Gone are the days when true wireless was reserved for the top end of the headphones market, at least where price was concerned. Today, the market is flooded with earbuds that cost as little as a pair of bog-standard, wired Apple EarPods. I took a look at the offering from Besdio, to see if they are worth purchasing.
- ✓Low price
- ✓Very comfortable
- ✓Decent battery life
- ✕Overall volume
- ✕Flat sound
- ✕Baffling controls
True wireless for under £40
The Besdio BE-EH002 are available now on Amazon in the UK £38.99. That comes in very much at the budget end of the true wireless market. That puts these headphones in direct competition with the Redmi AirDots and similarly priced true wireless earbuds. So how do they hold up?
A snug fit that's very comfortable
The design is very similar to the Redmi AirDot s, in fact. Rather than a bullet design like the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1, the Besdio are built to sit a little more flush to the shape of your ears. They’ll still protrude a fair amount, but only about as much as something like the Samsung Galaxy Buds.Overall, they’re .very comfortable to wear.
The earbuds themselves are made of plastic, as you’d expect, with silicon tips as well as the fins we see a lot on sports headphones to ensure a more secure fit when moving around. The charging plates are exposed, there’s a small LED on each earbud and the Besdio-branded button in the middle is clickable, rather the touch-sensitive.
The buds clip into the plastic charging case magnetically. It’s a strong connection with a reassuring snap. The lid is also fairly robust with a nice magnetic snap to it too. Three white lights on the front indicate the remaining battery life, although the readings are vague. No lights indicate less than 10% battery, but not empty. If all three lights are illuminated, you could have anywhere between 70% and 100% battery life. A new feature of Android Q which brings accurate battery percentage levels to true wireless headphones when paired with your smartphone will be welcome to owners of budget earbuds like these.
The case is charged via micro USB. That’s not a huge surprise, given the price. It’s fairly compact, too, at just three inches long. It is quite bulky though, compared to some of the others on the market. The charging cable included in the box is extremely short. It can’t be much more than 12 centimeters long. The Besdio BE-EH002 are IPX6 certified against water and dust, have Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity and a built-in microphone for phone calls.
Flat sound and baffling controls
When we talk about the audio quality on a set of true wireless headphones at this price range, we need to stress the context. Of course, when hitting play I am not expecting these to sound like a pair of £/$100+ earbuds. Yet, despite this, I was still a little disappointed with the sound.
Music sounded flat, with little dynamic range and weak bass. Overall volume is also really low. I had the volume on max and could still hear street noise and even the opening and closing of doors when wearing them in the office. There’s no noise cancelation at this price range, of course, but you can get a tight seal around your eardrum with the various silicone tips that come in the box. This helps, if only a little.
Besdio has also made a rather baffling decision when it comes to controlling your music from the buds themselves. Tapping twice on the right earbud turns the volume up one notch, whilst the same can be done on the left side to go down a notch. A long press on either the right or left side skips the track either forward or back. Most other manufacturers do these the other way around, because it is more logical to long-press a volume switch until it reaches the desired level rather than double-clicking to go up or down a single step.
I just can't my head around why Besdio thought this was a good idea. If, for example, you are listing in a quiet office and then step outside onto a busy Berlin street, adjusting the volume accordingly requires a frantic flurry of endless tapping.
The case packs a 500 mAh battery. The manufacturer promises four hours of battery life in the headphones themselves plus another 25 in the case. That brings your total playback time to 29 hours. These numbers were at times accurate during my tests, but considering you'll need the volume almost always on full, it's safe to shave a couple of hours off when working how long you've got until they go.
The Besdio BE-EH002 are, for the price, a decent set of cheap true wireless earbuds for fitness enthusiasts or for someone who needs a low-cost set of headphones that can get a bit damp without worrying about damage. I would use these to listen to a podcast whilst running or working out in a gym, for example, quite happily.
For audiophiles or even casual music lovers who want something for their commute, the overall volume and sound quality might not quite cut it. For less than 40 quid though, you might be able to live with them.