Ever since I got my first Discman, I dreamed that one day I might own a pair of true wireless earbuds. I looked forward to having no cords to untangle, nothing to get caught on a door handle or bag, not even a wire stringing each earbud together like you get on half-hearted attempts from Beats, Jaybird and others. And over the last six months, companies have finally started building my dream buds. The latest versions are the Apollo 7 wireless earbuds by Erato. But one question remains: Do they really work?
I'm happy to say that the Apollo 7s deliver, which is more than some other wireless earbuds like the $249 Earin can say. Over the course of three days, I suffered only a handful of sporadic disconnections, none of which lasted more than a moment, versus the Earin which frequently cut out for seemingly no reason. Even more impressive is that the Apollo 7's volume and audio quality had no trouble standing up to most wired buds, something that has been a problem for a number of recent wireless headphones. However, at $299 — or $259 if you're willing to back them in the last couple days of their Kickstarter campaign — the Apollo 7s aren't cheap.
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Available starting in June, the Apollo 7 earbuds come with a handy carrying case that doubles as a microUSB charging dock, capable of recharging the buds twice. This extends the Apollo 7s' battery life from 3 hours up to about 9 hours, provided you give them a chance to recharge in their case every once in awhile.There's a light on the case to let you know when the buds are charging, and another that lights up when the case itself it fully charged.
Pairing the buds with your phone is quite simple. Just hold the button on each bud for a couple of seconds to turn them on, and then keep holding to put them into pairing mode. You can choose to pair just one earbud if you like, but pairing both earbuds lets you use the Apollo's buttons and built-in mic to answer and make calls.
Compared to Earin's wireless buds, there's really no competition. The Apollo 7s feature far superior Bluetooth stability and audio quality. The only flaw I encountered with the Apollo 7s, was that after shutting down the earbuds, I often had to fiddle around a bit to get them to come back on. Sometimes they came alive right away, but other times I had to cycle the buds on and off a few times before they would reestablish a connection with each other and my phone.
In the end, while it can be hard to justify spending $300 on wireless earbuds for the sake of convenience when quality wired models go for $50 or less, Erato's Apollo 7 is one of the first pairs of earbuds that actually delivers on the claim of true wireless performance. So when it comes to making those dreams I had as a kid a reality, these earbuds are pretty sweet.