Over the last few years, I’ve reviewed a number of different sets of earbuds from Padmate (aka Pamu). The very first ones I saw (and reviewed over at WWR) featured a unique sliding mechanism to open up the lid, and that’s what we’ve got here for the newest version, the Pamu Slide 2.
The case of the Pamu Slide 2 is, of course, how the earbuds are charged. To charge things, you can use your Qi-enabled pad, or plug in a USB-C cable. As it’s charging, there’s a strip of LED lighting along the bottom of the case that chases to show you how far along it’s charged (and the same light up when you’re putting the earbuds back in). Thankfully, those are the only lights on the whole kit. That’s right – no blinking lights on the earbuds as you’re using them, which is a welcome change.
As with any number of earbuds these days, the Pamu Slide 2 come with different sizes of silicone eartips that you can use to get a good fit to your ear. While the earbuds themselves seem big (in profile), once they’re inserted into the ear canal, you really don’t see much of them, so they look much smaller in use.
Of course, use is what these are all about. For fit and comfort, they went right in and stayed in place. I didn’t have any problems with them working loose as I walked or jogged, and they worked just fine in more stationary endeavors as well. So, that leaves audio quality. Out of the box, the default profile is ok, and about what you’d expect from drivers this small. By that, we mean that the treble comes through bright and crisp, while the bass is a little more subdued – you can hear it, but it’s not going to be like your over-ear headphones.
That is, until you tune things in the associated app. Now, a few notes on this app. If you’ve got the earlier Pamu app on your phone, it will not see the Pamu Slide 2. You’ll need to install the newest (different) version to get it working. You’ll also need to create a Pamu account to use it. I ran into troubles using a manual setup (user name and password) as well as trying to use Google; I was finally able to get things setup using my Apple ID. Once I was in, I saw the settings as shown up above, and was able to fine tune things a bit to what I was listening to (ie, podcasts vs music).
Those helped to boost the bass some for the tunes, but the really killer feature that I made the most use of was the Wind Noise Reduction noise cancellation. You’d think regular ANC would be able to account for the wind moving around these sticking from your ears, but it really can’t. With all other earbuds I’ve used, I’ll get the noise even on a lightly breezy day, or when on the bike. However, with these, the Wind Noise Reduction works exactly as advertised, removing ALL of that distracting noise, while still allowing what’s going on in the world around you to get through a little (always good when on a path or in a park, or anywhere in public, really). One thing I will note that is that when listening to music, I’d occasionally encounter a weird distortion in the song, sort of what it would sound like when the tape would stretch. A weird warp in the tune, and then right back into it.
Battery life on the Pamu Slide 2 was pretty good as well. Using them about an hour a day during the work week (and then back into the charging case), I only had to charge the case every 2 or 3 weeks, so they’re great as workout companions in my book. Add in that you can customize the touch/slide controls to your particular preferences, automatic in-ear detection (so it pauses the audio when you pull one out), and the ability to use just one earbud at a time if you want to, there’s a lot of nice features to go along with that awesome wind noise reduction.
As with other Pamu launches, these are going up for sale over on Indiegogo. Early bird pricing starts at $79, and the campaign is fully over-funded at the time of this writing. It wraps up on August 6th, which shipping (it appears) to be happening as soon as the campaign closes. Check out all the details over on the campaign page / padmate-tech.com