Reviewed by David Savage
I travel a lot by train and long journeys can be boring. So when I am not reading a book on my Kindle I like to listen to some music on my phone or watching Netflix on my tablet. As I am on a train, obviously other passengers don’t want to listen to my music or tv show, so a good pair of earphones/headphones is essential, especially if you want quality sound rather than the tinny sound of a phone or tablet speaker.
So then the decision is to either go for headphones or earbuds.
I’m not a big fan of headphones over my head, a lot can be clunky and heavy and even the lighter ones annoy my ears after a short while. So I generally use earphones, and prefer wireless ones to wired as trailing cables can be a pain, especially as I find the cable is either too short or too long and I inevitability end up getting it caught or pulling it.
All the wireless earphones I own have a cable between each ear bud with a Bluetooth connection to the phone or tablet. So when I was asked to try out the Groove-e true wireless SoundBuds, I couldn’t wait as they are a set of 2 earbuds without any cables.
The SoundBuds are a pair of true wireless stereo (TWS) earphones with Voice Assistant – this means that there are no cables whatsoever, the two buds are not linked by a cable and there is not even a cable to plug in to charge them.
In the package is:
- Two wireless earbuds (one pair)
- Portable charging case
- Micro USB charging cable
- Ear caps (small and medium)
- Easy start up guide
On opening up the box, I first had to charge the earbuds and the charging case. I love the system for this. The earbuds are truly wireless so never see a cable. The earbuds are placed into the portable charger which then charges them. The charging case is charged using a micro USB cable and takes around 3 hours to fully charge. The case charges the earbuds. Once both are fully charged you get 4 hours playback from the earbuds and the portable charging case will give you another 10 of charge (so 14 hours playback from a single charge of the charging case). I love that the charging case is small and lightweight enough to carry around and gives you portable charging. To charge the earbuds once they are placed in the case, you press the button to charge; the earbuds light up red while charging, changing to blue once charged. The LED display on the charging case also tells you what percentage is left in the case.
The earbuds themselves use Bluetooth 5, which is more energy efficient, maxing the playback time. The only thing that I did notice was that while you get up to 4 hours playback from a single charge, once the battery is getting low the range between to earbuds and playback device (phone, tablet etc.) starts to reduce (should be up to 10 metres/30ft). The earbuds have a standby time of 50 hours.
The earbuds are easy to pair to each other and your phone; press and hold the button on each earbud for 4 seconds and when both blue lights flash, release the buttons. The lights should now flash red and blue to confirm pairing mode and as long as your phone has Bluetooth turned on and is in range they should connect.
Once paired, you can start listening to your music or even answering the telephone – all at the touch of the button on the earbud. As there is only one button on each bud they have a multi-function; short tap to answer/hang up call, hold for 1 second to reject call, hold for 1 second to open voice assistant (Siri or Google – if available on your on your device), double and triple taps to turn volume up and down and next/previous track (left button for down, right for up).
If you have Siri or Google voice assistants on your phone, these headphones can interact with them using the inbuilt microphone so you can use voice commands to adjust the volume, answer calls, tell you the quickest route home etc.
The sound quality is excellent except at the highest levels (and that will also depend on what you are listening to). They are very comfortable to wear, weighing 5g each, and have been quite secure in my ear with the medium sized ear caps. I love the charging system and lack of cables. The case is portable, very sturdy and so light (45g) and small you can carry it around in your pocket.
The earbuds are held in place magnetically in the charging case so are very secure. They can be a little bit fiddly to remove, but not too difficult.
With a retail price of £64.99 they are a mid-range priced set of truly wireless earbuds and, for me, are definitely worth the cost. I haven’t used higher-end versions so can’t compare but I think these are fantastic and suitable for most people just listening to music on their travels.
For more information or to buy visit www.groov-e.co.uk.