There's a lot of technology packed in for £19.99.
- Bluetooth 4.1 - compatible with Android and iPhone.
- cVc noise cancellation - for improved call quality.
- A physically tiny 70 mAh battery - good for around 3-6 hours of use. I found it fully charged in around 2 hours.
- Flat cable which feels rubber coated and is sweat-proof.
- All this weighs just 16.5 grams.
So, what's inside this compact box?
A short USB charging lead, basic instruction manual, and a little carrying bag. Here's a closer look at the headphones and accessories.
There are three sizes of ear-buds and in-ear-clips. All stretchy rubber and fairly easy to change over.
The left headphone has a micro-USB socket hidden behind a rubber flap.
The right has the microphone, volume controls (which double as track-skip controls), and at the top an answer button (which doubles as power and pairing).
The right also contains a small multi-colour LED - red for charging and blue for all other functions.
Bluetooth is always a little tricky to connect - but the Oittm plays instructions through its speakers. Hold down the power button and it'll say "Power on" and then "Pairing" - so you always know what's going on with the unit.
Pairing was automatic with Android - it really is one click connect. Ubuntu was similarly easy to set up (once I upgraded BlueMan).
Holding down the volume keys acts as a track skip, and the "phone" buttons answers and hangs up calls as needed.
The headphones happily pair with as many devices as you have - just remember to switch off your phone's Bluetooth before attempting to connect them to another device.
Despite what the audiophiles tell you, Bluetooth is perfectly capable of streaming high-fidelity audio. You're probably not going to use the RE-E01 as your reference listening set - but for commuting or exercising, they're just right.
Stereo separation is perfect, and even at high volume there's little evidence of distortion. Bass is decent although not exactly earth shattering, but the adjustable ear buds block most external noise. Once you crank up the volume there is some sound leakage - so be considerate when on public transport.
Voice quality is good. You may need to adjust the angle in your ear to get the best sound - but the noise cancellation works well and filters out background noise with surprising effectiveness.
One downside, on the review sample I was sent, the right earphone would occasionally cut out. This appears to be a random factory defect, and they are shipping me a replacement set. A quick thwack to the side of my head and the sound came back. I was curious as to what was causing the problems - well, there's only one thing for it...
Let's take a look inside!
When I get a new bit of kit, I simply cannot resist cracking it open to see what its guts look like.
There are no screws involved - a spludger or small screwdriver should easily find a purchase in the seam just by the power button.
What do we see?
The "multi-function" LED is, of course, separate LEDs (two at the top, red and blue). The microphone (bottom left) is connected to the main board by wires. Fairly standard push buttons protected with a little foam. But what's the main chip in the middle?
Aha! It is the CSR8635. Good to know that this delivers exactly what's promised on the packaging. You'll see some cheap headphones substitute chips with inferior quality sound.
The CSR8635 provides (PDF)
- Wideband Audio for voice - should make for improved phone call quality.
- MP3, AAC, and SBC codec support - for native audio decoding.
- 96kHz DAC - for improved audio quality
- AVRCP 1.4 - so can be controlled by all Bluetooth capable phones.
- Battery indicator - this is apparently only available in iOS, I couldn't find any way to see it in Android. Oh well!
Let's quickly flip the circuit board over.
Nothing remarkable. The wires are a little on the thin side - they're not intended to for you to fiddle with. The loose circuit appears to be inside the speaker itself. It is trapped behind a little blob of glue in a sealed plastic unit. Judging from the way the sound sometimes cuts out and is brought back with a little pressure applied to the speaker, I suspect a slightly damaged wire or loose contact.
The left ear-bud only contains the battery and charging circuitry.
A neat package. Easy to pull apart and put back together should you feel the need.
The Oittm Bluetooth Headphones are £19.99. At that price range you'll find hundreds of headphones on Amazon. The Oittm are ridiculously lightweight - you'll barely know you're wearing them and they can be chucked in your handbag or pocket without taking up significant space.
The flat cable makes for a surprisingly good anti-tangle device. The lurid green colour is distinct without being obnoxious.
The in-ear hooks help keep everything in place. As long as you choose the right size, you can run and jump as much as you like without them dislodging.
One caveat - the pair that I received had a fault which caused the right speaker to occasionally cut out. LOPOO UK offered to replace them extremely quickly. These sorts of intermittent issues are tricky to spot by retailers, so I can't be too harsh on them.
You can buy the Oittm Bluetooth Headphones on Amazon.
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