Earshots Gen 2 Review
It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were testing the original version of these wireless sports headphones from Kiwi start-up Earshots. While the concept and magnetic closure mechanism of the originals were world class, there were a couple of teething quirks that needed ironing out, so we were eager to get our hands on version two to see how things had evolved.
If you missed our review of the original version, here’s a quick recap – Kiwi entrepreneur James Bell-Booth saw a missing niche in the headphone market and set about producing an earbud for sports that was affordable, waterproof, and didn’t fall out. His resulting brainchild was Earshots and SHOCKLOCK – a clever magnetic latch system which held the earphones in place regardless of terrain. We were big fans of both the earphones and their add on features – the self charging case, long battery life and simplicity. What let down version one though was the sound quality and the inner ear fit.
As soon as we opened the new version, it was obvious this was a vastly improved product, from the new-look sustainable packaging to the refined and rugged new case. The Earshots themselves had a sleeker, more elegant look too and, more importantly, a redesigned inner earpiece. Although they had persevered with the one-size-fits-all approach, it felt much easier to position inside your ear. The new earbud can rotate up to 40 degrees, which alleviates my biggest issue with the originals – they felt like they sat on top of your ear rather than inside it, which not only felt weird but seemed to compound the sound quality problem.
Not one to mess around reading instructions I quickly connected them to my phone and cranked my favourite playlist for a sound quality test. I was impressed, this time we had bass on our sound palette and the overall acoustic experience was a big step up. Obviously, this is not over-the-ear, sound cancelling, festival level quality, but that’s not what Earshots is trying to be – it’s all a balance of functionality and performance.
The new Earshots still take a little ear-conditioning (like saddle-soreness after time off the bike) but after a couple uses, they began to feel very comfortable and have become my go-to headphones for most tasks thanks to their simplicity and magnetic clip.
James and his team have made a significant step up in performance with the second generation Earshots while keeping all the functionality and ease-of-use that we loved about the originals. These really are an elegant way to take your music with you wherever you go.
Here’s a list of all the key specs:
10 hours play time on single charge off the 3.7V lithium ion battery.
150 hours of ride time before you need to recharge case, which can be easily checked with charge lights on the side of the case.
14.2mm titanium coated speaker delivers up to 24bit/96kHz high resolution audio.
Built in microphone allows for voice calls – just tap and talk.