in port for a wired connection with the supplied cable – no battery power is required and as usual you should get the best audio quality too.
The right earcup has three thin and tiny control buttons with a multifunction button in the middle that turns them on and off, starts and stops playback and handles phone calls. A double press activates your voice assistant. The volume controls either side also skip tracks with a long press.
They are conveniently located for controlling them naturally with your right thumb, but I found it difficult to feel for the small buttons, particularly the middle one.
The bottom of the right earcup has the micro-USB charging port covered with a rubber seal. They don’t have any IPX rating, and the 3.5mm port isn’t covered, so I’m unsure whether this is really necessary, but it does add to their minimalist look. There’s also the status LED and microphone just up from the micro-USB port.
Charging the headphone’s 680mAh battery takes 2 hours at around 0.5A, with a 10 minute charge providing an emergency 2 hours of usage. You can’t maintain a Bluetooth connection whilst charging, but you could continue to listen via the 3.5mm port.
Pairing is quick and easy using the latest Bluetooth 5.0 standard. When you first turn them on with a 2 second press of the power button, they’ll enter pairing mode with the status LED flashing blue and red. Tap on Earfun Wave in your Bluetooth settings. The status LED will flash blue every few seconds whilst they’re paired.
To pair to another device, turn the headphones off with a 4 second press of the power button. Then press and hold the power button for 5 seconds to re-enter pairing mode.
They don’t advertise the feature, but they will pair to two devices simultaneously. Pausing music on one device usually allows playback on the other. When you turn them off and on again they’ll automatically pair to just one device – you’ll need to manually tap on the second device in your Bluetooth settings to connect.
If you have any connectivity issues you can reset the headphones by pressing the power and volume down buttons together for 5 seconds with the headphones on. Keep holding the buttons when the headphones turn off until the status LED flashes once quickly and there’s a confusing “pairing” voice prompt. Turn them back on and you’re ready to start again.
The Earfun Waves feel very comfortable thanks to the soft earpads and headband which also has good a good fit without feeling too tight or loose. Although they do get a bit warm if you’re wearing them for any strenuous activity.
Audio quality & performance
The 40mm drivers delivered much better sound than I was expecting. They are very well balanced even at higher volumes, with little distortion. There is decent bass, but it’s not overpowering the mids which come through with great clarity. For some tracks, particularly at louder volumes, sibilant sounds were quite harsh. This was noticeable over a wired connection too. In these situations I needed to reduce the volume for more comfortable listening.
But overall these a great sounding pair of budget headphones. And they’re pretty loud too, I found around 80% of maximum volume plenty for most of the music I listened to. There’s no accompanying app to control EQ. You may be able to use your phone’s EQ settings, but I didn’t find that necessary in the main.
The Waves don’t have aptX but I was pleased to see they do have AAC support for slightly better quality Bluetooth audio to supported devices.
You can listen to a comparison between the Earfun Waves, the MPOW H10s and Taotronics BH046s. I’ve recorded the following sound test with binaural microphones that capture stereo sound, to try and provide the closest representation of what I’m hearing. Please listen with headphones for the best experience. Use the timestamps below to skip ahead if you like.
Audio sync isn’t a strong point with these headphones. There was a very noticeable delay with YouTube on iOS but I even had an issue with YouTube on Android which normally copes much better. Netflix was ok on both platforms.
I got a good week’s use out of the headphones at around 70-80% volume, which is impressive. And the lack of active noise cancelling is an advantage here – I often accidently leave the ANC switch on and come back to a dead pair of headphones. There’s no such concern here.
The headphones use the latest Bluetooth 5.0 and the connection was generally reliable. Range was ok making it the next room of my 50s brick built house, but not further.
There’s no noise cancelling on the microphone and call quality was not great, even without any background noise. The microphone has a fair bit of crackle, but it is still usable and fine for occasional use.
There’s no ANC as already mentioned but the Waves do offer a small amount of passive noise reduction with their over ear design. Sound leakage was quite noticeable at higher volumes.
The Earfun Waves are a great sounding pair of headphones, even before you consider their budget price. They have a well balanced, bright sound and their huge battery life and compact design makes them great for travel or long commutes. The included hard case is handy here too.
I like the build quality and design and they’re comfortable, but I would have liked bigger buttons. My hit rate with the middle multi-function button wasn’t great. USB-C would have been nice too – especially considering the rest of Earfun’s range have it.
But if you have no need for active noise cancellation and aren’t going to use them too much for phone calls and watching YouTube videos, they are definitely worth considering. If you have a little more money to spend you could take a look at the MPOW H10s I reviewed recently – I’ll link to them on the on-screen card and down below. They have ANC and also sound very good.
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