It wasn’t long ago that true wireless earbuds were considered more an awkward toy than anything of real value. Due to battery requirements, they were larger and heavier than ideal, and operating time was severely limited.
Over the last couple of years, due to improvements in battery design and the rollout of Bluetooth 5.0, these devices have become more efficient and smaller in size. The adoption of a storage container which doubles as a power bank ensures these earbuds can quickly be recharged and put back into use.
This is my second iTeknic earbud review. My first article covered the IK-BH001; a wireless Bluetooth device with earpieces that were connected via a short cable.
The IK-BH004 goes one step further, incorporating True Wireless Stereo technology. Each of the earpieces is wireless capable and works independently.
The iTeknic IK-BH004 consists of a storage/charging box, USB cable, two wireless earbuds, six earpads, and a user’s guide.
The charging case weights in at 45 grams with both earbuds inserted. It is 54 millimeters across, 48 millimeters wide, and 26 millimeters in height. One end can be flipped open to gain access to the interior. A mini USB slot is used, in conjunction with the USB cable, to charge the case’s 500mAh Lithium battery.
LED lights indicate the charging status of the internal battery when connected to power. Otherwise, they display the battery level of the earbuds as they are being charged. This case is capable of fully recharging the earbuds twice.
Three sets of differently sized earpads are provided to ensure the earpieces fit correctly.
Each earbud weighs four grams and extends 40 millimeters in length. They are rated IPX5. The iTeknic IK-BH004 earbuds are compatible with Bluetooth 5.0, and their built-in battery can provide up to six hours of use.
A 5.8-millimeter driver fits inside each of these earbuds. Noise-canceling microphones eliminate background noise and enhance voice pick-up during phone conversations.
When pulled from the charging case, the earbuds will pair with each other and then began to search for a device. Simply select the earbuds using your phone, MP3 player, or computer.
Various commands, including those required to control volume or accept a call, are given by tapping the touchscreen located at the back of the earbuds.
Model: IK-BH004 TWS
Type: True wireless earbuds
Country of origin: China
Charging case weight: 45 grams (1.59 ounces) with earbuds inserted
Charging case dimensions: 54mm by 48mm by 26mm
Earbud weight: 4 grams (0.17 ounces)
Earbud length: 40 millimeters
Charging case battery: 500mAh Lithium
Charging case capability: At least two complete charges
Earbud batteries: 55mAh Lithium battery (1 per earpiece)
Earbud battery life: Up to six hours
Charging time: 1.5 – 2 hours
Microphone: Realtek 8763BFR
Connection: Bluetooth 5.0 (AVRCP/A2DP/HSP/HFP)
Noise suppression: Digital Signal Processing
Accessories: Two earbuds, charging case, six earpads, USB cable, and user’s guide
Water resistance: IPX5. Water projected by a nozzle (6.3 mm) against earbud from any direction shall have no harmful effect.
Iteknic is trademarked by Shenzhen NearbyExpress Technology Development Company Limited which is a division of the Sunvalley Group.
Sunvalley was founded in 2007 and is the brand owner of RAVPower, VAVA, TaoTronics, Anjou, Sable, and HooToo. This company is headquartered in Shenzhen, China, and has subsidiaries located in San Francisco, Tokyo, Singapore, and Hamburg.
Iteknic’s earbuds are Bluetooth 5.0 capable and compatible with earlier versions. This device paired to both my computer and the MP3 player quickly and without complications. Due to the inclusion of a microphone, the headset can also be used with a smartphone.
The theoretical maximum distance for Bluetooth 5.0 is 240 meters. During my tests, however, both my computer and MP3 player were equipped with Bluetooth 4.1 transmitters which, regrettably, have one quarter the range and half the speed of the newest version.
While listening to music transmitted from my computer, the earbuds worked perfectly until I entered my kitchen. Then, as I neared the far end of the room, the reception would sometimes falter. This was due to my computer’s older Bluetooth version and signal degradation caused by the pair of outside walls that separated these devices.
True Wireless Stereo refers to a technology which allows two audio devices to be paired via Bluetooth. In the case of earbuds, separate transmissions can be sent to the left and right earpieces. This permits the reception of a stereo signal.
Digital Signal Processing Technology
The IK-BH004 is equipped with Digital Signal Processing Technology. DSP improves sound quality by tweaking the original signal in several different ways. DSP generates wider frequency output, filters out reverberation, and includes both automatic gain control and dynamic adjustment.
The IK-BH004’s earpieces appear to be well made and, once I’d selected the proper earpads, fit snugly and comfortably.
These earbuds are rated IPX5. While you cannot go swimming with this device, those of us silly enough to run in the rain will not experience difficulties.
The storage box protected the earbuds and kept them charged when they were not in use.
I wore these earbuds while playing games, listening to music, and watching Netflix. The device can also be paired with a Bluetooth capable smartphone.
I’ve recently tested iTeknic’s new IK-BH005 headphones. While the headset’s sound quality was superior, the IK-BH004 earbuds provided stiff competition. Frequency range and bass response proved strong.
The earpieces fit correctly. They were reasonably comfortable and remained firmly in place during my morning walks.
Battery life worked out to five hours on a single charge. That’s a little less than specified, but I do tend to crank up the volume louder than most.
Once I finish my walk, I usually visit the local coffee shop to grab a donut—we retired folk spend a lot of time drinking coffee and listening to gossip. While the war stories are being traded around, my earbuds are recharging in their carrying case.
Fit and finish are excellent. I found no problems related to quality control.