Earbuds/In-Ear

Origem HS-3 Review – Uncomfortable and Average Sounding

Last updated: 3 months ago, Jul. 17. 2019
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    Origem HS-3 promise a lot but fail to deliver in the important categories.

    In this Origem HS-3 review you’ll learn if so-called “HDR audio” is actually any different from non-HDR.

    Jump to sound for that.

    Also, we’re talking a look at every aspect and comparing them to other wireless earbuds under $100.


    PROS & CONS

    • Well-built with quality materials
    • IPX5, sweatproof
    • Clear phone calls
    • Simple & effective controls
    • Quick charging
    • Uncomfortable after 20 minutes
    • Weird sound change with volume increase

    Specifications

    Type: in-ear headphones
    Connection: Wireless Bluetooth,
    Back-design: Closed-back
    Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range: 20Hz – 20,000Hz
    Impedance: n/a
    Weight: 0.04lbs (20g)
    Cable length: 23in (60cm)
    Microphone & Controls: Yes (in-line)
    Water-protection: IPX5, sweatproof
    Bluetooth: Version unknown
    Battery life: Up to 6 hours
    Charging time: Under 40min
    Active noise-cancelling: No
    Charging cable: Micro-USB
    Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX
    Wireless range: 33ft (10m)
    Mic type: In-line
    Mic design: n/a
    Mutable: No

    What’s in the Box?

    • Origem HS-3 wireless earbuds
    • Sturdy, carrying case with a zipper
    • 5 pairs of silicone ear tips
    • Micro-USB charging cable
    • User manual

    Comfort & Fit – 2/5 Acceptable

    How comfortable are Origem HS-3?

    While Origem HS-3 design is similar to other wireless headphones, it generates discomfort and tension in the ear after wearing them around 20 or so minutes. Comfort is okay for a while but worse than comparable earphones

    Immediately after you put them on, they feel fine. These aren’t the most comfortable earbuds but good enough.

    Nonetheless, after a couple minutes go by your ears get more and more irritated and become slightly painful.

    The tension is tolerable but slightly discomforting.

    Origem HS-3 bulky earbuds

    Bulky plastic casing rubs against ears.

    If you want to use these for a workout or a run for around 1 – 1.5 hours, these are fine, but you wouldn’t want to wear them longer.

    The stability is great for all kinds of sports, but because they’re not comfy, you’ll want to take them off.

    The casing is large and with worse ergonomics than the competition.

    Also, the ear hooks are metal with hinges and while well built, just don’t seem to be the best idea for comfort.

    About Eartips

    You get 5 pairs of silicone ear tips. And while the selection is good you’d be happier with some memory-foam tips.

    Origem HS-3 side markings

    Each bud comes with a side marking.

    Not Noise Cancelling

    Origem HS-3 are not noise cancelling earbuds. But these are.

    Noise Isolation – 4/5 Great

    How effective is the noise isolation?

    Origem HS-3 have about average passive noise isolation for in-ear headphones (which is great). They’ll block most of the ambient noise, and at higher volumes, you won’t hear a thing around you.

    Also, when running or moving fast, the cable flaps around on your neck. It does produce some cable noise, but if you fix the wires with the included clip, it isn’t too bothersome.

    Bluetooth – 3/5 Good

    How secure is the Bluetooth connection?

    In our tests, the Bluetooth connection worked fine over 1 wall but started breaking over 2 walls. It’s a standard BT performance. Keep your music device close, and you’ll never experience any interruptions.

    The wireless range is the usual 33ft (10m) after which it becomes unstable.

    Pairing is as simple as holding the multi-function button. It’s a seamless process.

    Video delay?

    When watching videos, there is a noticeable delay in sound. So, if you watch videos a lot, these aren’t the best for the job.

    Moreover, for better sound quality, they support aptX, AAC, SBC Bluetooth codecs. Which is a nice addition, but for the price, it’s to be expected.

    Overall, it’s a good wireless performance.

    Battery – 3/5 Good

    How’s the battery life in Origem HS-3?

    It lasts around 6 hours on a full charge, which is decent. But with fast charging, a full charge takes about 40 minutes, it’s solid battery performance.

    You can easily take them on a marathon unless you’re a slow runner. It’s plenty of battery for everyday use as well.

    When the battery reaches 20%, voice prompts says “battery low.” It keeps repeating this for a couple times until they finally die.

    Origem HS-3 charging port

    Micro-USB ports are old tech. Comparable earbuds already switched to USB-C.

    Nonetheless, they’re still featuring the “outdated” micro-USB charging cable. It would be nicer to change to USB-C, especially since these aren’t budget earbuds.

    Durability – 3/5 Good

    How durable are they?

    The ear hooks hint at sports-oriented earbuds, but they are only IPX5 (sweatproof but not fully waterproof). And the plastic casing feels solid without major weak points. Overall, well-built wireless earbuds.

    The cable is slightly flattened and rather thick, which is a good thing. You’re less likely to pull it out.

    On top of that, the ear hooks are fully metal with a hinge and rubber cover at the end.

    The rubber cover can slip off and exposes sharp hook ends. It might be a problem if you lose the covers.

    Origem HS-3 earbuds with-hooks

    Ear hooks are thin and metal.

    Considering the price you pay, there are no major complaints about build quality, though metal ear hooks are questionable over the long haul.

    Features – 3/5 Good

    The main unique advertised feature with Origem HS-3 is voice control. But we failed to make it work. Every time we’d hear the beep to give a command, but the microphone would never recognize our voice.

    Voice recognition just didn’t work in our testing.

    How are the remote controls?

    Origem HS-3 control buttons

    3-buttons controls are intuitive to use.

    The in-line controls have 3 buttons and offer the usual functionality with a combination of short, long, and multiple pressed.

    They’re easily distinguishable, so you always know which one to press.

    Is the mic for calls?

    Also, the in-line microphone is of good quality for phone calls. You won’t have any problems holding a normal conversation.

    Though we didn’t try talking in a loud office. Keep in mind, in-line mics are suitable for quiet places but don’t perform that well when there’s more background noise present.

    Sound – 2.5/5 Average

    How do the Origem HS-3 sound?

    Advertised as HDR (high dynamic range) earbuds which are supposed to sound superior to the alternatives. In reality, these aren’t that much better. They sound rather average but change the sound signature depending on volume.

    We were curious how these would sound since HDR audio is something new on the market.

    Well, it’s nothing to rave about.

    Personally, we don’t like it that much. It goes like this…

    We noticed with every increase of volume you lose some bass.

    At lower volumes, you get a decent amount of lows, which is great for popular (bassy) music, but if you increase the volume you lose it.

    We’re not sure what the point of that was. Now, they still sound good if you keep listening at the same volume and get used to it. For this reason, they get a 2.5 out of 5, even though we were thinking to give them 2 points.

    The highs are crisp but somewhat lacking in detail compared to other wireless earbuds under $100.

    As mentioned before, the lows lose their potency the higher you crank up the volume.

    At max volume they’re hard to listen to, the loudness is pretty high, but the bass is lacking.

    Nonetheless, these are still good for watching videos, listening to audiobooks, and holding phone calls.

    But for the price, you can get better audio quality elsewhere.

    Summary – overall 2.9/5 points

    Origem HS-3 seem like decent wireless earbuds on paper, but when you take a look at the price and put them in your ears, you’ll start to think differently.

    Changing sound signature with the semi-comfortable design isn’t competitive for the price.

    Now, they aren’t all bad, but for sports or casual use, they don’t have any advantage over the competition. You’d do better to choose something else.

    The best wireless earbuds under $100.

     

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