Video review coming soon, but I wanted to write up a quick review on my blog.
TL;DR: Your money can be better spent elsewhere. Don’t pick one up.
First off, the packaging was quite nice. Even though the instruction manual was utter garbage, the PaMu engineering team could definitely earn some points from the case alone. The top has some nice “mesh-like” patterns on the plastic that sort of sparkles under the light. Otherwise, the case is pretty blank.
On the back is a button to open up the case. Personally, I wish I could just push on the top and it would pop out, but I guess they had to save costs somehow. On the side are four battery indicator lights, and a MicroUSB jack. It’s 2018, but I guess not everything needs USB-C ports yet.
The case opens to reveal two earbuds inside. They are charged with two charging prongs. There is a weak magnet inside the case that holds the buds. Personally, they don’t feel very sturdy, which is why I guess the case is meant to be cumbersome to open. We wouldn’t want any buds falling out, would we?
The earbuds fit pretty nicely in my ear without any changing of the tips. If you twist the earbuds a bit in your ear, you can get a stable lock in your ear that prevents the buds from falling out.
The sound quality was pretty nice, though it did lack most of the bass. I presume that’s because of the lossy nature of Bluetooth. However, the treble and the mids stayed long enough with me to let me consider this buds further. The audio always stayed in sync - one bud never went out of sync with the other.
OK, enough with the pros. Now the cons.
The audio, while good, wasn’t very meaningful. I really disliked the lack of bass - most of the music I listen to have some sort of punchy bass - and that was a big dealbreaker for me. I think that’s why I sold off my last pair of earbuds from Britz - while very good, it wasn’t worth it.
And while the audio did not go out of sync, the right earbud kept dropping out in crowded environments. I guess that’s understandable - the left earbud receives the audio through Bluetooth, and hands it off to the right earbud so it plays in tandem. In crowded areas such as subways, the right earbud kept dropping off to the point where it was hard to listen to. The PaMu engineering team claims they use “LDS antennas” with “vmlinux”. I’m not sure where “vmlinux” comes in, but it only seems likely that it’s just a marketing scam.
My biggest gripe is the case. When I plug it in the case, the buds shut off. However, the buds constantly leech power from the pins to make sure it is in the case. Therefore, if you leave it on standby for a couple of days, you end up with dead earbuds. But that’s not the end of it. When you remove the buds, sometimes they fail to come back on. Yup. The only solution then is to plug it back in the case to wake it up, then pull it out to turn it on.
The buds themselves also have limited functionality. There’s only one function for the tap-enabled surface - tap to play and pause music. That’s it. No volume control by swiping up or down, no track control by swiping left or right, nope, nada, none. It’s a pretty dumb approach, given that proximity sensors could replace what these taps are doing. Plus, false positives kept cropping up when I fumbled with the buds to put them back in the case. Not a very intuitive interface.
The PaMu earbuds also showed a diverse set of latency times. With the iPhone 6S Plus, the latency was close to none - so I was all for giving it an A+ - until I tried it out with my various Android phones. None of them got to the standards I had established with the iPhone. I’m not sure if iPhones have superior Bluetooth drivers, or if my Android phones just had bad luck, or if the PaMu earbuds didn’t like to play nice with Android phones. Whatever the case may be, it’s hard to recommend these buds to anyone when it might not even play nice with their device. And with most people, they don’t usually switch out phones just because an accessory isn’t working - most of the times, they just change the accessory.
The price is moderately expensive now. If you picked up the Indiegogo version, you would spend maybe $38-ish (because of shipping), but now they have finished with the Indiegogo campaign and are now selling these earbuds on their website for more than $50. That’s pretty expensive, and at that point I don’t recommend picking one up.
- Nice fit, pretty sturdy, it probably won’t fall out
- Case is designed OK-ish?
- Earbuds have good mids and treble
- Lack of bass
- Marketing scam? “vmlinux” has no meaning in the context
- The tap buttons are pretty basic
- Expensive now
- Case dies because of vampire buds
- Incompatibilities (latencies) with certain phones