If there's one thing that has put me off about wireless earphones in the past its the fact that they aren't actually wireless. Most of them have a wire linking the 2 earbuds. Of course, we all know that Apple removed the headphone jack (the reason I left Apple for Android BTW) and moves like that along with advances in technology have led this year to a massive growth in the uptake of true wireless Bluetooth earphones.
The Purdio Airon IEM's do things a little different than most brands. These are 2 completely wireless earbuds. With no cable running out to the battery and receiver everything is instead housed internally. These headphones are more similar in functionality to something like Apple Airpods, one earbud for each ear and your phone. You get the picture, true wireless.
Why would I want the Purdio Airon?
For me at least, this is the what the future of earphones should be. No wrestling with a cable, no tangles and nothing in the way. To date thought the only iteration of this design that actually works effectively is the Airpods. The problem with them though is they don't sound great and are, for most, prohibitively expensive.
Perhaps Purdio has the solution and we can finally get the sound we deserve in a truly wireless form. That's what I hoped at least but you will want to read on to find out why this isn't the case.
Packaging and Accessories
The packaging of the Airon is very nice and it has lots of good quality materials and stylish graphics. It is certainly befitting of a more expensive set of in-ear headphones. There is ample padding to protect them in transit and the overall presentation would make them a nice gift for anyone around the holidays.
In the way of accessories there isn't too much but what you do get is generally good quality.
You get a simple USB charging cable and the user manuals. Most of the time I would just throw the manual away but I advise you to keep this for the first couple of uses as the setup of the Bluetooth connection is a little tricky.
You also get the carrying case/charging case. The earphones sit snuggly into this ensuring both the left and right earphones are kept together when not in use.
Finally there are a few extra sets of tips in varying sizes, all of which were really too small to provide a decent seal in my ears so you may want to look into aftermarket ear-tips to set the Airon better in your canal.
Sadly the ear tips that were included were just far too small to be useful and when changing to a set of larger Comply Foam tips or the awesome Spinfit rubber tips I ran across a different kind of problem. The Airon wouldn't fit (and thus charge) when inserted into the carry case.
How to setup the Purdio Airon
As I mentioned before the Airon is a little bit harder to set up than a regular set of Bluetooth earphones. That said everything went smoothly when I followed the instructions and I was soon listening to my music.
Instead of instantly pairing with a direct connection you need to turn on the right earpiece and then hold down the button to pair with the phone. You will also need to do a similar action to pair the left unit to the right one which seems to be the master unit.
It's not as easy as just turning on your earphones connecting, that extra step though is not too much of a sacrifice given that both earphones work
Build Quality and Design
I really can't find fault with the build of the Purdio Airon. The seem well made and constructed from good quality materials. The soft touch finish adds a bit of a premium touch and the button clicks are firm yet responsive.
The included carry case is also quite good. It's compact and holds the earphones in place so they aren't just floating about like many other IEM cases I have had in the past.
On the downside, the design is fairly cumbersome. They are a bulky set of earphones that stick out your ears quite a bit. People with small ears should also be warned that these will not be for you.
I understand that to get the advantage that the Purdio offer over traditional Bluetooth earbuds that everything (battery, transmitters, etc) has to be housed within the earphone and that contributes to the size. Apple in this regard was smart in their implementation of the much-maligned airpod droops, it stopped the actual buds from getting too big.
With the Airon they just didn't feel secure to the point that I would be happy moving around with them too much. The felt like they weren't held in place. Fine if you are going to be staying in one place but then the whole wireless concept is about freedom of movement.
The sound of the Purdio Airon is unfortunately not good. I found it to be weak, thin and also quite sibilant. Everything sounded very sucked out hollow and flat. In my mind, I had come into this review expecting a bit of a bassy sounding earphone but in reality, it was exactly the opposite.
The highs were overly bright and at times quite shrill making them hard to listen to for more than a few minutes with the wrong track. The mids inoffensive but really even something like the KZ ZS3 does better at just $15 (of course it is wired but you get the point). The lows were very muddy, lacking any real clarity detail or punch.
I won't get into specifics of breaking down the bass mids and treble because quite frankly the Purdio Airon verge on the unlistenable. It's a real shame because there is a lot of other features I like about the earphones but the sound just makes them not worth purchasing in their current state.
I think it's best to just end the review here because I really can't recommend the Airon to anyone in their current state. So much of what Purdio have done with both the Airon and the previously reviewed wireless MMCX cable made me really want to like them but for some reason both of these products have been let out the door when the don't actually work properly.
This might just be the most frustrated I have been in a while because with just a little bit of attention to detail they both could have been great products but until some revisions are made I would advise you to pass for now.