True wireless earphones seem to be getting better and cheaper almost every month these days. So continuing with their ongoing rapid release schedule, EarFun is back with an updated version of their critically acclaimed Free Pro earphones.
The EarFun Free Pro 2 are true wireless earbuds that focus on value for money: good sound quality, compact size that’s very easy to carry, touch controls, and Active Noise Cancellation that marks the biggest improvement over the previous model.
As you would expect at this price level, not everything is perfect – the music sounds a bit dull at times, and the ANC – while improved – is still not the best (even compared to some of EarFun’s other models). But you’re still getting a lot for your money: so are they worth it? Let’s find out in this in-depth review.
Quick Look – EarFun Free Pro 2
What are they: Affordable and very compact True Wireless Bluetooth earphones with ANC.
Value for Money
- Decent and clean audio quality
- Active Noise Cancellation much improved over previous model (for the price)
- Built-in mics reduce noise on phone calls
- Low bass levels, and music lacks “pizzazz”
- Battery times are on the lower end (5 hours + 20 with case)
- No AptX support
Features and Specs
- Driver unit: 6mm Dynamic Drivers
- Battery Playing Time: 6 hours (5 with ANC on)
- Additional Battery Time on Case: 24 Hours (30 in total without ANC, 25 with ANC ON)
- Full charging time: 1 Hour for earbuds / 2 Hours for case (3.5 via wireless charging)
- Case charging port: USB-C / Wireless charging
- Codecs: Bluetooth 5.2, AAC, SBC
- Extra Features: IPX5 Sweat & Water Resistant / Fast charging (10 minutes for 2 hours)
As is always the case with EarFun’s earphones, you get a lot for your money, with a rich set of features, decent noise cancellation (that only goes so far, though), and good audio quality. But they’re only a minor update over the previous model.
Table of Contents
Who Are The EarFun Free Pro 2 For?
When I reviewed the first version of EarFun’s Free Pro earphones, less than a year ago, I was very impressed.
The music quality was surprisingly good, as was the build quality – and the price was very affordable. The one disappointment with the previous Free Pro model was the Active Noise Cancellation, which didn’t really do much.
The Free Pro are now back with Version 2 – and the ANC is miles ahead. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as good as on some higher-priced models, but compared to Version 1 – the ANC is finally useful, and really helps when you’re on a train, an aeroplane, or a busy street.
The rest of the features are pretty similar – the case is smaller than before (which is convenient), but that comes with a slight battery times reduction, and it still supports wireless charging.
The music quality also hasn’t changed much – it’s still quite good, and the ANC helps it sound better in noisy environments. But since I reviewed the previous model, a lot has happened in the budget-priced earphones market, and the Free Pro 2’s audio quality isn’t as exciting as it was, for the price, 11 months ago.
With so many models and upgrades coming from EarFun, here’s a chart that can help you see the differences at a glance:
You’re still getting a lot of for your money – so let’s take a closer look.
Using The EarFun Free Pro 2
Size And Comfort
The EarFun Free Pro 2’s design is all about size and weight: the earbuds are tiny, and at 4.1 grams, you can hardly feel them in your hand or in your ears. So if you’re someone who likes to sit with earbuds for hours – that’s a big plus.
That being said, they’re not the most comfortable I’ve tested – they sit almost horizontally in your ear, which, for me, was a weird feeling. But it’s something you stop noticing, eventually.
In the box, you get four ear tips and three ear-hooks in a variety of sizes (one size of each is already pre-installed on the earbuds). For me, the default size was fine – but it’s always good to have choices.
The box also comes with a USB-C cable for charging, and an instruction manual.
The charging case is very small, so it will easily fit in your pocket or in a bag. It’s made of Aluminum Alloy this time around, so it doesn’t look and feel as plasticky as the previous model’s case did.
The touch controls are located on the entire outer surface of the earbuds, but they’re shaped in a way that’s easy to pull out of your ear without accidentally touching the buttons.
The earphones have an IPX5 water resistance rating – which is good enough for water splashes such as rain or your own sweat. You can’t submerge them in water, however, so don’t go swimming with them.
As is often the case, the charging case is NOT water-resistant, so be careful when you pull it out of your bag or pocket.
Pairing and Controlling
Pairing the Free Pro 2 with your phone (or other Bluetooth devices) is easy – they support Bluetooth 5.2, and go into pairing mode when you first open the case.
The Bluetooth connection was always stable – I never heard any crackles, noises or disconnections, even when walking in crowded areas (where some Bluetooth devices struggle).
EarFun promises a maximum working range of 15 meters, though your mileage will always vary, as it depends on the walls and obstacles between you and your phone.
The touch controls were sensitive enough and worked well, most of the time. I did, on occasion, have to re-tap them when my first “touch” didn’t register – this is, unfortunately, a common issue with budget-priced earphones (and sometimes with very expensive earphones too!). But all in all, the touch buttons were usually fine.
The buttons do what you would expect them to – a tap on the left lowers the volume, a tap on the right raises the volume. Two taps start and stop the music, or answer a phone call.
Three taps on the left alternate between ANC / Ambient Mode / Normal Mode, and three taps on the right skip to the next track.
There’s no in-ear detection, but if you take both earbuds out of your ears and put them back in their case, they will automatically de-pair from your phone, and the music will then stop.
EarFun Free Pro 2 Audio Quality
The most noticeable thing about the Free Pro 2’s sound – especially when you’re listening to music – is that it’s pleasant.
The bass levels are OK, but they won’t rock your body. The highs are decent, but a little dull. And the overall sound is rich and intimate, as long you don’t crank up the volume too much.
Listening to Starship’s Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now the good ear-seal does help the bass sound very prominent. There’s a good amount of low and mid coming across, with the high a little anaemic. Altogether the sound is good if a little muffled at times.
With Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes‘ Up Where We Belong, the intro and verses sound intimate thanks to the isolated sound, with the piano gently accompanying the velvety female vocals.
Once the song kicks in, we get reasonably rich sound, but brighter and louder parts sound somewhat dull. Perhaps an EQ tuning could improve things, but EarFun doesn’t have a dedicated app for that.
The overall sound is pleasing, and remains clear throughout. The music won’t “WOW” you (as it did for me with the previous model, given the competition at the time), but if you’re not looking for an extreme experience, you’ll enjoy your music with this pair.
The Active Noise Cancellation was a sore point with the first EarFun Free Pro model – as it didn’t do much. This time around, it’s a whole different story.
EarFun calls its ANC implementation “QuietSmart 2.0”, with “Hybrid” functionality that can deal with both low-frequency noises (like the deep rumble of a train’s engine) and higher frequencies like announcement voices on the train.
In practice, the ANC here works best with low, constant rumbles – so it’s perfect for travelling. But piercing sounds, such as a car that quickly passes by, or a person talking loudly beside you – don’t get “cancelled” all that much.
All in all, I would say the ANC here serves more as a Noise Reducer than a Noise Cancellator – it minimises and lowers the volume of noises around you, but it doesn’t make them go away. In fact, at a similar price level, EarFun’s own Air Pro 2 (see my review) did a somewhat better job with the noise cancelling.
And of course, higher-priced noise-cancelling earphones can do a much better job – but for the price, it’s nice to see things have improved since the previous model.
And finally, there’s also the The “Ambient/Transparent” mode, which does the opposite of ANC – it picks up some of the sounds around you and amplifies them.
It really works well this time around, so if you’re walking near a dangerous road, you will definitely hear that car coming up behind you.
Phone calls also work well, with noise filtering that helped muffle some sounds around me, so callers on the other side could hear me well even in noisy environments.
Watching Movies With The Free Pro 2
When using wireless earphones to watch videos, one possible issue is the lip-syncing, since Bluetooth is notoriously laggy.
The Free Pro 2 have a Low Latency mode which is meant to combat that – but for movies, I didn’t even need it, as there were no lag and lip-sync issues at all when I watched a film on my phone. It might be more useful for gamers, however.
As for the sound quality, when I watched Shazam! on Netflix, the audio was quite powerful (even at the lower volume levels), and the bass was, again, decent – though not really earth or body shattering.
They do provide excellent separation though, so even during loud scenes, speech was still very clear and easy to understand.
EarFun Free Pro 2 Battery Times
When fully charged, you can now use the Free Pro 2 for up to 6 hours without ANC, and 5 hours with ANC (compared with 7 and 6 hours on the Free Pro 1). That downgrade is probably due to some of the improved technologies – and the smaller form factor.
The case holds additional 24 hours of power, so all in all you get 30 hours of using the earphones without ANC (or 25 in total with ANC on).
It’s not a bad number, but it’s certainly on the low-end these days, with earphones that can last up to 80 hours and more (like the Lypertek Z3).
The case is charged via USB-C or with a wireless charger (though it’ll be slower to charge that way), and there’s also a “Quick Charge” feature that will give you two hours of listening after just 10 minutes of keeping the earphones in the case.
Bottom Line: Are The EarFun Free Pro 2 Worth It?
If you’re looking for budget-priced earphones, the selection is very wide these days. But EarFun has been a champion in that field – so you can’t really go wrong with their models, including this one.
You get pleasant sound, decent battery times and – this time around – Active Noise Cancelling that’s pretty good for the price.
You can improve each one of those features if you’re willing to double (at least) what you’re paying – but at this price, and especially if you manage to snag them at a discount – the EarFun Free Pro 2 are a very solid pair of earphones.
Note: The earphones were supplied by the manufacturer for this review. As always, this did not influence my unbiased opinion of the product.