To be honest, I’m not a guy who spends a lot of money on earphones. But I always appreciate having a good pair around, whether earbuds or the kind that sits over your ears. That’s why I have so many, several of them Apple, having come with various iPhones I’ve owned over the years. I’ve owned a few other brand names – like Sony, for instance, although I never want to spend a lot for them because I don’t use them constantly.
So having said that, I recently tried out a pair of PaMu Slide wireless earbuds, and I have to say, I love them. If you’ve never heard of them, these remarkable earbuds are made by a company called Xiamen Padmate Technology based in China. They retail for about $70. Compare that to Apple AirPods that sell for between $159 and $199. And consider that experts say that the sound of PaMu’s buds are “sharper and clearer than Apple’s.”
I mention that because I’ve never owned a pair of AirPods or any other wireless earbuds. But as a layman who just loves music and who sometimes has to listen to recordings of interviews for work, I’m impressed. Glad to know others with more experience are, too.
The sound quality is astounding, no matter which part of my eclectic music collection I happen to be listening to. The buds connect via Bluetooth effortlessly with my iPhone XR. They require little more to connect to the oldest piece of Bluetooth-enabled tech I own, a discontinued Barnes and Noble Nook running a weaker version of an Android OS from before BN started outsourcing Nook production to Samsung (do they still make them at all?). Even as I begin to write this, I’m listening to the Nook, playing an old Swing Out Sister album and enjoying every bit of the complex, dense instrumentality that went into making it.
I also love how comfortable these buds are in my ears, how secure they are when I move around and how with just a tap, I can pause the music if I need to hear something other than the music. The up volume is a long press on the touch area on the right bud, where the same on the left decreases volume. It might take some getting used to the fact, though, that not all the commands work the same way on each bud as noted in the diagram below.
That brings me to phone calls. I find that the call quality is quite good; I had a conversation with my wife with one of the buds connected to the Nook and the other to the iPhone (not sure two Bluetooth pairings at the same time is a desired result, although it was interesting to hear Annie Lennox in one ear and the Delfonics in the other for a second). Even though only the bud paired with the phone was taking the call, I could hear her, and she could hear me – which is my definition of a successful phone call even in the 21st century.
The learning curve for basic use of the PaMu Slide is as simple as picking them up from the charger. Speaking of that, the charger is a cute little cube that when closed looks like a small speaker. When you slide the cover back you reveal the earbuds in their molded charging cradles. Nice design. The charger has indicator lights on the cover to let you know if it needs plugging in – it easily lasts more than a week without a charge. When you do charge the cradle, just plug the USB connector cable into the power block you use for your phone or into your computer or any other decent hub.
And the indicators on the buds themselves clue you in to whether they need charging. My experience is that they will play hours and hours of music without distortion or fading. They claim 10 hours. I believe that, based on listening for a few hours one day and then a few more the next day.
Finally, the PaMu Slide has a wireless phone charging function that activates with a little button on the cradle. As noted in the manual, “this function is optional, non-standard” so your mileage may vary depending on device.
PaMu has been raising funds for the next generation of their earbuds on Indiegogo since earlier this year. There were two days left to get in on the campaign when I wrote this, with $4 million raised and more than 100,000 backers.
The upshot: From my perspective as a regular guy who loves music the PaMu Slide is the perfect set of earbuds to take on the road. Easy to pack, easy to use, and fantastic sound quality.