You are pumping iron at the gym. You are training for the half marathon. You are cooking in the kitchen. You are commuting on the train. You are listening to Let’s Talk iOS on the couch. All of these scenarios, have you tethered to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod with a corded headset. Nothing is more annoying than ripping your iPhone off the treadmill at the gym because you accidentally caught your headphone cable while reaching for a bottle of water.
I am the guy that wraps his iPhone in a sturdy case at the gym because I just cannot seem to stop dropping it. If I had a pair of wireless headphones, all of my problems would be solved. While Bluetooth headphones have been a thing for some time, I have only stumbled across over the ear cans or giant muffs. No one wants to use a giant pair of headphones while doing a physical activity except people who love their Beats. Take a step inside to read about the Orcas Bluetooth earbuds, my new favorite pair of activity minded buds that were sent over by Outdoor Tech.
Orcas active wireless earbuds
The Orcas wireless earbuds are designed for an active lifestyle. The sweat resistant, lightweight units are perfect for the gym or training sessions. However, they are also great for cleaning the house or any other activity where hands-free and cord-free are highly preferred. At less than half an ounce, you will hardly notice the weight.
Paying attention to the small details, Orcas include a Bluetooth pairing button with additional play/pause on/off action. The onboard unit also includes a volume up/down and track forward/back action. Taking calls is also simple and no clarity was lost, according to my caller on the other end. The Orcas come with fitting silicon earbud covers in small, medium, and large. Having larger ears, I found the large tips to be the best when paired with the ear fins, pictured below.
The buds work at the technological limit of Bluetooth, which hits around 30 feet and the onboard battery is advertised to work for around 6 hours with Bluetooth 4.0 (Low Energy) helping. The included micro USB cable will keep things charged up and an indicator light inside the bud designates connectivity status and charging information.
I really like the Orcas. The overall functionality is most impressive. Boiling down earbuds with onboard BLE technology has been a long time coming, but companies are just figuring out how to make that happen. The only cord is the one connecting the two buds. Placing the cable behind your head, it remains completely out of the way. Because it is sweat and water resistant, the cable is quite rubbery. Unfortunately, the rubberized texture sometimes clung to my neck and pulled the bud, just enough for me to re-arrange it in my ear each time. However, a non-stick cable may not offer as much sweat protection.
Outdoor Tech included sound enhancement with apt X and AAC to help improve sound. Personally, I wouldn’t say these buds are for the audiophile. These buds, while sounding decent, are made for activities more than an enhanced listening experience. Are they going to pump you up at the gym? Most definitely! And, they are going to stay out of the way while doing it. But don’t listen to your favorite concerto and expect to be blown away.
Yes. Definitely grab yourself a pair of Orcas. The starting price on Amazon is $92.45 in red and the black is offered at full retail of $99.95. This price point places the Orcas in the middle of the pricing pack when it comes to competitors. Given the environment of Bluetooth headphones, I would certainly be interested in paying for such a small housing. If you are someone who frequently needs a cordless way to listen to your iOS device, especially in tricky places like the gym, go with the Orcas.
As I mentioned, just the silicon tips didn’t really cut it for me, especially if the cable hung for a second. Assisting with this is the fin attachment. The fact that Outdoor Tech thought ahead and offered the fins with the buds goes a long way for me as a potential customer. If you have been looking for an active pair of wireless buds, using Bluetooth cans or even smaller buds that require a Bluetooth dongle are doing it wrong. The Orcas offer a lightweight solution with a water resistant coating that can easily be wiped down after a workout.