Tom's Guide Verdict
The Haylou Purfree are solid bone conduction headphones at an attractive price with a great fit for fitness fans.
Bright, punchy sound quality
Comfortable to wear for long periods
Good clarity for calls
Slightly scratchy sounding on some music
Needs better battery prompts
Why you can trust Tom's Guide
Price: $119 / £99
Colors: Grey, pink
Battery life (rated): 8 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2
Processor: Qualcomm 3044
Durability: IP67 waterproof
Weight: 0.98 ounces
The Haylou PurFree BC01 are bone conduction headphones that are firmly aimed at delivering audio during workouts when you still need to hear what’s going on around you. They also have the feature set to ensure you can use them outside of exercise time, too.
The Qualcomm-powered headphones are built to handle seriously sweaty workouts, and include two microphones to battle background noise so calls come out nice and clear. There's also a fast charging mode to bolster things in the battery department.
They have all the key ingredients to make them an impressive set of bone conduction headphones to pick up and they deliver well on the most important fronts. Keep scrolling to discover more in my full Haylou PurFree BC01 review below.
Haylou PurFree BC01 review: Price and availability
The Haylou PurFree BC01 are available in black and pink colour options. In bone conduction headphone terms, they are among the most affordable modles I've seen. You can buy them directly from the Haylou website for $119 / £99, making them cheaper than the Shokz OpenRun Pro and Shokz OpenRun priced at $179 / £159, and $129 / £129 respectively.
They can also be found at online retail outlets. We've regularly seen them discounted to $85 at Amazon, and even go as low as $79.
Haylou PurFree BC01 review: Design and comfort
The PurFree BC01 adopts a pretty familiar wraparound design that’s made from titanium and silicone to make sure they sit light and comfortable when they’re on and they certainly do that. They weigh just 0.98 ounces (around 28g), so they’re up there with some of the lightest bone conduction headphones. I’ve had no problem wearing them with glasses or a cap and they’ve been comfortable to wear for long periods during the day as well.
It’s always nice to see physical buttons and there’s three in total here. Two volume ones sit on the underside of the right arm, with the charging port sat alongside it. Over on the left is a larger button dedicated to playing and pausing audio, skipping tracks, launching your phone’s smart assistant and dealing with calls. The buttons are well positioned, easy to navigate when you’re stationary and on the move.
That ability to take calls does mean there’s microphones included and Haylou uses a dual microphone array with a cVc noise canceling algorithm that’s included to detect background sounds and reduce them when you need to make a call indoors or outdoors.
To make them fit for exercise Haylou uses a design that has an IP67 waterproof rating, which doesn’t mean they rank among the best waterproof headphones for swimming, but does mean they can handle both sweaty and rainy downpours.
Haylou PurFree BC01 review: Sound and call quality
There are some not so desirable characteristics that are associated with bone conduction headphones. They’re generally not going to be as powerful and bassy as the best wireless earbuds or the best headphones for starters. They do also tend to leak a lot of sound and don’t always give you the scope to customize the tonal balance. Nevetheless, the PurFree BC01 manage to strike a good balance and do a very good job.
Haylou says you can expect ‘premium sound quality’ and while that’s certainly a bold claim, these definitely sit at the more enjoyable end of the bone conduction spectrum. I used these headphones in a variety of scenarios. At my desk working, in the gym and out on runs, on public transport and generally just out walking with them. I listened to a mix of podcasts, my own bassy-heavy workout playlists and the useful Songs To Test Headphones playlist on Spotify (or even the Tom's Guide Headphone Demo playlist), which offer a nice range of tracks to see how the headphones can handle different music genres.
My overall feelings of the sound is that it’s bright, pretty versatile and in bone conduction terms has a very pleasant quality to it. On bass-heavy tracks like Burial’s "Archangel", they deliver a punchy and ever so slightly murky bass performance. Mids can feel slightly boxy, and treble a touch harshly, but it’s a mostly enjoyable. Slowing things down with Otis Redding’s "(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay" and vocals sound pleasantly reproduced and they feel at ease on something less bass-centric in general.
Sound leakage is a big problem for bone conduction headphones. Though the Haylou aren't the worst offenders out there, you wouldn’t want to use them in quieter public spaces if you don’t want others to hear your playlists.
Things are a little better on the call quality front where I found performance strong for overall clarity, particularly in slightly louder environments, walking near roads and busier streets. Although the Halou don't rank among the best headphones with a mic for taking calls, they worked perfectly fine to use for calls both indoors and out and kept background noise to a minimum.
Haylou PurFree BC01 review: Battery life
The Haylou PurFree BC01 bone conduction headphones promise a battery life of around 8 hours. Charging it takes around 1.5 hours to get a full battery.
Hitting that 8 hour battery mark is absolutely achievable. Even if you are running low, there’s a fast charging mode that gets you up to 2 hours of playtime with just a 10-minute charge.
Battery prompts are delivered when you turn the headphones on. They’re pretty vague, and it would be far more useful if they indicated the battery percentage to give a sense of when they’re in need of charging.
Haylou PurFree BC01 review: Verdict
The Haylou PurFree BC01 deliver enjoyable sound whether you choose to exercise with them or use them for taking calls. They’re comfortable to wear for long periods, have really solid battery life and can rival the sound performance of bone conduction headphones costing more.
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Michael is a freelance journalist who has covered consumer technology for over a decade and specializes in wearable and fitness tech. Previously editor of Wareable, he also co-ran the features and reviews sections of T3, and has a long list of bylines in the world of consumer tech sites.
With a focus on fitness trackers, headphones, running wearables, phones, and tablet, he has written for numerous publications including Wired UK, GQ, Men's Fitness, BBC Science Focus, Metro and Stuff, and has appeared on the BBC Travel Show. Michael is a keen swimmer, a runner with a number of marathons under his belt, and is also the co-founder of YouTube channel The Run Testers.