Groov-E Air Buds Review - Are Half-Price AirPods Too Good To Be True?
Apple’s Air Pods are far too overpriced for what they are… There, I said it.
Consumers know it - either steering clear or taking a plunge and pretending they were totally worth the money (yes, I’m talking about you, friend). And companies know it too, evident through the explosion in wireless earphones with “air” in the name.
Step up Groov-E - a relatively unknown company that you may find in various UK high street stores. The Air Buds chop that price in half to just £60 and sport what looks to be a pretty stellar spec sheet.
However, as the saying goes, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
They boast Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity. The reality does not reflect that, with a choppy experience and one ear bud constantly losing connection.
As for audio quality, Groov-E promises “impressive stereo audio quality,” but with not actually letting you know the sound range, that rings some alarm bells. Unfortunately, my suspicions are confirmed - overwhelming bass and a lack of high-frequency capability leads to a rather tinny sound that crackles regularly under the usual stresses of slightly higher volume, to block out the traffic.
Oh, and that built-in microphone? Good luck using that without a megaphone in anything other louder than the quietest of Doctor’s waiting rooms, as they can barely pick up your voice in favour of the entire world around you.
Turns out only two lines from the spec sheet seem to be realistic.
Firstly, battery life - comfortably hitting 3 hours of playtime and up four full recharges from the case in my testing.
And second, wearability. There is no denying the Air Buds are comfortable in the ear. They don’t feel weighed down by any extra battery, nor do they feel intrusively deep in the ear canal. Much like Goldilocks discovery of Baby Bear’s porridge and seating arrangements, they are just right - in all situations from listening while sitting down, to your average jog.
But all the comfort and battery life in the world don’t make up for a sound-based product that doesn’t do sound so well.
Don’t let the similar name fool you into thinking these are worth the £60 of your hard earned money. I’d recommend waiting for Groov-E to iron out these problems in a second (or third) generation.
I tested my set of Groov-E Air Buds with an iPhone 8 Plus.