Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware
The Stay Earbuds Wireless is a part of EMTEC's Use Project lineup, which consist of products in the mobile accessories market. According to a small informational booklet they packed with these earbuds, their three main principles of the whole concept are Quality, Ingenuity, and Emotion. Starting with the design itself, I can safely say the EMTEC Stay Earbuds Wireless are one of the prettier in-ear monitors we have received. The ear piece is made primarily up of meta in two colors of titanium grey and poppy red, with a metallic and matte finish respectively. Between the two ear pieces is a grey flat cable. It is not all wire of course, as there is a remote on the left side, and a battery pack in the middle of the cable, but I will take a closer look at each of these later. The wire connects to the metal ear pieces with a reinforced wrap around it to ensure the wire does not break near the ear piece. Otherwise, I really like the design of the EMTEC Stay Earbuds Wireless, as it is classy, but flashes some bright red, too. Build quality is top notch, with a tangle-free cord and an overall durable construction. I would have liked to see a bit more metal components here, but I will admit it would make the headphones heavier than intended.
Speaking of weight, in terms of measurements the EMTEC Stay Earbuds Wireless tip the scales at around 16 grams. Overall, the wire connecting the entire unit together measures in at a lengthy 68.4 cm, and should be long enough to reach both ears and have enough slack to rest on the user's back. I never found these Bluetooth earphones too heavy, as they stayed in place without unintentionally falling out of my ears. I will say though the provided collar clip was also very handy in keeping the earbuds in my ears.
As I have mentioned prior, one of the components connected on the flat wire is a remote. On one side are three buttons, which are engraved with a plus and minus sign on the outer two buttons, and four dots on the middle button. The positive and negative symbols are used for changing volume on a single touch, but it can also be used to move to the next and previous song when you hold down the button. As for the middle, this is a multipurpose button. This button is first used for powering on and off the device, activated by holding down this button for three to five seconds. While it is on, this button can be used to play and pause music. Double clicking the button allows the user to redial the last number, or ignore an incoming call. Finally, a single press can be used to pick up and hang up calls. Finally, the single button is used to pair the EMTEC Stay Wireless Earbuds with your devices, whether it is a computer, smartphone, or tablet. This can be done by holding the button down long enough to turn on the device and then enter into pairing mode. On the flip side of the remote is a microphone, which is used for calling. According to EMTEC, this microphone has a diameter of 4mm and sensitivity of -42dB. An engraved EMTEC logo can also be found on the remote next to the microphone.
Moving further down the wire, and we have a larger plastic pod. This is presumably where the battery for the EMTEC Stay Wireless Earbuds sit, as a rubber flap opens to reveal a micro USB connection. With the provided cable, you can charge these Bluetooth earphones for a few hours. According to EMTEC, you should be able to get up to five hours of usage, but we will see how this actually holds up when we set it through our daily usage tests. Also located on this pod is a small LED light. Despite its small size, it gets quite bright, and serves several functions to identify the current mode of the headset. In general operation, it will blink green every seven seconds or so. During pairing, this light flashes green and red until it pairs. It also flashes in green for every action, such as changing the volume or skipping to the next song. Finally, this LED light is an indicator light for battery status. If it is low on battery, it flashes red every minute, and you will hear an audible beep in your ears. While the device is charging, the light glows red until it finishes charging. The light turns green when full charge is reached.
In the above photo, you can see all the other in ear monitors I own, which is not many. Most of the ones I own are relatively inexpensive, but the comparison here is the shape of the ear piece. From left to right we have the EMTEC Stay Earbuds Wireless, a blue pair of Panasonic RPHJE120, and a green Klipsch Image S3M. Starting at the casing of the earpiece, you will notice both the Panasonic and the Klipsch utilizes a more ergonomic shape to contour to the ear better. The Stay Earbuds, on the other hand, seem to be more straightened out. In addition, the tips where the silicon buds sit are all different in shape. The EMTEC Stay have a relatively big and circular opening for the drivers to flow sound through. The silicon ear tips are also completely circular. The blue Panasonic earphones are more oval like in shape, and again seem to resemble the opening to a human ear than the EMTEC Stay. Finally, the Klipsch has a circular opening, but their silicon pieces are more oval like, and once again contour to the ear better. I think EMTEC can learn to make these earbuds a bit closer to an ear opening shape to increase the comfort.
On the flip side, the EMTEC Stay Earbuds Wireless are the only earbuds I have with metal construction. The main reason for this is to accommodate for the way they sit on the user. These earbuds go around the back of the neck and rest there. However, when they are not in use, the ear pieces hang around, and can possibly slip off the user's neck. However, EMTEC has solved this problem by placing a magnet in each ear, so the pieces stick together. This forms a necklace of sorts, and ensures the Stay Earbuds Wireless... stay in place. I have to say I have seen quite a few people wear their audio devices as a fashion accessory, even though they can be bulky. Functionally, I think this is a great feature, and it ensures the hanging earbuds do not fall off. I would probably make the magnets a tad stronger, just to ensure they stay together.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Subjective Audio Analysis, Usage