Electro Harmonix has just announced a new set of what they are calling True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds. Could these headphones rival Apple’s AirPods?
Electro-Harmonix R&B Buds
Mike Matthew’s New York based company Electro-Harmonix is usually associated with building guitar effects pedals, though they have in the past been involved with vacuum tube manufacturing and guitar amps as well.
Now the company has decided to take on the wireless in-ear headphone market with their new EHX R&B Buds. These new in-ear headphones come in black and have a similar design to Apple’s AirPods. You can charge them up using the supplied carrying case when not in use.
The case holds up to 15 hours of charge and the earbuds themselves can run for 5 hours. So there’s an impressive 20 hours of listening time is available using these R&B buds on one charge of the case. You charge the case using the included USB charging cable, in a similar fashion to Apple’s Lightning/USB charging solution. Apple does, however, now have a wireless charging case option for the AirPods.
The set includes three sizes of ear cushions S/M/L so you can fit them comfortably in your ear for extended periods of time. Unlike Apple’s AirPods, which are a one-size-fits-all product.
With Voice Assistant and music/call compatibility, they are really going head on with Apple’s flagship wireless headphones. Of course, we don’t know yet how well integrated the EHX R&B Buds will be with Apple iOS and Android operating systems, but they do use Bluetooth V5, so I would hope that the integration will be decent on modern smartphones.
On the money
Musicians might find these useful, though not essential, of course. But – and it is a big but – the success of this product it will all come down to the price point. Apple’s AirPods are well priced at £159 for standard wired charging case and £199 with the wireless charging case option. So, if Electro-Harmonix wants a slice of that pie, they will have to come in under those price points. But, will they integrate with iPhone as well as Apple’s own product? Unlikely. But if you are an Android user then this isn’t really an issue for you anyway!