FIIL Carat review: Uniquely designed sport earbuds

Audio / Audio Hardware Reviews / Reviews / Tech
FIIL Carat

The design is the first thing you notice about the FIIL Carat earbuds because, well, they’re seriously unique.

No matter what kind of exercise or activity you’re doing, if you’re planning on listening to some tunes, you want really great sound. The FIIL Carat sport earbuds provide some really rich sound in a uniquely designed package. Read on for the full review of the FIIL Carat sport earbuds.

Specifications

The FIIL Carat earbuds have the following features and specifications:

  • Voice search on FIIL App
  • Magnetic storage design
  • SDS technology
  • Customizable LED shows heart rate and cadence
  • IP65 dust and water resistant
  • 6-hour battery life

Design

The design is the first thing you notice about the FIIL Carat earbuds because, well, they’re seriously unique. FIIL stepped away from your normal cylindrical or globe shape for their earbuds. Instead, the company opted for sharp lines in a hexagon shape which is meant to resemble a diamond cut, hence the name, Carat. The body of the FIIL Carat looks pretty beefy, and you would be right about that, but they’re not heavy at all.

The cable has a flat design with your basic inline mic and controls for skipping tracks and adjusting volume. The right earbud houses the MicroUSB port for charging the FIIL Carat earbuds and also an LED that you can program in the FIIL app in a few select ways. I did find it odd that the rubber cover that goes over the MicroUSB port isn’t connected to the earbuds. This means it can be easily lost because it is very small, I wish they had connected it to the earbud itself. The left earbud is where you’ll find the button that updates you on how many steps you’ve walked/run and how many calories you burned, as well as the other LED.

Overall the design is unique. At first glance I thought these would be too heavy and might fall out of my ears, but they are not heavy at all and stay put really well. FIIL includes several different size wings and ear tips that help in the overall fit so you should be able to find something that works for you. The magnetic “necklace” feature is kind of nice so they don’t slide off your neck if you’re not using them.

Ease of Use

The pair that was sent to me for review took a bit to figure out as the voice prompt on the earbuds is in Chinese. After I figured out how to change the language within the FIIL app I was able to understand what the voice prompt was telling me. Connecting the earbuds to Bluetooth is no different from any other pair of Bluetooth headphones and relatively painless. The inline mic and controls are pretty simple to use as well, pretty much standard stuff here.

Sound

Oh man! The bass on these things is amazing! I was blown away at the out of the box sound coming from these little guys, especially that low end. The highs and mids are still there but you can most certainly feel that bass. The FIIL app also offers some EQ options including, Living Room, Theater, and Symphony settings along with a three-range EQ that boosts bass, keeps things even, or boosts highs.

The sound out of the box is actually pretty well balanced (with the exception of bass) and I enjoyed it better than using the EQ. These got really loud, so loud I had to take them out of my ears when I cranked it to full volume. Now, I’m not sure anyone would want these in their ears at full volume, but if you do, they don’t seem to have much distortion. Overall the sound is pretty amazing for the price.

FIIL Carat

Reception/Call Quality

Both are excellent. Callers could hear me clearly and I could hear them very well. Bluetooth reception is standard; 30 feet is about average before you start losing signal from your device.

Battery Life

Advertised at 6-hours of battery life, I got just over 5 hours at 60% volume (5h 15m) which probably could be better.

Price/Value

The price point for the FIIL Carat earbuds is $99USD but curiously the company doesn’t have them on their website for sale. Instead, they’re pointing to their Kickstarter for their FIIL Carat Pro earbuds which have more features than these I just reviewed. The early bird price for the Pro earbuds is even less than the non-pro version, $59USD.

Wrap Up

These are pretty amazing sounding earbuds and if the new pro versions have the same sound, those are probably the ones to get. The Pro’s have better battery-life (9-hours) as well as some other bells and whistles.

FIIL Carat
4.5 Out of 5
Nailed it
Unique design, heart rate monitor, coaching app, built in storage, dat bass!
Needs Work
The design may not be for everyone, MicroUSB cover can easily be lost.
Bottom Line
The price point for the FIIL Carat earbuds is $99USD but curiously the company doesn't have them on their website for sale. Instead, they're pointing to their Kickstarter for their FIIL Carat Pro earbuds which have more features than these I just reviewed. The early bird price for the Pro earbuds is even less than the non-pro version, $59USD.
Design4.50
Ease of Use4.75
Sound4.50
Reception/Call Quality4.50
Battery Life4.00
Price/Value4.50
*We were sent a sample of the FIIL Carat sport earbuds for the purposes of this review.
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