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There is certainly no shortage of wireless earphones on the market and the latest entry from OLALA offers another great option that won’t break the bank. So let’s check out the OLALA SG-1 Wireless Sports Earphones.
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Apple Tech Talk Scorecard
|Magnetic Tips Prevent Loss||Short Neck Cord|
|Ear Wings make a secure fit||Some may find sound tinny|
OLALA SG-1 Wireless Sports Earphones – Unboxing
Check out our Unboxing video on our new Apple Tech Talk YouTube channel.
In the box is the OLALA SG-1 Wireless Sport Earphones with one set of rubber ear hooks already attached. In the accessory pack are two more sets of ear hooks in different sizes to help you get a perfect fit. Also included is a 1 ft. USB charging cord, a clip that can be attached to the earphones cable to allow you to clip it to your shirt and another clip to join the cables together. There is also a small carrying pouch, a User Guide and a Thank You note from OLALA.
Although these are called wireless, that refers to the fact that they connect via Bluetooth and do not need to be plugged into your iPhone and as you can see, the two earpieces are connected by a wire that is about 24” long. While some users may feel the cable is a little too short, we felt the length of the cable was fine and fit comfortably around our neck. When not in your ears, the two ends of the earpieces are held together by a magnetic tip and the shorter cord actually prevented the SG-1 from flopping around on our neck.
OLALA SG-1 Wireless Sports Earphones – Specifications
The OLALA SG-1 Wireless Sports Earphones use Bluetooth version 4.1 and have a wireless range of approximately 33 feet (10 meters). The internal battery is rated at 120 mAh and charges in about 1.5 hours at 5V DC. A full charge provides about 8 hours of working time and 180 hours of stand-by time.
On one end of the cable is the now common three-button controller. Which controls everything from connecting the OLALA SG-1 Wireless Sports Earphones to your iPhone to controlling music and phone calls.
Incorporated into the side of the controller is a port to connect the USB cable to charge the SG-1 earphones. The USB port sits behind a small plastic door and if you don’t look carefully, you could miss it but we think it is actually a good use of space in the overall design.
Here is a rundown of how the controls work.
|Power ON||Press and hold the Multi-function Button for 1 second.|
|Power OFF||Press and hold the Multi-function Button for 3 second.|
|Play / Pause||Press the Multi-function button once|
|Volume + / –||Press the Top/ Bottom Button|
|Next / Previous Track||Press and hold the Top / Bottom Button|
|Answer an Incoming Call||Press the Multi-function Button once|
|Reject an Incoming Call||Press and hold the Multi-function Button for 1 second|
|Hang Up a Phone Call||Press the Multi-function Button once (while on a call)|
|Place a Call on Hold||Press the Multi-function Button twice (while on a call)|
|Redial the Latest Call||Press the Multi-function Button twice (to redial the latest phone number)|
Above the top button is a small LED. Here is a guide to the indicator status.
|Red LED on||Charging|
|LED off||Power is off|
|Flashing blue and red||SG-1 is in Pairing mode|
|Flashes blue twice ever 3 seconds||Paired with a Bluetooth device|
|Slowly flashes red||Low battery|
|Fast flashes blue||Incoming call|
OLALA SG-1 Wireless Sports Earphones are rated IPX4, which means they can handle splashing water from any direction. So, while you can’t swim with them, they are fine for a run in the rain or a heavy workout in the gym.
It also includes CVC 6.0 Noise Cancellation technology to enhance listening.
OLALA SG-1 Wireless Sports Earphones – Set-up
The first thing you need to do (after unpacking and charging up the SG-1) is to pair it to your device. To start the pairing process, make sure the SG-1 earphones are within 3 feet of your iPhone. With the SG-1 off, press and hold the middle (Multi-function) button for about 5 seconds until the LED indicator flashes red and blue. This indicates the SG-1 is in pairing mode. Go to Settings on you iPhone and open the Bluetooth preference panel and you should see OLALA SG1 pop up. Select it and the pairing is complete. Our pairing worked the first time and took only a minute.
The OLALA SG-1 Wireless Sports Earphones supports being paired to two devices so we also paired it to our Apple Watch following the usual watch pairing process. Keep in mind that while the SG-1 can be paired to two devices, only one device at a time can be connected to it.
You may want to consider doing the initial pairing without the SG-1 being around your neck. With the short cord, it was difficult to see the LED while wearing it and we preferred being able to see the LED for the pairing process.
The instruction manual states that the earpieces are marked for the left and right. Hard as we tried, we were not able to find any markings. Based on the way the ear wings were pre-installed, we assumed the controller went on the right side. That said, it appears that can easily be reversed by swapping the ear wing positions. In the end, we’re not sure it makes much difference which side is which.
OLALA SG-1 Wireless Sports Earphones – Test Results
Fit – We found the fit of the SG-1 to be very confortable. While most of the wireless earphones and ear buds we have tested have tips the fit well into the ear canal, the SG-1 has the small rubbery hook on the end. By twisting the hook into the top folds of the outer ear, the SG-1 is almost locked into place without having to be pressed deep into the ear.
One of our testers is a hearing aid wearer and most earphones are difficult to wear with his hearing aids in place but he found the SG-1 to be one of the most comfortable sets he has tried since it rests on the outer edge of the ear canal and doesn’t come in contact with the earing aid in his ear.
We also found that the ear hooks held the SG-1 securely and think runners will have no issues with the earphones becoming dislodged during a run.
Sound – Audio quality is a very personal thing. Just as no two people see the same exact color, most people will hear the same sounds differently. That is the case with most of the personal audio devices we test and the SG-1 is no exception.
One of our testers is a die-hard fan of the Apple AirPods. She has yet to find a competitor that pairs as easily or sounds as good. Her impression of the SG-1 was that it sounded OK, but didn’t have the deeper bass that the AirPods do.
Another one of our testers commented that he thought the SG-1 had a crisp, clean sound, with good vocal range and likes the fact that they did not sound “muddy” from having too much bass.
Overall, we liked the sound quality and think the OLALA SG-1 Wireless Sports Earphones stand up to many of the competitor brands that cost significantly more.
Call quality was also good and people of the far end of the call had no trouble hearing us.
The Bottom Line
The OLALA SG-1 Wireless Sports Earphones are a great option for people looking for a wireless earphone that won’t break the bank.
While the cord that connects the two earpieces is a bit short, the design of the ear wings more than compensates for it and keeps the ear pieces firmly in your ear without fitting deep into the ear canal, a nice option for hearing aid wearers.
The audio and call controller takes a little getting used to but did not seem quite as awkward as we thought it would be after only a few minutes of practice.
Perhaps the biggest feature of the OLALA SG-1 Wireless Sports Earphones is the price. They are currently available from Amazon for about 20% of the cost of a set of Apple’s AirPods. Granted, there is a lot that AirPods offer that the OLALA SG-1 Wireless Sports Earphones don’t but are certainly worth consideration for every budget minded shopper.
We would like to thank the folks at OLALA for providing the OLALA SG-1 Wireless Sports earphones for our review. You may also want to check out the OLALA iDisk Mobile Memory we recently reviewed here.
What’s your preference when listening to music on the go? Do you prefer earphones like the SG-1 or ear buds that aren’t connected to each other? Why not join the conversation and leave a comment below.
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