This is part 2 of 2, a multi-part review of Specter Wireless’ Audio Products. View Part 1 Here.

Last time, I reviewed the EFITZ Sports Earphones and I am still blown away. I use them on my daily commute and they’re still bangin’. This is normally a website focused on earbuds, but I am so impressed with Specter Wireless’ products, I decided to make an exception.

 

The ELUX Wireless Premium Sports Headphones

 

First impressions – these are comfy. A big problem with headphones is that they are usually too tight. At first it might seem unnoticeable, but after a few hours your ears start aching (don’t forget to take well needed listening breaks!). I didn’t notice this problem with the ELUX headphones, they are easily adjustable and they sit on your head without much effort. I tried them on for 2 hour durations (at a safe listening volume) and the outer parts of my ears didn’t experience that stereotypical physical ache.

 

These are Sports Headphones, so they are designed to be durable. You can bend them, you can sustain falls with them on and they’d still be working (source):

The aesthetic of these headphones is very elegant, very chic. They make for a nice accessory as well as a nice compliment to your workout. My biggest issue is that the white color allows for some staining to occur, but with careful maintenance that can be avoided (or just purchase, the just-as-fabulous black version of the ELUX headphones)

Sound-wise, these are great. I will be honest, these are not audiophile level headphones (think $500+). But that’s not the purpose of these headphones. They aim to provide a nice quality of music wirelessly. They are balanced, but a bit more on the bassy side. They require 2 hours of charging to allow for 12 hours of playback (via Bluetooth, 20m distance) and a 400 hour (!) standby time. I usually charge mine once per week for a regular Monday/Wednesday/Friday workout (plus commute). Comparably, I like the ELUX headphones better than the Urbanears Hellas. The ELUX are more comfortable, offer better adjustment and provide a better Bluetooth pairing experience.

The AQSTIX Waterproof Wireless Speaker

I never knew how much I needed a portable speaker in my life, until I tried the AQSTIX speaker. On the surface, it looks cute. But most importantly it is so useful. Usually when I want to share some music when I have friends over, I usually either grab my phone and show them or I open up iTunes on my Macbook. But both ways are too quiet. Now, I just select the song through my phone and stream it into the AQSTIX through Bluetooth. And boy is it loud – the AQSTIX is a 20 Watts dual speaker system. I’ve also used it to provide ambient music through the included microSD card compatibility. There is also an AUX IN jack, so you can feed your music through that as well.

The AQSTIX is waterproof up to 3 feet. Perfect for setting the mood for outside events – no need to worry if there is some water being splashed around. AQSTIX is very bassy, despite its small size it packs quite a punch (partly due to the “MaxxBass Technology” it offers). It offers 12 hours of playback on a single charge and the NFC-enabled Bluetooth pairing for easy pairing with your devices.

 

Both the ELUX Wireless Premium Sports Headphones and the AQSTIX Waterproof Wireless Speaker are available from Specter Wireless. Specter Wireless, once again, does not disappoint with their product line and innovation. I’m looking forward to their future releases. Check out their Twitter and Instagram

People who own expensive earbuds soon realize that these earbuds are not for everyday activities. The last thing you want to do with your $200+ pair of earbuds is take a jog or get caught in the rain. The use of expensive earbuds should be limited to studio use or home use. But this raises the question, what earbuds are you going to use for your commutes, workouts or other activities? I used to buy earbuds at Wal Mart, but the sound quality was not that good (especially when I was used to $200+ earbuds) and they broke very quickly.

I used a site called MONOPRICE to buy my HDMI (and instrument) cables. While Best Buy has cable for $10-$20, monoprice has cables for ~$4 each. So one day, I noticed that they also sell earbuds. So I added a few to my cart and decided to test them. Here are the results.

Monoprice 105874 Premium Sonic Isolation Earphones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I do not recommend these. These are like generic iPhone earbuds. Did not stay well in my ears and did not sound good.

Monoprice 108320 Enhanced Bass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was some forum hype surrounding these earbuds, so I decided to try them out. They were the best sounding of the bunch. As the name suggests the bass was nice, but the mids and treble were pretty good too. Unfortunately these were uncomfortable in my ears for long periods of time. If these fit nice into your ears, these are the way to go. Buy a different set of tips for these!

 

Monoprice 109927 Enhanced Bass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are supposed to be an upgrade to the Monoprice 108320. Personally I saw no advantage and they still did not fit in my ears. Skip these and go with the 108320

Monoprice 108321 Button Design Noise Isolating

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These were not noise isolating as the name suggests and were rather fragile. Nothing really bad about these and nothing really good. Just your run of the mill earbud

Monoprice 109396 Hi-Fi Premium Noise Isolating

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My absolutely favourite (cheap) pair of earbuds. Great sound. Great isolation. Most importantly, extremely comfortable with the default tips! I use these all the time. It is a bit hard to tell which one is left and which one is right, but I put some whiteout on the left one to easily differentiate between them. Highly recommended!

 

Here are some things to realize before buying a pair of cheap earbuds. These won’t sound like your SHURE earbuds. But they’ll beat anything retail in the sub $50 category. I’d recommend you buy at least two pairs as these (and other cheap earbuds) break often. I go through 2 pairs a year. I highly recommend the Monoprice 109396 Hi-Fi Premium Noise Isolating and the Monoprice 108320 Enhanced Bass (with extra Comply Foam Tips). Good luck and remember to protect your hearing!

This is part 1 of 2, a multi-part review of Specter Wireless’ Audio Products. Part 2 is coming soon!

Every Sunday, I like to go jogging. Most of the time I want to bring some music with me, because jogging without music is boring. Unfortunately, this is more difficult than you would think. As a novice, I used to bring some of my relatively expensive earbuds. I learned that lesson the hard way, when my $150 VSonic GR07 broke after a month – a mixture of water damage and cord damage. Now I rely on cheap $10-$15 earbuds. They sound muffled, and they break after a month but at least I don’t feel guilty about replacing them. I got the chance to try the EFITZ by Specter Wireless and I could proudly say that things are about to change

 

The EFITZ come in a very premium case. It’s a nice change of pace. I’ve had expensive earphones that come in cheap packaging, which makes me wonder what else the company had skimped out on. This was not the case with Specter Wireless. Full premium quality right from the start. Each package comes with: the EFITZ earphone, a microUSB charging cable, 3 types of closed ear tips (small, medium and large), 2 types of semi-closed ear tips (small and medium) and an instruction manual. The semi-closed ear tip addition was a nice touch. Often times during a jog, I want to pay attention to the road, particularly if there are any cars or cyclists. The semi-closed tips provide just the right awareness of the outside environment without sacrificing the sound. Nice Touch. Unfortunately, a carrying pouch missing. Not a significant issue, since these earphones most of the time will be around your ears rather than tucked away in a pouch.

The earphones are very sturdy. The piece that goes around your ear is firm (but still pliable). A common problem with over-the-ear earbuds is that the ‘over-the-ear’ portion either breaks off or becomes too pliable, so it no longer retains its shape (and your earbuds fall out). Not a problem with these earbuds. It looks like the over-the-ear portion will remain functioning for many years. The cable is thick. This combined with the fact that these earphones are over the ear, means that the microphonics are reduced (in fact I didn’t hear any). Strain relief is provided at important cable junctions, so you can expect the cord to last a long time. Nevertheless, you should still take care of your earphones, since every time you crumble them up and put them in your pocket, there is potential damage to the cord.

From first glance, the earphones seem a bit bulky. But when you pick them up, they are rather light. I wore them throughout the  week. I had a few extended session of around 2 hours (1 hour jog and 1 hour just around the house) and I didn’t feel them at all. I did have to switch out the default tips to Comply tips (personal preference) and it took me about 5 minutes to get used to the over the top style (I usually wear my earbuds straight down). But overall no complaints, the fit was snug and my ears didn’t hurt after prolonged use.

These are bassy earphones (think JVC HA-FX1100 / ATH-CKS1000). The bass isn’t overpowering (although you can certainly make it so with some EQ modifications in your music player), but it can be felt. The bass does not muddy the sound, so the highs and the mids shine through. The earphones have decent clarity (comparable with earphones in the $150-$200 price bracket). I’d say the sound signature is slightly V-Shaped, but not over exaggerated like the DUNO DN-2000. The isolation is superb, Specter used CSR’s cVc technology for noise isolation. This technology promises to deliver crisp, clear audio as well as block out ambient, road and conversational noise. I do not know the details behind this technology, but I am not complaining – it is effective.

I was able to pair the earbuds quite easily to my Android and my wife’s iPhone. A big issue with bluetooth earphones is that the sound quality decreases and the music skips as you get away from the source. I’d imagine for most users of the EFTIZ earphones, the source would be in their pockets. But I sometimes like to use earphones around the house and I wanted to see if I could leave my phone in one room and travel around the house without reduction in sound quality. I had no problem with the sound when I was in the next room (roughly 8 metres away), but two rooms apart I received disconnections. I also tried leaving my phone in the basement, the connection is fine one floor up, but disconnects when I am on the second floor. When the connection is there, the audio is pristine and I can not tell that this is a bluetooth earphone.

The EFITZ have an Ingress Protection rating of 7 (IP7). This is the exact same rating as the iPhone 7. According to the scale this means that the EFITZ can withstand exposure to water for 30 minutes up to a depth of 1 meter. This is really impressive, and while I wouldn’t go swimming with these earphones I would definitely not be afraid to use them in the rain and I wouldn’t be worried with them breaking due to exposure to sweat.

Verdict. Overall the EFITZ is a smart choice.  Available for $95.95 directly from Specter Wireless, it outcompetes earbuds (which are not even wireless) in the $150-$200 range. With a great bass response, and a slight v-shaped sound signature, these are perfect for working out, commuting or just general house use. This is a very bold introduction by Specter Wireless and I am excited to see what they will produce in the future. Meanwhile, check out their Instagram.