There are so many different brands of wireless earbuds out there it can be hard to know where to start when you want a new pair.
That's before you even get to the difference in prices. You can land a set for well under $100 or you can pay many times more for top-of-the-range earbuds with the best specifications.
As something of an audio snob, I've always tended towards the more expensive offerings, but lately I started listening to more audiobooks during my morning exercise.
That requires less fidelity and more of an emphasis on being sturdy enough to handle being dropped on a regular basis by my clumsy hands.
Could a relatively cheap set from OneOdio do what I needed?
I've been using OneOdio's F2 wireless earbuds for a couple of weeks now and here are my thoughts.
On first sight, the charging case from OneOdio's wireless earbuds is a little chunkier than I expected. But when you take into consideration the battery life, it's a worthwhile payoff.
I also really liked the colour of the case supplied, in this case a deep blue that stands out from the standard black or white cases you normally get.
For those of you who prefer blending in, they are still available in grey and white, or even green if that's your preference; but make the choice carefully because the colour is integrated into the stem and outside of the earbuds themselves.
As for the earbuds, they are incredibly comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, providing you can get them out of the case without fiddling too much - more on that later.
There are three separate sizes of silicon tips provided so there's no excuse for not getting a really good fit for your ears to minimise external sounds, with no active noise cancellation (ANC) on offer here.
And the battery life is fantastic. The company says you can expect up to eight hours of music at 50 percent volume on a single charge, while the charging case contains another 40 hours worth of juice.
Even with some of my ridiculously long walks, I never came close to depleting the earbuds and they were always ready to go again the next morning.
A 90 minute charge via one of the many USB-C cables sitting around the house was more than enough to get everything fully charged again from near empty.
Regarding performance, I found them to be most useful while listening to the spoken word, be it audiobook or podcast.
I'm sure if I were to do a direct comparison with top-end earbuds then I might notice a difference but often the recordings aren't particularly great anyway, especially for podcasts, and I really wasn't bothered about hearing background noise a little clearer than otherwise I might have.
I couldn't have been more happy with the experience thus far.
Unfortunately that happiness doesn't quite extend to the quality of music output.
I listened to many different types of music and the results were varied, but for pretty much everything there was a muddy sound, a sense that that music sounded quite far away and was working hard to get to you.
It definitely wasn't terrible but I quickly grew tired of hearing my favourite songs in a less than ideal way.
The instruments definitely lacked a clarity in their sound and although the vocals were distinguishable, it almost felt like I was back listening on worn out tapes rather than high-quality digital songs.
As with most earbuds these days tapping them offers a range of different outcomes.
A single tap to pause and play, a double tap on the left and right earbud to go to the previous or next track, answering calls and bringing up your chosen voice assistant are all on offer here but I wasn't particularly impressed by how it worked.
Way too many times when trying to adjust the earbuds I ended up accidentally pausing my audiobook. On one occasion I accidentally skipped a chapter and had to stop to work out how to get back to where I was.
Tapping gestures, when done well, can be fantastic. When not done quite so well they can be frustrating, particularly when there's a significant delay in the resulting action, as happened here a few times too.
Finally I struggled to get the F2 wireless earbuds out of their case easily. I eventually resolved this when I opened the lid much harder than I normally would and noticed it went further back than I had previously thought.
I had just been opening it to the point where it first stops - and it's fiddly trying to get the earbuds out at that point. If you force it that bit further then it's much easier to access them, even with sausage fingers like mine.
It's those little points of detail that can make you remember you're not using a premium product.
It's hard to be too harsh on OneOdio's F2 wireless earbuds given you can land a pair currently for just $50 from the company's website.
Are they going to blow your mind with their audio quality? Definitely not, but then that's hardly fair for that price.
If you're someone who uses their earbuds mainly for listening to podcasts and audiobooks, or you're a music listener who doesn't even know how to change the quality of their downloads then these might be more than good enough for your needs.
If you like to hear crystal clear audio with a high level of fidelity then you should be looking elsewhere.
For such a low cost, I'm seriously tempted to keep a pair around for that long battery life and how comfortable they are.
In today's world of COVID-19 and the invasion of Ukraine you never know when you might need the distraction they can help offer.
Me? I can recommend Dave Grohl's autobiography on audiobook for the perfect respite. I listened to it on these earbuds and they didn't let me down.
Newshub was supplied with a pair of OneOdio F2 wireless earbuds for this review.