It's all well and good Wi-Fi bulbs, connected sockets, ZigBee switches and everything and everything, but music is all about style (as Miles Davis told me again last week)! So okay, we've heard and listened to you, and here's a test of one of the novelties in the EarBuds type in-ear headsets: the Umi. W8 by Amazon.
A brand that therefore belongs to Amazon, of Chinese manufacture but complies with standards CE, Rohs, FCC,…, and is not in its first earphones. Its latest, the W8, are earpieces operating in Bluetooth 5.0, With a innovative sound system, tactile and IPX7 index (Protected against the effects of temporary immersion up to 1 m and for 30 minutes). The price of less than 50 € is attractive, but what are they worth?
Umi in-ear headphones. W8: a sober design but not really innovative
Presentation of earbuds
The headphones are presented in a small box (9,3 x 8,3 x 3,5 cm), in matt white cardboard with an image of the ear cups on the top and on the underside… not much (brand, model, bar code…). It's sober but it makes you want.
By opening, the charging box is well wedged in the foam and on the side are arranged ear tips in advance (2 large and 2 small, the 2 medium ones being on the headphones) as well as the charging cable. And the earbuds? they are in the box of course! You will also find a multilingual user guide, including French, and a quick start guide in English.
Design level, we are on basic, sober, not very beautiful. They are in medium quality glossy black plasticWith medium finishes (we can see the connections, sometimes a little offset). The shiny black color makes them easily take the marks of grease that we have naturally on the hands and fingers.
They do 4,5 cm long, 1,7 cm in diameter for the base and add about 5mm of end cap. They have a small diode well hidden in the lower cylindrical part showing the status of the headphones as well as two copper notches on the internal face for recharging. They are therefore not visually exceptional.
The charging box made 7 cm long et 3 cm deep and high for a weight, with the earbuds, of 49 g (Including 11g of headphones). It uses the same black plastic (and not in metal as the technical sheet announces), but mat, with three LEDs on the front face showing the charge rate of the box and that of each of the earbuds. Blue: between 30 and 100% charge, red, less than 30%, off: charging completed.
There is no button on this product. Each W8 is in fact equipped with a tactile face which will allow them to be piloted by pressing or tapping on it. For example, touch the one on the right and the volume increases. If it's the one on the left you're stroking, it drops. Finally, double tap to pause ...
Let's take a closer look at what we're going to put in our ears.
The headphones actually have two speakers each:
- Un hp 6mm HD Hi-Fi
- Un 8mm stereo subwoofer for bass.
This would make it possible to separate the low and high frequencies in the different speakers and have better sound reproduction. The membranes are made of graphene, lighter than the other membranes, and with better vibration, better spatiality, also more resistant over time and extending the life of the batteries. AAC sound quality.
Each earphone can be used either individually or in pairs, in stereo. Operation in Bluetooth 5.0 presents no problem and will be compatible with most smartphone (retro compatible with 4.0 for example, but without all the functionalities). This 5.0 would allow a best Hi-Fi sound but above all a greater range.
And if you also have a smartwatch, will that bug? No, don't worry, during our tests on a Redmi Note 8 Pro, connected to an Honor Magic Watch, no worries to connect both the watch and the headphones. You will easily have a good fifteen meter range even if the sound is degraded.
As said earlier, they are also tactile, and that's very practical even if you have to take the blow and avoid doing anything by touching them without paying attention ...
Autonomy level? Count around 6h maximum autonomy for each Umi. W8 while listening to music or on the phone. The box will serve as a charger and will allow you to charge each headset 3 to 4 times in about an hour. So, with a single recharge of the box, you will be able to have about twenty hours of autonomy interspersed with rapid charges. In use, this was confirmed. Good point !
Do you remember theIPX7 ? Well we tested, yeah… As soon as he has fun stuff to do, we're there! However, we remained in logical conditions of immersion of the product: fall in the toilet bowl, in the bathtub or in a puddle of water. So, total immersion for ten seconds. Apart from the fact that the Umi. W8 tested went out and to find a normal sound it was necessary to remove the mouthpiece and blow the water stuck in it, it withstood the bath well!
Using Umi. W8
The charging box is already charged upon receipt. The headphones are therefore ready for use. And for that, nothing could be simpler: activate the Bluetooth of your phone, put it in search mode (and visible), remove the earpieces from the box (if necessary press one of them for a few seconds but in general, as soon as you unplug it turns on) and let pairing. There you go, very simple.
Subsequently, as soon as you remove the Umi. W8 out of the box, they will associate directly with your phone. If you take out only one, only that will activate, if you take out both, they will activate and connect together. Really very simple and no hassle. To turn them off, keep your finger pressed for several seconds (almost 10) on one of the headphones, otherwise, they will remain active.
Now let's talk about the sound rendering. There, we must admit that without being really disappointing, we are not at the level announced by the characteristics. Indeed, if we press fully on the earbuds to make them airtight with the ear, the sound is relatively good : deep bass, good treble rendering, stereo well present but not really spatiality, or very little.
"The sound is relatively good: deep bass, good treble rendering, stereo well present but not really spatiality, or very little" The Alexians
However, part of the previous sentence was important: "Fully press the earbuds". Because yes, there is a problem in our case: the size of the base of the W8. If you have a narrow or even “standard” pinna, the headset does not fit properly and can even be painful in the long run. In our case, the choice of tips (large, medium or small) did not change much. Indeed, the base being quite large, the tip does not fit very well into the ear canal (not long enough).
Result, not joined, the sound goes both into the duct but also out of the ear: the bass is greatly attenuated and the treble takes up more space. The sound quality is really degraded even if it is possible to overcome this by increasing the volume a little (which is really very very good) and by trying to place the buds as well as possible. It's a shame, because even if in the end the quality is good, it is not excellent.
To take a call, press twice. There, not much to complain about, theThe sound is good and the microphone works fine. To hang up, press for 2 seconds then release.
By going to the Bluetooth settings, you will have a clear view of the charge rate of each earphone. It's really practical.
Umi In-Ear Headphones. W8: and Alexa in all of that ?
So yeah, it's not marked anywhere you can fly Alexa with your Umi. W8. In fact, they absolutely do not have Alexa embeddedMore it is possible to useAlexa thanks to these headphones. How to do ? It's simple : press for about 2 seconds on one of the headphones and releasing Alexa will launch on your phone. It is not necessary to have activated Alexa as default AI for voice searches but only to have the application installed Alexa. The first time, you will have to choose which voice assistant will activate (Google, Siri or Alexa) and it will not be necessary afterwards. You will hear the characteristic little noise ofAlexa informing you that you can make your request.
From there, you can do whatever you want, just like an Echo:
- Special request,
- Ask to listen to music (your default player in the application Alexa launches in the background),
On the other hand, there again, bugs appeared. It happens that sometimes, once the request is made, if you listen to music at the same time, the latter resumes in a hatched way. You have to pause and restart for normal sound. Another point, if your phone is on standby and is activated via a fingerprint, a code or other, the request will not pass because it will be necessary to activate the phone for that ...