A-3 by Earin
What do you think of when you lay out your wish-list for the perfect wireless headphones? Strong sound quality is, of course, a must. Others on my list are small, lightweight, comfortable, a long battery life, seamless pairing and easy use.
Earin’s list must have been similar. The A-3 are not only small and lightweight – they are, according to the company, the smallest and lightest wireless earbuds on the market! Created in Sweden, the A-3s are a demonstration of efficient, precise European engineering, following a design for the earbud shape that I hadn’t even seen before (and we review a lot of earbuds!) There are no ear tips. Instead, this design – which is Earin’s own, custom creation – has been ergonomically created to fit comfortably in your ear without needing them. It still slots down into your ear slightly, which is what gives it its grip, and the lack of ear tips is honestly refreshing. My biggest issue with earbuds is that I’m forever losing the tip ends, including the spares, so this cuts that problem out altogether.
As for the fit, I’m usually quite fussy with whether earbuds are comfortable or not (and sometimes, the left and right feel more comfortable for me in the opposite ears, for whatever reason), but these feel fantastic! I was worried that being as lightweight as they are, they’d feel prone to falling out, but actually, it’s the opposite – there isn’t the weight to drop them out of your ear, which leaves you feeling secure even when jogging. Another awesome detail is that these earbuds don’t HAVE a left and right ear – instead, they can actually detect which ear they’re put into, and play your audio accordingly. This seems like a huge amount of work to go to in order to save us from a minor moment of inconvenience – nice one, Earin! Currently, these are apparently the only earbuds in the world that do this, but I’m sure it will catch on.
This lack of left and right adds to the increasing ease of earbuds, stacking on top of other factors such as easy pairing with devices and detecting when they’re placed in their charge case – factors that these earbuds also have. But what about charging? This is the other source of inconvenience for me with wireless headphones (largely because I never remember to charge them), but these buds are scoring way up there when it comes to battery life. Their five-hour playtime is competitive, though some headphones offer more, but with the use of the charge case, this becomes 30. Any earbuds that can over 24 hours of solid playtime from one charge are instantly in my very good books! Even better, the buds can reach their full charge from the case in under 1.5 hours.
This is all very well and good, but how do they sound? The A-3s are composed, almost entirely, out 14.3mm speakers that kick out audio of a fantastic quality. I can’t believe how much sound comes out of such little earbuds! These dynamic driver speakers have 20% more movement, which means 20% more sound, and despite the lack of ear-plugging tips, they also provide plenty of noise reduction through active noise reduction algorithms. Phone call audio also shows up clearly, using four inbuilt microphones (fewer than the six that some models provide, but this is the cost of losing that stem. Even so, I didn’t notice any marked difference in quality.)
Overall, these are really nifty little earbuds. With an IPX of 5.2, these can withstand sweat and grit – their light weight and small design doesn’t make them delicate. What it does make them is extremely comfortable and easy to wear, and they’re equally easy to use. All in all, I was impressed.
Smallest and lightest on the market
Detect whether they’re in the left or right
Detect carry case
Auto turnoff after 5 minutes
Custom 14.3 speakers
Fewer mics than some earbuds, but makes little difference