Believe it or not, EMTEC originated as EMTEC Magnetics and further, BASF Magnetics, where in 1934 they invented the first magnetic tape for audio recording. BASF, now EMTEC, is a pioneer in the media industry, so it is easy to imagine the expected quality of the Stay Earbuds.
The first thought that comes to our mind when seeing the packing is … Flashy! This is what we perceive to be the intention of this slick shimmering box. A closer look to the front of the packaging will show you it’s main features, as well as its compatibility with iOS/Android/Windows in the bottom right corner.
Flip over to the rear of the box and you’ll see it gets a little more detailed with the features, statistics and compatibility options of the product. At the bottom of the backside you’ll see a dark box showing the contents. As we opened the product we use this checklist and voila, it’s all there; Stay Earbuds, a traveling case, USB Cable, three sets of buds of varying sizes for freedom of comfort and quick start user guide. Additionally there is also a clip that attaches to the headset and is used to secure to a shirt.
Flip open the quick start guide and it’ll give you quick easy to follow instructions to get the earbuds connected to your device. Hold down the middle button on the IRC (inline remote control) extended down about 10 cm from the left earbud for 5-6 seconds.
You’ll notice a green/red flashing LED from the main body which is located in the middle between the two ear buds on the cord. Now, turn on the bluetooth connectivity on your device and connect to the EMTEC Stay Earbuds. You’ll see the Bluetooth on device flash on and also you’ll see a small bar beside the BLUETOOTH symbol, it’s a battery bar, showing you the battery life of your earbuds. This is a very impressive feature as you rarely know when you need a recharge and now it’s right there on your screen.
For the purpose of this review we used the earbud cushions already attached and connected to an iPhone 6, as well we used the clip to secure the cord right near the main body to the back neckline of the shirt. The ear bud side with the IRC is the left ear, they can be differentiated also by the embossed “L” or “R” on the inside of the cord under each earbud.
Let’s take a closer look at the Bluetooth, mainly keeping our interest in the strength. THis will let us determine how far apart our devices can get without the signal disconnecting or losing quality. While walking around the house with the device in a centralized location, we didn’t lose our connection once, we had to go about 30 meters away with a direct sightline from the device before we started losing the connection. Overall for a Bluetooth headset we’re very impressed with that. If you work out at a gym or decide to stick close to your device you’ll have full control over the music and answering calls from the IRC.
The backside of the each earbud is magnetized as well so when they hang around your neck they are less likely to dangle freely and when pushed together will just hang connected in front of you. The magnetization isn’t very strong so we don’t recommend using this as a security feature not to lose the the earbuds, but it is an innovative concept.
The volume is regulated through the IRC and your device volume control. The sound maxes out when your device’s volume control is maxed. For speakers under a centimeter in size they sure do pack a punch, whether we played country, alternative, hip/hop or rock, the sound was clear, sharp and nothing short of impressive for earbuds. As for the noise cancellation, they serve their purpose. They block out the majority of the sound that you don’t want interrupting your phone call or favourite song. The in-line mic is located on the IRC on the back side. A quick call home to mom and we know that the mic and headset are reliable for cellphone to cellphone conversations, with a normal tone of voice and clear sound back and forth. Both the earbuds and the charging cable are structured with a flat profile to save you the hassle of tangled cords. Finally, a claim of five hours of music/talk time which provides you with more than enough time to enjoy your earbuds before they require a recharge. When the earbuds finally do need a charge just take the charge cord pull back the rubber cover on the main body, hook up and then plug in to any USB port or USB charge plug and it’s good to go.