Sold under Amazon’s Umi house brand and costing £34.99, these Bluetooth headphones are fully wireless meaning that as well as there being no cable between the headphones and the device you’re using them with, there’s also no cable between each of the two earbuds.
The Umi W9 headphones are available in black, pink and white and come with a storage box which doubles as a charger – more on that later – plus three sets of differently sized rubber tips to ensure a comfortable fit. They’re also waterproof so you don’t need to worry about damage from rain or sweat.
The fully wireless nature of these headphones necessitates that all the electronics, controls and batteries are housed in a small plastic shell which forms part of the earbuds and sits within your ear. I found the headphones pleasingly lightweight (each weighs just 4 grams) and comfortable even when worn for long periods.
A push button on the front of this plastic shell allows you to adjust the volume, skip to the previous or next track and stop or resume play, as well as answer calls and trigger your device’s voice assistant through a combination of presses – for example double tap the left hand earpiece to turn the volume up, or turn it down using the same method on the right hand one.
It’s easy to very quickly remember how many taps and on which side carries out a given function and in my experience the headphones responded consistently well to each command, however I wasn’t keen on the rather loud ‘click’ which followed each press.
Sound quality – whether listening to music (or any other kind of media) or answering and making calls – was very good with plenty of clarity and no distortions, even when turned up all the way, there were no annoying drop outs and the connection between the headphones and my phone held even when the phone was under several layers of clothes or in my rucksack.
Amazon claims up to 6 hours per single full charge and during my week of use I easily achieved 5 hours of listening and making / answering calls – that’s going to be plenty of time to get to work and back or to add a motivational soundtrack to your morning run.
However battery life isn’t really going to be a problem for most people because, like other products in this category, the Umi W9 headphones come with a small charging case which tops up the battery level whenever they’re placed back in it. The case, which you charge with an included USB cable, is capable of completely recharging the headphones up to 4 times for a total of up to 24 hours listening time.
The Umi W9 headphones are a wallet friendly, easy to use and reliable way of joining the world of ‘truly wireless’ listening, offering good battery life and decent sound.