The Low Down:
Clearly modeled after Apple’s AirPods Pro earphones, Padmate’s $99 PaMu Quiet Mini (currently on sale for $79) has a comparably comfortable fit and many of the same features for roughly 1/3 of the price. We’re talking Bluetooth 5.2, Auto-Sensing Playback, Individual use of each earbud, and wireless charging, plus ANC that’s almost as good as the AirPods. The sound quality is comparable as well.
Of course, those using the PaMu Quiet Mini with an iPhone will not get the speedy no-fuss connection of the AirPods Pro, and the controls on the Apple product are a little more precise (The Quiet Mini’s controls are still good, though). The companion Pamu app (for iOS and Android) also gives you some customization options Apple has built into iOS for their earbuds.
Regarding sound quality, the AirPods Pro has a little more treble detail which is nice for Acoustic and Jazz music, but the PaMu Quiet Mini has deeper bass, which might appeal to the Bassheads out there. Call quality is also good, albeit a notch below the AirPods.
All in all, if you’re looking for True Wireless Earphones that have much of what makes Apple’s AirPods Pro so great, at a much lower price tag, you should check out the PaMu Quiet Mini.
Disclaimer: The manufacturer sent the PaMu Quiet Mini in exchange for this review; it does not have to be returned.
What we dig:
Like Apple’s AirPods Pro, the PaMu Quiet Mini has a bulb-shaped earpiece with a stem that lightly sits in the outer ear and secures with a twist. If that doesn’t suffice, you can further enhance the fit with three different-sized ear tips. Also, like the Apple buds, it has a comfortable fit, and you can wear them for hours on end with little to no discomfort. In addition, IPX4 Water Resistance means they will handle sweat during vigorous workouts.
The PaMu Quiet Mini comes in three colors, black, white, and a light blue. I recieved the Black model, which actually looks more like navy blue to me. Both case and the earpieces feel well built, and you get a little carrying pouch to keep the charging case from getting scratched.
Each earpiece has a little LED light that signifies pairing status and a touch-sensitive area at the top to control playback, ANC, and Voice Assistants like SIRI and Google Assistant. The controls are responsive and intuitive, and if you don’t like the setup, you can customize it via the PaMu App, which is available for iOS and Android devices.
The App is well designed and allows you to adjust the settings of just about every function of the PaMu Quiet Mini, including ANC, Sound Profiles, Low-Latency mode for syncing with games, Function Layout, and Firmware updates. You can also see how much battery life each earpiece has.
Playback is also controlled by the auto-sensing tech built into the earpieces. You can start/stop the music by just taking the earpieces out of your ear, and then putting them back.
The included Charging Case is capable of wireless charging (Qi-Certified), and the earphones fit securely inside its deep charging compartment. Battery life is average for the category, lasting about 6 hours per charge, and the case will recharge the earbuds about 3 more times before you have to charge the case. By the way, 10 mins of charging yields one hour of playback in a pinch.
When it comes to sound, the PaMu Quiet Mini has a nice midrange and deep bass. This gives them a nice all-around sound signature that plays nicely with every genre.
The Active Noise Cancelling is quite good, just about on par with Apple’s AirPods Pro, which I consider very good. I used both models on a recent plane ride, and the Apple earphones toned down high-pitched sounds slightly better than the PaMu earbuds. The Quiet Mini’s ANC performance is quite respectable, especially for a model that sells for under 100 bucks.
Alongside the ANC, the PaMu Quiet Mini also has a Transparency mode similar to the AirPods Pro. It does a good job of bringing in outside sounds with a quick tap of the right earpiece. I found it useful when listening to instructions from the Flight Attendant on my aforementioned trip.
I also liked their call handling performance. For example, during several phone calls, I could hear the caller on the other end clearly, and they could hear me clearly as well.
What to think about:
While the PaMu Quiet Mini has a nice midrange and deep bass performance, some will find the bass too enhanced, and they may also find the highs too rolled off.
There is a slight roll-off at the top end, making the Quiet Mini sound smooth, but that comes at the expense of some top-end air. Consequently, they sound a little closed compared to the AirPods Pro, which has more treble detail.
If you wish to tone down the bass a little bit, you can reduce the low end by selecting the “Original Sound” option in the PaMu app, which brings down the midbass and opens the earbuds up a little bit.
Also, while the Transparency Mode could pull in outside noises, it seemed to be a little too loud at times, making things sound cacophonous. However, I didn’t have the same issue when using the AirPods Pro’s Transparency option.
Another thing to think about is the touch controls, which can be a little too sensitive at times. On more than one occasion, I found myself performing an unwanted function with an errant brush of my finger across one of the earbuds.
I also found the charging case slightly on the chunky side, so it may be uncomfortable when carrying it around in your pants pockets. That said, it’s nowhere near the largest charging case out there, and the size is still manageable, especially if you have big pockets.
Vs. The Competition:
If you’re looking for a pair of true wireless earbuds with a more balanced sound similar to the AirPods Pro, the EarFun Air Pro Wireless Earbuds (also on sale for $79) is another option to look at. Like the PaMu Quiet Mini, it has a comfortable fit that sits lightly in your ear canal, decent ANC for the price, and good sound quality. The difference is, while the EarFun buds have a little more top end detail and openess for music, the PaMu Quiet Mini has deeper bass, slightly better noise attenuation (esp. lower frequencies) and a companion app for customization of functions and sound.
The Wrap Up:
At the end of the day, I found the PaMu Quiet Mini a decent low-cost alternative to Apple’s AirPods Pro earphones. They are just as comfortable, the ANC is almost as good, they have wireless charging, and the sound quality is respectable.
That said, the AirPods Pro has a more refined treble, and they have a quicker connection with Apple products. But if you like deeper bass, you may find that the PaMu Quiet Mini sounds better to you. By the way, the Pamu Quiet Mini costs about a 1/3 of what the AirPods do.
The PaMu Quiet Mini will also be a good option for Android phone users looking for quality ANC at a reasonable price.
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I’m an audio writer who started as a young audio salesman/consumer electronics professional back in the late 90s. That’s where I discovered the magic of 2-Channel sound. My thirst for great sound has led me on a delightful music quest that continues today.