In the world of wireless bluetooth earbuds – it’s Apple against everyone. Samsung and other companies have released their wireless earbuds but the AirPods still seem to be the gold standard. Now, another company is ready to take a run at Apple with a unique approach to charging up those buds. I took an early pre-production version of the Aipower Wearbuds for a test.
The Aipower Wearbuds combine a fitness tracker watch with wireless earbuds. The buds click into the side of the watch. While docked in the watch not only is it a convenient place to store your buds but it also charges them up. The watch has a full color display and performs basic fitness tracker functions including tracking your steps, your run and your heartbeat. It’s a pretty basic fitness tracker and even the company’s founder says this product is a set of earbuds first with the watch/charging dock being a bonus.
The earbuds pop out from the side and are surprisingly small. Delightfully small! They are super light and with a slight turn they fit nice and snug in my ear. Pairing with my phone was a pretty simple process. Once they are paired, whenever you pop them out from the watch they automatically turn back on and reconnect to your phone. They work exactly as you would hope and expect.
As I mentioned, the earbuds are designed to be the star of this product, not the watch. So how do they sound? In my testing (again, these are pre-production units) they sound pretty good! You have to consider how small these Wearbuds are. There is no hanging stick like the Airpods and most people may not even realize you have them in your ears.
The sound is crisp and clear and there is some good bass from the music I tested. I saw “some” good bass because you have to temper your expectations a little bit. You simply can’t and won’t get the type of sound and bass response you get with large over the ear headphones. Nonetheless, I was impressed by the sound coming from these tiny wireless earbuds that pumped out more bass than I expected.
My biggest gripe is that the watch is bulky. It measures nearly an inch in thickness on your wrist. It’s big and people will likely notice it. I really like the convenience of having the charging case on your wrist instead of you pocket but this isn’t a watch I would wear 24 hours a day. It’s not designed to be worn 24 hours a day. The founder telling me he expects people will strap it on when they go for a jog or head to the gym and then take it off when their workout is over. This makes total sense, it’s more a charging case on your wrist than a fitness watch. Which is totally OK with me.
The Aipower Wearbuds are breaking the mold, re-thinking how we charge wireless earbuds and how good tiny earbuds should sound. The fitness band/charging case idea makes total sense and the buds sound great. Even better, the buds are so tiny and light that you almost don’t notice them when they’re inside your ear. The watch is a bit bulkier than I hoped but still a better option that carrying around a charging case in your pocket. I love the idea and think Aipower did a great job putting together a unique design for wireless earbuds.
You can order the Aipower Wearbuds currently on Kickstarter starting at $99 and shipping in the Fall.