Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds: Yevo 1 Review

There are notable inflection points in technology when a groundswell of a new approach bursts through and rapidly diffuses through the population of digital early adopter enthusiasts. With the advent of Apple's AirPods, truly wireless headphones are the latest innovation manifesting this new approach to wire-free audio consumption. Indeed, I predict that 2018 will be the year that a majority of audio headset manufacturers will offer AirPods alternatives ranging from low to high cost and quality. One of the new companies that is attempting to make a name for itself with this new market opportunity is Stockholm-based Yevo, debuting its Yevo 1 wireless eabuds ($249). Does the Yevo 1 offer a value proposition stronger than Apple's for iOS users looking for an incredible wire-free listening experience? Read on to find out.

Related: 8 Budget-Friendly Alternatives to Popular Apple Products

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The Yevo 1 combines Bluetooth 4.1 and Near-Field Magnetic Induction (NFMI) to connect to your iPhone and each earphone to provide a clean, fully wireless stereophonic auditory enclosure. There are no push button controls on either earpiece. Rather, the flattened outer portion of each earpiece provides a broad surface area to modify audio settings such as play/pause, increase/decrease volume, query Siri and accept phone calls via brief or long duration taps. However, because the surface can be easily touched while inserting the earpieces into your ears, its easy to accidentally trigger these actions. As you get more familiar with the Yevo 1, inadvertent taps become less frequent but even after days of constant use, I find myself still changing a setting as a result of inserting or removing the Yevo 1.

The orientation of the earpieces also matters quite a bit. Rather than inserting the earpieces vertically as it frequently the case with other headsets, the Yevo 1 actually needs to twist into place with the earpiece sitting horizontally on the ridge of your outer ear. Not orienting the earpieces correctly can produce numerous audio channel dropouts. That's not to say that dropouts won't ever occur even with the proper orientation. Even with the proper fitting, I would hear the left channel drop out for a second or two depending on my head's orientation or some unexplained random event. They didn't occur frequently, maybe once every hour or so, but it did noticeably interrupt my listening experience as a result.

Sonically, the Yevo 1's audio reproduction is surprisingly good. Having listened to other less expensive wireless earbuds, I wasn't expecting the clarity and dynamic range to be this good with such a first generation product from a new company. Yevo Labs even provides an app that allows you to modify the left and right balance, as well as check battery level, reassign touch actions, and modify the level of audio transparency. This last feature allows listeners to adjust the amount of external audio to be reproduced in the playback in case you need to listen to your environmental surroundings while listening to whatever is being played back.

Perhaps the one significant limitation with these wire-free headsets for the near future is battery life. Yevo Labs advertises that you can get about three hours of listening time per charge, but my experience has been around two and a half hours listening at moderate volume levels before requiring a recharge. Fortunately, the case that holds the earpieces while not in use serves as a portable battery, allowing between four and five Yevo 1 recharges (with each full recharge taking about an hour) before the case needs to be recharged itself via a microUSB cable included in the package.  In addition to the left and right earbuds, charging cannister and cable, the box also includes 4 different eartip sizes ranging from small to extra-large, and a must-read user manual. The Yevo 1 is available in three different colors: ivory white, jet black, and onyx black.

Final Verdict

Overall, I am fairly impressed with Yevo Labs initial attempt at an entirely wire-free audio solution. The earbuds may have a Frankenstein neck-bolt size to them, but they actually fit snuggly and comfortably resting on my ears. Rapidly turning my head from side to side does tend to loosen them but I haven't been able to eject them this way yet, and I really would prefer not to give myself whiplash. The price is rather steep compared to the competition, but the audio quality is better than most. And since they are Bluetooth 4.1-compatible, they can work cross-platform unlike Apple's proprietary Airpods. The Yevo 1 is a noble first attempt by a new company eager to get a foothold in what will surely be the way we listen to audio in the future.

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Mike Riley is a frequent contributor to several technical publications and specializes in emerging technologies and new development trends. Mike was previously employed by RR Donnelley as the company’s Chief Scientist, responsible for determining innovative technical approaches to improve the company’s internal and external content services. Mike also co-hosted Computer Connection, a technology enthusiast show broadcast on Tribune Media's CLTV.