True Wireless Headphone seem to be everywhere now. At one time only high-end models were available at great cost followed later by cheap and nasty clones with poor sound, complicated pairing routines and poor linking. Now and at last decent quality but reasonably priced devices are starting to appear.
I have been looking for a pair of back up true wireless earbuds for use in situations where I may lose my expensive Jabra Elite Sport set. I will use the Jabra’s as a reference point in this review, which may seem unfair but time has moved on and even budget devices are offering better sound and more features.
This new headset from KELODO arrived in a small, downmarket and rather plain box which somewhat diminishes the product within. Inside were the earpieces themselves, charging case, a short USB to micro-USB charging cable, three sets of buds (one set prefitted), and a User Guide. The User Guide is well written, nicely printed but poorly translated and encloses a scan of it on my unboxing video.
The case has an internal 400mAh battery which is charged using the supplied USB cable and it is the case battery which charges the earbud batteries. The case will be able to fully charge the 60 mAh earbud batteries several times with each charge taking about ninety minutes. There are LED ’s on each bud to show battery status. The buds will charge automatically when placed into the case.
Pairing the Bluetooth 4.1 earbuds was easy enough although more of a performance than with Jabra.
1. Set the phone to Bluetooth pairing mode
2. Press the button on both earbuds simultaneously, both bud LEDs will flash red/blue
3. Double click on one earbud button, when the other bud LED is off it means the buds are linked together.
4. On your phone pair in the usual way to Bluetooth device ‘S590-TW’. You will hear a ‘Source Connected’ voice prompt.
This is more easily performed than explained and is made easier with the use of voice prompts during the pairing process. It only needs to be done once. The two buds can work independently of each other as mono buds if needed.
Once paired, using the buds is simple enough. Press the buttons on both buds for about three seconds to turn on, they will then connect to the paired phone automatically. To switch off either press the button again or return to the case where they will switch off and start charging.
Audio quality was good and in fact rather better than I was expecting. There is reasonable bass with mid and upper tones clear and well defined. I found the tone to be somewhat harsher and less refined than from the Jabra’s but more than good enough for general use.
The headset has a microphone and can be used to receive and make calls and when testing I found the conversation was clear and audible both ends. Calls can be muted/rejected/ended/redialed by pressing the right bud button. Tracks can be paused/ played by double pressing either earbud button. There are no track advance or audio volume controls.
Battery life is good and comparable to the Jabra’s and I have obtained up to three hours of music playing time following a charge. The charging case is robust and well made and magnetically holds the buds at least as well as the Jabra’s although the case looks and feels cheaper and lacks the auto On feature which is one of the best features of the expensive rival. The buds are described as sweatproof but no IP rating for this is given.
At just £29.99 this headset is a fraction of the price my more expensive set but gives it a run for its money as regards sound quality and features. It falls down a bit on functionality, build quality and convenience of use and of course, none of the Jabra sports features is present (not that I ever use them). These buds are smaller and lighter than the Jabra’s and this is an advantage or otherwise according to your preference.
This is by no means the least expensive TW headset available but as the market cools down a new generation of well-specified good sounding devices such as this is emerging.
Good audio quality
Good battery life
Single bud operation option
No auto On
Fiddly initial setup
No Bluetooth 5
No IP Waterproof rating