Technophile

Astrum ET300 earbuds: For those on a budget

Mirza Mohammed Ali Khan | Updated on April 02, 2018 Published on April 01, 2018

Astrum's new earphones, the ET300 earbuds.   -  Astrum website

Apple’s Air Pods first came out in 2016. But despite the obvious fact that well over a year has passed since then, electronics companies continue to ape their design and functionality. In fact, Huawei did it with their ‘FreeBuds’ just last week in Paris, when they launched their P20 phones.

Even though a lot of products ‘inspired’ by the Air Pods may not look as much like them as Huawei’s FreeBuds do, the concept and the way they work is very similar—like a case that doubles up as a charger. But thankfully, all this means that people can afford such products as they are available in a variety of budgets.

The ET300 pair of earbuds from Astrum, a Hong Kong-based electronics company, is one such offering. And at its price, quite affordable too. But the economical cost comes with its fair share of compromises, mind you.

They come neatly packed in a sober-looking case. However, the sobriety doesn’t extend to the charging-cum-storage dock, whose plastic we found quite unnecessarily glossy. But it’s light, portable and charges up pretty quick. On the downside, it discharges pretty quick too, more often than not without charging the earbuds to the fullest.

While we are on battery life, that of the earbuds is okay, not stellar. We found the pair discharging pretty quick, but also charging up in decent time. They have a tactile interface for controls and different functions are triggered by long and short presses, which take time getting used to. For example, to play or pause music, one has to hold the touch interface twice and to switch to the next song, hold it for about “two seconds”.

The presence of a microphone means you can take calls and what we found quite utilitarian is that you can choose to pair just one earbud to your phone so it can function as a single Bluetooth earpiece. Pairing can be equally confusing, however and we took quite a few attempts to pair the ET300 to our phones.

Sound quality is okay and while audiophiles may not be impressed, this product isn’t for them, but rather for the common listener who wants a fancy product at an affordable cost. To their credit, the ET300 fit snugly in your ears and don’t fall out.

Price: ₹ 5,190

Pros: Economical, fit well, single-earpiece functionality

Cons: Pairing issues, confusing tactile interface, underwhelming battery

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Published on April 01, 2018
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