PaMu Quiet Wireless Ear Buds REVIEW
PaMu might be an obscure brand to many but its wireless ear buds are a viable alternative to more expensive name brands, writes PAT PILCHER.
The huge success of Apple’s high-profile AirPods has had an enormous flow-down effect. Where before wireless earbuds were a niche product, because of AirPods they’re no longer merely a technological curiosity.
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The downside is that the market is now awash with wireless ear gear – much of it coming from unknown brands – which leaves the hapless consumer faced with the confusing prospect of trying to sort the wheat from the crap.
One benefit, however, is the ample scope for discovering hidden gems. If you’ve gawked at our rating, you’ll already have guessed that we reckon the PaMu Quiet Ear Buds fit this category.
The PaMu Quiet Ear Buds are fairly generic to the naked eye. Like so many other wireless earbuds they come with a stem and the usual silicon tips to help them stay put when placed in your earholes. The supplied review units were black. While most other brands seem intent on aping Apple’s white-on-white finish, PaMu is bold enough to go for a different look.
As you’d expect, there’s a bunch of different silicon tip sizes bundled, so you can choose a snug fit that will also help with passive noise blocking. Once I’d chosen the right-sized tips and bunged them in, the buds stayed put – even remaining stubbornly in place during a frantic run to catch a bus. They’re also IPX4 rated, which means that sweat shouldn’t impact their performance, and they even promise to do okay if subjected to Wellington’s very own liquid sunshine (rain).
The charging case looks a lot like an old school pocket fob watch. It even has the same button press action on its top to open it up. When charging, the case also has a blue LED charge indicator ring on its front – a nice touch.
Speaking of charging, the case can be tanked-up using a wired USB-C connection and even more conveniently, a Qi-compatible charging pad. About the only issue with the case is its bulk, which caused a galah-sized bulge in my pocket, and could lead to embarrassing encounters.
Under the hood, PaMu has put quite a bit of effort into their ear gear. The silicon powering the show consists of a Qualcomm QCC5124 for Bluetooth radio and audio (which means there is high-end codec support for the likes of Apt-X, as well as an AMS AS3460 chip for active noise cancellation.
The battery life averaged around eight hours, which isn’t quite the stated 10.5 hours listed ons PaMu’s specs blurb. That said, I had the volume cranked and ANC enabled.
Driving the PaMu Quiet Wireless Ear Buds involved tapping touch-sensitive surfaces on both earbuds. Using a series of taps, I was able to control music playback or take/make phone calls. Equally handy, you can set the gestures in the PaMu Android app.
Given their affordable sticker price, you’d be forgiven for presuming that the ear buds offer budget sonics. I was in for a pleasant surprise during this PaMu Ear Buds review. There’s plenty of bottom end, so if you like bass-heavy audio, you’ll be richly rewarded. They often sounded super crisp and detailed in the mids and highs, but there was the odd occasion when overbearing bass overwhelmed the more subtle nuances of the top end.
The active noise cancellation worked a treat. A noisy morning commute from home into Wellington’s CBD to test their Bluetooth chops (they performed flawlessly) showcased their active noise cancelling nicely. The usual bus noise and passenger chatter went from a loud din to something I barely noticed. That said, I’d also made sure to choose the right-sized silicon tips which gave the ANC a helping hand. There’s also a Transparency mode which helps provide better situational awareness. When I activated it my ears filled with traffic noise.
While Sony’s WF-1000XM3 buds do offer superior audio, they’re also significantly more expensive than the PaMu Quiet Wireless Ear Buds. Considering their attractive sticker price, I found in this PaMu Ear Buds review that they deliver good audio and great ANC. Ultimately, these ear buds are an attractive option if you’re looking for ultra-portable and affordable wireless audio and active noise cancellation.