DennisO (denniso) wrote,

C’mon, Aussie, C’mon!

Australia is a wonderful country - vast land, epic shoreline and lots of startups. Surprised? Don’t be - in recent years Australian companies have been in the list of top innovators more often then one might think.

Do you work in IT? Use Jira? Yep - made in Australia.

Do you workout? Run, bike, swim? Wear 2XU? Again - made in Australia.

Do you use Google Maps, Google Chrome browser - yet again - conceived in Australia.


And Aussie’s know what rugged means. Build tough, to withstand dirt, water, elements.

BlueAnt Wireless - is a niche company, that many could compare with Jawbone or Jabra. It makes Bluetooth powered headsets and earbuds.

There is one difference. BlueAnt - actually works in extreme conditions.

My first BlueAnt product was Pump HD


These bluetooth fitness earbuds are still in my collection as a rugged ‘go to’ set, when all other devices fail.

These are not necessarily light, attractive or high-quality. There are quite a few drawbacks with this set:

  • Fit is acquard - ear tips tend to slip and loose the seal in my case, and ear tips are not standard.

  • You can feel the bulk of the extra battery behind your ears

  • If you exercise for a long time, it is not uncommon to get skin irritation, as the silicon rubs against your skin behind the ears.

But they work, in the water, in the sand, outdoors or at the gym - these are decent earbuds. With one major flaw - sound.

BlueAnt Pump HD sound is tiny. You get good mids and high tones, but to get any midbass and mid-lows you really need to pump up the volume and fit those perfectly into your ear canal. Massive pain.

So, when BlueAnt released Pump Mini - I said - game on! I want to try these.


Did I expect much? No. Same rugged design, solid water and dust protection, and maybe better sound. After all, Pump Mini resembles JayBirds X too much, so there was hope, that engineers at BlueAnt actually wanted a piece of australian pie, which made JayBird a fortune.

The good:

  • Yes, these are rugged, just as expected

  • You get great packaging and lots of ear tips to play with. Unfortunately, I have to fit almost all earbuds with custom ear pieces. With the Pump Mini it was the same problem - design for giants with tiny ear canals.

The bad:

  • Sound

Surprised? My first impression upon fitting these and starting a random track from my workout collection, was WTF? Where are the high-mids? Where, the hell, are the high notes?

Instantly, I wanted to take these off, because anything above 10 kHz was just not there. Abasent, caput.

I did play with an idea - well, you may get used to it. Or, maybe, if you warm them up for 10x hours, they will loosen up. But I could care less. It just wasn’t my cup of tea.

For a premium price tag you would expect at least somewhat engaging sound performance. Not in this case. I was very disappointed. All the ruggedness didn’t matter anymore.

One more thing - volume controls are indeed made for giants - the toggle is HUGE! It is massive. WHY? I don’t know.


Case closed. These were the first, and so far, only earbuds, that I literally used for 10 minutes and I hated these right away.

Nope, another fail. Too bad, because next time I’ll talk about the elephant, or should I say kangaroo, in the room.

Stay tuned. Good night.

Tags: blueant, earbuds, fail
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