Walter Shillington writes about products he knows firsthand. His articles focus on healthcare, electronics, watches, and household items.
I start my day with a brisk walk. I head downtown and then circle the soggy remains of what once was a small and pretty lake. At this point, in a valiant effort to replace those precious calories I thoughtlessly burned away, I usually stop by the coffee shop for a java and a donut.
I listen to music during my walk, connecting a pair of Bluetooth earbuds to my smartphone and selecting one of my favorite playlists. The earbuds work reasonably well, providing excellent sound and plenty of volume. They are, however, slightly uncomfortable and often give the impression that they are about to fall from my ears. Even worse, earbuds muffle the sound of the surrounding rush-hour traffic. That can be dangerous.
Happily, options are available. I recently tested a bone conduction headphone. This lightweight device fits snugly around the back of my head, its transducers pressing gently against my cheekbones. These transducers create sound waves in the form of vibration that can be deciphered by the inner ear rather than relayed by the eardrum.
Bone conduction headphones are comfortable, and because they do not block the wearer’s ears, surrounding sounds can be clearly heard. However, while the volume level and audio quality are decent, they are not quite up to audiophile standards.
Today I am examining the third option. Open-ear earbuds consist of a pair of tiny speakers suspended directly over the wearer’s ears. Theoretically, this system can provide better audio quality than earbuds while avoiding muffling the sound of passing traffic.
The Allway OE10 open-ear earbuds come packed in a gray cloth-covered charging case. This case is 1 inch thick, 5.35 inches wide, and 2.8 inches deep. Its total weight is just under four ounces when fitted with a pair of earbuds.
The earbuds are composed of white plastic with silver trim. Each of these devices weighs 14 grams. The earbud’s arm rests above and behind the wearer’s earlobe, supporting a control unit fitted with a speaker and a pair of microphones. This unit hovers over the entrance to the wearer’s ear canal.
Each earbud is fitted with a 130mAh battery. The charging case is equipped with a 450mAh hour battery, boosting operating time from 6 to 16 hours.
This set supports Bluetooth 5.3 and includes a noise-canceling microphone system. A touchpad provides the ability to accept phone calls, adjust the volume, and select music. A companion application is also available.
- Brand: Allway
- Name: Open-Ear True Wireless Earbuds
- Model: OE10
- Type: Open ear
- Earbud weight: 14 grams (0.49 ounces)
- Earbud dimensions: 12 x 54 x 51 centimeters (0.47 x 2.13 x 2 inches)
- Earbud battery: 130mAh lithium rechargeable
- Case weight: 111 grams (3.93 ounces) with earbuds inserted
- Case dimensions: 26 x 136 x 71 centimeters (1 x 5.35 x 2.8 inches)
- Case battery: 450mAh lithium rechargeable
- Charging time: 1.5 hours (both earbuds and case)
- Charging method: Type-C 5V 0.5A
- Playtime: 6 hours
- Total playtime with case: 16 hours
- Bluetooth version: 5.3
- Transmission distance: 10 meters (32 feet)
- Microphone: Dual-mic ENC noise reduction
- Maximum earbud rotation: 30 degrees
- Driver size: 16.2mm speaker
- Frequency range: 20hz – 20khz
- Touch control: Yes
- Compatibility: Android and iOS
- Water resistance: IPX4
- Package contents: Case, one pair of earbuds, charging cable, and user guide
Comfort and Stability
These earbuds hang from a curved arm that fits across the top of the wearer’s earlobe. And, since the speaker rests gently against the ear’s opening and can be adjusted up to 30 degrees, they fit exceptionally well. This set is the most comfortable of all the earbuds and bone-conduction headphones I have reviewed.
The Allway OE10 earbuds stayed firmly in place during my morning walks. However, while they also remain secure during more strenuous activities, these earbuds lack my bone-conduction headphones’ snug and confidence-inducing grip.
Volume and Sound Reproduction
Driver size is important, and because plenty of space was available, Allway equipped these earbuds with a 16.2mm speaker. Sound reproduction is exceptional right across the frequency range.
Sound levels can be raised relatively high, but if you crave intense mind-numbing volume, conventional earbuds, which fit tightly into the user’s ear canal, would be the way to go.
Bluetooth Pairing and Range
I was able to pair this set of earbuds with my smartphone quickly. From then on, they automatically paired to the phone whenever I pulled them from their case.
The transmission range is roughly equal to the other Bluetooth devices I have trialed. If the phone is placed in my centrally located dining room, I can listen to music via the earbuds anywhere within the house. If the smartphone is located atop my kitchen table, the room’s thick outside-type wall will interfere with the signal as I stroll to the far end of the building.
This program provides battery level information and allows the wearer to adjust the volume and select the next or prior song. Sadly, it lacks an equalizer. Hopefully, this deficiency will be overcome in a later version of the application.
The sound quality is superb, and I find these earbuds highly comfortable. Those who like to walk or jog for exercise will appreciate the ability to discern the surrounding sounds while wearing them. The Allway OE10 Open-Ear True Wireless Earbuds are recommended.
Presently, Allway is providing a ten dollar discount for customers using the coupon code: Hub10.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Walter Shillington