Michael Nuñez/CNN
Earfun Air

If you’re shopping for the best wireless earbuds on the market, you don’t have to look any further than the Apple AirPods Pro or Galaxy Buds Pro. But not everyone wants to spend a few hundred dollars to listen to their favorite music or watch movies on their favorite device. That’s where budget options come in, and after testing several, we found one pair that stands far above the rest: the $69.99 EarFun Air.

And let us make this really simple for you: If you want to spend less than $100 on wireless earbuds, you won’t find a better pair than the EarFun Air. Yes, you read that correctly. They sound better, look better and perform better than earphones nearly double their price. Let’s unpack the EarFun Air.

The best budget earbuds

If you want to spend less than $100 on wireless earbuds, you won’t find a better pair than the EarFun Air.

The who, what and how

Who this is for: The EarFun Air are for someone looking for a dependable pair of true wireless earbuds with great sound, long battery life and a comfortable design.

What you need to know: Our main complaint with EarFun Air is that unlike AirPods or other earbuds, there is no quick switching between paired devices. However, if you plan to use these with just a single device, the EarFun Air may be exactly what you’re looking for, and pair that with strong sound and connectivity.

How they compare: EarFun Air not only beat out a number of other similarly priced budget earbuds, but they can also go head-to-head with the likes of standard $129 AirPods. In our tests, we found that the EarFun Air sounded better with nearly every genre of music we tested. Battery life is also not a concern with seven hours of playback. They look like run-of-the-mill earbuds available in black or white but also pack a water resistance, which makes it fine to work out with them or wear them in the rain. Just know that you won’t get more advanced features such as active noise cancellation and a Transparency mode like you will on the AirPods Pro or Beats Fit Pro.

Big sound, small price tag

Michael Nuñez/CNN
EarFun Air

When you’re buying new headphones, there’s only one thing that really matters: Do they sound any good? The EarFun Air pass the basic sound quality test with flying colors. We tested these earbuds across a wide variety of musical genres, including classical, metal, rock, pop and dance. In every single category, the EarFun Air shined.

Songs like “Them Changes” by Thundercat and “Wildfire” by SBTRKT highlight the deep, punchy bass and clarity of vocals layered on top. Other ensemble masterpieces, such as “Watermelon Man” by Herbie Hancock and “Blue Monday” by Baltic House Orchestra offer examples of how well balanced and distinctive each sound is even when several instruments are playing.

We tested dozens of songs in these earphones over the course of many weeks and we failed to find any song that didn’t sound great in these earbuds. Furthermore, we could discern no difference compared to the AirPods Pro in controlled, quiet settings. When compared to the $129 AirPods it was no contest. The EarFun Air actually sounded better despite being about half the price.

So what’s the catch?

For all of the incredibly good things we can say about the EarFun Air sound performance, there are inevitably two major drawbacks. First, the EarFun Air have an extremely limited set of features and are terrible for moving between devices. This drawback alone should be enough to sway many of you to pony up the extra cash and buy a pair of AirPods.

I’ll say it another way: If you own multiple internet devices and frequently switch between them, you should probably consider a different set of earbuds. Pairing and re-pairing these is an annoying and time-consuming process to say the least, and it’s well worth spending some extra money if you plan to use them daily.

For everyone else, especially if you plan to use these wireless earbuds with one device, you’re in the clear. We had no connectivity issues after pairing the EarFun Air with an iPad and found they worked just as well as all of my Apple-branded headphones — Beats Solo Pro, AirPods Pro and standard AirPods.

Does it have any killer features?

The EarFun Air are about as straightforward as they come, but they do have a few extra features like an IPX7 waterproof rating. This means they can be submerged into about 1 meter of water for about 30 minutes. We don’t often see waterproofing on devices this cheap, so of course, this came as a huge plus and one we gladly accepted.

Practically, this means you can wear them in light rain or even while working out. Heck, you can even wash these earbuds off under the faucet without much worry. We think it works as a great insurance policy for protecting your investment.

Another major benefit to these headphones is the four-way microphone, which assists in much better sound isolation during phone calls and video conferencing. The sound isolation is not as clean as other high-end over-the-ear headphones like the Bose Noise-Canceling Headphones 700, and the controls are nowhere near as easy to manage as competing earbuds, but we still found these to be formidable during work hours.

We used the EarFun Air during regular work hours for more than a week with no problem. Some colleagues even commented at how great they looked and sounded. Put simply, they can perform everyday tasks just as well as many earbuds that cost twice their price.

Beyond sound and microphone quality, the EarFun Air earbuds had impressively long battery life, with a full seven hours of playback, as promised, with an extra 28 hours in the case. Although we were skeptical they’d last this long, our weeks of testing proved these claims to be true. The EarFun Air rarely needed to be charged and typically lasted the full duration of their marketed battery life. In comparison to other budget options, EarFun Air stretched an hour longer than the EarFun Air Pro and blew past the most affordable option in the group — JLab Audio Go Air — by more than two hours.

Bottom line

The EarFun Air earbuds won’t work for everyone — but if you’re in the small subset of people who need something cheap, reliable and great-sounding, it’s going to be hard to find anything better than the EarFun Air.

If your concern is sound quality alone, let us assure you that you will have absolutely no problems hearing your favorite music as it was intended. The bass is fantastic, the soundstage is accurate and full and the balance was well beyond anything we imagined at this price point.

The only reason you should consider buying other earphones is if you’re the type of person who frequently switches between devices. If you are, you’re probably a power user, and for that, we would recommend spending a little bit more on a higher-quality pair of headphones. The convenience will be well worth it in the long run.

But if you need something cheap, dependable and pretty damn resilient, look no further than the EarFun Air. Oh, and they’re discounted to just $49.99.