1. digitalbreak's Avatar
    In the age of disappearing headphone jack in our smartphones, we are pushed to look for wireless solutions for our sound cravings. One such solution is SmartOmi’s True Wireless Stereo Bluetooth earphone. I have been using the Q5 Bluetooth earphones for few weeks now and this is the review of the SmartOmi Q5 Bluetooth earphone.

    What’s inside the box?

    In the box, you get the Q5 earphone, dual charging cable, a pouch to carry your earphone, extra ear hooks of different sizes and a setup & instruction manual. It does not come with a power adapter though but good to see you get a dual charging cable instead of two separate cables. These are true wireless stereo earphones meaning that you can either pair them together or individually. Each of the earpieces has its own battery and Bluetooth receiver.

    Q5 design

    The design of the Q5 is simple - a left earpiece and a right earpiece. No bands or wires in between. The earpieces come with a sporty look and with detachable ear hooks that are firm and comfortable in your ears. The earphone does slightly look bigger for its size and that may be due to the fact that it has few components in it - the Multi Function Button (MFB), USB port for charging and a light indicator.

    The only downside of this design is that you need to charge the left and right earpiece separately. The MFB is the one we will use to pair your Q5 and to use it for other purposes once paired like answering calls or pause/play music etc.,

    Pairing your Q5

    When it comes to Bluetooth earphones usability, pairing is one of the key factors that is taken into account. How fast can you get going with your Bluetooth earphone? Apple and Google have demonstrated this with their own fast pairing tech recently with the Google Pixel Buds and Apple AirPods/Beats earphones respectively. So how fast can you pair the Q5?

    It takes few steps to pair the Q5 depending on how you want to pair it. With the Q5, you can either use both the left and right earpieces together or you can use them separately. Q5 calls the former the AirStereo Mode and the latter independent mode. Taking this pairing a step further, the left and right earpieces can be paired with different devices.

    To pair your Q5 in the AirStereo mode:

    - Press the MFB on the left and right earpieces simultaneously for about 4 seconds until the indicators quickly blink in purple color.
    - The indicators will also switch between red and blue colors at the same time.
    - After a few seconds, you will hear the prompt that left and right channels are connected.
    - Now, go to your device’s Bluetooth settings and scan for new devices.
    - You should see ‘Q5’ earphone available for pairing.
    - Tap ‘Q5’ to pair.
    - Once paired, you should hear the prompt that pairing was successful.

    If you are looking to pair your Q5 individually:

    - Press the MFB on the desired earpiece for about 4 seconds.
    - The indicators will switch between red and blue colors.
    - Now, go to your device’s Bluetooth settings and scan for new devices.
    - You should see ‘Q5’ earphone available for pairing.
    - Tap ‘Q5’ to pair.
    - Once paired, you should hear the prompt that pairing was successful.

    At any given point if you want to switch between the AirStereo and individual modes, you will need to first disconnect the pairing from your device and then proceed.

    The only thing now left for you is to select the preferred ear hook and you are in for a good sound treat!

    Sound quality

    While I am no audiophile, I can at least recognize bad sound quality, especially when using my earphone. The sound quality coming out of these true wireless stereo is pretty awesome - sharp with a deeper bass. The bass and the treble are balanced well even with that deeper bass. I quite enjoyed listening to my song selection which comprises a mix of Indian, pop rock, electronic and ambient music.

    I compared the Q5 with the Apple EarPods that ships with the iPhone and you can clearly tell the difference in the bass levels. Its quite impressive that Q5 is able to produce awesome sound for a much cheaper price than its competitors.

    And yes, while its not mentioned anywhere, I can say the Q5 does give you noise isolation and but not complete noise cancellation features. Since they sit comfortably in your ears while covered, it gives you that noise isolation by design.

    Multi Function Button

    The Multi Function Button (MFB) plays an important role as it is used to control music, volume levels and even summon Siri if you are paired with your iPhone. You can find the entire set of options in the instruction manuals, but below are some of the basic MFB features:
    - To pause/play music, press the left or right MFB once
    - To increase volume levels, press the left or right MFB thrice
    - To launch Siri, press the left MFB for 3 seconds

    Connection stability and Battery

    With its superior connection stability, SmartOmi promises stable connection within 10m/33 feet. It's true. I did not have any issues going around my home or office with the Q5 paired to my iPhone X. I have had the LG Tone stereo headsets before and they had very little to none connection stability as soon as you move a few feet away from your connected device. This is something other cheaper Bluetooth alternatives fail to achieve, so I am really impressed with the Q5.

    SmartOmi promises around 3.5 hours of playtime at 1/2 - 2/3 full volume. I listen to music at that volume range and its pretty close. I was able to get around 3 hours (somewhere between 2.5 to 3 hrs to be precise) at that volume level. This is probably the biggest downside of the Q5 earphones. The battery did not even last a day and I had to charge in the midday. Another issue is that it takes about 2 hours to fully charge one earpiece. If you don’t use the provided dual charging cable, then you will need 4hrs if you don’t charge them together. The battery life won’t be a big deal if you are using your Q5 between meetings and work as it has good standby time, nearly 80 hours. For me, this wasn’t sufficient and 5 hours of playtime could have been perfect instead.

    Final verdict

    Overall, the SmartOmi Q5 earphone is a good bargain. At just $39.99, you will get a superior sound that is hard to find with other cheaper Bluetooth alternatives. With a comfortable design and flexibility in pairing the earpieces individually or together, the SmartOmi Q5 is a great choice for your sound cravings if you are looking for a cheaper Bluetooth option for your smartphone or tablet.

    You can purchase the SmartOmi Q5 earphone directly from their website or from Amazon.
    Last edited by digitalbreak; 11-14-2017 at 10:33 PM.
    11-14-2017 01:34 AM

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