As of late, I’ve gone from relying on whatever inexpensive earbuds I had kicking around to using a number of quality – but still affordable – headphones and earbuds. While I’m working, the over-ear work very, very nicely. While working out, though? I prefer earbuds. I’ve been using a true wireless set from PaMu (reviewed here). Lately, I’ve been trying out the PaMu Quiet, which have a few days left on their IndieGoGo campaign.
I’ve tended to like the PaMu earbuds for their simplicity. They connect to my phone quickly and easily, and the touch surfaces are fairly intuitive (and have remained the same from product to product). With the addition of active noice cancelling (ANC) to the mix, I was very intrigued.
Now, a note on that ANC. I was coming to this from my very excellent Q20 experience, but of course, earbuds are not going to be the same. They don’t have the same seal around your ear (well, maybe if you used foam comply eartips) so there will be some noise coming through for sure. So, no, the ANC is not going to be as complete as you’d have with over-the-ear cans. That said, as I alternated between having the ANC off and on, I could notice a difference.
Switching that with the touch interface is not as intuitive as you might expect (see the chart up above). Fortunately, they’ve release an app that you can use to flip back and forth, and even put the headset in a “transparency” mode, that allows you to hear more of the noise around you (handy for exercising outdoors, actually). With the app, you can also update the firmware in the earbuds, which is handy as well, as well as change the behavior of what the various presses on the earbuds do.
The charging case has a nice change to it with the Pamu Quiet as well. You can charge it via USB-C or Qi, and it’ll give your earbuds another 10.5 hours of playback time. The case itself is shaped like a small canteen or rotund pocket watch, and opens up sort of like a pocket watch. You press down on the crown, and the lid opens up. Oh, and speaking of the lid, while things are charging, you get a partially-lit blue ring letting you know it’s doing it.
So, the real question is, how do these perform in the real world? Sitting still, at a desk, they’re decent for an in-ear earbud. For exercise, though, my experience was mixed. For jogging, the left earbud was fine, but I was picking up a clicking sort of a sound from the right one. I tried changing ear tips, but it was still there. It was just some interaction between my ear and the earbud causing it. So, I hit that on a run.
When I went out on a bike ride, I hit another issue with the PaMu Quiet. With the way they’re shaped, they stick out of my ears a bit more than the standard PaMu earbuds, and they REALLY create some crazy wind noise. It’s constant, so you’d think the ANC would help account for it, but that was not my experience at all.
I really went into this review wanting to like the PaMu Quiet, as I’ve had generally positive experiences with their Slide earbuds. However, I hit some weird issues with them that would stop me from wanting to use them regularly (and in fact, I’ve gone back to the Slide Mini for exercising with). Maybe these are pre-production problems, or I just had a weird one that slipped through QA. Still, when the asking price is $89, that’s a gamble. If you want true wireless, I’d still stay the Slide Mini (which they’re offering on the campaign page for $49 or even the Nano ($39) would be the better bet.
You can check all of it out over at the campaign page. Just do so quickly, as it’s closing out on the 16th. indiegogo.com