The wireless headset market is oversaturated with offerings right now. Just a few years ago, it all started with one or two models on Kickstarter. Now it seems that only the lazy has not presented their vision of 'truly wireless' headphones.
Naturally, Chinese manufacturers are also on the alert. Online sites are full of hundreds of headphones from both more or less well-known brands and from completely 'no-names'. Having listened to different models of similar headsets in the '$ 100 and above' segment on tests, I came to the conclusion that in general I like the class of devices and would like to have something similar. But I didn't want to pay such serious money for such a frivolous thing as a headset, so I decided to try something from the range of Chinese brands.
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And it was just interesting how budget headphones will show themselves. The subject came across a Blitzwolf BW-FYE5 model – not the most 'basement' China, but also not a burden for the wallet. With the help of a simple coupon magic on the site Banggood I got them for $ 25 (about 1,500 rubles). For the past four months I have been using them almost daily, and I have accumulated enough impressions, positive and negative, which I will share.
|Dimensions, weight||Case: 60 x 37 x 28 mm, 29 g Headphone: 21.5 x 15.5 x 13 mm, 4 g|
|Version Bluetooth||5.0 (no aptX), HSP / HFP / A2DP / AVRCP protocols|
|Signal reception range (from source)||10 m|
|Battery capacity||Case: 400mAh Earphone: 50mAh|
|Max. playing time||3 hours, another 6 hours taking into account the charge from the case|
|Max. standby time||170 h|
|Charging time||Case: 2 h Earphone: 2 h|
Delivery set, appearance
The headphones are delivered in a neat white box without any printing frills, so beloved by the Chinese. My box was successfully 'seeded' during the move, so I will provide a photo from the manufacturer. The set included a manual in adequate English – short but clear. Also included was a charging cable and three pairs of ear pads (sizes S, M, L).
The charging case, like the headphones themselves, is offered in a non-alternative blue color with barely distinguishable mother-of-pearl. I like it, but some people won't like this color.
The cover is small and quite convenient – in the closed position, the cover is held by a strong magnet, and you can open it using a convenient recess. The case flies into a small pocket of jeans 'with a whistle'.
The plastic coating is practical: for several months of careless wearing in a backpack with keys, it did not get scratched at all. But the inscriptions on the lower edge are slightly worn. The coating collects fingerprints, but it is almost invisible.
There is a micro-USB charging port on the back. Not Type-C, of course, but for 1,500 rubles, I didn't expect it. But what is annoying is the inability to open the cover completely when the charging wire is inserted.
The LED indicator in the case looks like a segment one, but in fact it always lights up in its entirety. Therefore, it will not be possible to visually determine the degree of charge. While the case is giving charge to the headphones, it winks three times, when it charges itself – four.
The headphones sit securely in the case thanks to the magnets. They also help to insert the headphones in the correct position, each 'plug' willingly jumps into place. For some reason, the headphones do not always start charging after that, as if the spring-loaded contacts do not coincide with the corresponding 'rounds'. If you move the earpiece a little, then it fully slides into place and starts charging.
It's a little annoying, but at least the headphones turn on a red indicator while charging – you can tell if they are in place or not. The red indication shines slightly through the case lid. I don't know if it's a 'bug' or a 'feature'.
As for the indicator, I think it is the biggest disadvantage of these headphones. He's awfully bright! Why and who needs such brightness, I sincerely do not understand. The indicators are still not visible most of the time. But at night they light up half the rooms and interfere with my wife's sleep if I want to listen to an audiobook at night. When they are connected to a source, they blink a nasty blue, and when they are in pairing mode, they blink red and blue alternately. In the best traditions of Chinese 'boomboxes'! Fortunately, there are no other colors available.
The headphones themselves are very ergonomic, and the ear cushions fit easily into the ear canal and hold there tightly. For ease of wearing – a five with a minus. After a few hours, they still begin to lightly rub the ear. But in them you can calmly 'run, jump and kick your legs', they will not fall out. But I didn't swim in them. The declared degree of moisture protection in cheap models is always in doubt. And as I learned while using the Jaybird Run, TWS headphones are not compatible with swimming styles where the ears are submerged in water. That is, with almost any style.
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The buttons on the headphones are mechanical, not touch sensitive. On the one hand, this is good: mechanical 'click' is much more intuitive than touching. But to press the earpiece you have to press a little into the ear, the buttons are too tight.
A short press in both headphones is responsible for play / pause, as well as for answering a call. Pressing for a longer time will drop the call. And then there are the differences: double-clicking in the right earphone switches the track forward, it is in the left one – the track back. This is convenient – the fewer combinations, the better. But if you use the headphones separately, then you can only control playback in one direction. I could not call the Google voice assistant with any combination.
Most TWS earbuds I've tried in the past could work in mono configuration with only one main 'plug'. There is no such thing here – each headphone has an independent chip Bluetooth and a microphone. You can listen to one while the other is charging – this is convenient for listening to audiobooks in the background. Except for the inconvenience of switching tracks, there are no problems with this method. It will not work to use two headphones from different devices – the left 'plug', when turned on, first looks for the right one and only if it is absent it connects on its own. The main headphone is right, the left is always the 'slave'.
The signal range seemed to me sufficient. Somewhere at 10-12 meters of line of sight, they already begin to stutter, and in the room, a couple of brick walls are enough for this. A larger communication range is convenient, but situations of real need for it rarely arise. The main thing is that in everyday use, I had some serious 'gags' only a couple of times.
There is a delay when watching a video, it feels like it's about a second. When connected to a smartphone with Bluetooth 5.0, the latency is reduced by about half, but still does not disappear.
I'll make a reservation right away – I'm not a fan of the 'ultimate' sound on a smartphone. For me, portable music is, first of all, music as a background for various activities. The concept of 'goodness' of sound is different for everyone. I have enough audio material of medium bitrate (mp3 in 320 Kb / s) and headphones from the middle segment. I'm not looking for 'ringing highs' and 'deep lows' in them – for the internal audiophile, there is a turntable in a relaxed home environment. Now that you can safely blame me for the bias and trampled ear, I'll tell you a little about the sound of the BW-FYE5.
And they sound good: there is no obvious bias in one direction, the sound is balanced and rich, as much as possible for TWS headphones. The bass is not off scale, it is pleasant to listen to the same jazz double basses. For example, on Ray Brown's SuperBass 2 album, the trio of double basses was clearly distinguishable and did not turn into a mess. But I also can't say that I enjoyed the sound – the same drums on this album were illegible. It is even more pleasant to listen to pop, rock and rap music – against the general background, you can hardly distinguish between failures in instruments. As headphones for background listening to music, books and podcasts, these guys are perfect. To demand more of them is simply stupid.
The volume during playback and conversation is enough, since the passive noise isolation is not bad here. At the same time, they do not completely cut off external sounds – this can be useful for jogging.
The sound from the spoken microphone is terrible here. Interlocutors often complain about a quiet voice and extraneous noises from the outside. In the most neglected situations, I had to pull out the right earpiece and speak into it, listening to the interlocutor in the left.
The BW-FYE5 does not shine for a long time. The claimed three hours of the headphones always win back, sometimes it even turns out closer to four. If you listen to one earphone, then just about 4 hours will come out. The specificity of TWS technology leads to the fact that the right earphone in stereo mode is always discharged faster, and after disconnecting it, you can listen to the left 'plug' for about half an hour.
From the case, you can get two more full charges of each earphone – in total, enough for 9 hours in stereo mode or about 22 hours in mono. The claimed charge time for headphones is exaggerated – it takes about an hour and twenty minutes from zero to 100%. But the case really takes about two hours to charge.
The self-discharge of the case became an annoying moment for me. For a week of simple lying on the table, he managed to discharge from 100 percent to zero. And it would not be so scary if it were not for the automatic turning on and off of the 'plugs'. It is implemented according to a simple principle: 'power is on – they put us in the case to charge, the power is removed – we were pulled out to listen to music'. And when the case is discharged to zero, the headphones think they were pulled out, so they connect to the smartphone. At first it was infuriating, but then I got used to putting the case on charge with the smartphone every night, regardless of the state of charge.
I can't miss another negative point about these headphones. It uses an absolutely stupid system of voice notifications about the state of the headphones. They notify about everything: turning on, turning off, binding to a smartphone, disconnecting from a smartphone, connecting and disconnecting headphones from each other, battery discharge. And they do it in a high-pitched female voice – well, at least in English, not Chinese. You can't turn it off, change your voice too I would like to have more versatile audio prompts.
But overall, I liked the Blitzwolf headphones. For their relatively low cost, they brought a lot of convenience. For example, in public transport or other noisy environments, you can easily and quickly show a person a video or even listen to music together, if mono sound does not bother you. These headphones are very convenient to use on tourist trips – for many museums and places of interest there are applications with audio guides. Two people can listen to the guide from one device, while remaining open to communication, one ear is free.
During sports, this headphone format is also very convenient. Well, in general, freedom from wires very quickly lures you to your camp. That's just for myself, I decided that it is not worth buying expensive 'plugs' for the sake of this freedom, as well as using them on an ongoing basis. Neither in terms of autonomy, nor in sound quality, nor in convenience, this class of headphones for me will never outplay full-size on-ear devices. But that's my personal opinion. And you can share your opinion in the comments – this is extremely welcome here.