Earfun Free Pro 3 review: they’re not perfect, but they’re cheap and cheery

 The Earfun Free Pro 3 buds next to the case on a window.
The Earfun Free Pro 3 buds next to the case on a window.

Earfun Free Pro 3: Two-minute review

The Earfun Free Pro 3 buds in a hand.
The Earfun Free Pro 3 buds in a hand.

The Earfun Free Pro 3 stand out in the world of sub-$100 /£100 earbuds. The affordable earbud market can be a tricky one, rife with knockoffs and sketchy buds from unknown companies, but amongst the mess are a few gems, and the Free Pro 3 definitely counts.

At just $79.99 / £79.99 (no Australian release at the time of writing), these buds have prices to rival the newest Samsung, Sony and JBL models, but a few perks that might make you pick them over the competition.

The Free Pro 3 sound great. they’ve got pronounced bass and distinct treble, which means that music sounds great. There's no mealy audio with these buds – in fact, the audio rivals some of the best headphones, which is no small compliment.

Another great aspect of the buds is that the carry case is one of the smallest on the market, so it can really easily slip into a pocket and be left out of sight, out of mind. Despite their small form, the Earfun’s battery life is great, outlasting many big-name rivals like the AirPods Pro.

Not everything works perfectly though. Most importantly, the fit of the earbuds was unreliable, and in the testing period, they fell out a fair few times. This problem will depend on your ear size, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t flag it.

The earbud controls aren’t exactly stellar either, making it a little tricky to skip songs or change volume just by tapping them mid-song. It’s much easier to simply pick up your phone than start hammering on your head, hoping something will happen. That’s a small loss though, and is pretty easy to overlook given the great package you’re getting overall.

Earfun Free Pro 3 review: Price and release date

The Earfun Free Pro 3 buds with the case in the background.
The Earfun Free Pro 3 buds with the case in the background.
  • Released in October 2023

  • Officially priced at $79.99 / £79.99 (roughly AU$125)

The Earfun Free Pro 3 were unveiled in October 2023, and were put on sale on the 30th of the month. These are fairly affordable earbuds, costing $79.99 / £79.99 (roughly AU$125, but at the time of writing it’s not available in Australia).

That’s a good price point for affordability, but not a great one for competition, with many big-name rivals also sitting at the high-two-figure-end of the spectrum. The Samsung Galaxy Buds FE, Sony WF-C700N, JBL Tune Flex and many, many more all sit within $20/£20 of the Free Pro 3, so these Earfun buds really need to impress.

Earfun Free Pro 3 review: Specs

Earfun Free Pro 3 review: Features

The Earfun Free Pro 3 in a man's ear.
The Earfun Free Pro 3 in a man's ear.
  • Total battery life of up to 33 hours

  • EarFun Audio app brings audio customization

  • Nice and simple pairing

According to Earfun, the Free Pro 3 buds have a 7.5 hour battery life each, with the case’s battery bringing the set’s entire charge time to 33 hours. You can charge the battery via the USB-C port on the case. This is a great battery life in theory – in tests, the buds seemed to nearly reach this figure, though by turning on some of the features you’ll lose some time.

What features, you ask? Well the EarFun Audio app brings a few extra tricks that are pretty commonplace in headphones at this price tier. The Earfun Free Pro 3 work perfectly well without you downloading the tie-in app onto your phone, a strategy I wish other audio makers would embrace, but if you turn on the app you get some extra tricks.

This includes a noise cancellation mode as well as an ‘Ambient Sound’ tool to vary how much AMC is in use, an equalizer function, and a ‘Game Mode’ which improves latency for when you’re gaming. The earbuds would have worked fine without these features, but they’re neat extras for people who care about their sound.

You can also use the app to connect multiple devices to the earbuds, so you can easily switch between them. This is a handy feature for people who own multiple devices that you frequently use. Pairing the buds to a phone was easy and convenient, both for the initial set-up and for subsequent listening sessions.

  • Features score: 3.5/5

Earfun Free Pro 3 review: Design

The Earfun Free Pro 3 case with one earbud.
The Earfun Free Pro 3 case with one earbud.
  • Very small carry case

  • Earbuds have awkward fit

  • Touch controls aren't perfect

A lovely aspect of the Earfun Free Pro 3 is that their carry case is one of the smallest on the market. The case measures just 67 x 50 x 31mm, and weighs in at a lightweight 41.5g.

In fact, it was so slender that it could fit into the watch pocket of trousers (you know, that tiny pocket inside the main pockets of many pairs of trousers). This portability made the Earfun a lot easier for me to carry around than some rival buds I’ve tested with much larger carry cases. There’s not much to the case – just space for the buds, and a USB-C charging port, but it’s still big enough to pack a fairly large battery, as you’ve already read about.

The buds themselves are equally lightweight, so you don’t feel like they’re dragging down your lobes every time you’re listening to tunes. Atop the buds are small rubber loops, seemingly designed to ensure they stay firmly lodged in your ear – unfortunately this doesn’t work very well. I found the Free Pro 3s to feel rather loose in my ear, and on several occasions when I moved my head too fast or didn’t lodge them in properly, they fell out, which wasn’t exactly ideal.

The Earfuns have on-board touch control, so in theory you can just tap once, twice, thrice or tap and hold for functions that you map out in the app. Unfortunately these proved incredibly temperamental in testing, so much so that I just ignored the feature after the tests. The buds also have an IPX5 rating against small particles but not water, so try not to get them wet.

  • Design score: 2.5/5

Earfun Free Pro 3 review: Sound quality

The Earfun Free Pro 3 case in a hand.
The Earfun Free Pro 3 case in a hand.
  • Fantastic for bass and treble

  • Less good for everything in between

When you’re paying this much for some wireless earbuds, audio quality isn’t something you can guarantee. That’s no dig at headphone makers – battery life, features and handy design can be even more important than sound for many users.

This isn’t an issue for the Earfun Free Pro 3 though because they sound surprisingly good, exceeding their price tag and then some. The buds surpass most rival earbuds (and even some headphones) for their meaty bass, with low-frequency sounds pronounced and clear. That’s not at the expense of treble though, resulting in music having a wonderful sound stage.

The maximum volume on the Free Pro 3 is surprisingly high, in that I can imagine it could be quite damaging if used for a long period of time, but that means no one can complain about it not being loud enough! At higher volumes, the sound can get a little tinny though.

The Earfuns have noise canceling that reaches up to 43dB, removing lots of ambient background sound and improving the listening experience. As previously stated you have some control in how prevalent the ANC is, and can get rid of it if you want to stay aware of your surroundings.

  • Sound quality: 3.5/5

Should I buy the Earfun Free Pro 3?

The Earfun Free Pro 3 in their case, on a window.
The Earfun Free Pro 3 in their case, on a window.

Buy it if…

Don’t buy it if…

Earfun Free Pro 3 review: Also consider

  • First reviewed in November 2023