Earin’s $199 A-3 Are The Smallest Earbuds You Can Buy
Ahead of CES 2021, Earin – the company that single-handedly started the real wireless earbuds industry – launched its newest product, the $ 199 Earin A-3, real wireless earbuds that the company claims to have are smaller and lighter than anything else on the market today.
The A-3 is available with a black or silver charging case and has an open design. This means they sit right in the concha of your ear and don’t use silicone ear plugs to create a seal with your ear canal. According to Earin, this is more comfortable than the in-ear designs, and you can wear them all day without getting tired if you want to.
The Apple AirPods use a similar approach, but suffer from relatively poor sound quality, especially when it comes to low-end bass. You’d expect the A-3 to have similar audio quality issues, but the company’s engineers put a massive, purpose-built 14.3mm speaker element into the tiny enclosures. According to Earin, these are very powerful and move a lot more air than the previous models.
That driver doesn’t seem to leave much room for other components or a larger battery – the A-3 only has five hours of playtime, though it doesn’t require features like Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) or speakerphone activation like the AirPods Pro on offer for US $ 249 -Dollar.
The elegant charging case made of anodized aluminum is surprisingly large compared to the A-3 earphones. However, we were told that this was due to a large internal battery (which saves an additional 25 hours of life) and the ability to wirelessly charge (in addition to a USB-C connection).
A very unusual aspect of the A-3 is the lack of a left and right label on the earphones. Instead, they automatically recognize which ear they are in and can adjust the stereo channels accordingly.
Another fascinating feature is the built-in accelerometer. It serves three functions: it can capture fingerprints as an alternative to the capacitive touch controls when used in conjunction with the single external microphone, it can recognize and transmit voices for calls, and it is also used for the left / right recognition function.
The Earin app for iOS and Android supports the customization of touch functions and downloadable firmware updates and shows you the remaining battery life in each earbud.
Despite their open design, the A-3 are able to handle dust and a certain amount of water. They have an IP52 rating that offers enough protection for a sweaty workout, if not much more.
The buds have wear-and-tear detection sensors that allow them to automatically pause and resume playback when you remove or reinsert them. The earphones are powered by Qualcomm’s QCC5121 chipset. It supports low latency bluetooth codecs from SBC, AAC, aptX and aptX.
It remains to be seen if the A-3 can deliver audio quality on par with other true $ 200 wireless earbuds. With an open design that inherently allows a lot of ambient noise, this will be a challenge.
It will also be interesting to see if people are willing to spend that much money on a set of non-ANC earbuds, long battery life, or the secure fit of a set of in-ear earbuds.
The A-3 will initially only be offered as a Founders’ Edition to Earin’s original Kickstarter supporters, but will soon be sold through the Amazon and Earin website.