Even the most modern wireless earbuds tend to stick together, literally – without a cord, a slim headband, or some sort of connection, those earbuds are just waiting to be lost, fall into a sewer grate, get eaten by a curious child – and ultimately vanish like that one sock you can’t find each laundry day. Erato, however, is one of the companies ditching that trend and offering completely wireless headphones that sport two tiny, totally separated earbuds call Apollo 7: Are these the best Bluetooth headphones for 2016, or is it an innovation no one wants?
At first this may sound like the latter – personally we suspect we’d lose at least one of those earbuds within the first five minutes – but there are reasons to pay attention to Apollo 7, including a 2015 Red Dot Award and a Kickstarter with a high goal of $88,888 that’s almost made its funding mark.
But how do these wireless buddies work? Erato claims 4 patent-pending innovations which it can’t really talk about in detail, but we do have a couple important facts. First, the drivers are made from a special composite to get as much sound quality out of them as possible. Second, the frequency response is unusually high for earbuds, ranging from below 20Hz to beyond 20kHz (the limit of what humans can hear).
The earbuds also come packed in a small, vape-like container so you can slide them in and out quickly. That case also acts as a separate charging unit, and can give the Apollo 7 two full charges before it, in turn, needs to be recharged itself. The charge appears to last for about 3 hours – after all, those separate earbud batteries are tiny. Connection quality appears to be…okay, based on early trials.
Other features include voice recognition (but not for Cortana, oddly) and a single button for answering phone calls, playing music, skipping tracks, and changing volume, all based on various touch-and-tap gymnastics.
We could make a few more jokes about how this new trend of totally-wireless earbuds makes them easy to lose, but there’s another issue consumers should think about first: How they fit in your ears. The Apollo 7 comes with 6 different tip options in all as well as three sets of stabilizers, so they are clearly trying their best to make sure there’s room for everyone. However, every consumer ear is shaped differently, and when it comes to exercise-oriented earbuds, it’s always a roll of the dice if they will fit (you can’t exactly try on a test pair of earbuds at the store). Add in wireless capabilities, and the last thing you want is for one to pop off during a run.
However, if these headphones seem like exactly what you were looking for and you don’t have trouble with fit, you can still get a set of these Apollos for $250.