Airpower's Totally Wireless "Wearbuds" Early Impressions

What Are Wearbuds?

This is some T2 Skynet type stuff right here, courtesy of a new company called Airpower; a watch that gives you the time, your heart-rate, sleep and exercise and has two wireless earbuds that pop out of it with a press on the sides if the device. The lightweight earbuds connect immediately with your phone so you can make phone calls and listen to music, and when you pop em back inside, the watch charges them. There's a movement tracker inside them (obviously) and it can tell the difference between walking, running, climbing and cycling. But... can the Wearbuds live up to the hype, especially from a new company that is funding this whole endeavor with a kickstarter? We've been checking the Wearbuds out for a few days now, and here's what we've found.

First off, Airpower co-founder Oliver Sha Fei had this to say about the new tech: “All wireless earbuds are not truly wireless, because you always have to carry a charging case. Without it, earbuds cannot be powered on or off and will soon run out of power. There is an invisible wire that has long plagued true wireless experience. The innovative patented design of Wearbuds enables the earbuds to be stored and charged in a fitness band, bringing both audio and fitness tracking experience to consumers.”

Airpower is definitely leaning into the wireless airbud angle here, so let's start with that. On a purely tactile and aesthetic angle, it is undeniably cool to click the sides of your watch and have a pair of wireless earbuds pop out; let's just get that out of the way. It makes you feel like James Bond, and by the time you pull them out of your watch and place them in your ears, they've already connected (provided you have downloaded the app and have the bluetooth on your phone on, of course), which is awesome.

The Connection

The bluetooth connection itself is... pretty good. It's crystal clear when it's connected and rolling, but a couple times, after putting my phone in my back pocket, I'd get some chop, which is disappointing. I suppose if I was exercising, I'd probably have an armband or something similar, as having a phone banging around in my pocket is not a good way to exercise, but still, it would have been nice to not have any dropouts. We didn't get connectivity problems every time, but it happened enough to be mentioned. Also, calls were not so great, and the caller on the other end of the line said that I was rather muffled and sometimes couldn't hear me at all, but to be fair, we didn't extensively test this feature.

The Sound

Sound-wise, the buds are surprisingly good, and quite loud - louder, in fact, then you would want to be blasting directly into your brain via your ear-holes. The sound quality is also surprisingly good, especially for a kickstarter product, where I would assume you would have to cut some corners, but the sound is great. The buds are "true wireless" with aptX support, Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, a Qualcomm smart audio chipset and graphene-augmented drivers. We put them through the paces with a variety of music and everything sounded good, even rap, although you definitely do not get thudding bass, which we didn't expect.

A Bud In The Hand

The buds themselves are lightweight and fit well in the ear. Even when jogging, they stayed put and were quite comfortable, despite sticking into your ear canal further than most wireless buds we've tested. Left tap skips the song, and tap and hold decreases volume on one bud, while tap and hold increases sound on the other. A single tap on the left bud pauses and unpauses. It's quite intuitive once you get the hang of it. Using the voice activation is done with a triple tap, and works perfectly, regardless of whether we were using an android or an iphone. The earbuds are also water proof enough to where we wouldn't worry about using them in light rain or heavy exercise, but we wouldn't recommend taking them swimming. 

The Touch Tech

On to the touchscreen/watch functionality itself. Included in the box with our review version, there was an additional card along with the promo stuff, stating that Airpower knew the actual touchscreen and functions still needed some work, and they were correct. The way the touchscreen works is by tapping and swiping; once for heart rate, again for daily report, another for sport mode, then one final swipe for getting back to the homescreen. All your data is clocked and recorded in the app, which seamlessly sent data from the watch to our phones, as advertised, and that worked well. 


However, as promised, the touchscreen was a little buggy, causing us to have to occasionally swipe multiple times to get the screen we wanted.  Generally, lifting the watch face up didn't activate the screen either, so we often had to double tap the watch face to get the screen to activate. Also, we couldn't couldn't get the time to sync for a while either, even after going into the app and selecting the 12 hour time option, then the 24, then back to 12. The Wearbuds kept insisting it was 7am, when it was closer to 4pm, a problem we couldn't seem to fix.

The fit itself takes a little getting used to as well, as the band works the opposite as most watch bands do, where you have to put the keeper into the hole of the band and then tuck the band under the watch, instead of the other way around. Also, if you have hairy arms, expect to get pinched a bit. The watch is also bigger than the other fitbit style watches on the market, but we expected that, as they house the earbuds, so that's a nitpick.



Overall, this is a stellar idea that needs some tweaking and updating. The buds are surprisingly powerful and sound great, the battery life is almost as long as advertised, and although the call quality wasn't great, the sound was. Once Airpower irons out the kinks, this could be something special.

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