EKSA S30 Review Open Air Earbuds Bluetooth Call Headset

Friday, March 08, 2024

The EKSA S30 is a mix of a headset and earbud. It combines features you often see in sports wireless earbuds and Bluetooth call headsets. Notably, it has a boom arm microphone, a mute switch, and on-ear hooks.

The EKSA S30 earpieces have a sizeable design, resembling sports ear hook earbuds, crafted from a smooth matte plastic material, including the ear hook stem, which has a rubber component providing flexibility. On the underside of each S30 earpiece, there is an orange multifunctional button for various controls such as play/pause, volume adjustment, handling calls, skipping tracks, and powering off. Both earpieces can be turned off simultaneously when powering off one earbud. The buttons are physical, made of durable plastic, and require a firm press to activate, lacking a distinct clicking sensation.

The right earpiece houses a non-detachable boom arm microphone made of plastic, featuring a flexible rubber midsection. The boom arm can rotate nearly 360 degrees, allowing for adjustments in different directions. While the microphone cannot be detached, it offers flexibility for lifting up or down at various levels.

It's essential to note that as there is no microphone on the left earpiece, calls can only be taken with the right earpiece. However, you have the option to listen to audio independently with either earpiece. The mute switch, used to silence the microphone, is located on the outer side of the boom arm. Additionally, the right earpiece weighs more at 16.5 grams compared to the left earpiece, which weighs 14 grams.

The charging dock for the EKSA S30 is also crafted from a smooth matte plastic material. It features a sloping top side, a rubberized base, and employs magnetic charging to securely hold the earpieces inside the dock. This design ensures that taking the earbuds in and out of the case is exceptionally easy, and reconnection is immediate, without any delays.

At the top of the charging dock, there is an orange button that serves various functions. One of these functions is initiating automatic Bluetooth pairing, enabling you to connect the S30 earbuds while they are still inside the case. The dimensions of the S30 charging dock are 9.5cm in length, 9cm in width, and 3cm in height.

Despite being bulky, the S30 are comfortable to wear for a couple of hours, depending on how well they fit your ears. The adjustable ear hook design of the EKSA S30 provides a secure and snug fit. Hanging on the ear helix and sliding behind the ear, the ear hook can be effortlessly adjusted to ensure lasting comfort during extended usage.

In terms of audio/sound quality, they S30 deliver sound similarly to what you expect from a set of open ear earbuds. There is decent bass, although nowhere as deep as with an in-ear earbud design. The trade off though, it's that open air earbuds allows you to stay connected to the world, without compromising safety, making it an excellent choice if you value situational awareness during audio consumption.

The volume is adequate, although in loud environments you may find the volume isn't loud enough. The battery life is one of the main selling points, topping a massive 65 hours, thanks to the charging dock which is bulky but comes with the added benefit of having a bigger battery, putting the S30 earbuds on par with over-ear headphones battery life.

The Eksa S30 is designed to withstand splashes and light rain with its IPX5 water-resistant rating and, you can store the S30 earbuds safely thanks to the included hard shell zipped travel case. The travel is a really nice addition as it's big enough to accommodate the S30 earbuds, charging cable and charging dock. the travel case has Eksa branding and is made of rugged outershell that is water resistant and shock proof resistant, although the zipper isn't water proof but has concealed teeth which makes it more water resistant and dust resistant than a regular zipper. Another nice touch about the travel case is the included metal carabiner ring for clipping or hooking the travel case to a backpack.

Regarding phone calls, the EKSA S30 employs an extended boom arm microphone equipped with built-in AI noise filtering to eliminate background noise. This feature effectively reduces external sounds, providing a commendable performance in minimizing disturbances. However, there is a trade-off, as the noise cancellation becomes more intense in louder environments. This may result in a subdued voice during calls, with a slightly digitized and less natural sound quality.

Selling points

  • Comfortable open-air fit
  • Secure ear hook design
  • Increased situational awareness
  • Out of ear canal design
  • Long battery life
  • Bluetooth 5.3
  • Long wireless range 30m/99ft
  • Multi-platform compatibility
  • IPX5 water-resistant
  • Effective call clarity with noise cancellation
  • Privacy Mode
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Physical buttons
  • Physical mute mic button
  • Hardshell case included
  • Bluetooth AAC codec support

Potential deal breakers

  • Doesn't provide complete isolation
  • Music listening experience can be affected in extremely noisy environments.
  • Ear hook fatigue
  • Boom arm mic non detachable
  • Price point
  • Awkward button placement
  • Blinking bluetooth status light
  • Bulky
  • No button remapping, no EQ mobile app
  • Volume not loud enough in noisy environments
  • Aggressive noise cancellation in noisy environments

Accessories include a charging cable and charging dock. You can buy the Eksa S30 headset from Eksatelecom website or amazon.

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