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Ideaing - Gain Freedom With Erato’s Apollo 7 Wireless Earphones

Ideaing - Gain Freedom With Erato’s Apollo 7 Wireless Earphones

Ideaing - Stuart Campbell

For those that love high quality music, or just like to be lost in a podcast, it’s nice to be able to tune out the outside world without sacrificing mobility. I travel a lot and have gone through a lot of various headsets.

At one point, I even carried around a set of full-size headphones because I loved the sounds they gave, but the bulk eventually gave way to various wired earbuds of varying quality. The issue with these though is that wires just get in the way too often.

Living with the Erato Apollo 7 wireless earbuds for the last week, I can honestly say that these are the best sounding and most convenient headsets I’ve used so far.

Disclosure: Erato wanted us to evaluate their headphones so bad that they sent me a pair of Apollo 7 wireless earphones and let me test them in various conditions. 

Convenience

So why are having wireless headsets so great? In a word; mobility. I like my music all the time, at home, at work, and on the go. When you’re wired in, moving around things at work can get you tangled. I often just got frustrated with the dangling cord as I switched notepads, went for my coffee, or rummaged through my bag for a pen.

There are a lot of situations that I found freedom to listen to music in my day to day life with the Erato wireless headphones. For example, cleaning or doing projects around the house were impossible with a wired headsets. I found that my workout was way less distracting as well as I didn’t have my wire flapping around while jogging or while reaching for free weights.

The best part about them is, compared to the Apple AirPods, you don’t have to wait for these at some unspecified date and don’t have to put up with the dorky hanging bits.

 

 Sound Quality

For those have had the pleasure of experiencing a high end set of full-sized Bose or Sennheiser headphones, I would say that these are on par with those high-end brands. For their size and convenience, I haven’t heard any better in a similar price range. I listened to a lot of different types of music to get a feel of the quality in different ranges, and I was impressed.

What impressed me the most was the fullness of the sound at all level. The higher end was clean and the bass was full. I didn’t hear any degradation even at high volume.

Comfort

Included with the Apollo 7’s are two types of earphone tips: standard round tips, and high quality foam tips. I found that the standard round tips worked well to block out outside noise which was nice in a cafe, and could be used as earplugs on a flight. The foam tips however provided superior sound quality and comfort. I left these in my ears for house and had no pain or irritation that I normally experience with earbuds.

One thing that I couldn’t figure out is that that there are a set of stabilizers in the box that I could not figure out how to use. I worked out with these and did a few vigorous head-shakes just for fun, and I couldn’t get them to come out.

 

erato-apollo-7-case-500

 

Features

The Apollo 7’s have little buttons on each earbud, and pushing them in different combinations offers some simple control of things like answering your phone and adjusting the volume. But learning the commands is a bit like learning Morse Code as it relies on combinations of long and short presses.

If you sweat a lot, or are worried about losing these in the sink, Erato boasts nano waterproof technology. I did not try this feature, but it’s good to know a mishap won’t ruin your investment.

One feature I would have liked is a way to tell battery percentage. As it is, there is just a little voice that indicates low battery about 5 minutes before they turn off.

Also included is a nifty charge case that is compact as has extra charge for your headsets so you can charge them on the go. I found this very convenient. The battery life is about 4 hours, but with the case, you can charge easily during a meeting or a nap. Just make sure to snap the earbuds into place in the holder or they won’t charge correctly.

 

earto_inside

 

Connectivity

Hold the power button for 5 seconds. Tap one on your phone’s Bluetooth menu. Enjoy.

The process for connecting these to my phone the simplest Bluetooth connection I’ve ever seen. And even after a week with these, there was never a time I had to reconnect them.

Over the course of using them, I did have a few hiccups, but overall they were very stable. I ran a test around my house and the connection was stable across my kitchen and living room when I had line of site. Going around a corner gave the headphones a bad case of the hiccups. Considering that my phone is usually on my desk, in my pocket, or in my gym bag nearby, this was never a practical issue.

 

Erato Colors

 

Conclusion

The $300 price does put the Apollo 7 earphones on the top shelf, however, if you are in the market for something of this caliber, the excellent quality of sound and convenience of Bluetooth makes the Apollo 7 earbuds worth it. We at Ideaing highly recommend the Apollo 7 earbuds.

Original Article:

https://ideaing.com/ideas/gain-freedom-with-eratos-apollo-7-wireless-earphones

CNET - Erato Apollo 7 Review

CNET - Erato Apollo 7 Review

CNET - David Carnoy  

THE GOOD The Erato Apollo 7 is a lightweight, totally wireless set of earphones that delivers mostly hiccup-free operation. They sound good, are sweat-resistant (they can be used for running), and a charging case with an integrated battery supplies multiple charges on the go.

THE BAD They're expensive, the battery life is only 3 hours and the firmware isn't upgradable.

THE BOTTOM LINE Although it's a bit too pricey, the Erato Apollo 7 is one of the first truly wireless headphones that works well and delivers decent sound.

Erato, a Taiwanese startup, bills its Apollo 7 as the world's most compact true wireless earphones -- that emerging category of Bluetooth headphones with separate left and right standalone earbuds with no connecting cable in between. Apple might dispute that claim now that it's unveiled its AirPods, but the Apollo 7s certainly are very small, lightweight and among the best of this new breed of headphone.

The key to all these truly wireless earphones is that the wireless Bluetooth connection between both your phone (the audio source) and the two buds needs to be rock solid. Or close to it anyway. And that's what's impressive about the Apollo 7s: they worked just like a standard in-ear Bluetooth headphones, with minimal hiccups and dropouts. It's also worth noting that after I paired them with my phone once, I had no trouble pairing them again.

How it works is that you pair one of the buds (I chose the right one) with your phone or another Bluetooth-enabled device, then you turn the other bud on and it pairs automatically to the first bud to form a stereo connection. If you want to use only one bud as a headset, you can do that.

During the nearly three weeks I used the Apollo 7, operation wasn't totally flawless. There were a few minor glitches. For instance, the headphone locked up once and wouldn't produce sound, even though it was paired to the phone. Solution: I powered off my phone, restarted it and the issue resolved itself.

I thought the Apollo 7 sounded quite good for Bluetooth earbuds, with a reasonable amount clarity and decent bass. Included in the box are various silicone and foam tips. Using one of the larger silicone tips I managed to get a secure fit and that tight seal really helps improve sound quality (if you don't like having eartips jammed in your ears, this isn't the headphone for you).

That said, like a lot of Bluetooth headphones, the Apollo 7's performance can be somewhat uneven. By that I mean that they sound very good with some tracks and not as great with others.

They're a touch bright in the treble and a bit forward in the midrange. For instance, with Amy Winehouse's "Valerie -- Live, BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge, London 2007" I had to ratchet back the volume because her voice had a little bit of a harsh edge to it at higher volumes. The headphone will also distort with certain tracks at higher volumes, so it's best to use it at around 60-75 percent volume. (It does play loud enough, however.)

A good wired in-ear headphone, such as the $150 Bose SoundTrue Ultra, which both CNET contributor Steve Guttenberg and I like a lot, easily bests this headphone, with smoother, richer sound. Bose's SoundSport Wireless also sounds a little better than the Apollo 7 for about half the price. But the SoundTrue is a wired headphone, and the SoundSport is wireless with a wire connecting the left and right earpieces. The Apollo 7, by comparison, has absolutely no wires. Given that stipulation, they they sound relatively impressive, especially compared to the bulk of the current competition. It also helps that that they maintain a good connection.

Comparisons to rival full wireless 'phones

For comparison in that fully wireless realm, I pitted the Apollo 7 against the Bragi Dash and Earin, the latter of which also lays claim to being the world's smallest completely wireless earphones.

Of the three, the Apollo 7 had the most reliable connection by a long shot. Although I like the Bragi Dash and Earin -- both fit me well -- they had frequent hiccups, which made it it difficult to listen to them on the go (I ran with the Dash).

The Earin, which actually weighs less (3.5 grams) than the Apollo 7 (4 grams), is well designed and sounds good but is missing a microphone for making calls (its price has come down to $200 from $280).

In contrast, The Bragi Dash is loaded with features, including a heart-rate monitor, touch controls, 4GB of onboard storage for MP3s and its firmware is upgradable (the Apollo 7's isn't). I also like how the Dash has a feature that allows you to let ambient sound in so you can have a conversation without taking the earbuds out of your ears (the Apollo 7 doesn't have this feature, and Apple's AirPods have a more open design, so they allow some sound in).

That said, for a lot of people the Dash's feature set may be overkill and the touch controls don't work as well as I'd hoped. That headphone has improved since its launch, but if you don't have a rock-solid connection for Bluetooth streaming, it's a serious issue, and the Dash doesn't.

How does the Apollo 7 compare with the Apple AirPods? Well, I certainly like that the Apollo 7 doesn't look like a pair of white "hipster earrings." And my colleague Scott Stein found that the Apollo 7s have more bass than Apple's wireless earphones when comparing them. But the caveats abound. We don't have final hardware on the EarPods (the consumer version hits in October), so consider that initial bass impression to be tentative. The Apollo 7 costs nearly double the price of AirPods, which is a problem. And the AirPods' battery life is rated at 67 percent longer. Ouch.

Wireless sports headphone to boot

The Apollo 7s are sweat-resistant, so you can use them for running or working out at the gym and you get a couple sets of wing accessories to help lock the buds in place.

The wings are pretty generic and could be better designed (I'd like to see that a little more integrated into the bud), but I'm glad Erato includes them. You can control your music and volumes levels using your phone or use the single multifunction buttons on each ear to skip tracks forward, answer and end calls, and raise and lower the volume. There are microphones built into both buds and when a call comes in, you go into mono mode, with only one of the buds outputting sound. I thought it worked reasonably well as headset, though it isn't business class (sometimes people asked me to repeat what I said).

Battery life is rated at just 3 hours, which isn't great but standard for this type of headphone. But the good news is that a charging case is included, and when you're finished using the buds, you click them into their charging compartments in the case, close the case, and charging begins.

At first I thought it'd be easy to lose the buds. But after getting into the habit of slipping them into the their case, I really wasn't worried about that so much, although the case is made out of smooth plastic and could slide out of your pocket if you're sitting in a deep seat (think couch or lounge chair).

Pause for pricing

In the end my only real gripe with the Apollo 7 is the price. When it launched as a Kickstarter, you could get the headphone in an early-bird special for $250. But now the list price on these is $300, which is simply too much, even if they're among the handful of these type of headphones that deliver a reliable connection and fit well.

I suspect they'll beat the AirPods on sound quality (we'll update this review when we get a final sample of the AirPods), but the AirPods will offer the same reliable connection, battery life and probably better headset performance (for phone calls) for almost half the cost.

Erato does have a couple of more affordable totally wireless headphones coming out later this year -- the Muse 5 and Rio 3 -- but I hope the Apollo 7 comes down in price because it deserves consideration and may get overlooked otherwise.

Here are the key specs of the Apollo 7:

  • True wireless: Completely tangle-free stereo sound wherever you go without annoying cables to tie you down.
  • Bluetooth 4.1: Full support for advanced AAC, SBC, and aptX audio standards.
  • Weight: 4g
  • Single-touch multifunction: With a single button you can power on/off, take a call, play music, skip tracks, change volume or even access Siri easily by tapping, holding, or double-tapping on the button.
  • Aluminum charging case: Two full earphone charges even with the case unplugged.
  • Microphone : Integrated MEMS omnidirectional microphone with an input sensitivity of -42dB (+/- 2dB).
  • Waterproof: Mano-coating offers excellent liquid protection.
  • Voice : Works with both Siri and Google Now.

Original Article: 

https://www.cnet.com/products/erato-apollo-7/review/

Mac Sources - Erato Audio Elevates True Wireless with First Headphones to Incorporate 3D Spatial Audio Technology NEWS

Mac Sources - Erato Audio Elevates True Wireless with First Headphones to Incorporate 3D Spatial Audio Technology NEWS

Mac Sources - Nicholas Calderone

Coming off the heels of a successful crowdfunding campaign where over 20K units have shipped globally, Erato is at it again advancing the category with two new models

Erato Audio, leading creators of true wireless earbuds, announce today the availability of their newest products, Muse 5 and Rio 3, on the popular global crowdfunding site, Indiegogo. Erato is focused on helping consumers transition to smart wireless listening without sacrificing sound quality or breaking the bank.

Both Muse 5 and Rio 3 are compact, water-resistant, true wireless Bluetooth® earphones that are designed for comfort, functionality and portability. With simple device pairing and tap commands, users can easily switch between phone calls and playing music in fully balanced, stereo sound.

“Cutting the cord and entering the true wireless era has never been this simple,” said Johnson Jeng, Spokesperson for Erato Audio Technology. “We’ve tested the technology with our popular Apollo 7 model, and have implemented that knowledge into our newest additions. We delivered on our promise with Apollo 7 – premium sound, first-rate build quality and on-time delivery – and we’re planning to do the same with Muse 5 and Rio 3.”

MUSE 5
Muse 5 is ideal for consumers with an active lifestyle who are always on the go. The Patented FitSeal™ Sleeves offer comfort and the peace of mind that no matter what you’re doing, your earbuds won’t fall out at any moment. The included three FitSeal sleeves and multiple ear tips allow for nine different ear size combinations insuring a perfect fit for every user.

Unlike traditional stereo earphones, the Muse 5 uses DSP (Digital Sound Processing) technology to restore the spatial distance missing in traditional earphones and thus creating a more accurate soundstage. Calibrated with its micro-driver and acoustic chamber, EratoSurround™ can reduce sound image distortion and deliver the same experience as heard in expensive over the ear headphones.

You’ll never be left in silence thanks to the portable magnetic charging case that allows for two full charges of the Muse 5 before needing to recharge. Also, its single touch multifunction is simple to use and powers on/off your device, volume up and down, pairing, next and previous tracks, play, pause and even activates Siri and Google Now.

Technical Specs
EratoSurround™: 3D spatial techonology to create the most realistic sound
Bluetooth Profile: Bluetooth 4.1
Supported Audio Codecs: Full support for advanced AAC, SBC, and aptX audio standards
Driver Specifications: 5.8 mm Micro Driver, 100 dB/mW sensitivity; 20Hz – 20KHz frequency
Battery Life: 7 hours of talk time or 4 hours of play time
Microphone: MEMs Omni Directional Type input sensitivity at -42dB (+/- 2dB)
Dimensions: Earphone: 30mm (L) x 25mm (D) x 38.8mm (H) ; Charging Case: 73.3mm (L) x 38.5mm (D)
Weight: Headset 8g x 2pcs; Charger case: 40g
Charge: 700 mah charging case (two full earbud charges)
Waterproof: Nano Coating IPX5
Colors: Silver, Rose Gold, Black, Blue

Rio
Rio 3 is perfect for fitness enthusiasts that want the freedom of movement without the loss of sound quality. Its 14mm drivers deliver responsive bass with rich mids and highs to create a desirable pair of sports earphones to get you through every workout. The comfortable and flexible ear hook will keep Rio 3 in place during hard workouts or extreme sports. Also, there’s no need to fumble with controls while working out, the Rio 3 features a simple 3 multi-button function that allows access to volume up and down, next and previous tracks, play, pause and even activates Siri and Google Now.

Technical Specs
Bluetooth Profile: Bluetooth 4.2 with the latest CSR Chipset technology
Supported Audio Codecs: Full support for advanced AAC, SBC, and aptX audio standards
Driver Specifications: 14.2mm Comply Diaphram Driver, 100 dB/mW sensitivity; 20Hz – 20KHz frequency
Battery Life: 8 hours of talk time or 6 hours of play time
Microphone: MEMs Omni Directional Type input sensitivity at -38dB (+/- 3dB)
Dimensions: 51mm (L) x 34mm (D) x 46mm(H)
Weight: 14g x 2
Charge: MicroUSB charging cable (included)
Waterproof: Nano Coating IPX5
Colors: Black, Green, Red, Silver and Teal

Muse 5 is available on Indigogo now for $79 and Rio 3 for $69. Following the Indigogo launch, Muse 5 will retail for $179.99 and Rio 3 for $129.99. Shipping is expected to begin late November 2016 and Erato Audio anticipates full delivery of all Indiegogo pledges by the end of the year, just in time for the holidays.

For more information, visit www.eratolife.com.

Original Article:

https://macsources.com/erato-audio-elevates-true-wireless-with-first-headphones-to-incorporate-3d-spatial-audio-technology-news/