Yevo Air wireless earphones
Review

Hands-on review: Yevo Air true wireless earbuds

Image credit: Yevo Labs

Judging by the proliferation of wire-free plugs spotted in peoples' ears lately, it app-ears that the public is finally embracing true wireless earphones, with the technology on the way up and the prices on the way down. A good time, then, for Swedish audio company Yevo Labs to release a new, competitively priced pair of true wireless earbuds - Yevo Air.

Yevo Labs is the higher-end, innovation arm spin-off from Stockholm-based Happy Plugs, the self-styled ‘fashion tech’ company founded in 2011 which designs its own range of colourful audio products that address practically every need of a modern mobile music lifestyle.

The Yevo Air (singular name; plural earbuds) is the second product from Yevo Labs: it has only been a few months since we reviewed the Yevo 1 wireless earbuds, Yevo’s flagship, premium set of earphones. These featured all manner of clever technology, like NXP near-proximity pairing and fingertip touch control, although while they did sound pretty darn good, they also cost over £200.

Yevo seems to have taken stock of the price-to-features ratio with the new Yevo Air and sensibly decided to cut some of the fancier technology (i.e. the features of the 1 described above) in favour of a no-fuss, fewer-frills execution. In practice, from our extended experience with the Air, this makes them both simpler to use and more consistently reliable. While we learned to appreciate the 1, we bonded more immediately with the Air.

Out of the box, you get a pair of Air buds in your choice of black or white with silver accents (we tested the white, for what it’s worth, and we liked them a lot); three sizes of rubber tips; a micro-USB cable, and a rounded oblong charging case. Unlike the long-form case with its sliding drawer that charges the Yevo 1, the Yevo Air case is a neater flip-top lid affair with clear indication as to which bud drops into which charging space. This case is also smaller - approximately the size of the two buds, not much more than that, weighing 32g - which is very welcome. It slips unobtrusively into any bag or pocket.

Yevo Air wireless earphones floating in the air

Image credit: Yevo Labs

A lid that closes from the top down is also a boon in terms of electrical contact - closing the lid until it clicks securely shut has the added benefit of gently pushing the earbuds down onto the charging contacts in the case, ensuring they’ll always successfully charge and you won’t be left disappointed when you need them.

Recharging the case is done with the USB cable and it takes approximately two hours to fully charge the lithium polymer battery inside. A little red indicator on the back of the case lights up when charging and extinguishes itself when charging is complete. A fully charged case then provides around 14 hours of potential charge; recharging the earbuds takes around an hour and a half and the buds themselves will then run for two-three hours between charges, depending on the volume level and features you use, such as the hands-free microphone for phone calls or video chats.

In practice, you can charge the case, listen to the buds for a couple of hours, then you’ll need to drop the buds back into the case for an hour or so. Some people might prefer a longer playing time between charges; others might appreciate giving their hearing a break (despite the fervent belief of many teenagers, constant use of earbuds is not recommended by hearing specialists). Ideally, you should also turn the earbuds off before they go into the case, because otherwise they’re ‘always on’, helpfully pairing themselves whenever a known device is within range - a state of play that you might not always want if you’re not actively using them. Happily, shutting both earbuds down is a single press’n’hold command on the right bud. Powering both buds back up again is achieved with the same action.

Yevo Air wireless earphones charging case

Image credit: Yevo Labs

The tech spec of the Yevo Air buds is solid: 6mm drivers, sensitivity of around 93dB, 16ohm impedance, 20Hz-20kHz frequency range, Bluetooth 4.2, compatible with iOS, OS X, Android and Windows. The built-in omnidirectional microphone handles phone calls, as well as supporting Apple’s Siri and Google’s Assistant for hands-free voice control. The Air buds are also sweat- and moisture-resistant, so gym workouts and running in the rain are totally possible, if you’re that way inclined.

The multi-function buttons on both earbuds offer the same functionality as the Yevo 1 - play, pause, skip song, replay etc - so it’s a simple case of learning which gesture does what (or use your phone’s on-screen controls, which we probably do more often than tapping away at the earbuds, to be honest). One key difference between the Air and the 1 - and a big reason why the new set is more affordable - is that the Yevo Air buds are not touch-sensitive. The buttons on both buds have to click with a small degree of pressure in order to trigger any action.

Technologically, this is a step backward from the touch-sensitivity of Yevo 1, although having now used both products we probably prefer the more physical interaction of Yevo Air. There’s no danger of accidentally double-tapping or triggering an undesired action simply by brushing your finger across the surface of an Air bud - e.g. while fiddling with your hair - as happens often with touch-sensitive devices.  

The sound of the Air, subjectively speaking, seems at least every bit as good as the 1, which is to say: pretty darn good. Bass was nicely rounded and pronounced, the middle wasn’t unduly pushed forward and the upper treble frequencies weren’t tinny or harsh. Instrument definition in a dense mix was good and clear, with subtle details convincingly revealed and relayed. There may be better-sounding wireless earbuds on the market, but they’re also likely to be markedly more expensive. We certainly don’t see anyone being crushingly disappointed with the sound of the Yevo Air.

By simplifying the feature set of Yevo Air, applying lessons learned in developing the Yevo 1, Yevo Labs has produced a second set of wireless earphones that are arguably a more attractive proposition overall - and they’re cheaper, too. What’s not to like?

Yevo Air, white or black

$129.00

www.yevolabs.com

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