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EarFun Free Pro 3 review: featherweight earbuds with a big bass punch

EarFun Free Pro 3 in charging case held in the air (lid open).
EarFun Free Pro 3
MSRP $80.00
“You could pay more for earbuds than you would the EarFun Free Pro 3, but why?”
  • Fantastic value
  • Comfy, secure fit
  • Big, bass-forward sound
  • Excellent noise canceling
  • Wireless charging
  • Bluetooth Multipoint
  • No wear sensors
  • Inconsistent triple-tap gesture

I’ve said it before: We’ve hit the point where almost nobody needs to spend more than $100 on wireless earbuds. Since 2021, there’s been a deluge of products that deliver comfort, sound quality, active noise cancellation, and other desirable features without the need to spend $150 to $300. And what we can expect from the under-$100 category keeps getting better.

The most recent example is EarFun’s Free Pro 3. After spending a few weeks with them, there’s no question that for $80 or less (Amazon discounts EarFun products regularly), they’re a superb buy.

EarFun Free Pro 3: what’s in the box

EarFun Free Pro 3 with included accessories.
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Even $249 wireless earbuds like the Apple AirPods Pro often come with just three or maybe four sizes of eartips, so it’s great to see that EarFun has gone above and beyond with five sizes of silicone eartips, a set of memory foam tips, plus three types of earloops.

You also get a USB-C charging cable, plus a disposable cleaning tool.

EarFun Free Pro 3: design

EarFun Free Pro 3 beside charging case.
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

EarFun makes earbuds with both stem-based and stemless designs. The Free Pro series are stemless, which some folks prefer. Stemless designs are typically more secure because they take up more room in your ear’s concha, and there’s greater skin contact than with stem-based earbuds like Apple’s AirPods.

That makes the Free Pro 3 better suited to active use, like running, cycling, or hitting the gym. They have an IPX5 rating for water resistance, which means that as long as you don’t submerge them, they should be able to handle splashes and sweat effortlessly (as long as you clean them off after you use them.)

But what’s truly remarkable about the Free Pro 3 is their weight. Not so much the weight of the buds themselves — they’re on par with other stemless designs — but the total weight of the buds and their charging case, which is just 1.4 ounces. Slip them in your pocket and you won’t know they’re there. The case even has wireless charging, which is the kind of feature that often gets cut when manufacturers are looking to keep prices low.

EarFun Free Pro 3: comfort, controls, and connections

Simon Cohen wearing EarFun Free Pro 3.
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Thanks to the many included eartips and earloops, I had no trouble finding a comfortable and secure fit. As has been the case with most wireless earbuds I’ve used over the years, fatigue eventually set in, but they were fine for up to two hours of continuous use.

I like that the Free Pro 3’s touch controls are fully customizable within the EarFun companion app (iOS/Android). With single, double, and triple taps on each earbud — plus a long-press gesture — you get eight control options, which is enough for every possible function including playback, volume, call management, ANC control, and voice assistant access.

These gestures were mostly — but not always — recognized when I performed them. Triple-taps tended to be the ones that failed most often, which isn’t unique to the Free Pro 3 (I’ve had trouble with the triple-tap on other products, too). Thankfully, you get a feedback tone when taps are successfully registered, which at least eliminates the “did I do that right?” guesswork.

The one missing thing is built-in wear sensors on the earbuds so you can auto-pause your tunes when you remove one or both buds.

With Bluetooth 5.3, I found the connection quality was very good and gave me a decent range — about 20 to 25 feet indoors. Their support for Bluetooth Multipoint is a big convenience and it works seamlessly. If you’re considering buying new wireless earbuds, it’s a must-have, as it lets you stay connected to two devices simultaneously.

EarFun Free Pro 3: sound quality

EarFun Free Pro 3 beside charging case.
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Audiophiles might find the Free Pro 3’s sound signature a tad too “boosted,” but I love it. It has a high-energy vibe that complements a lot of genres and can help you get the most out of Dolby Atmos Music mixes, which tend to need a little boost anyway.

As part of that boost, these earbuds are brilliant for bass. It’s not easy to make affordable wireless earbuds that deliver big, bold low-end frequencies without going overboard, but the Free Pro 3 manage to do so.

On some of my favorite bass-heavy tracks like Hans Zimmer’s Time and Warming Up My Instruments, plus Billie Eilish’s bad guy, the Free Pro 3 reminded me of Sony’s WF-1000 series, which is high praise when you consider those earbuds are far more expensive.

Not a bass head? The EarFun app has a colossal number of EQ adjustments. In addition to the default tuning, there are 10 presets (12 if you include the two “Oluv” signature presets), plus a 10-band equalizer that lets you configure and save your own presets.

If you happen to own an Android phone with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sound, you’ll get hi-res audio support via aptX Adaptive. Switching back-and-forth between an iPhone (AAC) and a Motorola ThinkPhone (aptX Adaptive) — it’s so easy to do thanks to Multipoint — I could hear the difference. Better separation of frequencies and more detail were the biggest improvements, but there was also an enhancement of the soundstage.

I’m not going to tell you it’s a difference you’ll be able to hear all of the time. In fact, unless you’re sitting quietly and really focused on the music, you likely won’t notice at all. But I’m calling it out because you’ll find plenty of budget buds that promise “hi-res audio” with no perceptible difference.

EarFun Free Pro 3: noise canceling and transparency

EarFun Free Pro 3 in charging case (lid open).
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

I’m still kind of stunned by this, but the active noise cancellation (ANC) on the EarFun Free Pro 3 is awesome. It’s better than on the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC ($100), and under some circumstances — like canceling noise at a distance — it even bests Sony’s LinkBuds S ($200).

I don’t know how useful it will be for you, but the EarFun app has four “Ear-Adaptive” profiles for ANC based on different ear sizes and shapes. For me, the default settings worked best.

There’s also an effective wind-noise cancellation mode.

Cleverly, the triple-gesture switches you between ANC and transparency mode by default — you don’t have to cycle through the ANC off mode. But that off mode is still available in the app when you want it to conserve battery life.

Transparency mode is more of a mixed bag. It does a good job of letting you hear your surroundings, but don’t rely on it for clear conversations — your voice will still be quite muffled. That’s not a real ding against the Free Pro 3, as full transparency is harder to get right than ANC, and only a handful of wireless earbuds do it well.

EarFun Free Pro 3: call quality

In general, call quality on the Free Pro 3 is good. In quieter conditions, your voice will come across very clearly and naturally — even more so if you’ve got a Snapdragon Sound phone. When things get noisy, your callers won’t hear much of the background sound, but they’ll know something’s up. The environmental noise-canceling software can have a hard time distinguishing between your voice and those other noises, creating wobbliness and compression.

EarFun Free Pro 3: battery life

Battery life on these wireless earbuds is about average for the industry at the moment. EarFun claims 7.5 hours per charge, with an additional 25.5 hours in the case, for 33 hours total. But that’s a best-case scenario. With ANC turned on, you can expect around 6 hours per charge and 27 hours overall. Listening at louder than 50%  — which, thanks to the Free Pro 3’s excellent passive isolation won’t often be necessary — will reduce those numbers further.

If you do find yourself in need of a top-up, the fast-charge system will give you an extra two hours with 10 minutes of charging.

The EarFun Free Pro 3 get so many things right that it’s almost easier to tell you who shouldn’t buy them. Don’t buy them if you prefer the fit of stem-style earbuds. Don’t buy them if you need crystal-clear transparency mode. And don’t buy them if you hate getting great value for your money. For everyone else, the EarFun Free Pro 3 are highly recommended.

Editors' Recommendations

Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like…
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