Happy Plugs Air 1 Wireless Headphones Review

I’ve always said good headphones shouldn’t cost a fortune. However, cheap headphones shouldn’t be bad either. Check why the Happy Plugs Air 1s made me anything but happy.

You should probably just get the Air Pods.

When I first opened the Happy Plugs Air 1 Wireless Headphones, my first impression was that they were close in look and feel to Apple’s ubiquitous Air Pods. However, my experience was far from what you experience when setting up and using Air Pods. 


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What’s In The Box

It was a box of Q-Tips…

The unboxing experience of the Happy Plugs Air 1 was utilitarian, which is expected from lower priced wireless headphones. 

Inside the box were. 

  • Happy Plus Air 1 Ear Buds
  • Charging Case 
  • Silicon Ear Sleeves 
  • Micro USB Cable 
  • Multilingual Manual

Happy Plugs promises 14 hrs of playback time with the Air 1s

What I Liked – Pros 

Comfort & Fit 

When I first tried to use the Air 1 earbuds, the fit in my ear was awful. Anything more than sitting perfectly still led to one or both buds falling from my ear. Then I tried the silicon ear sleeves and the fit in the ear was far better. Time will tell if natural oils from my skin will lead to the earbuds falling out again. Overall, the fit is solid, and they are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time as long as you use the ear sleeves.


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Control, Control, You Must Have Control 

Like many other wireless headphones, the Air 1s offer touch controls built into each earbud, but one thing that stood out was the quantity of controls available. 

There are 14 different touch controls including Play/Pause, Volume Up/Down, Previous/Next Track and Google Assistant/Siri launch.  Sadly my use of them was short lived. Read on to see why!

Sound Quality 

The Air 1 sound quality far exceeded what I was expecting given the price point of $49.99. Music was punchy and there were no issues with overly thin sounds. They were a tad on the bassy side, but I would rather that over the alternative of flat, thin audio. 

Spoken audio from podcasts and audiobooks were handled well and the few phone calls I made with them were great. However, as is the case with all lower-end wireless ear buds, they only have 2 microphones so in some instances, callers on the other end had issues hearing me. 


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What I Did Not Like – Cons 

Reliability 

When I first charged and connected the Happy Plug, both buds worked great. However, since that first use, the left ear bud will power on, but cannot connect to any device I try to pair it with.  I have tried the reset function a dozen times and have had no luck. Without the use of the left ear bud, 50% of the touch functions are unavailable including the Google Assistant/Siri activation.

Design 

There are two types of people in the world; those who like Air Pods and those who do not. While I do not mind wearing ear buds using the Air Pod, or Q-tip, design, they look odd. I much prefer the more bean style like those of the Samsung Galaxy Buds or the Jabra series. The Happy Plugs, using the Air Pod approach have an added layer of design I do not like. The silver trim at the bottom of the ear bud just looks tacky. The Air Pods have it, see below, but it is more subtle and does not look as cheap.

Air Pod 2 (left) | Air 1 (Right)

I will give the case some props though. I like how easy it is to open and pulling the ear bud out is quite easy too. I am also reviewing the Anker Soundcore Life P2 TWS ear buds right now and the orientation used for the case makes it particularly challenging to pull out the buds without having to preform hand gymnastics to get them ready for your ear. 


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Should You Buy The Happy Plugs Air 1

In a word, no. Yes, at about $50 depending on where you find the Air 1s, they cost a fraction of what the Air Pods do and look almost the same. However, the overall form, function and quality leave me doubting that you would get more than a few months out of these. If cost is a factor, there are dozens of other brands out there that make a reliable product. They may not look this close to the Air Pods, but something like the aforementioned Soundcore Life P2’s from Anker are a far better option and cost considerably less.

You should probably just buy the Air Pods…


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Overall, I gave the Happy Plugs Air 1s a 2.5 out of 5. They got some things right, but overall they missed the mark for me.

Let me know what you think about the Happy Plugs, Air Pods or other true wireless headphones in the comments!


Check out other Wireless Headphone Reviews!

Blitzwolf BW-FYE4 Review

Blitzwolf BW-FYE5 Review

Blitzwold BW-ANC1 Review

BlitzWolf BW-FYE4 True Wireless Headphones Review

You don’t need to break the bank for good true wireless headphones! Check out the GadgetSyrup review of the BlitzWolf BW-FYE4 True Wireless Headphones

Don’t break the bank on wireless headphones.

True wireless headphones shouldn’t cost a fortune!

This is the 3rd pair of BlitzWolf wireless headphones I have reviewed over the past year or so. I really have enjoyed each pair more than the previous. They are always affordable and provide an excellent bang for the buck. Yet I am still surprised every time I see someone dropping an insane amount of cash on wireless headphones. Sure, something like the Jabra 75t or Galaxy Buds are better if you compare them pound for pound, but most just buy those devices because they are placed in front of them at stores like Best Buy or Costco. I have used both of those headphones too and yes, I liked them, but did I like them several hundred dollars more than what I have tried from other, cheaper brands? Simply, no.

Read on below the break to see a set of true wireless headphones that don’t break the bank but delivery the quality you would expect from a higher priced pair.


Also, check out my other BlitzWolf Wireless Headphone reviews below!


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What if I told you there was a cake in the box?

  • 2 x True Wireless FYE4 Headphones
  • 1 x Large Replacement Ear Tips
  • 1 x Medium Replacement Ear Tips
  • 1 x Small Replacement Ear Tips
  • 1 x FYE4 Charging Case
  • 1 x Micro USB Cable
  • 1 x User Manual

Pretty standard unboxing with BlitzWolf FYE series headphones.


Design

I reviewed the BlitzWolf BW-FYE5 TWS headphones this past fall, and while I mostly liked everything about them, the design, wasn’t my favourite. Overtime I found they started to lose the quality fit and feel from when they were new. When I saw the chance to check out the FYE4 TWS, also from BlitzWolf, I was immediately interested, thanks to the earbuds design.


Left: BW-FYE5
Right: BW-FYE4

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As you can see the FYE4s are considerably larger than the FYE5s, however the larger size is actually deciving. The FYE4s are lighter than their smaller sibling.

Despite the larger size I found that it was easier to press the Play/Pause button. Also, the shape of the bud where it enters your ear provided a more comfortable and snug fit. Wearing the FYE5s for extended periods was pretty easy, but the FYE4s were far more computable, for my ears. I was a little concerned at first that they would look chunky or gaudy in my ears, but for the most part, they are pretty inconspicuous.

The design of the case isn’t ideal due to it’s size. Which makes it harder to put in a pants pocket, but it does come with a button that when pressed shows how much juice the cases battery has remaining. Something the FYE5 lacked.


Sound Quality

If you have read a headphone review on GadgetSyrup before you’ve heard this. If you’re new here, first off, thanks for reading!! But I like to mention in every review, I am not an audiophile and I don’t listen to that much music, especially through headphones.

Most of my listening is tech and Formula 1 related podcasts with the odd audiobook sprinkled in here and there. For the use case I have, and the small amount of Bud I did listen to, the FYE4s had excellent output. Volume was good and loud and there were no points where I thought the sound was distorted or cracking.

Outdoors I had next to no issues with volume and did not struggle with wind noise interfering with the audio output.

I will say though that phones calls are a total no go with these headphones. Most callers said I sounded far away or muffled. No matter what I did, indoors or out, it was a struggle to use these for phone calls.


Ports and Connectivity

The FYE4 use Bluetooth 5.0 to connect to your Smartphone meaning that power usage should be minimal when connected and latency should be less when compared to older Bluetooth devices. Not much else to say on this…

Unfortunately, BlitzWolf elected to continue on using micro USB to charge the headphones. This is fine, but I would have really preferred if they made the move to USB Type C. Yes, using the older standard is cheaper, but we have to make a leap forward at the low-end of this market at some point.


Micro USB is fine… but we really need everything to move to USB C

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Battery Life

I’m not sure if my FYE5s had battery issues or not but despite having the same 50 mAh battery inside, the FYE4s lasted considerably longer. I even went back to the FYE5s for a week to double-check and sure enough I was getting hours more life.

The biggest difference wasn’t just in the earbud use between charges, which choose to 5 hours of continuous use. The battery case, thanks to it’s larger size houses a larger 500 mAh battery. The FYE5 sports a 400 mAh battery.



Ease of Use

One thing I’ve noticed when using inexpensive Bluetooth true wireless headphones from any manufacturer is how difficult it is to get each earbud operational separate from the other. The process is backwards from FYE5s. With the FTE4s the left bud is the primary device. Meaning, if you take out both buds, use them and put away the left bud, the right bud stops working. Take out only the left bud, connection successful! Take out just the right bud… Crickets. You have to manually power down the bud by pressing and holding the button. Repeat to turn on, but hold to enter pairing mode. Then pair from your Bluetooth device.

With the initial setup taking out just the left bud you’re automatically entered into device pairing, but not with the right. Not impossible to sort out and maybe my expectations are too high for this process, but it certainly should be improved.

Once you get them paired, day-to-day use is not an issue at all.


Pros:

  • Comfortable to wear for long hours
  • Excellent battery life
  • Solid build quality
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Micro USB charging instead of USB-C
  • Large charging case compared to other headphones, including the BlitzWolf BW-FYE5

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Conclusion: Should You Buy The BlitzWolf BW-FYE4?

I said you should buy the FYE5s when I reviewed them and they are still decent, but if you’re asking me if you should buy the FYE5s or the FYE4s, it is it contest. Buy the FYE4s. The superior battery life, ease of use and comfort make them a far better choice.


If you’d like to pick up a pair of BlitzWolf BW-FYE4 True Wireless Headphones you can pick them up on Amazon for CAD $49.99.



Thanks for reading and let me know what you think about the process of true wireless headphones. Do you agree with me?

BlitzWolf BW-FYE5 True Wireless Headphones Review

Last year I got in touch with a company that sells primarily in Banggood and they sent me a pair of their BW-ANC1 headphones which were a wired pair of wireless headphones featuring active noise cancelling. I was very impressed with them for the most part, so when offered their true wireless BW-FYE5 (they really know how to name a product!!) I jumped at the opportunity.

I am admittedly late to the true wireless headphone game. I have stuck to my Aukey EP-B61 neck buds for longer than I likely should have and when those are missing in action or dead, I resort to a wired pair of headphones I have had since I got my minion-yellow Nokia Lumia 1020, unless I am using a phone without a headphone jack. In that case, I suffer in silence waiting for the Aukeys to charge.

Last year I got in touch with a company that sells primarily in Banggood and they sent me a pair of their BW-ANC1 headphones which were a wired pair of wireless headphones featuring active noise cancelling. I was very impressed with them for the most part, so when offered their true wireless BW-FYE5 (they really know how to name a product!!) I jumped at the opportunity.

What’s In The Box?

Brad, you won’t believe what is in the box!

Blitzwolf’s packaging is pretty basic but a slight step ahead of some of the other budget companies in this space, such as Aukey. Inside the box were the following items.

BW-FYE5 BOM Shot
  • Blitzwolf BW-FYE5 headphones
  • Charge case
  • Large and small replacement ear tips (mediums come pre-installed)
  • Micro USB cable for charing
  • Manual

Nothing really exciting, but all the basics are there.

Battery Life 

Blitzwolf states that a single charge of the earbuds will last 2.5 to 3 hours of listening/talk time and the charging case that stores the buds when not in use add an extra 15 hours of battery life. So for the sake of keeping it simple, let’s say 18 hours of total battery life. I found this to be fairly accurate and I only have to charge up the case every few days depending on my use.

When the buds did run out, putting them back in the case for a quick charge was a pretty great experience compared to having to find a place to plug in my other set from Aukey into a USB cable. The charging case is very convenient when on the go.

Size and Fit

The size of the BW-FYE5 was awesome, they fit perfectly in the ear and for the most part, never came loose or lost their seal.

I didn’t suffer from any discomfort when wearing the earbuds for extended periods, which in some cases was for a full cycle of the battery. I did find that my ears would start to hurt where the buds would rest against my ear. So far, not the case with these earbuds for me.

The charging case is also far more compact than I was expecting which was great for putting them in any pocket. The dimensions of the case measures 6 cm X 3.7 cm X 2.8 cm.

Audio Quality

Since I am not listening to music in most cases I can’t say much about the quality of the BY-FYE5s for music. The small amount of music I did listen to sounded good. Bass was light but expected given the size of the device. Listening to audiobooks and podcasts were perfect. I didn’t have any complaints, which is a good thing.

IPX6 Water and Sweat Resistance

Water and sweat resistance is more or less table stakes these days with any wearable. In fact, one could argue that in 2019, heading into 2020, water resistance may not even be enough, full-on waterproofing may be the expectation. The BW-FYE5s, despite the low price point, are water-resistant, which is great for most users. Myself included.

Pairing Process and Connectivity Quality

One of the major complaints I have with Bluetooth devices, especially earbuds, today is the pairing process. It seems to be different for every manufacturer and is almost never intuitive. That mostly holds true for this set from Blitzwolf too.

After opening and charging the case and earbuds for the first time I opened the case, removed the right earbud and immediately it entered pairing. Great! After going through the standard pairing process on my Android device, I removed the second earbud and it automatically connected to the first bud and connected. So far… So good…

Where things got messy was when I wanted to use only one earbud. The right bud had no issue at all and would connect quickly and start working. However, when wanting to use the left earbud only I was given the impression the right earbud also needed to be removed from the charging case and act as a bridge for the left earbud. It was only after a few weeks of use that I decided to try again with only the left earbud. I removed it from the case, place it in my ear and for fun double-clicked the button. The earbud powered on and after about 30 seconds entered the pairing mode. The device showed on my phone as BW-FYE5 L, indicating left. Ok… paired and working.

When using the right bud first, the left bud will always connect to the right and begin to stream through both. Pretty seamless in most cases. When using the left bud first, adding the right caused the left to drop connection while it waited for the right to connect and hook up to the right as a bridge. If that was confusing, I’m sorry, but it is a messy process that the devices initiate depending on the order of connection. This may just be the way true wireless headphones have to work today, and maybe a future version won’t require this, but this messy connection process is less than enjoyable. I would like to see how Apple handles this thanks to the W1 chip in the airpods and modern macOS and iOS devices, but at this time I don’t have that luxury.

Overall: Should You Buy the Blitzwolf BW-FYE5 True Wireless Headphones?

For me, someone who has had issues finding headphones that have a good fit for my ears these headphones were perfect. However, others may not find this fit comfortable to use.

Outside of the potential fit-issues, the BW-FYE5 TWS are incredibly affordable and are available for just short of $50 CAD and should absolutely be considered if you’re looking for a truly wireless set of headphones. The odd connection process once solved is not really a major issue in the grand scheme of things when considering the other positive features found here.

You can purchase the Blitzwolf BW-FYE5 True Wireless Headphones from Banggood by clicking the link below!

Mpow Magneto Bluetooth Headphones Review

The Mpow Magneto Bluetooth headphones are an excellent option for wireless headphones as the smartphone industry inches towards a future where the 3.5mm jack is a part of history.

Recently Lenovo launched the Moto Z, sans headphone jack. Lenovo is the first major brand the release their flagship device with no 3.5mm headphone jack. If rumors in the Apple-sphere hold true, the next iPhone will also ditch the 3.5mm jack in favour of the the lightning port to drive wired audio connections. For a good read on that topic, check out Nilay Patel’s article on The Verge discussing how the removal of port is “hostile and stupid.” Its a good read!

With device makers heading down this inevitable road, whether you like it or not, looking for a solid pair of Bluetooth headphones is certainly something to consider going forward.

The Mpow Magnetos are one of several options but I think you will find that they are one of the most compelling for a number of reasons. More below the break.

You may not have heard of Mpow before, as they are a significantly smaller player compared to the likes of Jaybird, Beats, Plantronics, and other big name brands in this space. The most compelling thing about Mpow, as a brand, is their exceptionally low prices and surprising quality. Not just for Bluetooth ear buds either, but a vast array of different smartphone and PC accessories. 

What else do the Magnetos offer? Well as you may have guessed by their clever name, Magneto, magnets play a key role in their design and function. The outside parts of the ear pieces have small magnets on the inside which allow the the buds to stick together when not in use, be it around your neck or in your bag. Pretty useful right? Well it does not stop their. The magnets also will pause your audio playback when you connect them, as well as resume playback when they are pulled apart. It is a very simple feature, sure, but one that has proven very useful for me in my use of the product. This feature also works to answer calls.

Outside of this unique feature the overall design and build quality of the Magnetos are very appealing, including the inline remote for pause/call answer and volume +/- which I found to be very responsive. The inline microphone handled calls as well as I expected with no reported quality issues reported from the callers on the other end of the line. They also sport the following specs:

  • CVC 6.0 noise cancellation technology
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Battery time of up to 8 hours of talk/music time and up to 175 hours of standby time (your milage will vary, as did mine)
  • Apt-X technology for CD-like, high-quality sound performance

Inside the box you will find a USB micro to type A cable for charging, clips that can be optionally installed to provide addition stability and two different sized ear tips to ensure a proper fit. For most, the tips that are pre-installed, medium, will do just fine.

I picked up the Mpow Magnetos on Amazon for $35 CAD, check the link below for both CAD and USD pricing at Amazon.

MPOW Magneto at Amazon.com – HERE

MPOW Magneto at Amazon.ca – HERE

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