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Omthing AirFree Review: Minimalist Bassics

Verdict: This budget TWS earbuds offering from 1More’s sub-brand offers decent audio quality and is proof that you can get the same 1More quality at a much lower price point. The Omthing’s practical minimalism philosophy makes the AirFree a perfect pair of TWS earbuds for those who like things simple and straightforward.

The Omthing AirFree is priced at Php 1,690 and is available at Home Office and Lazada.

Pros

-Straightforward, minimalist design

-Punchy bass that just feels right

Cons

-Touch controls are barebones basic

-Audio distortion beyond 80% volume

While 1More is known more for its premium audio offerings, the Shenzen-based brand also wants a slice of the ultra-budget TWS segment, which is why it launched its Omthing sub-brand. The AirFree is one of the debut offerings from Omthing, and it aims to offer 1More quality at an affordable, sub-Php 2k price tag.

Design

Staying true to its practical minimalism philosophy, the AirFree has a compact and slender case that can easily fit into most jean pockets. While it is not as curvy as the more expensive 1More ColorBuds, the AirFree is one of the more compact sub-Php 2k TWS earbuds out there. Aside from the Omthing branding on top, the only additional detail you have here is the USB-C port on the back.

As for the buds, they take on a Peashooter-inspired design, though Omthing opted to give the AirFree a short stem with a flat surface that has ridges for easier removal when they are on your ears. the buds have a matte finish, and glossy textures are seen on the Omthing branding and on the touch control area.

User Interface and Fit

I normally manage my expectations when it comes to sub-Php 2k TWS earbuds, but the AirFree did impress me as it actually has a companion app for updating its firmware. That’s a good plus, as it opens the possibility of Omthing adding new features to the AirFree in the near future.

Pairing them is straightforward: you just take out the buds for the case, and wait for your device to detect them via Bluetooth. Accept the pairing request, and you’re good to go.

The AirFree’s fit is typical of a sub-Php 2k TWS earbuds, though its flat short stem design helps in keeping the buds secure in your ear without feeling uncomfortable for long listening sessions. I like how Omthing’s practical minimalism approach here also keeps the buds less bulky compared to the competition.

Omthing’s practical minimalism approach went a bit overboard with the touch controls: the left bud is for voice assistant activation, while the right bud is for playing/pausing music and answering/ending calls. There are no additional functions other than that, though Omthing might decide to add new features via firmware updates.

Audio Quality and battery life

With its 7mm dynamic drivers, the AirFree is typical of any sub-Php 2k TWS earbuds where bass is heavily emphasized. While I’m not a fan of earphones that pump out bass too much, the AirFree does a good job in keeping the bass at sane levels while maintaining a decent amount of detail with the mids. The highs are a bit muffled on the AirFree, but that is expected on a pair of sub-Php 2k TWS earbuds.

While the AirFree’s audio quality is generally good, they suffer from loss of audio fidelity when you go beyond 80% volume. They work best at around 70% volume, and going past 80% led to an overemphasis in lows, leading to distorted mids. The AirFree may be limited to AAC codecs, though its Bluetooth connection is stable since it uses a newer Bluetooth 5.0 protocol.

The AirFree lasts for around 4 hours on a single charge, which is typical of sub-Php 2k TWS earbuds. Together with the case, you can use them for up to 20 hours–which is a fairly good number. While you don’t get fast charging or wireless charging, the AirFree comes with a modern USB-C port for wired charging. It takes around two hours to fully charge the case from empty.

Wrap Up and Conclusions

If you are a 1More fan and is fine with the bare basics, the Omthing AirFree is a good choice for you. Its practical minimalism philosophy ensures that you get a quality-designed pair of ultra-budget TWS earbuds that deliver decent audio quality.

While Omthing did go too far when it comes to cutting corners–especially with the touch controls–the Omthing companion app brings in the possibility of new features to the AirFree.

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