Audio startup Earin has announced a new, sleeker pair of truly wireless earbuds that come with built-in touch controls. The new M2 earbuds will be available in “late Q1,” according to the company, and they’ll cost $249.
The touch controls on the M2 earbuds will let users perform basic functions like play / pause, skipping songs, and answering calls. (Yes, that means they have a microphone this time around!) The earbuds should last about three hours on a single charge, and the carrying / charging case has about 12 extra hours of juice.
Earin was one of the first companies to bring a pair of truly wireless earbuds to the market in 2015. But being first doesn’t mean much if your product doesn’t work well, and Earin’s was plagued by a very spotty Bluetooth connection.
This time around the company says it’s using Near Field Magnetic Induction (NFMI) to connect the two earbuds, which is a technology that competitors like Bragi and Alpha Audiotronics use in their products. NFMI allows for a more stable wireless connection across your head, and it also sounds better than plain old Bluetooth.
Earin’s still using Bluetooth to connect the M2 earbuds to your phone — there’s really no other option for that just yet — so it’s hard to say whether the company’s fixed that part of the equation. Luckily, we’re here at CES so we’ll go get our hands on a pair to test them out for you.
Update January 3rd, 4:22PM PT: I got a chance to see and take a few photos of the new Earin M2 earbuds, but it unfortunately wasn’t a full demo.
I can say that the M2 addresses a few problems I had with Earin’s original earbuds. For one, the charging case now has three lights on the outside that let you know, approximately, how much charge the earbuds have. There’s also a light inside the case that lets you know the earbuds have settled in and are charging. The case is now magnetic, too, so you don’t have to snap the earbuds in as much as you just let the case suck them in.
Earin reps also told me that the earbuds will cost $249. That’s a lot of money for wireless earbuds, but these really are some of the smallest and lightest around. The M2 earbuds also don’t stick way out of your ear like many others do, and they feel like they’d stay put during everyday use. Earin says the simple approach is purposeful. The small company wants to focus on audio quality and (now) call quality, and it’s hard to fault them when so many competitors are trying to push features like fitness tracking.