Music has become an integral part of many people’s daily lives. For me, popping in my earbuds during work or at the gym is part of my daily routine. Many types of earbuds aim to maximize noise cancellation. This eliminates the noise in the listeners environment, transporting them to a world with just them and their music. However, this is not always ideal. For example, I find myself listening to music at work with only one earbud, in case a coworker is trying to get my attention, and I do many runs outdoors without music in fear that I won’t be able to hear a car horn or a bicycle bell.
The Allway OE10 Bluetooth Earbuds ($89) provide a solution to this problem as an open-ear earbud. The speakers of these earbuds sit just above the ear canal, rather than inside it. This allows the listener to hear their personal audio without disconnecting them from their surroundings. As a user who was interested in listening to music while still being attentive to noises around them, these earbuds piqued my interest.
My very first concern hearing about a pair of open-ear earbuds was that the sound quality would be significantly compromised. I was ready for lackluster audio when I put on the earbuds for the first time and was very pleasantly surprised. While I don’t claim to have the most well-trained ear for fine audio details, the sound quality was equivalent to what I would expect from a high-end pair of earbuds.
Next, I was concerned that the Allway OE10 Earbuds would project music around me rather than just into my ears. I turned the volume on the earbuds up to what I thought to be quite a loud volume, and asked people around me if they could hear my music. Again, to my surprise, they said they could not. This was a great discovery for me as a person who is self-conscious about people hearing what I’m listening to all the time. After turning my volume to maximum, people were able to hear my music, but that volume was too loud for me to bear anyways.
One thing that I did notice after using these earbuds for a significant period, however, was that there was the faintest high-pitched buzz that would turn periodically on and off when there was no audio coming from my phone. This did not particularly bother me as I could not hear the buzz when audio was playing, but it was something that I began to hear during the silence between putting on my earbuds and starting my music.
The Allway OE10 Earbuds sit on the user’s ear in a rather unique way. The speaker rests on the ear just above the ear canal, and the rest of the earbud wraps around the top and to the back of the ear. Near the back of the ear the earbud is thicker and weighted to balance the earbud on the ear in a location like where a pair of glasses sits. The part of the earbud with the speaker can also be pushed a small amount inward to lightly pinch the ear if more stability is needed. The comfort of these earbuds left me pleasantly surprised for a third time. Countless times I wore these earbuds and forgot that they were on my ears. That, coupled with the fact that I could hear the music and my surroundings made it seem like the music was coming from inside my own head. It was pretty cool. There was one instance when I pinched my ears too much and they were left a little sore, but it didn’t take me long to learn how to wear them properly.
Wearing these earbuds while running worked decently well. I had to tighten them a bit so that they wouldn’t bounce around, and they started to fall off a couple times during my run, but I would wear them again.
During the weeks that I used this pair of earbuds, they only died on me one time. The soft-hard case that the Allway OE10 Earbuds come in has a battery that charges the earbuds when they are in the case. Thus, the user charges the case (via USB-C), and the case charges the earbuds. This worked for me very well as I simply got in the habit of charging the case when I used the earbuds so that when I was finished listening the case had enough juice to bring the earbuds back to a full charge. The one time that the earbuds did die, I would estimate that I got about 10-12 hours of listening off that single charge.
The one thing with respect to charging that I did find to be a drawback was that the only way to tell how much battery is left in the earbuds is to download the Allway smartphone app and pair the app with your earbuds. This ended up not being a big deal to me because I never had to worry about how much battery was left in my earbuds, but it was a minor inconvenience.
The Allway OE10 Earbuds have built in touch controls on the sides of the earbuds. As somebody who is used to having buttons for control, the touch controls took some getting used to. Some of the controls require multiple successive taps on the same earbud, which was sometimes difficult for me to do without the earbuds interpreting it as two separate single taps. With touch controls instead of buttons, I also found myself accidentally changing the volume when scratching me ear or adjusting the earbuds. Overall, I didn’t use the touch controls too much, but they exist if that’s something that’s important to you.
Other Features/Important Notes
There were some other benefits that I found to using a pair of open-ear earbuds that I had not expected. The first was that listening to music while eating became a lot easier. With earbuds that fit inside the ear canal, I always found that the sound of chewing was amplified, and I was forced to turn the volume up on my music to be able to hear. This was not a problem with the Allway OE10 Earbuds.
Similarly, using earbuds that fit inside the ear while running always amplified my breathing which forced me again to turn up the volume. I did not have this problem with a pair of open-ear earbuds.
Finally, I realized that I didn’t need to clean earwax off my Allway OE10 Earbuds. Without stuffing anything into my ear, there was nothing to clean off. This cleaning was certainly not something that I missed.
I also would like to note that open-ear earbuds are probably not for everyone. If you’re looking to do audio editing or a pair of earbuds that will fill your skull with music and block out loud noises, then I would go the noise cancellation route. But if you’re simply looking for earbuds that give you a good way to enjoy music or podcasts while still feeling present where you are, then the Allway OE10 Earbuds are a great option.
My experience using the Allway OE10 Bluetooth Earbuds was very positive. This company has done a great job creating a pair of open-ear earbuds without sacrificing quality. While there were some minor inconveniences and things that I could be picky about, I was quite satisfied with this product. These will likely become my go-to earbuds for everyday use.
You can learn more about the Allway OE10 earbuds at the manufacturer’s website where they’re available to purchase for about $89.