808 EarCanz TRU review: Great 808 sound but with a tradeoff

Audio / Audio Hardware Reviews / Reviews
808 EarCanz TRU

A solid pair of wire-free headphones but you may have connectivity issues in large wide open spaces.

TA-ratings-85We’ve done a handful of wire-free headphone reviews and the ones I’ve tested seemed to suffer from one issue. Connectivity between the two earbuds was not always consistent. The 808 EarCanz TRU are one of the new entrants into the wire-free earbud space. When the company offered to send a pair for review, I was curious to see if they’d suffer the same issue. Read on and see if the 808 EarCanz TRU were able to overcome the connectivity issue I’ve experienced with wire-free earbuds in our 808 EarCanz TRU full review.

Specifications

The 808 EarCanz TRU have the following features and specifications:

  • Enjoy music wirelessly from your smartphone or tablet
  • Hands-free calling with built-in microphone
  • Up to 3 hours of playtime from the rechargeable battery
  • Lightweight fully portable design that fits wherever you go
  • Ergonomic design earhooks for customized fit
  • Water resistant
  • Single-side use capable for ambient sound and environment awareness
  • Dimensions: 0.55″ wide x 1.23″ tall x 1.22″ deep
  • Weight: 0.03lbs

What’s In The Box

  • 808 EarCanz TRU earbuds
  • Extra Eartips
  • Extra Fins
  • Charging Cable
  • Travel Case
808 EarCanz TRU

Nice included travel case.

Design

What to say about the design? Well, they’re basically earbuds without wires and are slightly larger than normal. There’s really nothing here that’s screaming any sort of design breakthrough, they’re aesthetically just plain. They are slightly larger than normal earbuds, the larger size is to accommodate the battery. The 808 branding is emblazoned on the outside of each earbud, it’s not bad but maybe engraving it in would have been better.

One design choice I found odd was putting MicroUSB ports in each earbud. You charge these buds via the included MicroUSB  Y cable which I found odd. I can only think that 808 wanted to keep the cost down and opted for this charging method rather than some sort of charging case. It’s a bit cumbersome having to plug the MicroUSB cable into both earbuds. Perhaps if they used USB-C it would have been even better?

The comfort of the 808 EarCanz TRU is decent. The ear tips included should fit just about anyone and the ear fins help keep them in place. I never felt like the buds would fall out of my ears. Overall they’re a plain design but well built and quality made. The choice of charging with a MicroUSB Y cable is odd to me but then the cost of these buds is under $80USD.

808 EarCanz TRU

The Y MicroUSB charging cable still baffles me. I wish they would have used pin charging and a charging case instead.

Ease of Use

Since these are wire-free earbuds they’re a little different. You’ll have to pair the main bud with your phone first and then power on the other bud and let that one pair to the first bud. Once you have everything paired they work just like any other pair of earbuds. It’s a bit strange at first, after the initial pairing. You’ll power on the right ear bud and hear the prompt that it’s connected to the phone. You’ll power on the left earbud and hear that it is also connected to the phone. Then you’ll hear both earbuds confirm they’re connected to each other. It’s an awful lot of connection chatter but it happens fairly quickly.

Another odd thing I found was answering calls, just push the right ear bud button and the call is answered. The thing is, sound only comes out of one earbud and the other is off. It’s a bit odd but it works, I would have rather had both earbuds connected to the phone call but I don’t use earbuds for calls much. Overall these are very easy to use, pairing them is a bit more involved than standard wireless earbuds but not hard.

808 EarCanz TRU

They’re not crazy big and stay inside your ears really well.

Sound

I’ve reviewed 808 headphones before and I was super impressed with their sound, I actually made them a Top Pick. The 808 EarCanz TRU have equally great sound here. The mids and highs are well balanced and the bass has much more power here than most other earbuds. I generally don’t like overpowering bass but 808 has done a good job of giving some extra bass with making the rest of the EQ muddy. There’s no doubt that the company likes a certain sound signature and it tends to favor a deeper low end with vibrant and well-balanced mids and highs. Now, we all know that wired headphones simply sound better but these really sound great for the price point and the fact they’re wire-free.

Reception/Call Quality

Let me get call quality out of the way first. As I mentioned above, calls only come out of the one earbud. This is fine, it works, and I could hear people well enough and they could hear me well too. I do wish both earbuds were utilized instead.

Now on to the reception, which is where I am dinging these earbuds heavily. It’s important to note that everyone’s environment is different and my experience may differ from others. First, reception on these earbuds indoors or outdoors with objects at least 60 feet around me is great! I never lost connection to either my device or between the two earbuds.

That being said, here’s where I have a problem and it’s the same problem I’ve had with all wire-free headphones, 808 aren’t unique in this. Outdoor reception where there are little to no objects around me is where I lost connection to one earbud from the other. My best example is mowing my lawn. It’s about 120 feet from my house to my property line and another 120 feet from my property line to the neighbor’s house. Anytime I got further than 100 feet from my house the earbuds would lose connection with each other.

If I walked closer to my kid’s wooden playset then the connection would re-establish. If I walked further away with no object within 100 feet of me, the connection would drop yet again. As I mentioned, this isn’t the first time I’ve experienced this, other wire-free headphones do the same thing.

808 EarCanz TRU

Connectivity from one bud to another is spotty in wide open spaces outdoors.

I’ve hypothesized that the reason this is happening is that there is nothing for the Bluetooth signal to bounce off of and back to the other bud. The Bluetooth signal simply gets lost in space. For Bluetooth to work properly it needs to bounce itself off objects to reach its target and with nothing there, it just dies.

Now, this doesn’t mean the 808 EarCanz TRU don’t work at all. They work brilliantly when you’re indoors or outdoors with many objects in close proximity. Even in parks, parking lots, urban areas, inside cars, all of those places work. But if you’re out mowing a large lawn with nothing there to bounce the signal from, well then, you’re bound to have some dropped connection from one earbud to the other.

Many reading this may not ever experience this problem, especially if you’re a city dweller and have many objects your signal can bounce off of. Bottom line is this. Reception on these is great in close proximity to other objects, otherwise, take them too far out and you’ll lose connection. I happen to love listening to music when mowing the lawn and these buds were frustrating to use in my large yard.

Battery Life

Three hours is the billed battery life and that’s just about right, I got just under that at 2 hours 52 minutes. That’s with volume at 50% and the source device right next to the earbuds. Of course, your battery life is highly dependent on how you use your buds.

Price/Value

At $79.99USD the 808 EarCanz TRU are priced right. I think they’ll have great value to those who do not live in wide open spaces.

Wrap Up

A really super nice and great sounding pair of wire-free headphones, I would buy these in a heartbeat if you live in an urban or suburban outdoor area. I would also buy this if I never planned on using them outside. That being said, if you live in an area with wide open spaces and plan on using these outside, I’d think twice on that.

*We were sent a sample of the 808 EarCanz TRU for the purposes of this review.

808 EarCanz TRU

$79.99USD
808 EarCanz TRU
8.5

Design

9/10

    Ease of Use

    9/10

      Sound

      9/10

        Reception/Call Quality

        7/10

          Battery Life

          9/10

            Price/Value

            8/10

              Nailed it

              • Really nice design
              • Sound is good, heavy on the bass
              • No wires
              • Lightweight
              • Decent battery life considering the size

              Needs work

              • Connection to each other cuts out in wide open spaces
              • Would have liked a charging case rather than a split MicroUSB cable
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