Review – Aipower Wearbuds W20
Fitness toys can be pretty hit and miss. Sometimes they’re impractical, or sometimes it feels like they weren’t tested at all. That’s especially true as you start looking out at generic Chinese brands. Though you can also catch a great deal when you go digging around through those brands. It really depends a lot on your expectations and willingness to try things.
But there are also examples of people saving a lot of money by trying these more obscure brands. Sometimes the big guy doesn’t do it best. Though it does depend on the kinds of things you’re looking to find. Because sometimes the bigger brands do have more “exclusive” features, which may or may not be practical, but are usually very cool.
Airpower Wearbuds W20 look a tad like a fitness watch, mostly because of their over-sized LCD. It’s got a fairly obvious dome design, and the screen has good viewing angles. With any interaction, it displays the date/time/battery, and can bring up basic fitness metrics.
The style of the watch, that’s sort of something people will have to judge for themselves. To me, it looks just a tiny bit like a child’s toy. Not exactly reeking of sophistication and class. Or perhaps it looks a bit like something a Power Ranger would use to activate their powers and summon the Dragonzord.
Putting that aside, the buds come in white or black. And it’s nice having a little wiggle room when it comes to the aesthetic. The material construction is mostly composed of injected polyester and a bit of silicone. It feels soft and smooth, and does a good job of conforming to the surfaces it’s used against. Though the one drawback worth noting is it’s a tad over 15 ounces, making it sort of heavy.
The buds are supposed to mount on the side of the watch, that makes them a lot easier to carry. In theory. It’s also somewhat obvious they’re not quite as well protected as in a charging case. But they’re a lot more at hand, and much easier to snap-up at a moments notice. Popping them loose is a simple matter, and they don’t seem prone to being knocked off accidentally.
As far as controlling them goes, the earbuds are based around a simple touch interface. A few taps can move you between skipping tracks, changing volume levels, interacting with calls, and so on. There’s also a voice assistant option. The tap patterns are simple enough to where you can sort of guess you way to success if you forget what you’re doing.
Are the AiPower Wearbuds waterproof? Well, the waterproofing meets an IPX6 level. That basically means you’re good through sweat and rain. But you wouldn’t want to take things any further than that. Because they’re not rated for submersion or even strong sprays.
|Battery & Connectivity|
The Airpower Wearbuds are based around a 35mAh internal battery. That’s supposed to keep you going for about 5.5 hours. But it’ll depend mostly on volume levels. People who are cranking their tunes can find the actual battery lifespan to be closer to 4-hours. That’s actually still a tad above average because a lot of earbuds start at the four hour mark.
The watch also has a battery onboard, another 160mAh. That’s supposed to have a seven day standby time, so you’ll need to recharge about twice a week most of the time. Though it does depend on how often you’re making use of the earbuds. The earbuds are supposed to get about 13-hours out of the watch, assuming you’re using it for nothing but the earbuds.
As far as the wireless connectivity goes, they’re build around using Bluetooth 5. They haven’t done anything exceptional with the codec support, though. There’s nothing resembling aptX low latency support, nor is there wireless connectivity that exceeds the standard 33-ft range. But to their credit the connectivity seems solid. This seems like one area where the Aipower Wearbuds W20 vs alternative choices might be able to distinguish themselves, but they didn’t mange to do that.
|Smart Watch Functions|
The W20 really comes to life once you’ve got the Airpower app behind it. (That’s free on iOS and Android, and pairing with your equipment only takes a few seconds.) Outside of the app, the W20 can perform a pretty decent, but ultimately limited range of functions. That includes a step counter, calorie counter, and pedometer.
But the app makes things go much further. There’s a 24-hour heart rate tracker, for instance. That keeps an eye on you resting rate even as you sleep. The W20 also has a sleep quality monitor. People who wake up in the middle of the night several times and don’t remember it can suffer from poor quality sleep, so there are all kinds of neat things the app can inform you about.
Those features obviously require some app integration to track the data and make sense of it. They also give you a sort of semi-annual fitness report, a sort of overview of how your data is trending. So if your heart rate is on the decline, that can get picked up. The W20 can also send data from the smartphone to the watch, giving your alerts from other apps. So social media messages, texts, and so forth. Nothing revolutionary, but it’s nice to see the basics done well.
|Audio & Call Quality|
The Airpower Wearbuds are built around very ordinary graphene drivers. They don’t do anything to expand on the limit that’s placed on these kinds of audio drivers. The compression of Bluetooth is still there. And you’re looking at fairly small audio drivers to begin with. So no, these earbuds aren’t going to reform your expectations of what’s possible with audio.
With that said, average isn’t bad. Things come though clear, and they didn’t make the mistake of bloating the bass to an obnoxious degree or otherwise making things unbalanced. Though it’s a small shame there isn’t an equalizer within their app, that seems like a missed opportunity.
As far as the microphones are concerned, calling quality is baseline. The microphones are not bad; there’s just nothing exceptional about them. They aren’t backed with CVC noise protection or its generic equivalent, and there isn’t a fancy multi-mic setup being used to screen out noise. This is an example of “average” hardware being used widely.
Verdict – Wearbuds W20
Airpower Wearbuds W20 are not high-end. These things are not perfect. But they do have a market. People who are looking for a cool fitness toy on-the-cheap will be able to find something interesting here.
Comparing the Aipower Wearbuds W20 vs others is also difficult because these guys took such an unusual design approach. Compared to using a wireless charging case, the battery lifespan of the watch is just a tad limited. If you have the chance to recharge each day, those limits aren’t such a concern.
The app expands some function and keeps the rest of your apps integrated into the watch for notifications. All in all, not bad, provided that you like the style.