Funcl AI and W1 wireless earbuds review: Wireless earbuds for masses

Lately, smartphone makers have been ditching the 3.5mm audio in favor of packing more tech in the smartphones leaving the users with no choice and to shift towards the wireless ecosystem. This is where startups like Funcl come into the picture. Funcl launched two new wireless earbuds, the Funcl W1, and Funcl AI on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo for people to get onto the wireless earbuds bandwagon at very competitive prices.

The W1’s is the smaller of the two and comes at a price tag of $29 (shipping extra) while the more Apple Airpods looking AI model comes at a price of $59 (shipping extra). Both the earbuds are feature packed and offer a lot for their price. We got our hands on both the units and here is our review after extensive use.

Key Specifications

Funcl W1

  • Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
  • In-built mic
  • Charging case
  • Music Play time – 4.5 Hours
  • Total Playback time – 18 Hours
  • Touch Controls
  • IPX5 Rating
  • Micro USB charging

Funcl AI

  • Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
  • In-built mic
  • Charging case
  • Music Play time – 6.5 Hours
  • Total Playback time – 24 Hours
  • AptX support
  • Touch Controls
  • IPX5 Rating
  • Micro USB charging

Box Contents

Both the Funcl AI and W1 have the same set of accessories in the box.

A complete list of items you get inside the box:

  • Funcl AI/W1
  • Ear tips
  • Micro USB charging cable
  • User instruction manual

Design

We will be taking on the more expensive Funcl AI first. The design is more or less inspired by Apple’s Airpods which is liked by some and hated by others. The construction is all done using high-quality plastic right from the earbuds themselves to the storage case that also acts as a charger. The AI’s have an angled buds design, which provides them an additional grip inside the ear canals.

Just like other wireless earbuds, there are touch controls mounted on the buds. The AI’s are available in two colors, ‘White’ & ‘Black’. We have the white variant with us for review. There is an LED indicator on the lower side which lets you know the status of the buds. Flipping the buds around, you get a good look at the two golden contacts that are for charging the units.

Coming to the Funcl W1, they have a design which we have seen in the past with the Samsung iconX and Meizu Pop. The sit inside your ear and have a more subdued look. The buds and the case are made out of high-quality plastic. The touch controls are on the face above the Funcl logo which also houses an LED indicator.

The W1 essentially provide a slightly larger touch area when compared to the AI. The golden contact points are present on the bottom side of each of the buds just like on the AI’s. The case design on both the earbuds is different due to their design. While the W1’s charging case has a glossy finish, the AI’s have a matte finish. Both the cases use microUSB slot for charging and there is wireless charging support.

Performance

The pairing process is simple and the earphones power on as soon as they are taken out of the respective case. Both the Funcl AI and W1 have a master-slave connectivity protocol going around with the left earbud being the master and right one being the slave. The earbuds pair themselves and show up as a single unit in the Bluetooth panel of the smartphone making the process even easier.

We did face some connectivity issue and signal drops on both the AI & W1 which could be something related to the fact that we had pre-production units. Nonetheless, we hope, Funcl ironed out those kinks in the final retail units.

Talking about the sound signature on the Funcl AI’s, the units aren’t that much loud and come with support for AAC and AptX. There is still a slight delay while playing content which is to be expected in wireless earphones and is countered by AptX up to some extent. Coming to the sound signature, the soundstage is flat with more focus on mids, elevating the Vocals. There is a pinch of bass which is enjoyed once you get a perfect seal, so we would recommend using the right size of ear tips.

One thing to note here is that AptX is Qualcomm’s own codec and is only found of mid to high range Snapdragon processors. To take full advantage of the Funcl AI’s your smartphone should have support for AptX. Sadly, iPhone users will lose out on this but they get support for AAC.

The AI’s do come with app support which can be found on both the Play store and Appstore. The app lets you tweak the settings, check the battery and so forth. At the moment the app seems to be a little buggy and a fix is supposed to land in the coming weeks.

Coming to the smaller Funcl W1. Oh boy, they pack a punch for their size. The earbuds get fairly loud and have a richer bass. We were very surprised by their sound signature, there is more focus on bass which will be appreciated by the Indian users but mids and highs are decent as well. They come with support for AAC only and a 150ms delay.

There is no support for an app for the W1’s which is to be expected considering the amount of tech you are getting for the low price tag.

Battery wise, the AI’s lasted close to 5 hours in our tests with the charging case topping them up in under an hour. While the W1’s lasted close to 4 hours in our tests. The AI’s case provided 4 extra charges while W1’s case had 3 extra charges. The charging speeds for the cases are the same, they top up in under an hour.

Pricing

Funcl AI – $59 (shipping extra)

Funcl W1 – $29 (shipping extra)

Pros

  • Good Build quality
  • Amount of bass

Cons

  • High shipping times
  • No word on warranties

Verdict – Should you go for it?

Both the Funcl AI and Funcl W1 are a solid steal for their early bird prices. They provide sturdy build and sound quality that we haven’t seen on wireless earbuds at this price point especially with the W1s. The use of newer Bluetooth 5.0 is a bonus. We totally recommend both the units to people currently in the market for wireless earbuds and aren’t willing to drop a bomb on them.

The closest competitors to the Funcl AI would the Meizu POP (review) which are similarly priced and provide much deeper bass than these. There simply isn’t a decent offering in the market that could take on the Funcl W1.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Build & Design
Features
Sound Quality
Price

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