The popularity of Apple AirPods and Samsung Galaxy Buds has paved the way for a new category - Bluetooth earbuds with a charging case. The latest in this line, from the German car audio manufacturer, is not very impressive, though. The charging-cum-carry case has a small LED indicator at the front for charging status and a microUSB port at the rear, but it does not feel sturdy. Opening and closing the case lid was not smooth either. In contrast, the earbuds looked decent. The design might have been inspired by the Samsung buds, but the Blaupunkt buds are big. Each has an LED indicator for charging and pairing, and there is a touch button at the top. The buds switch on automatically when taken out of the case and powers off when they are slipped back. But you can do it manually by using the touch button.
The buds must be separately paired with your smartphone. I was able to pair the left earbud to one phone and the right one to another. While these can be used as two independent buds for listening to music, calling is supported on the right earbud alone. Pressing the touch button once answers the call; a long press (for two seconds) and release rejects the incoming call, and short-pressing the touch button for three seconds activates the voice assistant on the phone. As for music, a double-click pauses/resumes the audio; pressing the left earbud for two seconds takes you back to the previous track, and a similar action with the right earbud takes you to the next track.
Considering the price, this is a nice device. The call clarity was impressive, without distortion. I also tested the earbuds with my regular playlist of international and Bollywood tracks, including Something Just Like This by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay, Afreen Afreen by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and more. The sound quality was good for most of the tracks. Vocals were clear and well-pronounced, and the lows and highs were well-balanced. But the bass could have been better. The earbuds manage to cut out the outside noise as well, but they do not support the equaliser. And there is no app support for adjusting highs and lows. Unlike the AirPods, it does not have sensors to pause and resume music when an earbud is removed or worn again.
When paired with an Android device, the battery status of the earbuds was visible in settings, but it did not show up on my iPhone. A single charge lasted me close to three hours of music and calling while a fully charged case was able to juice up the buds twice.