TWS true wireless earphones - under $25
ONE STAR - The Bluedio Hi is already the second true wireless earphone of one of China's most well known Bluetooth headphone brands. It has a nice Apple AirPods-like feature, but doesn't tick al boxes…
Bluedio Hi Hurricane TWS specs:
Design, charging and comfort
The earpieces of the Bluedio Hi Hurricane true wireless earphone are big - real big. The earphones have a stem of more than three centimeter connected to a large earpiece, that is about twice as deep as the Apple AirPods - and then carry a rubber tip to put in your ear. While they are lightweight and comfortable to wear, they look ridiculous while wearing them. They stick much further out than AirPods, and the stems don't rest on your cheeks, but stick out mid air. You probably don't want to be seen with these.
The design of the charging case isn't much better. It's big (6 x 6 x 3,5 centimeter), bulky, made of cheap plastic, has a ramble to it and doesn't automatically switch the earpieces on or off - you'll have to do that manually. The earpieces need some force to be put in the box and some force to be taken out of them.
The earpieces hold the battery for five hours of music time - which is a nice score - and the charging case can recharge the earpieces around three times. There isn't an indication if the earpieces are charging however. And… once one of the earpieces is charged fully, it reconnects to your phone automatically, while it's still in the charger. Thus draining it's own battery, plundering the audio from your phone even when you don't want to use the earphones. The Bluedio T-Elf had the same problem - it's incredible Bluedio hasn't fixed it this time around.
Connectivity and controls
Bluedio added a nice Apple AirPods-like feature to it's Hi Hurricane TWS. The right earpiece has a sensor on top that detects wether it's in your ear or not. If you take it out by holding it at the stem, the music automatically stops playing, so you can have an easy conversation until you put it back in your ear again. It only works with the right earpiece, and it doesn't work when you grab the earpiece on top, but it's a neat function overall.
Standard connectivity on this Bluedio Hi TWS is mediocre. While the connection can struggle a bit in areas crowded with wireless networks and signals, the connection is mostly stable up to ten meter. This, at least, it does way better than the Bluedio T-Elf.
The control scheme isn't the most convenient however. Press the little button on the stem to play and pause, press the right one twice to skip a song, press the right one twice to return. That feels illogical. A long press activates the voice assistant.
It gets worse. Because the charging case doesn't help you power the earpieces on or off, you have to long press the buttons both at the same time to switch the Hi earpieces on and off. But because the charging case activates one of your two earpieces when its charged, the earphones are de-paired most of the time and your device will be connected to one instead of two earpieces.
After this fault, you may have to delete your current Bluetooth connection in order to reset and restore the connection to both earpieces. Bluedio knows of this problem - and gives a description for a workaround (press the on-button three times) in its guide. It's not undoable, but it is very annoying. Something you have to keep paying attention to.
Nice conversation function or not, the Bluedio Hi thus fails at the basics for pairing and connecting.
Calling and watching movies
With a name like 'Hi' and the long stems in the design moving the microphone closer to your mouth, you would think the Bluedio Hi is perfect for calling. Unfortunately, the call quality is terrible. There's a loud all overpowering hiss, your voice fades away constantly and becomes almost inaudible when you're on the move or when there are noises in your surrounding.
Watching videos fares okay on Android, but there's a noticeable delay in the sound on iPhone.
Sound: Warm and restricted
The Bluedio Hi Hurricane TWS has a smooth, dark sound, that is unfortunately short of detail. That's mostly caused by aggressively rolled off higher notes. Female vocals, violins, guitars and lighter piano strokes are capped and sound restricted, resulting in a loss of detail and the character of songs.
The bass of the Hi Hurricane isn't the most convincing either, although it can pump a bit when songs push them. The bass doesn't go very deep, it doesn't strike hard and it doesn't sound textured or detailed.
Still, the bass and darker tones play an important role in the sound signature. They drag all other frequencies towards them; even vocals and sharper details sound as if they are lower mids here. Even though the left-right stereo imaging is pretty good, the Hi Hurricane sounds dark and muffled.
The sound signature will do for background listening to at work - just don't expect songs to reach their full potential or to shine any time.
The Bluedio Hi Hurricane TWS has a nice play-pause function by removing the right earpiece from your ear temporarily, however fails at absolute basics like auto switching-on and off, pairing stability, microphone quality or… decent looks. Bluedio's take at the AirPods are a letdown.
ONE STAR - TRASH
Buy Bluedio Hi Hurricane TWS
/ check current price:
I bought the Bluedio Hi Hurricane TWS for my own listening and review purposes. I test and review all audio products equally honest - read about it here.
Consider buying this earphone? I'd really appreciate it if you use the links in this article. It won't cost you extra, yet it will financially support me a bit in my ongoing quest for great affordable audio. <3