ISOtunes FREE Aware Bluetooth Earbuds Review

ISOtunes FREE Aware Bluetooth Earbuds

10

10.0/10

Communicate clearly. Work freely. Completely waterproof and cord-free, the ISOtunes FREE Aware Bluetooth Earbuds are their most versatile and innovative to date. With level-dependent Aware Technology™, you can communicate with colleagues and listen for warning signals all while enjoying non-stop certified protection. ISOtunes FREE Aware gives you the freedom you want and the protection you need.

ISOtunes FREE Aware Bluetooth Earbuds Review

The FREE Aware earbuds are entirely wireless that charge via their carrying case, much like normal music earphones. The volume for the microphone is controlled by tapping the left earbud, and the right is for controlling the music. Volume is controlled via whatever device the Bluetooth is streaming from. Remembering the correct number of times to tap for each function takes a little bit of time to get used to, but works well once you have it down. ISOtunes did fix my minor annoyance with the PRO Aware- the FREE Aware uses USB-C for charging, the same type of cable as most cell phones.

ISOtunes FREE Aware Bluetooth Earbuds Review

Having no wires at all brings some interesting pro/con scenarios from a woodworking standpoint. Obviously, there’s a benefit to not having wires for tools to get caught in, but there are some tradeoffs. The headphone controls don’t work if you’re wearing gloves (like a touchscreen, they rely on the body’s electrical system to recognize input). Also, I personally like to take headphones off if I’m pausing my work for a longer conversation, letting them drape around my neck. Earbuds have to be held, or set down, which means I will inevitably lose one for an afternoon at the midpoint of some project. This of course a personal preference, and the popularity of AirPods shows that there’s demand for this style of headphone.

ISOtunes FREE Aware Bluetooth Earbuds Review

The difference that you can’t see right away is that the hearing protection is now omnidirectional. This means it will only reduce volume if the noise level for that specific earbud tops 85db. So if there’s a loud sound off to your left, only the left earbud will trigger, and you’ll still be able to hear from the right. If both earbuds register above 85db they will both reduce the volume. The effect in practice is quite interesting, as I could still hear what was going on but only through the opposite ear as the sound was coming from. It’s not as disorienting as it sounds though, and once you’ve had them on for a while you don’t even notice.

The new form factor and omnidirectional volume technology both bring some really great elements to the table. The price of £169.99 is undoubtedly a bit steep, but I feel like the premium quality and execution of the product justifies it, if just barely.

Overall, the ISOtunes FREE Aware Bluetooth Earbuds are dust, sweat, and waterproof and offers up to 13 hours of battery life.

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