You’ve got a Friendie in me…


With the amount of video conferencing calls and working from home we’ve all done this year, a decent pair of headphones has been an absolute must, especially in a share house like the few I’ve lived in this year.

I must admit though that the Friendie brand is not one that had ever been on my radar. A brief bit of googling informed me that it’s a brand sold primarily through lifestyle sites like Myer and The Iconic.

Friendie’s new AirDuo headphones are designed to be practical for every aspect of life.

Out of the box, you get the headphones, a long auxiliary cable, a USB 2.0 charge cable, a carry case, and a detachable microphone for your video conferencing needs.

First things first – Bluetooth connection. The headphones connected to my Samsung A50 with zero fuss and, every time I’ve used them since, the connection is automatic.

The sound itself is quite good considering the lack of any passive or active noise cancellation technology. In a quiet space like an office or home, the sound quality is particularly good and is nicely distributed. Generally speaking, I’m one of those users who doesn’t ramp the volume up beyond that blue line on the phone display (getting old, you know…) and thankfully there isn’t any need to do so.

It’s when you take them out in the wild that the sound quality suffers and the lack of noise cancellation is laid bare. Traffic, dogs barking, kids screaming, all of these are clearly audible unless you’re willing to crank the volume up to eleven.

There are a few nice little touches that counter this issue somewhat. A switch on the headphones enables a subtle vibration (though not so subtle while listening to Max Richter’s ‘On the Nature of Daylight’!) that enhances the bass of your preferred tunes. There is also an EQ mode that further enhances the bass. Listening to a banger like New Order’s ‘The Age of Consent’ with both of these in play creates an enjoyable listening experience.

The LED lights are also a cool touch, primarily aimed at gamers, but I left them switched on for the aesthetic quality.

I used the headphones on three occasions for calls – two Zoom calls where I made use of the microphone and the sound quality for my colleagues received a positive review. On the other call, I sat in an enclosed balcony looking out on a busy road and called without the microphone and, again, received no complaints about call quality.

The Friendie AirDuo headphones are a solid offering for someone looking for an all-rounder product that they can pull out on a tram or connect up to a computer for an impromptu Zoom call. For sure, there are similar priced headphones with better audio technology and quality on the market. But for the casual listener and worker, they fit the $350 bill quite nicely.

ManSpace readers can avail of a 50% discount on the Friendie site by using the code MANSPACE


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