I love wireless Bluetooth headphones, but one of the things that bugs me the most about them are unintuitive controls mounted on the headset themselves – too often, I find myself feeling around for the right button to press, which can become a real pain if you’re doing it day in and day out. MEElectronics Air-Fi Touch Advanced Bluetooth Wireless Headphones aim to do away with all these buttons and simply use touch to manipulate your audio experience, which sounds great, in theory. Which is why we’ve been taking them for a spin – let’s check it out.
What’s in the box
In the box of the Air-Fi Touch you will find a capsule-shaped hard case containing the headphones and an assortment of accessories. With the Air-Fi Touch, you will get a 2.5mm to 2.5mm audio cable (for when your battery runs flat) and a microUSB charging cable to charge your headphones back up. As always, I’m extremely happy that MEElectronics has included a case to house the headphones (and accessories) as their Air-Fi range has always been versatile travel companions.
As you can probably surmise from the title of this review, the Air-Fi Touch headphones are wireless via Bluetooth. With no cables attached, the headset is incredibly light even with the controls mounted on the left side, which brings us to the name of the headphones and its secret party trick: Touch. Yes, the Air-Fi Touch employs the use of touch gestures to control your music, and we’ll cover how it is to use a little later on in the review.
Objectively, I quite like the way the Air-Fi Touch looks, particularly as the form factor reminds me of the VOXOA headphones I reviewed last year. There is an element of class though with the Air-Fi Touch, particularly with the glossy black finish and gold highlights. The headset itself is fully collapsible which makes it a snap to pack up and remains compact even when in its case.
How do they perform
The thing that keeps me coming back the MEElectronics’ products is that they not only have great sounding headphones for a great price – they have great audio quality period, and the Air-Fi Touch is business as usual. The high and mid ranges are extremely clear and crisp, while there’s enough bass to keep everything in balance. Those of you who listen to lots of EDM or house music may find the native bass a little lacking, but this can always be modified with an equalizer.
On to those touch controls, for which these headphones are named. There are four directional commands the Air-Fi Touch can take which are two volumes (up and down) and skipping tracks (back and forward). Unlike a smart device’s display, the controls aren’t quite as responsive so you’ll need quite a large movement and more pressure than you’d expect to get a swipe to register – for example, you would swipe up to increase volume and down to decrease volume. It takes a bit of time to get used to the motion, but once practiced, it’s easy enough to manage while the headphones are on your head.
Comfort-wise, the Air-Fi Touch headphones are very similar to the VOXOA headphones I mentioned earlier, but I would say that these ones are a little bit tighter. Unfortunately, that does mean that after an extended period of listening (probably around 4 hours), my ears did start to ache a bit, but I generally do have more issues with headphones as my head is quite large – if you have a smaller head, your experience may vary. Even so, I would say overall, the Air-Fi Touch is quite comfortable, and the leather padded ear pads are extremely comfortable and set gently on your ears. The headband is likewise generously padded and works well, especially considering how light the Air-Fi Touch headphones are.
What I like about the MEElectronics Air-Fi Touch Headphones
I really love how versatile the Air-Fi Touch headphones are – being able to be folded up and stored in a protective case is a big plus for travellers, and the fact that they still function with an audio cable is also really useful too when you don’t know when your next charge up is.
I am also incredibly impressed by the battery life of the Air-Fi Touch – while I don’t want to make it sound like hyperbole, I honestly don’t remember needing to charge them all that often over the course of my review. MEElectronics claims that they will last 24 hours of playback, and I’m pretty certain you’ll be getting at least that, if not a little bit more.
What I don’t like about the MEElectronics Air-Fi Touch Headphones
Typically, when you adjust the volume using your headset controls, you expect it to change the volume on your device. Unfortunately, this is not what happens with the Air-Fi Touch as it appears to have a volume setting for the headset independent of the volume your device is outputting – in fact, I went through most of this review thinking they were too soft until I realized this was the case. It’s a small annoyance, but it’s a bit frustrating if you alternate between changing volume on the headset and your device frequently.
This one almost pains me to say but I don’t think touch gestures belong on headsets – note that this has nothing to do with the Air-Fi Touch in particular but just touch controls on headphones in general. While the controls themselves work well enough, they still possess the same problem that normal wireless headset buttons have which, to me, is that they’re never quite intuitive enough and you always end up thinking about which direction to swipe. Volume, in this case, was fine as it makes sense to go up and down, but skipping tracks was always an ordeal for me. And with touch in particular, if you’re using the Air-Fi Touch in public and you’re swiping away at your headset, I can only imagine what it might look like to other people. But keep in mind that this is just my opinion and as I said earlier, there’s nothing wrong with how the controls themselves work so if this is your cup of tea, swipe away.
The MEElectronics Air-Fi Touch Advanced Bluetooth Wireless Headphones ticks all the right boxes – it’s versatile, portable, and has great audio quality, which is basically what you want from any set of headphones. As for the novelty of its party trick i.e. touch gestures, there are a few little things that irk me personally, but none that I would call dealbreakers or anything that takes away from the fact that these are a fantastic pair of Bluetooth headphones.
If you’re interested in checking out more about the MEElectronics Air-Fi Touch Advanced Bluetooth Wireless Headphones, they retail for $99.99 USD on the MEElectronics site here.