The $100 wireless earbuds poised to shake up the market
CLAIMING the title of "Airpod killers”, Padmate has big expectations of its new wireless earbuds.
The new PaMu Slide is about to enter production, aiming to stand out in a crowded market with outstanding playtime battery life and a carry case that can not only stores the earbuds but can also charge your smartphone.
Priced from about $100 ($70US), Chinese manufacturer Padmate is currently marketing its PaMu Slide through American crowd-funding website, Indiegogo.
Finding space in this highly competitive arena is tough work, but the bluetooth-paired Slide boasts a play and talk time of 10 hours - double the capacity of Apple's $249 Airpods 2 and the $329 Jabra Elite Active.
Sound quality is impressive whether listening to music, watching movies or Youtube ... although don't expect crystal clear returns similar to noise-cancelling over-ear headphones.
Ease of use is among the benefits as they pair quickly and easily via bluetooth. If they don't immediately pair to a previously found device, the Slide earbuds automatically move into a pairing mode and can be linked to any bluetooth enabled device.
One touch on either earbud stops or pauses music, or answer a call. Double tap declines a call, and long touches on the left earbud increase the volume, while the right decreases.
Double tapping the left can also engage the Siri or Google assistant functions, on the right it shifts to the next song.
Tapping provides great functionality without touching your primary device, but we did accidentally hang up phone calls on several occasions when trying to reposition the earbuds.
Charging is a simple process in the case provided. The top slides open (hence the name), and the earbuds magnetically drop into position and onto two small prongs. Small red lights show when they are charging or glow white when at capacity.
Five minutes of charge gives the case about one hour of life.
The case is a weighty little unit, and possibly too bulky for some pockets, but it offers up to six complete charges to deliver about 60 hours of play time. Our experience saw only one recharge needed over the past month.
One trump card is its ability to wirelessly charge compatible smartphones - simply double click the button on the case, turn it over and place your phone on top.
Crossfit athlete Brooke Hindmarsh put the earbuds through gruelling fitness tests.
"I traditionally don't train with earphones but during interval training the PaMu Slide buds stayed in place and blocked a lot of the peripheral noise,” she said.
"They were so easy to pair to my phone and was able to start streaming my music straight away.
"Making calls and watching videos there was no lag or drop-outs. But they are very sensitive to touch.”
Running proved more challenging for the earbuds to stay in place. Sweat-proof, the PaMu Slide were fine while jogging but exaggerated movement saw them shift in the ear canal and become loose - there are varying size rubber earbud covers which can help alleviate the situation.
Those chasing dedicated running earbuds would be better suited to the larger and less streamlined PaMu water-resistant earbuds we tested last year for a similar retail price.
The right earbud did separate at the join during our test, although these are only prototypes and the manufacturers say quality will improve once production begins.
Orders at the current price are limited, and manufacturers say the cost will rise to $290.
At $100 the PaMu Slide earbuds present as great value with standard-setting run time and the added bonus of being a mobile phone charger, but they will need to remain around that price point to maintain and edge against big names in the market like Apple, Sony and Bose.
For more information or to order, click here.
Price: About $100 ($70US)
Weight: 7g, single ear
Colours: Black, white, green.
Transmission range: 10m
Charging: USB Type C
Use time: 10 hours (call and play time)
Charging case size: 72x72x38.5mm