Aussie owned BlueAnt is not a name you automatically associate with premium sound headgear although if you were shopping for a hands-free car kit, it should be familiar.
Let me say that in the years I have been reviewing tech gear, BlueAnt has always had the best of breed and as a bonus, it is Australian designed and owned so you should support it.
Music is the ultimate performance enhancer, and BlueAnt’s range of Sports Audio and Sports Lifestyle products cover all the bases.
BlueAnt’s focus at present is on personal audio and includes the Pump Air wireless sports buds, the Pump Lite 2 wireless sports buds, Pump Zone over-ear headphones and the Pump Soul on-ear headphones – all based covered.
The Pump Air are similar in concept to the Apple AirPods, e.g. no wires, except that these don’t have that “tube” protruding from each ear. They are like the Samsung Gear Icon X fitting snuggly into the outer ear and the silicon tips slipping into the ear canal.
Something that fits into the ear canal is more secure (less likely to fall out) and offers better sound isolation than AirPods that fit only into the outer ear.
Of course, true sports fanatics will say that any earbuds without a neck strap are prone to loss (a.k.a. AirPods) and they will be more likely to buy the Pump Lite 2.
Out of the box
• The wireless (Bluetooth 4.2) sports buds
• A wireless charging case and short USB-A to micro-USB charge cable
• A set of 2 x 7 soft silicone earbuds in small, regular, large and elephant as well as two different profiles for more or less sound isolation
Initial impressions are a premium, well made, product. It is very light at 4g each.
Place the buds into the charger and wait for the four indicator lights to glow. A full charge takes 45 minutes.
Pair with any Bluetooth host device – iOS, macOS, Android, and Windows.
Select the buds tip profiles that work for you. If you are a walker or road runner, you will look at the profile that lets enough external noise through to have some spatial awareness. If you are a focused gym junkie, you will select a profile that isolates you from the other grunts.
They are IP54 rated which means dust (or wax) ingress is not entirely prevented and it will handle sweat and water splashes – not for swimming.
While not stated they appear to have excellent drop resistance certainly able to withstand a 1.8-metre drop onto the carpet and a little less onto hard surfaces.
The buds are rated for 3-hours continuous use, and I did three, one-hour, morning walks and still had some charge left. The case also has a power bank that provides another 12 hours top-up – 20 minutes in the case gives enough for one hour’s use.
How do they sound?
Blueant claims that it has “Bass you can feel”. I think they mean the volume you can feel as it does not lack in that department.
My listening tests showed treble to be more prominent and mid, and bass recessed – an analytical sound signature. That is good for vocal tracks a.k.a. Beach Boys but not so good for heavy metal. It is also good for phone calls and Google Assistant and Siri.
Hands-free is also good despite not having a microphone near your mouth. But the mic quality can suffer from being in windy environs.
To get the bass, you can feel you need to use the right content and the media device’s EQ. Let’s just say audio quality and clarity are very good but don’t expect a rock concert in your head.
Maybe I am missing something. BlueAnt founder Taisen Maddern said, “We’ve maximised the quality of the new Pump Airs, so they’re all play and no work. You just put them in, switch on your music, and you have hours of uninterrupted listening. We’ve focused on the bass and audio quality with the Pump Airs, so the sound is richer and louder than anything else you’ll find on the market.”
They offer a snug in-ear fit and over a week of use I had no concerns that they might fall out. Having said that my exercise is more genteel and vigorous exercisers may be more secure in using Pump Lite 2.
A$169.99 from major retailers and on online. Available in Black, White and Black Rose Gold.
Aussie designed and owned, reasonable price, good sound, eminently fit for purpose – go for it.