Review: MJYUN Wireless Earbuds - who needs AirPods?

There have, of course, been a number of third party clones of Apple's innovative (/crazy, depending on your own preferences!) Air Pods - the individual Bluetooth audio buds that charge in a little pocket case, that itself gets charged up occasionally. But this is the first I've tested, so here goes. Pros and cons, brickbats and bouquets, all here tested with a Lumia 950 XL, this being AAWP!

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MJYUN earbuds

Why did Apple (and now clone makers) go down this route? Why is this design interesting? Because, in principle, you never have to worry about wires again when listening to music - not even a wire connecting two earbuds. It IS freeing and it DOES work, though there are enough caveats below to stop me personally using these day to day.

MJYUN earbuds

In the box is the charging case, with the left and right ear buds inside, all supplied with a partial charge, but it's trivial to plug the case into a USB Type C cable to get things topped up. The case itself has a 500mAh capacity and the buds 50mAh each, so you're looking at the case being able to charge the buds about three or four times over. There's no quick charging, mind you, so the buds take over an hour to fill each time you need to recharge.

MJYUN earbuds

In practice the charging regime works, despite the delay if you want to charge the earbuds in a hurry. You get up to two hours stereo listening time before you have to put the buds away - and then you have to do without them for roughly the same length of time. But as long as you go in with your eyes open to this characteristic.

MJYUN earbuds

The earbuds themselves are meaty (which works out well for audio quality, which is excellent) and moulded to fit in the outer ear, with their audio channel ending in a silicone bud that seals the ear canal. Once in (you're advised to rotate them in), they fit perfectly and are comfortable and secure, not budging an inch when I walked or ran. 

MJYUN earbuds

Big function buttons on each earbud (you can see them a few photos above, when cased) handle media control and call handling (left and right buds respectively), so everything seems to be in place for a practical solution for smartphone users, whatever their platform. I was testing here under Windows 10 Mobile, though these should connect just as well to iOS or Android, of course.

The charging case is all (white) plastic and doesn't feel amazingly well made, but it held up in my review period. When you open the lid, the charge state of the case is indicated with a LED - there's no way to see the charge state of the earbuds without using them and then seeing if they flash to indicate 'low power' or not. So a degree of guesswork is sometimes needed, but the idea is that the earbuds are always fully charged when you remove them, so maybe I'm being too picky here.

I loved that the case charges via USB Type C - this is of the modern 'C' age and it's why I agreed to review this particular product in the first place. No hokey microUSB here!

MJYUN earbuds

As I say, audio is great - there's no fancy aptX encoding support here, but (as with most in-ear solutions) there's enough bass, natural fidelity and audio isolation for it not to matter too much. For go anywhere casual listening, I had no complaints.

So far so good then, most (if not all) of the functionality of Apple's AirPods at a quarter the price. However, and here we start to come into the realms of personal preference and personal ear shape(!), I did have a number of caveats that put me off using the MJYUN Earbuds each day:

  • Although really comfortable in the ears, trying to rotate the earbuds to get them out again was hard. This might be down to my fingers and ear shape, but I always winced slightly when trying to extract them, as the hard plastic dug into my soft outer ear. As I say, this might just be me!
  • Talking of wincing, the function buttons on each earbud are big but do require some pressure to activate. While fine in the hand (e.g. while pairing), this pressure while the earbuds are in your delicate outer ear and with the audio channel lodged in your inner ear is disconcerting, to say the least. I always felt like I had to press harder than I should have to. Maybe Apple has it right with a capacitive touch control here?
  • Staying with the physical, my fingers have trouble getting the earbuds out of the charging case - they fit so snugly and are so rounded on top that there's not really anything to grip. Again, this might just be me having clumsy fingers, though....
  • When handling the earbuds out of the ear and on the way to the charging case, they're very droppable. Being smooth plastic and an odd shape, I dropped them several times a day, usually onto carpet, but annoying.
  • Unlike the Apple Airpods, these MJYUN earbuds don't auto-activate when you take them out of the case, so you have to manually long press each function button to turn the earbuds on, each and every time. 

There's enough here to deter me personally then, at least compared to the no-charge, no-hassle nature of traditional wired headphones. 

At £40 these are sensibly priced. They're not for me personally, but - equally - they do work as advertised and they're a hack of a lot cheaper than the competition from Apple!

Comments welcome - have you any experience with third party discrete Bluetooth earbuds? Which brand, and how did you get on?

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