I wasn’t expecting much for the bargain price of <£20 when I purchased these but I needed a new pair of earphones for the gym and wanted wireless (Bluetooth) to prevent the annoying “slap” of the cables against my chest when running. I was also prepared to sacrifice sound quality for the convenience and comfort that wireless earphones give.
Turns out I need not have made any concessions! These Mini Stealth Earphones have a great quality sound and although I’m sure some audiophiles will be able to criticize these, I certainly can’t. Properly inserted into the ear they provide great bass, and vocal clarity with more than acceptable mid range and decent acoustic isolation. The design leads to a very comfortable fit although it took me a few tries to get used to inserting them properly.
The built-in 60 mAh battery gives the earphones around 2-3 hours of juice, enough for even the most hardcore gym bunny, and they come with a highly convenient charging case which has an internal 300 mAh battery for another 6-7 hours.. Please note that it doesn’t appear that you can charge the earphones and the case at the same time but I may have misread the pretty poorly written manual. It’s these sub-par operating instructions and some occasional touch issues while using the left earphone that have knocked a star off the quality. Both the charging case and earphones have a shiny finish (expected a matt plastic as per the renders) so I give the appearance 4 stars. The charging case will charge the earphones twice over or keep them charged for approximately two weeks. EDIT: I was correct, you cannot charge the earphones whilst the case is being charged but I did manage to fix the touch issues by popping open the case and bending out the copper contact a little. A second pair I ordered for a friend have worked perfectly out the box so it appears to be a one-off.
Back to the case, the 4 lights never appear to turn off when charged as suggested in the manual and the red light on the earphones turns to blue when, I assume, they have finished charging. The manual says it will turn off, so I’m guessing there will be slight leak of charge while in the case (EDIT: There is but not enough to be an issue). The earphones are magnetically retained and fit nicely in the case when charging so there is little risk of them losing connection to the charging pins if the case is knocked.
Delivery was fast in around 12 days from Banggood and the Mini Stealth Stereo Earphones are well boxed. If you want them faster they are also available from Amazon for just under £30 here. Included in the box is a soft carry case to protect the charging case when on the move, a short USB charging lead for the charging case and some different size rubber ear plugs a pair of slightly larger rubber parts that hold the earphones in your ear (not sure what to call these!).
Although the buds use Bluetooth 4.1, pairing took a little longer than I would have liked during initial setup and you should make sure they are fully charged before connecting the first time. Below are the instructions I’ve translated from Chinglish to make this easier for you:
1) You have to turn off your Bluetooth on your phone, turn both earphones on and put them into pairing mode by holding a finger against each (from off) until the LED flashes blue/red alternating. This is easiest to do with the earphones in your ears so you can hear the “Power on… Pairing… *beep*…*beep*”.
They will then connect to each other and you’ll hear something like “Connected, left channel, right channel”.
2) Once that is complete, turn them both off.
3) Turn on your phone Bluetooth.
4) Turn on the earphone you want to be your main earphone (for calls etc) and put it in pairing mode again by touching it (from off) until you hear the voice prompts.
5) Search on your phone for a new headphone device. The manual says to search for touch or something but my set were found as JH-S9100. Connect and enter 0000 if asked (I wasn’t)
6) Turn off the earphone.
7) Turn both back on by touching until you hear “Power On” only and releasing. They will first connect to each other (and say “connected”) and then shortly after your main earphone will say “connected” again which means you are now successfully connected to your phone.
To turn off you can simply touch and hold one of the earphones and both will switch off. The other controls take a little bit of getting use to in order to time the touch properly. Touching the secondary earphone pauses the song and a short touch on the main bud skips a song. There are touch gestures you can perform to answer calls (they have a built-in microphone) but I haven’t bothered to try this and probably won’t – no one wants to talk when sweaty and out of breath (unless it is in the bedroom…).
Overall, despite having had a few issues with my pair out of the box I highly recommend these earphones for cable-less listening when in the gym. I was able to fix the touch problem without contacting Banggood but, if I had, I am confident they would have solved the problem for me or sent a new pair. I’ve always found their customer service to be incredibly helpful (if a little slow occasionally) so don’t be afraid of buying from them; they are one of the better online Chinese stores. Paying more to buy Bluetooth Earphones from Amazon isn’t worth the extra cost unless you really must have them delivered next day; you’re simply paying for quicker delivery and a bit more branding with no improvements in quality.