First of all, forgive the kind of weird and amateur Feature Photo, just read on to find out why. There’s this thing with going wired and feeling the physical connection of your audio source to your earphones which is still a major industry. While the mobile phone industry has started its move to going wireless with the eventual removal of the headphone jack and for those that have started accepting this fact, checking out Bluetooth earphones and headphones are a must.
Checking out a Bluetooth peripheral to satisfy one’s needs and wants actually has major features and aspects that they need to nail in order to be even worthy of checking out. Let’s list them down:
- Stable Connectivity – there is nothing more annoying than a constant cutting off of audio connection than the actual wires tangling, if this alone can’t be done right, just quit it.
- Battery Life – the main trade off of going wireless and enjoying the freedom from wires is the cumbersome need to charge and be aware of a Bluetooth earphones battery life state and anything less than being able to use it for 6 hours is almost not worthy, I’d rather go wired.
- Seal – With all the battery, BT chips and the necessary hardware for a BT earphone to succeed, finding a good seal straight from its design silhouette is another feature that needs to be noted when checking one out.
With all that out of the way, what we are really here for is one of the many Bluetooth earphones in the works claiming to be the best, the UNI, the world’s most advanced true wireless earbuds(or so they say), hence the awkward Feature Photo, which is currently an Indiegogo campaign that you can check on their UNI campaign page.
The UNI is spec’d out with the Low Latency BT 5.0, IPX-7 waterproof rating, 3500mAh charging case/12Hr independent battery life, Graphene diaphragm drivers, aptX-coded support, Qi wireless charging case and a touch sensor faceplate surface. I have received the final prototype unit which has all the stated features except for the recently unlocked features like type-C charging and the EVA hard case as well as the wireless charging pad. I am still skeptical about going wireless in audio especially for sole listening experience and is only drawn a little with the UNI’s IPX rating and claimed long battery life.
The UNI’s build is mainly plastic with a shell laid with some rubber which you can remove, the shell also features the L-R markings and the gold-plated charging surfaces and the nozzle themselves seems to be joined as one with the IEM, it has a nozzle lip too so silicon ear tips rolling is welcome, just not the uber large ones since it would be hard to recharge them since the charging case is premolded to fit with regular L silicon tips. The faceplate features the touch controls for all the basic music controls you need, they work fine including using “Hey Google” and Cortana, I wasn’t able to try Siri since we don’t do that here. The only weird thing that I noticed with the touch controls was I can’t seem to adjust the volume at all after trying all possible combinations. The UNI’s provides nice passive noise cancelling due to its nice silhouette and ergonomic design since it doesn’t feature ANC but instead features cVc noise reduction technology.
The charging case has some heft to it mainly attributed to the 3500mAh battery inside it, the outside is coated with matte black that resists minor scratches like the one you’d get from storing it along with your keys, the backside of the case houses the USB-A and USB Micro-B for charging the case and also acting as a powerbank for both the UNI and a choice of electronic devices mainly your mobile phone. Charging the case took around 3 hours and while the UNI itself was at most 2 hours. I have used the UNI themselves for around 10-11 hours while using up the charging case lasted me almost a full 2 weeks, it was very tempting to charge the case already after a week since I was worried it might run out on me while I am away from a wall plug, fortunately, it did last almost 2 weeks although it should have been more than that with their claimed 360 hour total battery life. Overall it was a great thing since going wireless should be like this, going wireless as long as possible.
The Bluetooth connection of the UNI uses BT5.0 with support for aptX. I would really have preferred support for aptx HD. Connecting the UNI is fairly easy since once you remove them from the charging case, it automatically turns on and tries to connect with already paired devices, I tried connecting with 2 devices simultaneously and wasn’t able to do so. The connection was stable enough and didn’t experience cut-offs except when I tried going from room to room, distance unobstructed went as far as 60m before crackling started, I was expecting farther but yeah, I wouldn’t be that far from my source in my true day-to-day life (ironic since I do review day-to-day, so I basically do tests such as this). I tried using them under the rain, they worked fine and tried them on a pool as well, audio didn’t cut-off but the earphone most of the time detaches from my ears, not unless I stay 80% stationary, Phelps y’all.
The UNI features graphene drivers which I have a lot of other earphones as well made with the same material and because of that I was already expecting a warm signature which was indeed the result. The bass was not at all thumpy and had enough body and impact to them. The midrange are laid back which focuses more on the lower midrange rather than an accentuated upper midrange. The treble was non-fatiguing and had decent attack although I would have preferred some distinct treble bite. It’s an easy sounding earphone which would please most users since they don’t provide glaring emphasis to one spectrum.
Overall the UNI did well as a wireless Bluetooth devices, it nailed the battery life aspect as well as the seal and isolation factor minus the experience I had using it on a pool. The stable connectivity was good if not great since once it was near losing out on battery (which was hard to say), connection started going erratic. I do hope they address this as well as maybe making it more ergonomically fine with pool activity usage.