Wires and cables have been cluttering up our digital lives for far too long. Over the last few years though, we’ve seen gadgets like wireless speakers growing more common in living-rooms and Samsung and others are using wireless charging to help set us free from cluttered bedside tables.
Now, headphones are getting the wire free treatment. The new Elyxr Air Earbuds are an attempt to get rid of the wires whilst adding some clever features that make it easier to stay powered up while you’re on the move.
Opening up the Elyxr Air box provided a surprise. These earbuds are tiny. Many Bluetooth headphones use a cable to connect one to the other, but these are small individual headphones that you pop in to each ear and they link wirelessly.
They use Bluetooth, so after ensuring Bluetooth was enabled on my phone, I put the earbuds in to pairing mode and they quickly appeared on my phone’s pairing screen. A clever feature is that they then combine in to one device, rather than two and my phone will automatically connect to them from then on.
They weigh only 8 grams each, so it’s almost impossible to feel them in your ear, making them easy to wear for a train or plane journey. They’re slim at only 20mm long and they’re well fitted. Usefully though, there are three different tips that can be swapped on each earbud making sure that you have a snug fit. This is a crucial feature for wireless earbuds. If you’re walking or jogging you have to be sure that you’re not going to lose an earphone and the Elyxr Air performed brilliantly in this area and remained snug but comfortable for hours of use.
Wireless earbuds have been around for a while but Elyxr’s spin on this technology is clever. The earbuds arrive in a handy carry-case which is small and easily packed for travel as it weighs less than three ounces. The case itself though, is a charging powerbank for the headphones. If you’re running low on power, you take the earbuds out and they magnetically attach to the carry case, which neatly closes around the headphones to keep them safe.
Many of the wireless headphones I’ve tested have been dreadfully power-hungry. The Elyxr Air have good battery life and I got at least the promised three hours of battery life and they have a promised standby time of eighty hours when turned on. When you run low on power though, I almost smugly popped them out and in to their charging pack.
The charging pack will give the headphones twelve charges, meaning you have thirty-six hours of listening time in your pocket. As well as charging the headphones, the charging pack has a full size USB port so you can plug in your smart phone as well and charge that on the move.
Performance is good. There is no annoying wireless hiss and they are punchy with pleasant bass tones. They are responsive and regardless of your choice of music or audio book as you travel, audio is well defined and thanks to their snugness a warm stereo sound flows pleasantly in to your head.
The Elyxr Air have a built-in microphone and you can make and receive calls using the earbuds with great call quality benefitting from the noise cancellation, and you use the discreet buttons on the back of the earbuds to control calls.