Here at pnosker.com, we’re quite fond of MEElectronics for manufacturing decent quality headphones at an affordable price. So I was quite excited when they sent me the Air-Fi AF9 Stereo Bluetooth Wireless Headset.
When I initially opened up the package, I was taken aback slightly as the design for these headphones is unlike most others I have seen. Instead of a headset that incorporates the Bluetooth components within it, the AF9 is comprised of a pair of in-ear headphones, with an optional extension cable, that you plug into a tiny box-shaped Bluetooth wireless receiver that clips on to your clothing.
You might wonder, “well if the headset still requires you to wire-in your headphones, what’s the point?” My answer to that question would be that it will make quite a difference if you are on the go or engaged in exercise.
The receiver allows you to control the music volume level, skip or playback a song, and manage calls. You could answer a call from a friend while on a run without the need to take your iPhone/Droid device out of your armband. But be warned that the microphone is pretty average.
Connecting my iPhone to the Bluetooth was easy as pie and the AF9 receive brownie points for this. Furthermore, the receiver will turn itself off when it loses the Bluetooth connection after a while in order to save battery life. This might account for the battery’s alleged 100 hours of standby time (I say alleged because I did not leave it alone for such a long time). The recharge time was also quite fast, only 2 hours for a full charge.
The set comes with MEElectronics’ standard carrying case, varying sizes of headphones as well as 2 USB charging cables, which was thoughtful of them.
But all the shiny gizmos and gadgets aside, I would have to describe the sound quality as subpar. Even at a close distance I noticed a consistent hiss in the background of my music. Not only that, but the set didn’t deliver a very clear sound when compared with your typical plug-in headphones. Now Bluetooth is certainly not known for its amazing sound quality but I expected the AF9 to deliver a bit better quality than it did. Perhaps the unit I had for review was damaged in some way but I will have to deduct points for poor sound quality.
The AF9 Stereo Bluetooth Wireless Headset provides a lot of nick-knacks to support your music listening pleasure, and it’s clear that MEElectronics thought a lot about a user’s habits when packaging the set together. But in the end, these headphones fall short of delivering great sound. If you’re looking for a pair of Bluetooth headphones and don’t mind spending a few extra dollars, I would highly recommend you check out the Jabra Sports Headphones. That said, the AF9 does get the job done, albeit unimpressively.
Pros: The AF9 Bluetooth headphones are an affordable choice for someone seeking a headset that would allow them to be more active. What’s included in the package goes above and beyond standard accessories most other companies will send you.
Cons: Subpar sound quality.