EarFun, the company that puts the musical fun straight into your earholes, is back with its new hybrid noise-canceling EarFun Air Pro 3 buds, with some tidy improvements over its last earbud release, the EarFun Air S.
Crucially, the driver size increases to 11mm, and there’s better battery life, improvements to ANC, and, interestingly, support for LE Audio and aptX Adaptive.
It’s all built into a tidy, lightweight package with a nice case, and all in all, the EarFun Air Pro 3 look like a great set of earbuds for under $100.
EarFun Air Pro 3 Style and Comfort
You can typically break EarFun’s earbuds down into two distinct styles. Its “Free”range of earbuds are just that—stemless in-ear buds, like the EarFun Free 2 and EarFun Free Pro 2, while its “Air”range of earbuds come with a stem and more closely resemble the classic AirPods design many people know and love.
Weighing 5.2g (0.18oz) per earbud, the EarFun Air Pro 3 is a comfortable set of buds. They come with four silicone ear tip sizes—extra small, small, medium, and large—which should mean you’ll find the perfect fit for audio and general comfort levels and shouldn’t experience any ear fatigue or pressure. During testing, I wore the EarFun Air Pro 3 for hours at a time and didn’t experience any issues. The grille is also a standard fit, so you’ll be able to fit your own tips to the Air Pro 3 if you so wish.
As mentioned, the EarFun Air Pro 3 bud and stem are primarily black, with a grey offset at the rear and a circle at the top indicating where the touch controls live. It’s not a mindblowing, revolutionary design, but it’s certainly tidy, and I liked the smooth edges and overall roundness of the buds.
The charging carry case is a similarly all-black affair with a clasp lid that is easy enough to open with one hand, then take the earbuds out with the other. The lid clicks softly into place on closing, and although the magnetic latch is relatively strong, I did manage to throw the earbuds across the room when attempting to flick it open while testing. In fairness, this was with some considerable force, which explains why the EarFun Air Pro 3 buds went for an unscheduled trip, and perhaps a testament to EarFun’s build quality that the earbuds were unscathed on retrieval. Either way, just be careful.
It’s a smooth, plastic case that weighs 41.6g (1.47oz), which is also quite lightweight. The Air Pro 3 case will fit happily into most pockets for easy carrying, something that is always welcome.
EarFun Air Pro 3 Battery Life and Bluetooth
Part of what makes the EarFun Air Pro 3 interesting is the use of Bluetooth 5.3, the latest Bluetooth version, and the use of an all-new Bluetooth codec called LC3.
LC3 stands for Low Complexity Communication Codec, and the new codec effectively compresses audio for better and more consistent transmission over the air. Now, all Bluetooth codecs transmit over the air, but sustaining audio quality while compressing it usually results in a poor experience. At least, you’re not hearing your audio as it was designed to be heard, which is why wired headphones always deliver the best audio experience.
For comparison, Bluetooth’s mandatory audio codec, SBC, has a transmission range between 240kbps to 345kbps, while LC3 transmits 160kbps to 345kbps. Furthermore, LC3 uses Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE), which uses less energy than the older SBC format that uses the original full-fat Bluetooth.
Unfortunately, with all this said, I have no devices that currently support LC3, so I cannot tell you what it sounds like or if it compares to or is better than SBC. Still, it’s good to see a company making an effort to include a new Bluetooth codec on a set of earbuds that are very accessible.
Alongside the new LC3 codec, the EarFun Air Pro 3 support Qualcomm’s aptX and aptX Adaptive, the latter of which allows adaptive audio streaming between 279kbps and 420kbps, with 16-bit and 24-bit available for high-resolution audio. AptX Adaptive is always worth using when available, as when your connection is strong, it will sound that little bit better.
The EarFun Air Pro 3 battery life is good, delivering up to seven hours of playback with ANC enabled, rising to nine when you switch it off. During testing, the Air Pro 3 was there or thereabouts on both counts, so EarFun’s battery rating is accurate. The carry case comes with an additional 37 hours with ANC, rising to 45 hours without.
I spent most of the time listening using the aptX Adaptive, but it would have been useful to see if the Bluetooth LE LC3 codec made any real difference to battery life. There probably wouldn’t have been much in it, but Bluetooth LE is a low-energy alternative.
Handily, the Air Pro 3 features fast charging, grabbing you a solid two hours of playback on a rapid ten-minute charge. There is also a wireless charging option, while wired charging comes from the USB-C port at the rear of the case.
EarFun Air Pro 3 Sound Quality and ANC
The EarFun Air Pro 3 has a similar sound profile to other EarFun products, bringing the same quality and overall fun sound. Of course, these aren’t audiophile earbuds, but the audio from the 11mm dynamic wool composite drivers will sound good to almost anyone who listens to them.
The elevated bass isn’t outrageous, though, and doesn’t dominate the audio or make it sound unwieldy. You’ll notice some extra oomph and depth on bass-forwards tracks, which can make it sound either bouncy and fun, or a little too much at times. It never really gets muddy, though, you can still hear the mid-range well enough, including on tracks with low-range mid sounds. I found the tuning to suit male voices a little more than female, perhaps due to the focus on the low-end, but the vocals sound clear and accurate enough.
Using the default EarFun EQ setting works well, and while the Air Pro 3 doesn’t have the widest soundstage, you won’t be disappointed with how these earbuds sound for less than one hundred bucks. Furthermore, you can adjust the EarFun Air Pro 3 EQ using the companion app, which features a six-band EQ—you can read more about the companion app in a moment. I didn’t fiddle with the EQ tuning all that much as it’s best to give you the impression of the out-of-box sound, but it’s always handy when companies give you the option to make changes as you see fit (even if six frequencies isn’t particularly extensive).
Overall, the EarFun Air Pro 3 sounds good, doesn’t distort easily, and, most importantly, brings your music to life when you want it.
The Air Pro 3 ANC also works well, blocking out a good range of background noise during testing. While walking through town, you’re given a sense of isolation from the hustle and bustle, but as with ANC on most earbuds, the sounds of a rumbling bus or the high whine of a flight remain, albeit significantly reduced.
EarFun Air Pro 3 Microphone Quality
The microphone quality of the EarFun Air Pro 3 is good. Testing them out in my car while chatting and driving, the buds managed to cut out a decent chunk of the various beeping and other noises you’d expect. The clarity of voice while making a call indoors was also very good, with my voice heard with excellent clarity by the caller. As the EarFun Air Pro 3 feature six microphones and include Qualcomm’s cVc 8.0, you can expect decent audio quality and noise suppression.
EarFun Audio App
If you pick up a pair of the Air Pro 3 buds, you’ll want to download the EarFun Audio app, available for Android or iOS.
The EarFun Audio app features a customizable EQ, which you can use to tune the Air Pro 3 to your liking. As mentioned above, the EQ has six frequencies to adjust, which isn’t loads but enough to make some tweaks. You can also save your custom EQs, which is handy for switching between genres.
You can also customize your touch controls, which, by the way, work well and are responsive, update the earbud’s firmware, and change between the various ANC modes.
Should You Buy the EarFun Air Pro 3 Earbuds?
The EarFun Air Pro 3 earbuds retail for $79.99, which for the sound quality, comfort, battery life, and ANC, is a very competitive prospect.
You’ll often find more expensive earbuds failing in at least one of these areas. While the EarFun Air Pro 3 doesn’t necessarily excel in any of them, the earbuds hit the mark and do well, making them a well-rounded set of earbuds that cost way less than $100.
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