For $29, the PaMu truly wireless earbuds are a no-brainer

pamu true wireless earbuds indiegogo 13
Greg Mombert/Digital Trends
Greg Mombert/Digital Trends

Big promises sometimes come in small packages. That’s definitely the case with PaMu, a new pair of true wireless earbuds making a big splash on Indiegogo.

Among the many claims made by PaMu’s very popular campaign are waterproofing, auto-connect Bluetooth pairing, touch controls, and even high-fidelity sound. Much of that sounds pretty standard in the ultra-competitive true wireless marketplace, but PaMu has one other serious asset rolled into the deal: A competition-crushing price of just $29. In fact, PaMu’s project owner, Edison Shen, fully realizes how ridiculous that price point is, even writing in the campaign, “This price is crazy!”

Crazy indeed, but are the PaMu actually worth any of your hard-earned cash? We ordered up a prerelease set from PaMu’s PR team to find out if these close-out sale, bet-the-farm prices will allow PaMu to live up to any, if not all, of its many promises.

A sexy little package

Straight out of the white, preproduction package — which offered zero instructions, labeling, or marketing imagery — the PaMu earbuds impress with a rather sexy design for such a blue-light-special product. The little reflective squares on the top of the case and along the earbuds’ exterior is meant to look like flashy carbon fiber, and does the job well.

The charging case itself feels, well, a bit cheap, and is made from light and rather flimsy plastic. That said, all the hallmarks of a typical pair of true wireless buds are here, including LEDs on the exterior to let you know how many charges are left in the case, cutout inserts with magnetic charging contacts, and even a little button that pops up the lid, allowing it to easily slide open. The button feels like it could break after a few too many pushes, but frankly, at this price, we’re giving a lot of passes on long-term durability.

As promised, the buds auto-pair automatically (lucky, since we got no instructions in our first-look package), and unlike many earbuds we’ve encountered in the genre, we were able to pair them to our phone in no time. The buds didn’t show up instantly in our pairing pane, but placing them back in the case and giving it a second go was all it took to get the PaMu rolling.

In your ears

The earbuds fit great right out of the package (which is no small feat for this reviewer’s oddly shaped ear canals), thanks in large part to the little fins at the top of the ear tubes. We had them up and running in no time. Soon, we were right up against the largest claim made by PaMu on its Indiegogo page, namely that the earbuds offer hi-fi sound — they do not. But that’s OK, as we really didn’t expect them to. Would we say it’s good sound? We would not. But then again, we’re pretty picky.

Does it really matter if sound is nothing more than passable?

What’s offered here is very limited in its frequency response, no doubt requiring all sorts of compromises to get sound in such a small package, at such a low price. There’s little-to-no body in the midrange, bass response is restrained and offers nothing to write home about, and the treble feels about as flimsy and light as the charging case. Still, all that being said, they do pump out perfectly listenable audio, which will come off just fine when you’re in the gym or on your daily run.

Let’s face it, the talents of even the highest-quality earbuds in the true-wireless genre (or otherwise) are wasted when it comes to your exercise routine. So does it really matter if sound is nothing more than passable? We’d argue no, at this price, it really doesn’t.

Promises kept

Alright, so hi-fi sound aside, going over some of PaMu’s other Inidiegogo promises, most of them check out. Audio balanced: We suppose — it certainly isn’t a standout in any one register and it’s perfectly passable; Ergonomic fit: Check; Auto Connect: Yessir; Touch Control: There’s no volume control, but play/pause works fine; Play time: While we didn’t test them all the way through, the 3.5 hours seemed to check out in initial testing. We also gave the buds a quick rinse under the faucet to check for “waterproofing,” and we’re confident they’ll stand up to some rain or workout sweat at the very least.

Pamu Wireless Earbuds
Greg Mombert/Digital Trends
Greg Mombert/Digital Trends

Frankly, just the fact that these earbuds work and work well directly out of the box is something of a minor miracle in the true wireless genre. And getting back to that price (because hey, how can we not?), we definitely wouldn’t want to pay PaMu’s $109 MSRP, but at the lowest offer — which was still available at time of publication — it’s pretty hard to go wrong.

Conclusion

We’re not in agreement with the hi-fi sound claims, but overall the PaMu live up to their billing. What’s more, while we wouldn’t want these buds as our only audio buddies, the $29 price point makes them perfectly reasonable as a single-use-case device. Keep them in your gym bag, and leave your quality buds at home for the heavy audio lifting.

At time of publication, there are eight days left in the PaMu Indiegogo campaign. If you’re willing to make a gamble on actual production and delivery — and as we’ve seen, crowdsourced campaigns are always something of a gamble — we’d say absolutely go for it. And with double and triple purchase deals that make the PaMu even more reasonably priced, you may even want to check off a few people on your Christmas list, too.

Take that, AirPods.

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