Testing & Performance
Connecting / Pairing
To get an idea of how easy or potentially difficult it is to pair with the mini ring I first open the Bluetooth menu on my phone and see the mini ring is already in my list of available devices. I haven't pushed the buttons on the pods at this point but recently seated them into the charging case which I assume put them into discovery mode. Removing one pod from the case I hear a "power on" voice prompt. Removing the second pod I get a "power on" voice prompt again followed by "connected", "left / right channel", and "pairing" voice prompts. Clicking the E'nod mini ring in my Bluetooth menu I get a long beep followed by "Second device connected" voice prompt. The second device referring to your chosen media device as the second ear pod is considered a device as well. Immediately I can hear system sounds on my phone. Connecting the mini ring was easy and hassle-free.
Testing of audio devices is an extremely subjective subject. Personally, my ears are destroyed from years of playing drums, live shows/events, and foolishly not wearing ear protection when younger. Considering the state of my ears you might be surprised to hear I found the sound quality of the Mini Ring to be excellent. With the small caps, the headphones fit well into my ears, are able to make a good seal, and cancel out a good bit of noise. For testing, I went to three basic realms of music, Bass House, Metal, and Hip-Hop. Across this pretty wide spectrum the headphones performed well. I was really pleased with the amount of bass produced by the device, lows hit bottom without bottoming out, even at high volume. Metal and Hip-hop have nice crisp high's with a solid midrange. Overall I am beyond surprised at the sound quality of the Mini Ring.
I am happy to report that the Mini Ring does indeed easily control your favorite music apps with a few simple clicks, the only thing I could not control on the headphone is the overall volume, which isn't too big of a deal. Another thing that makes me really happy is I can use a single headphone and still have full function control, though this only works with the left headphone for me. If you prefer to listen to music or take calls with a single headphone the Mini Ring will function. Taking the other headphone out of the case will cause it to connect and begin functioning. Testing with Pandora and Spotify I was able to pause and switch songs easily. While clicking the buttons the headphones stayed firmly in my ears.
To test call function I had people call me while Pandora is playing to test what happens when a call comes in while playing music. One click on either headphone answers incoming calls. The calling control and function work well. When a call comes in I get a voice prompt which proceeds to say the number of the caller. Callers report my voice to be nice and clear. Callers sound clear in my ears with no odd noises to report. The only odd thing found is that callers reported hearing a scratchy noise only when they speak. I tested this with multiple people to confirm. While it was a minimal noise it was present multiple times. After ending a call my music starts right back up without skipping a beat.
In our lab, I have approx 35ft of distance for testing. Putting the phone on one side of the lab I proceed to walk as far as I can and see what happens. It isn't until I get as far away as I can, with wall obstructions between me and the device that I get a cut out in the music. The headphones continued to play music with only one or two drops in music at a distance I would consider far beyond acceptable. As far as distance goes the Mini Ring is a win. Other than at the device's distance limits I never got a sound drop out.
In my testing, I found the Mini Ring easily hit it's rated battery life and recharge rates. During all my testing cycles which spanned multiple hour intervals, I only got a battery low prompt once. Putting the headphones in the (fully charged) case at this point brought the LED indicator from solid to the 75% range blink. If the headphone charge drain stays consistent it seems the case will produce 3-4 charges of the pods.