Man, these are KEEPERS!!
Hi, I’m Iain and I’m an audioholic.
By that, I mean, you will rarely find me without headphones or - more likely - earbuds in my lugholes, while I listen to music, or to one of the several thousand Audible books in my library (what can I say, it’s an addiction?).
This past year, in particular, I have used earbuds almost constantly, day in, day out, whether for music, telephone, audiobooks or watching streaming video channels, via tablets or laptop. BUT - and there is almost always a “but”, in my experience, with one solitary exception I can think of, now (more on that soon) - this has left me with increasingly sensitive inner ears. The bud tips, whether silicon or memory foam (preferable, in my experience) have left my inner ears sore… and itchy! Man, after half an hour, I’m tearing them out, sticking my pinky finger in there like I’m a kid trying to find the last scrap of sweet, in a lucky bag!! Gaaaaah!!! So, more and more, I have been listening, via over-the-ear headphones.
BUT (and there it is again!) this isn’t the safest, when you live in the rural part of the world, with no pavements, no street lights, and boy racers STILL manage to find you while out walking your dogs - NOT ideal.
So then I saw a post about Oladance, on YouTube. A reviewer took a look, gave them a very favourable review and in the Comments section was mention of the Heyup forum. I recognised the name, as I took a look at ‘Boxe’, back in the startup phases. “Too good to be true”, I thought, seeing mention of it as a ‘testing forum’. Register and stuff is sent for free, if your name is drawn? Nah! No way! I simply didn’t believe it. Had to be a con. Or a simple sales technique?
Now, in the past, due to my love of audio, I’ve reviewed many headsets for Amazon sellers. Y’know, the guys who refund you, if you give them a review. BUT (see, there it is again!) I’ve always always ALWAYS given an honest review, and the headsets which piled up, at one stage, have been divested to family members. They’ve ended up with three or four apiece, last count, while I stuck with my PowerBeats Pro, Apple Airpod 2, and - what were probably my favourites, soundwise - my Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8s (oldies, but still goodies!).
So, nothing to lose, right? I signed up - as everyone here did - and here I am! Chosen to receive a pair of Energic Orange Oladance Wearable Stereo headphones. Woohoo! This doesn’t happen to me, so forgive for crowing, especially as these are just do bloody excellent! The “Energic Orange” seem to now be being marketed as “Martian Orange” - I prefer “Energic”, personally, but “Martian” is probably easier to say and remember?
Whatever the reason for the change, they’re bright, glitzy, showy (according to my sons) but I don’t care! They’re MINE!! And they’re just jealous!
Actually, I have to say (and I know I’m biased) that I think they look better than they would if they were plain silver, or metallic grey, or whatever. The red look great - in fact, they all do, but Energic Orange it is!
Remember I said there is always a BUT..? Well, ever so pleasantly, it turns out that, just for once, there ISN’T one here. No catch. No fee. Just “post a review, please?” Hey, I can do that! No problem.
On receiving the package (weeks after everyone else got theirs, strangely - some sort of mixup, it seems), I was impressed, I have to say. The packaging was flawless. Tough, durable, bright and professional looking. Probably packaged better than any other headset I have bought, other than the B&O - I’d say it was at least as good as the Apple, outside, and better than the Beats, and inside, the PVU foam cutout protected the case and buds beautifully. Minimal packaging, done really well, and exceptionally well thought out.
The delay in receiving them has cut into my reviewing time, somewhat, but I had made up my mind about these within minutes of putting them on, so nothing major is affected by the time constraints.
Now, about that case…
Some don’t like it. I get it, it’s not a charging case, and perhaps you think it should have been? But you got it for free, so stop complaining!! That’s my tuppence on the matter, anyway. The case is smaller than a spectacles case, and slimline, so sits in a jeans pocket or jacket pocket, more easily than my Beats charging case does, in all honesty.
It looks very nice and professional, I have to say, and with USB-C charging, it means the charging time is minimal, compared to all three of my other headsets. Shortest time to recharge and beats them all on battery strength.
Straight out of the box, I got just over 12.5 hours out of each earbud. That’s amazing. Recharged in a matter of 2 hours (probably less, I should have paid more attention!), and lasted another 15.75 on left, 16 on the right. That has now balanced itself out, on another recharge, so they lasted the same time, this last time I used them.
The case closes with magnetic catch, and the same powerful magnets hold the earbuds safely within. I mean, they SNAP into place! Conversely, the “odd” shape means they are easy to remove from the case and slip on, using that handy-dandy included “how to wear the buds (for dimwits like me)” which is helpfully included in the case, upon arrival.
I have to say, again, the packaging for this was so good, so professional, that it put the other bigger names to shame. I felt guilty about disposing of the box, it was so solid a thing (confession, I didn’t! I like to make and mould things, so I told myself a box as solid as that deserves a second life - it’s in my shed workshop, as I type, and really is perfect for clay and silicon moulding purposes.
Back to the carrying case. It gets a solid 7.5 out of 10, from me. If it was a charging case, even in that shape and configuration, I’d give it an 8.5, possibly even a 9. But it is what it is. I’ll maybe order the charging case, in due course. Probably. Likely. Almost certainly! 😉
Moving on, once again. The buds are a lovely combination of gloss vibrant orange plastic (which does NOT feel cheap, I hasten to add), and soft touch silicon coating. There is, obviously, no invasive bud, and instead there is an angled speaker tip, which sits perfectly over the conch of my ear. Within seconds of slipping them on, next to my spectacles, I had almost forgotten they were there, they are soooo light and well balanced. I mean, these are exceptional. I expected weight, pressure, a modicum of discomfort. There is nothing, none of those things. It’s as though they aren’t there!
In fact, when I paused the music (which plays superbly - more on that, next), to speak to my wife, I spent a minute or two searching for the buds, again, as the box was (obviously) empty and the weight was so negligible, for me, that I was convinced that I had removed them!
And now to the sound quality. I was told, “It’s like a band is playing in your ears”. It’s better than that. Honestly. It’s like they are playing just inside your head. And as for narration? I had to dial my audiobook right back, as on anything other than low volume, the projection is such that it was reverberating in my noggin! Obviously, this was indoors, and there is adjustment to be made, when heading out, especially if there is ambient noise. But I live rurally, and the noisiest thing around here are my dogs (unless those damned boy racers find us - in which case I can at least hear them coming, now, with open ears! Haha! Head torch to maximum power and….!!)
These are a boon. Really, an absolute boon. The drivers are three times as big as any of my other buds, and it shows, when listening to a powerful audiobook (thinking the likes of Joe Abercrombie’s stuff) or some great music. It wraps itself around and inside your head, like nothing else I have experienced. It’s an aural bath, is what it is. And it is some experience.
I imagine those into ASMR would LOVE these? I am not, but I know it’s a popular thing and these would lend themselves to that kind of “genre” better than any of my other earbuds or headphones.
They really are an all round marvel, so far.
I’ve had them a week, recharged them twice. I’ve listened to an entire audiobook (twenty three hours of magnificence, btw) in two sittings, with these, and they are now my “go to” buds, over everything else, even my faithful B&O’s which I would have fought you to the death to defend, before experiencing these beauties!
Oladance deserve to become the next big name in wearable stereo, based upon these. The ease of use is astonishing. The volume up and down facility, by sliding your finger up and down the gloss (glass?) surface of the bud is so easy to use, so sensitive - and yet not overly so. It has not missed a command yet.
Download the Oladance app and you can adjust them, in much the same way as you can with the Beats or Airbuds, renaming them as you see fit, and choosing the functions and tap commands for each bud. It’s well worth it - the app looks every bit as professional as the packaging and the buds, themselves.
I honestly can’t think of a single negative point you being up, here. Battery power is enormous; sound quality is excellent; the safety aspect, for me, with “open ears”, makes it the best choice by far, and the noise leakage is minimal. I don’t listen to death metal, or anything overly loud. I’m in my 50s, and want my (excellent) hearing to last, which is why the whole sore inner ear thing was becoming such a pain.
But that’s okay, because Oladance have cured that, and in doing so, they have given me my “aural bath”, in which to immerse myself for hours at a time, with peerless efficiency and ease of use.
I really am sooooo bloody glad I threw my name into the hat for these!
Oh, btw, call quality is excellent, and ease of use was great. I had to turn the volume up, somewhat, while out walking, but the wind was blowing through the gap between bud and ear, which made things interesting. The only challenge I faced, while wearing them. The callers could all hear me quite clearly, and they certainly seemed to have some kind of noise cancelling feature, in the mic, as none of the aforementioned callers were aware of wind noise, which I could hear all around me.
They survived DIY (plastering, sanding, painting and then sawing and hanging doors) without moving so much as a millimetre. They survived poolside coaching (I help coach a local swimming team) and that is a very humid warm environment! They survived the library, where no one was disturbed by their use! Not even the hypersensitive types!
I put them through as many paces as I could before this cutoff date for reviews, and they came out trumps, every time.
They are hardy, long-lasting, appear durable and look the absolute business, I believe. So low profile, from front in, and effortlessly easy to wear, even with spectacles on the entire time.
Thanks, Oladance, may you guys enjoy alll the huge success you deserve, with these cleverly constructed, wonderfully designed and brilliantly fulfilled pieces of technological wonder. Bless your cotton socks and all your ten tiny toes, each and every last one of you, who have made these beauties possible!
I can’t wait to see what they come up with next, because the bar is set pretty blimmin’ high, right now, and no mistake!!
Respect and thanks to all at Heyup, who made this possible, and to all my fellow members - enter the next test draw, guys. This could so easily be you! Look mum! I won something - I don’t think I’ve “won” anything since I was in primary school - P3 - and the visiting man, from Ethiopia, liked my drawing of an Osprey and gave me a bar of chocolate as a prize! Random memory attack! Happens as you get older - beware!
Included photos from as many stages as the uploads would allow. Hopefully they make sense, in conjunction with my rambling nonsense?
Overall, the Oladance Wearable Stereo headphones get a solid 9 to 9.5 out of 10, for me. In comparison, the Beats Pro get an 8, and the Airbud 2 get a 7.5, while my B&O get an 8.5. They top it for battery power, versatility and ease of use - once you get used to the controls (which I would stress, once again, you can adjust and change, if you buy download the excellent accompanying app!) Had I had time to really play around with these, in every scenario I can think of, I think I might even score them higher. But I will stick with the score I have awarded, and stick to my guns in that respect, if challenged.