As of late, it looks like almost each firm has some stage of true wi-fi earbuds. Some earbuds need to go toe-to-toe with Apple’s wildly successful AirPods, providing clever options and noise cancellation. Others compete by undercutting the price whereas providing comparable audio high quality or different options.
Enter Depraved Audio’s ‘Cron’ earbuds. Whereas the earbuds’ identify leaves one thing to be desired, these low-cost true wi-fi buds make up for it in nearly each different manner. Depraved Audio despatched me a pair to check out and after per week of use, they’ve left me impressed. From phenomenal battery life to respectable sound high quality, the Cron are arduous to beat at their value.
Nonetheless, a very powerful a part of any earbud is consolation. I like sporting earbuds like this all through my day, as they’re helpful for making cellphone calls and listening to my favorite music on Spotify. With prolonged use in thoughts, earbuds that harm after some time aren’t perfect.
The Cron deal with this side pretty effectively. The buds are small and light-weight. I discovered they match effectively. On the again of every bud is a ‘secure loop fin’ that helps it keep in your ear, which additionally labored effectively. Primarily, you set the bud in your ear tip first, then twist it down so the fin locks in place behind the ridge of your ear.
Whereas it labored for me, somebody with bigger ears might have some hassle locking the buds in place. Oddly, you possibly can take away the rubber fins, however the field didn’t embrace different sizes for somebody with greater ears. Nonetheless, there are totally different rubber ideas within the field, as with most earbuds.
Battery for days
As snug because the earbuds had been, I did discover that extended use would make the sting of my ears sore. Adjusting the angle of the bud so the fin didn’t press into my ear as a lot helped in that regard. Regardless, I used to be nonetheless in a position to put on the Crons for longer than I might different true wi-fi buds.
It was an excellent factor, too, because the battery on these is tough to kill. The buds themselves sport about six hours of battery life, which I discovered to be correct. Nonetheless, the case pushes the entire battery as much as a formidable 60 hours. The Cron case doubles as a transportable powerbank as effectively, sporting a USB-A port so you possibly can plug your cellphone into it. It’s a useful characteristic, however one I didn’t discover vital — I’ve already obtained a large powerbank with USB-C and quick charging. For somebody who needs to avoid wasting cash, nevertheless, the Cron earbuds supply a superb 2-in-1 answer.
Additionally they take about two hours to recharge, which might be one among Cron’s largest points. Other than the earbuds taking a very long time to juice up, the carrying case additionally takes eternally to recharge — about 5 hours, to be precise. Contemplating how a lot energy the case holds, I can forgive the lengthy cost time, however it’d be good if there was some stage of fast charging included.
The case does assist Qi wi-fi charging, which is handy, but additionally slightly sluggish. Annoyingly, the Cron case doesn’t have a simple method to inform what stage the case battery is at. The one LED mild on the again of the case flashes orange when charging and turns strong when totally charged.
Nonetheless, the LED additionally flashes orange when charging the buds, so it may be tough to inform what’s truly taking place on the subject of charging. I’d favor if the Crons provided a set of LEDs that would give a tough thought of the battery stage.
One different downside is the case is cumbersome as a result of massive battery. It’s not heavy, simply massive and awkward.
One other necessary metric for true wi-fi earbuds is connection high quality. Most wi-fi buds like this daisy-chain the buds collectively. In different phrases, one bud connects to the cellphone and the opposite connects to the primary bud. Another wi-fi earbuds I’ve tried had connection points, both from bud to cellphone or bud to bud. The Crons didn’t — my music by no means stuttered whereas strolling with my cellphone in my pocket, and one bud by no means misplaced reference to the opposite.
Pairing the buds to my cellphone was a easy course of and subsequent use was a breeze. Whenever you take the Crons out of the charging case, they activate robotically, join to one another after which connect with the cellphone. When the buds efficiently join, they make a ‘whoosh’ sound to let you already know they’re able to go.
Virtually each time, the buds had been already making the sound by the point I used to be putting them in my ears.
Lastly, the Crons assist a ‘single bud’ mode, which is useful if you wish to use them however don’t need each buds in your ears. For instance, I used single bud mode as a makeshift Bluetooth headset when driving.
For the reason that proper bud acts because the ‘communicator’ between the left bud and your cellphone, the simplest manner to make use of single bud mode is to only take the correct Cron out by itself and put it in your ear. In the event you depart the left bud within the case, it stays off and the correct Cron goes into single bud mode. In the event you use the left bud, you’ll need to pair it once more because it doesn’t usually talk together with your cellphone.
To return to regular utilization, simply put the only bud again within the case with the opposite Cron, then take away them each.
Satisfactory sound high quality
Lastly, the Cron earbuds supply respectable sound. They’re not one of the best sounding earbuds I’ve ever used, however for the worth and different options, they’re greater than high quality.
On the hardware aspect, the Crons sport a 6mm neodymium driver with 105dB sensitivity, 16-ohm impedance and 20-20,000Hz frequency.
In your ear, nevertheless, the buds supply a shocking quantity of bass and respectable vary. For me, I discovered the earbuds greater than succesful for listening to music and podcasts whereas commuting on the practice and streetcar. The Crons characteristic noise isolation, so that they block out some sound, however they don’t have full noise cancellation just like the AirPods Professional. That stated, I didn’t discover the standard noise of my commute to be an issue.
My largest gripe with the sound high quality is a scarcity of readability within the sound. In comparison with some high-end headphones I exploit, the Cron appeared noisy and lacked element. Don’t get me mistaken, the Cron nonetheless sound okay. However if you wish to hear probably the most in your music and podcasts, you’ll need one thing extra.
All of it comes right down to cash
On the finish of the day, the Cron supply rather a lot for $129.99 CAD. In comparison with $329 for the AirPods Pro and even $269 for the AirPods with wireless charging, the Cron are considerably inexpensive. Whenever you issue within the longer battery life, it’s arduous to disclaim the worth in these earbuds.
That stated, there are some drawbacks to the Cron. Specifically, the earbuds don’t supply lively noise cancellation. On prime of that, Cron don’t have good options both. Which means no Siri on iOS units and no Google Assistant on Android. The middle button on the Cron allows you to reply incoming calls, play/pause music and skip to the subsequent or earlier monitor, and that’s about it.
In the event you’re searching for earbuds with phenomenal battery life and also you don’t need to break the financial institution, look no additional than Cron. Nonetheless, if you’d like noise cancellation, high-fidelity sound, and even entry to good options like Siri or Google Assistant, it’s possible you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Even if you happen to do determine the Cron is the best way to go, you might have a tough time discovering them. A Depraved Audio spokesperson confirmed to MobileSyrup the earbuds would retail for $129.99 in Canada however didn’t share the place to purchase them. Additional, Depraved sells a number of different true wireless earbuds in Canada through Amazon, however Cron at the moment isn’t listed on the corporate’s merchandise web page. Hopefully they’ll be out there there quickly.
Within the meantime, these should buy the Crons from Wicked Audio’s website, however the pricing is in USD ($99.99 to be precise, which works out to just some greater than the $129.99 Canadian value with the conversion). Whereas not perfect, at the very least there isn’t important markup if you wish to purchase them that manner.