Saving money is a good thing. And there's always something empowering about making a purchase where you feel like you really got your dollar's worth - especially in the world of consumer electronics.
When you think on-ear wireless headphones, your first thought is probably "expensive." Even the MEElectronics AF32's, which come in at a decidedly reasonable $80 (and which we highly recommend), may be a large investment for people who really don't care about headphones or sound. Or, if you're buying headphones for children / other persons who treat their electronics/pets/possessions in general like they're disposable, that may be substantial bread to drop on something that's going to be broken in 6 months regardless of how much it costs.
With that in mind, if you're looking for a wireless headphone that a.) works, and b.) won't break the bank (with a focus on the latter), the Tenqa REMXD is probably worth checking out. Hit up our full breakdown below the photos.
Tenqa REMXD: At A Glance
- What is it? Wireless Bluetooth on-ear headphones.
- How much? $39 on Amazon.
- What's in the box? The headphones, male-to-male 3.5mm cable, and a USB to 3.5mm charging cable.
- Do I want them? If you need a quick and dirty wireless headphone with a microphone, these get the job done - just don't expect an audiophile experience. Also, they smell like a plastic refinery.
- Comfort: These aren't plush, high-end cans, but they aren't bad for long periods of wear, and will fit pretty much any size head. I wore them for about 2 hours and had moderate fatigue, and they stuck to my head pretty well. I wouldn't use them for more active activities, though.
- Connectivity: Pairing was quick and easy, and I had no issues beyond the normal Bluetooth "cut-out" that happens every 10-15 minutes on most Bluetooth headphones I've used. Also, you can use them as wired headphones with the included 3.5mm cable, so that's cool (and it works when they're off).
- Battery life: Good enough that I didn't have to worry about charging them over the course of a couple days.
- Other Thoughts:
- They don't look like your grandfather's headphones. Actually, the white ones are pretty stylin'.
- You get only a "call" button and a "play/pause" button on the actual face of the left ear (the power and volume controls are on the rim), reducing the possibility of finger confusion. The volume controls, well, we'll talk about those in the other section.
- The 3.5mm cable and wired headphone capability are a definite plus.
- If someone rips them off your head and runs, for $40, you probably won't care enough to chase them.
Not So Good
- Sound: You get what you pay for in this arena, and that's to say it's not terrible, but even when in wired mode the REMXDs sound a lot like a pair of basic iPod earbuds, only slightly better - tinny highs, less than great bass response, and muddy (distorted) when cranked way up. Considering their price and connectivity, it's hard to complain about how they sound.
- Call Quality: The microphone's (unavoidable) placement and general mediocrity mean you'll really have to speak up to use the REMXDs as a hands-free solution. I wouldn't use them for calls outdoors at all.
- Controls: The play/pause and answer call buttons, as mentioned above, are fine. Good, even. The volume control is one of the worst I've ever used, though. As you can see in the pictures, it's a semi-circular, spring-loaded affair that also controls track skipping. Holding it in a direction adjusts the volume, while a quick flick changes tracks. The switch is too small, sprung too strongly, and generally a pain in the ass to use. You can avoid the fits of rage it will cause by just using your phone's volume rocker instead, but then that sort of defeats some of the purpose of Bluetooth controls.
- Other Thoughts:
- They smell really bad (freshly molded plastic/rubber) when you take them out of the box. But it (mostly) fades away after a couple of days.
- The headband feels flimsy.
To conclude, the Tenqa REMXDs really are the PBR of stylish wireless headphones. Cheap, probably better than anything else at their price point (if there is anything else at their price point), and unassuming. If you've only got $40 to spend, they're worth a shot. If you have more than $40 to spend, spend more - because the quality of sound goes up dramatically once you get closer to that magic $100 mark.
Note to readers: to those of you who made it to the bottom of this review, let me know in the comments what you think of this particular review format. Was the condensing and clear compartmentalizing of points more useful than longer, more elaborative paragraphs? I'd really appreciate the feedback.