PaMu Nano Review – Superb Audio Quality for Less!
PaMu Nano is the latest true wireless stereo earbud set from Padmate. The company behind the PaMu brand has been building up its wireless audio portfolio steadily since launching in 2018. With multiple successful campaigns on Indiegogo and having over 200K unique backers, they seem to have found their groove with one product release after another.
PaMu Nano Unboxing
Box contains earbuds, charging case, carrying pouch, USB-C cable, three sets of tips for a snug fit, and three sets of tips for a regular fit, manual.
Design and Hardware
The PaMu Nano True Wireless Stereo (TWS) earbuds have a unique shape. PaMu claims that this shape prevents the earbuds from falling out. I put that to the test over a week on my daily 30-minute evening run. In the case of the PaMu Nano, the marketing hype does equal to real-life performance. They never once fell out of my ears during my daily exercise run. To top it off, these are the most comfortable earbuds wired or wireless that I have had over the years.
Each earbud is made of smooth finish plastic. There is a unique curve shape that helps in removing the earbuds from the case. This unique shape also helps you insert the earbud comfortably in each ear. The shell has a smooth finish, the flat top part where touch controls are integrated has a matte finish which provides reasonable tactile feedback. Each earbud is marked L and R in silver on the inner part towards the charging terminals. The ear tip doesn’t jut out a lot and yet I found it to seat fairly well in the ear.
The squarish shaped case holds the earbuds snugly via magnets. Overall the fit and finish of the case are excellent. I like the speaker grille mesh on the top through which you can see the 4 LED lights. LEDs light up to let you know how much charge is left in the case in either charging or discharging mode. Speaking of charging you have the option of charging via USB-C or wirelessly.
The Qualcomm QCC3020 chip onboard supports all the major codecs – aptX, SBC and AAC for low latency and great sound quality. The earbuds have 6.1mm graphene drivers with an impedance of 32 ohms which matches the output from most smartphones these days.
PaMu Nano have great fit within the ears
There is a slight learning curve to placing these earbuds correctly in each ear. The best approach is to take the earbud out of the case and rotate it 90° counterclockwise for Left earbud and 90° clockwise for the Right earbud. This enabled me to place the earbud perfectly in each ear consistently. Another benefit of performing this move was that the microphone on each earbud was always in the correct position, pointing downwards.
PaMu includes two sets of extra ear tips besides the one on the earbuds from the factory. The box also includes a + size tip in Small/Medium/Large to allow deeper seating of the earbud. For my review, I was actually quite happy with the tip from the factory which was the regular Medium size one. Since the fit in the ear is excellent it also provides for a decent amount of noise isolation. Hence not having ANC didn’t prove to be a big issue in my use case.
Besides not falling out of my ears during my run another reason these are great for workouts is that they have a waterproof rating of IPX6. Enjoying a workout without worrying about the earbuds being impacted by sweat is a definite bonus. These earbuds were also very comfortable for long stretches of time which can’t be said for most other earbuds.
Exceptional Sound Performance
The first thing you notice right off the bat is the exceptional clarity in the sound. I mean just WOW! Hear me out (pun intended) here. If you have been listening to music on regular earbuds or headphones in this price segment, you will find the audio output from the PaMu Nano a bit jarring initially. It is because for the first time your ears are actually hearing the finer nuanced sounds instead of just thumping heavy bass. On that note though, the bass that comes through is actually quite clear and balanced. Took me a couple of hours to listen to a lot of different songs to figure this out.
Listening to ‘Always Remember Us This Way’ by Lady Gaga gave me goosebumps within the first few seconds. However, I still wanted to figure out if the bass was indeed muted or more natural sounding. Taking a trip down memory lane sounded like a great idea. I queued up ‘Hysteria’ by Def Leppard and ‘Money For Nothing’ by Dire Straits in the playlist. Soon I was transported way back in time and at the same time was overjoyed because the audio sounded just as good as on my vinyl player and JBL speakers from the mid-1970s. Here is an odd hypothesis about the bass. We are so used to the subwoofer level heavy bass in music these days that it takes effort to figure out if the earbuds are actually delivering good audio performance.
Now that the bass issue is out of the way, let’s test out the vocals and mid-range on the PaMu Nano. The superb sound stage of the Nano becomes obvious in ‘Hunted’ by Bjork. Vocals come through crystal clear. High string notes and mid-tones also come across with superb clarity. To see if this stellar quality would hold up for live sessions I hopped over to NPR Tiny Desk Concert series on YouTube. Sheryl Crow, Lizzo, and John Prine seemed like a good variety to test out live recording audio quality. Let me just summarize by saying the sound coming out of these tiny earbuds was super impressive!
As far as the listening volume level, I rarely went over 50% for most of the music I listened to. Second, I found myself reducing the volume level often because the sound output felt too loud. So, for me not using high volume levels for prolonged times is a definite bonus.
So these earbuds sound amazing while listening to music you ask. But can you use them for phone calls or Zoom meetings? Well, the short answer is, yes. Call quality is very good in both ways.
From an audio perspective, these are my absolute favorite new in-ear TWS earbuds in the price $xx category.
Connectivity is flawless
Pairing was nearly instantaneous on various devices thanks to Bluetooth 5.0. Type of OS did not matter – Android, Windows, or iOS.
Controls are easy and intuitive. Play/pause is one click on either earbud and the same goes for calling in call mode. Double click on the Left earbud invokes the digital assistant or hangs up the call in call mode. I was able to invoke Google Assistant, Bixby, and Siri without any issues with this action. Long press on Left earbud decreases the volume and on the Right earbud increases the volume. Note that the standard disclaimer of ‘it takes a few tries to get the controls to work fine’ applies in this case too.
PaMu Nano connects easily and maintains Bluetooth connection for audio calls and music. Indeed, this was the case even when the device was 20+ feet away. The official transmission range is greater than 30 feet and I believe this should hold up in real-life use.
Unlike the PaMu Quiet, there is no app for the Nano, at least at the time of this review. So unfortunately there are no equalizer options or other tweaks to improve the sound quality beyond the preset factory tuning. But that is not a dealbreaker since the sound quality is already great right out of the box.
Battery Life falls slightly short
Most of the time I was listening to music at about 40-50% volume level and the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE was always nearby. The worst-case distance between the earbuds and the phone was 20 feet. With a single charge, I consistently saw around 4 hours of listening time. When in a bind, I did use the Wireless Powershare on my S20 FE to charge the earbuds.
PaMu manual suggests a charging time of hour-and-10 minutes for the earbuds. My observed charging time for the duration of the review matched the advertised charge time. The case itself takes about 2 hours to fully charge via USB-C and is able to charge the earbuds 4 times before requiring charging. As a result, a total playback time of about 16-18 hours is quite feasible.
Of course with all Bluetooth accessories, volume level, type of media, distance, and range will impact battery life. And the battery life on the PaMu Nano isn’t that bad, but it would have been nice to get the advertised time of 5 hours per charge.
So where’s the big caveat for the battery life here? That arrived with the built-in low battery warning, played as a voice in the right earbud. Not only was that sounded much more frequently than normal, playing every few moments. It also arrived just a song or three before the device died. So I didn’t have much warning at all and the annoying voice felt almost constant once it started.
Low battery warning
PaMu Nano should be on your shortlist
In a sea of really cheap TWS earbuds, the PaMu Nano stand out loud and proud. Most people would say that any TWS BT earbuds in this price category would barely have average sound let alone great quality sound. Alas, PaMu Nano earbuds prove these people wrong by firmly defying such categorization.
There are no glaringly obvious weak points with the PaMu Nano considering their price. They have good design, superb in-ear fit, IPX6 waterproof rating, great connectivity, and decent battery life. All of these would seem to indicate that PaMu Nano are great earbuds. But it is the audio quality of the Nano that puts these earbuds at the top of the class in this price segment. In fact, I would say that these earbuds can easily go toe to toe with earbuds double their price.
At the introductory price of $49, the PaMu Nano earbuds are definitely a good bargain. So anyone shopping for earbuds around $50 price range should definitely put the PaMu Nano in their shopping list.
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