Amps air: Not just ear candy

  • TECH
  • Sunday, 03 Sep 2017

The casing doubles as a charger.

LET me cut straight to the chase and say that I just love the sound on these wireless earbuds – the audio is excellent and makes ­listening to everything from Chopin to Lalo Schifrin’s Mission Impossible a joy (well, at least for the novice music lover like me).

I’ve never been much of a headphones person because the wires were always annoying to store and to untwine. So the idea of wireless earphones was especially enticing. And since wireless-anything is the way to go these days of miracles and wonders, I naturally wanted to see how the Amps Air fared.

Amps Air’s wirelessness offers lots of flexibility and freedom, as you don’t have to have your device in hand or even near you. I was able to keep my phone in my room and walk almost ­everywhere around my little one-storeyed terrace house ­without much interruption to the Bluetooth connectivity.

When out and about, my smartphone didn’t ever have to come out of my bag or pocket. The earbuds are also unassumingly compact and rather futuristically stylish in design, so it made me feel like I was in a sci-fi movie, or on a spy mission (over active imagination, yes).

Finding a fit

While I have no complaints about the rich, super bassy sound or how the earbuds look, I cannot say the same about the fit. Finding the right buds turned out to be a tedious, and painful, task (for my earholes).

Amps Air comes with four bud options, but while you’re trying them out, be ready for them to keep popping out of your ears. I was almost about to give up when I finally opted for the smallest size.

Even the littlest of the lot didn’t fit as securely as I would have liked but they were way better than the other sizes. I was wary of doing jumping jacks or anything that involved too much movement as the buds seemed likely to jump out. Jogs and walks were perfectly okay though.

The buds are sweat- and rain-resistant so you don’t have to worry about getting them a little wet. Because I had jammed them into my ears (for fear of them popping out), when the music was not turned on, I could hear my own muffled footsteps/breathing, etc – I know, just take the buds out right? But getting them in snugly was such an effort, I wanted to minimise the number of times I had to plug them in and pull them out. They are, however, super effective in cutting out all surrounding sound.

Sleek and stylish

Setup is fairly easy – you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to get the phones in sync with your device. And you can choose to use both buds or just go mono – which is a practical option when you need to be alert of your surroundings.

The earphones are quite slick and compact in design – which is nice. The entire flat surface of the earbud exterior acts as a multifunction button. I didn’t find these buttons as user-friendly as I would have liked. In all fairness, ­however, it just takes practice.

Functions include: Press once to pause music or answer calls, press and hold to decline a call, quickly double press to activate Siri or Google, press and hold for three seconds to turn the earphones off. Voice command functions work fine, although I didn’t really bother much with that because Google rarely understands what I say anyway (I tried voice googling “Amps Air” and got a video of the song Or Nah by Ty Dolla $ign which I don’t ever want to listen to.)

I mostly enjoyed listening to my Spotify playlists, and catching up on Game Of Thrones episodes in my free time. And this was easy to do without attracting much ­attention at the nail salon, on the MRT and at lunch. And it’s ­especially satisfying because the sound is so incredible but no one else knows.

I wasn’t too comfortable making or taking calls using the earbuds, mostly because of how my own voice sounded to me (muffled). Callers, however, had no trouble deciphering what I had to say, which means the built-in ­microphone worked well enough, even on WhatsApp calls. Adjusting volume levels or skipping tracks can only, however, be controlled from your device – which is fine by me. The less I have to fiddle with the buds the better.

Power on the go

I like the travel case which acts as both a protective dock and ­battery pack. The case holds a 2,200mAh battery, micro USB charging port and USB charging port.

With the USB charge cable it’s pretty simple to keep everything charged and ready to go. Simple red and white LED lights cue you in on when the device is charged and when it’s low on battery.

In emergency situations, you can even use the battery to power your smartphone too – but, you know, just for a quick boost.

Battery life for the buds is about three hours. And you can recharge up to 15 times before the battery pack runs empty, which is more than sufficient for a moderate user like me.

The case, incidentally, is quite stylish. It actually looks and feels like metal but is mostly plastic and very lightweight. It has a shiny strip that separates the base from the lid, and here you’ll find the LED indicator lights.

All said, I found these earbuds pretty nifty. I have created a daily playlist and the Amps Air lets me play the soundtrack to my life while I go about my daily ­routines. And, truth be told, it’s put a skip in my step.

PROS:Rich sound, stylish design,versatile case.
CONS:Discovering the right fit, pricey

(Sol Republic)
In-ear Bluetooth earphones
ACCESSORIES: Charging case
DIMENSION (W x D x H): 9.32 x 3.51 x 4.8cm
WEIGHT: 122g
RATING:Four stars 
Review unit courtesy of Sol Republic


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