Having released a flurry of well-received products over the last few years – including the Earfun Air Pro and Earfun UBoomL – affordable audio brand Earfun has built-up a solid rep for quality sound at wallet-friendly prices. Its latest new release sees the brand break completely new ground, with its new true wireless EarFun Air Pro 3 buds claimed to be the world’s first noise-cancelling earbuds under $100 to offer next-gen Bluetooth LE Audio technology.
LE Audio is the latest iteration of the Bluetooth transmission standard which uses a new codec called LC3 that improves both sound quality and battery life. LC3 is capable of compressing and decompressing audio data more efficiently than previous codecs, meaning that Bluetooth wireless chips can do their jobs without drawing as much power – and it's capable of higher quality at the same time.
As if that wasn't enough, the Air Pro 3 also boast support for Qualcomm’s apt-X Adaptive audio codec, which is capable of delivering CD-quality 16-bit.44.1kHz audio over Bluetooth. The codec also provides low-latency performance when streaming from devices that support the Qualcomm standard.
Supporting LE Audio means there's also support for Auracast technology which will enable you to seamlessly jump between audio playing from two different devices, letting you share audio with nearby friends, or to hear sounds streaming to large numbers of people in public spaces. (Auracast won't be activated for a while yet, though.)
For comparison, Apple's AirPods Pro 2 came out at the end of last year, and don't support LE Audio or any Hi-Res Audio tranmission standard – the Earfuns have some major feature advantages over some of the best wireless earbuds available today that cost three times as much.
Running on the latest Bluetooth 5.3 standard, the new headphones also have active noise cancellation, called the QuietSmart 2.0 hybrid ANC system, which delivers a claimed reduction of outside noise by up to 43dB. We rated the original Earfun Air Pro as the best noise-cancelling earbuds for the price, so we'll see if these can pick up the mantle.
Call quality performance from the earbud’s built-in microphones – so often an Achilles' heel for even the best TWS headphones – promises to impress too. Wind interference is set to subdued by a dedicated algorithm that constantly works to reduce wind noise from the tri-mic array in each bud, while the Air Pro 3’s also boasts Qualcomm’s cVc 8.0 echo-canceling and noise suppression to further improve call quality.
There’s IPX5 level water and sweat resistance, meaning they're fine for use in light rain, while battery life comes in at nine hours on a single charge of the earbuds, with the USB-C storage case holding up to a further 36 hours of backup juice. That's 45 hours in total – it's among the best we've seen, assuming it holds up in practice.
Analysis: Well-specced earbuds should mean new Bluetooth fun for everyone
From their hyper-budget EarFun Air TWS in-ears, to their Earfun UBoom L travel speaker, EarFun have been quietly rolling out a steady stream of devices that over-deliver on their price over the last 18 months.
They appear to be stepping up the game however in a big way with the Air Pro 3’s, with a feature list that puts high-end earbuds to shame. These have better connectivity tech than the Sony WF-1000XM4 or Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II!
LE Audio has had us techy audio lovers waiting with bated breath for devices to support the feature since it was first announced a few years back, and they've been rolling out for a while – but we're surprised by how quickly it's coming to the best budget wireless earbuds, considering the feature isn't supported by any phones yet. (It was supposed to be included in Android 13, but hasn't been activated yet, it appears.)
While we fully expect plenty more earbuds toting LE Audio to follow in the wake of the Air Pro 3, few are likely to beat them on price.
Will the buds' sound live up to their lengthy feature list? While you wait for the full TechRadar review, why not check out our current list of the best true wireless earbuds.
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Kevin Lynch is a London-born, Dublin-based writer and journalist. The author of Steve Jobs: A Biographic Portrait, Kevin is a regular feature writer for a number of tech sites and the former Technology Editor for the Daily Mirror. He has also served as editor of GuinnessWorldRecords.com and has been a member of the judging panel for the BAFTA British Academy Video Game Awards. Alongside reviewing the latest AV gear, smartphones and computers, Kevin also specialises in music tech and can often be found putting the latest DAWs, MIDI controllers and guitar modellers through their paces. Born within the sound of Bow Bells, Kevin is also a lifelong West Ham fan for his troubles.