REVIEW – Wireless earbuds are being released and changed at a rapid rate. Only two years ago, there were few options. Now, companies seem to bring out new styles and feature-sets daily. Today’s model is the Slide, from PaMu. This is the third set of totally wireless earbuds I’ve reviewed from this company, and they are all different. Let’s get to it.
What is it?
A set of wireless earbuds with great sound and a really long play time, and, oh yeah, a charging case that can also charge your phone wirelessly.
What’s in the box?
- Wireless earbuds
- Charging case
- Three sets of ear tips
- USB-A to USB-C charging cable
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Dual Microphone Noise Reduction
- IPX6 waterproof certification
- 10 Hours music playback on a charge
- touch button control
Design and features
The PaMu Slide earbuds are much thinner and lighter than the company’s earlier models. They have plainly taken a clue from the elongated tube reaching down from your ears that the AirPods first popularized, but rather than having a thick cylindrical shape, these are rounded rectangles pulled out of a gumdrop. The size of the units allows the company to give us longer battery life and better fidelity. The company says these have three times the play time, half the power consumption, and eight times the transmission capacity as the Scroll models. The Scroll, by the way, set two IndieGoGo records: most money raised in a TWS earphone campaign ($3,387,480) and most backers ever (62,334). Improving on these statistics will take some doing, but I found the claim believable. PaMu has certainly been learning something in their growth from the first unit, and these are set to start at a $49 backing.
The setup of a Bluetooth device is Gadgeteer 101, but this one throws you a curve. After you are asked to pair once and agree, you’ll see an identical pairing dialog. The two earbuds are connected to each other but act independently so that you can use only one, yet still have phone and digital assistant connectivity. And they show up in your lists as two different items.
Bluetooth 5 gives these guys a solid connection that will last while I step away and leave my phone on my desk at home, or if I’m around tons of other interference, like others using Bluetooth, or also syncing my keyboard and mouse to the sound source. It’s a very strong link, which means it wants to re-connect, so moving between devices sometimes means unpairing from the previous device. This is a fairly common issue with using Bluetooth devices with multiple sources, however.
The sound and syncing of the Slide earbuds are great. The sound is full and watching movies, whether streamed or being played from a device, was always in sync. Gameplay was first-rate, too. (The sound from earbuds, even ones of this size, is not as good as over-the-ear headphones or a great set of speakers, mind you. But, for in-ear wireless headphones, these are great.)
The battery charger will recharge the earbuds for a huge number of times. The number “ten hours” was released, but I don’t listen to earbuds enough to time this type of battery life. Let’s just say this: I was not able to have the earbuds run out of power, and the case never “needed” charging, but I charged it every time it got below 2 dots, which wasn’t often.
One of the real super-powers of this unit is the hidden Qi charger in the bottom of the case. If you double-click the button that’s beside the charging port, a light will come on around the button. If you then balance your phone on the case, it will engage charging, and give you 10-15% charge before it stops. It will still have 2 dots for the earbuds at this point, which is one or two full charges, according to the literature. This is a really cool function, in a world where phones are sucking battery life for everything from video and photo duties to playing games and music.
The one thing that really caused issues with these earbuds, however, is that I ‘d wear them while walking from my office to my car, get into the car and plug my phone (the sound source) into my stereo. This would transfer the sound to my stereo for the drive home. I would then remove the PaMu Slides from my ears and place them into their case to charge. No problems so far. I’d drive down the ramps of the deck and when I’d hit the first bump while driving, the Slides would rattle in their case and re-acquire the phone while my podcast keeps playing through the earbuds, not my stereo. By this time, I’m in traffic, and I’m wondering, “Where did the sound go?” The remedy? When I plug in my stereo, I have to unpair the Slides from the phone completely to prevent them from reacquiring the phone. This killed all the joy in my heart every time I tried to use them. I love the PaMu headphones when I’m using them, but once I turn them off, I can’t trust that they will stay off. This is the main strike against them. It’s a deal breaker for me, having to pair and unpair them each and every time I use them.
What I like
- Really long play
- The phone charging trick
- Sturdy case
What needs to be improved
- The loose connection that reactivates the unit’s connection to your device
- I’d like to see an option to turn off the two-unit pairing, if possible.
Like many items in today’s tech world, there are occasional fatal flaws. With each iteration, PaMu has shown that they are thinking and iterating well. The first unit had a flimsy cover and the battery case ran out in just a few charges. The Slide has a huge battery that lasts a good long time, and the buds themselves have great batteries as well. If only they would stay in charge mode when you place them in the charger. I’m going to experiment with some tissue or something to try and make them stop reconnecting with every little bump.
Where to buy: Indiegogo
Source: The sample of this product was provided by PadMate.
19 thoughts on “Padmate PaMu Slide TWS earbuds review”
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Well, did you find a fix for the rattling-and-losing-connection issue? That sounds like a deal-breaker for me, too… but if there’s a fix for that, I’m probably going to buy them. What say you?!
Sounds like he didn’t review a production ready kit. Mine are held in by magnets when I drop them into the slots in the charging case. Doesn’t matter how much I shake or move the case. I’d have to smack it pretty hard to knock them out of their slots. So try asking Padmate for a new case, or get new shocks on your car.
Thanks for your reply to my comment. I’d reached a similar conclusion and have already ordered a pair. Can’t wait!
Third email regarding this item not working… fails to connect on many occasions… drops out for no reason on the rare occasion it works… Bluetooth does not register … fail fail fail.
Why do you not answer my emails?
Have you disappeared and taken the money ?
The car is fine. There are magnets in my case, too, but it doesn’t take much to make them re-acquire the phone. Have you tried the setup I mentioned with your production units – plug into another output source and rattle the case with the Pamus? If yours don’t flip over to using the earbuds, I’ll definitely ask them for a production set.
I live in London when I don’t see this new gadget on the market here. Can you please advice, if there is any shop, where I can buy the PaMu Slide plus over here in London.?
I checked the company site on amazon.co.uk and they only have the Scroll units listed. There is a GBP setting on the company website listed above – https://padmate-tech.com/ but I don’t yet see the Slides listed there other than in the promo spot, which links to IndieGogo. Currently, they are priced at £57.39. Retail is £90.67. I don’t know about VAT and shipping since I’m not in the UK.
My challenge is switching between my iPhone and Macbook. I.e., I’m listening to my iPhone, then I get to my desk and want to listen to my MacBook (Zoom session, video, whatever). I find I have to manually disconnect bluetooth on the iphone, then put the Pamus back in the case, take them out of the case (which puts them into an auto-pairing state) and then hit “Connect” in bluetooth preferences on my Macbook.
Perhaps I’m missing some magical step that would allow the Pamus to automatically switch devices but I haven’t found it yet.
Poor delivery service and follow up from Padmate. I still have one item outstanding and working with their customer service is atrocious
Does anyone know if there is a way to turn off the earphones other than just putting them back in the box? I don’t want to consistently be charging the earphones after say 30 minutes of use and use a charging cycle to keep charging from 90 to 100% instead of using it a few times. Getting it down to 10-15 percent and then charging it using the PAMU slide box.
I have the same question. I want to be able to power them off without putting them back in the case… such as when I don’t have the case with me. This is especially important since the case isn’t exactly pocket-size. Please post here again if you figure it out!
I just leave the headphones without Bluetooth connection and after 5 mins the headphones goes off automatically.
Don’t buy these.
I’ve had these about two months.
A few big problems.
1) The ear tips suck, and slip off the Slides and get stuck in your ear. What’s a design flaw is the oval shape of the Slide’s male receptor which the ear tips secure to. What this means is if you buy an alternative replacement ear tip, they won’t fit right.
I know, because I’ve bought some and they don’t work. This makes the use of the Slide pretty bad.
2) The touch controls are finicky and just a pain. You take them in and out of your ear, they turn on and off. You try and control them within your ear and they don’t do what you want them to do, sometimes. Sometimes it works ok, but they’re much to finicky to be user friendly.
With these annoyances, why buy them when there are other choices you could experiment with.
After a couple months of ownership, I marvel in the technology of these headphones. But…the sound from the pair I own is awful. I have tried them with speech from a podcast, to classic rock to opera. The audio is hollow and lifeless. I tried changing the audio profiles on my iPhone to see if that helped improve the sound, it did not. My advice, dont waste your money. The tech features of these earbuds do not make up for the poor sound quality.
Loved them for about five days, then the left earbud started to crackle and shut off. Multiple emails with customer service, trying to get resolution. They ask for video’s showing the intermittent problem. Its like Kafka is in charge of the call center. Extremely frustrating. Great when the work, but I am starting to think they never will
Nov 2019: If you are considering purchasing these: DO NOT. I received a DOA unit, and after 3 months was shipped a “replacement” which was an empty box. Check the comments on the Indiegogo page: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/pamu-slide-born-for-music-never-fall-out/x/18871702#/comments
I purchased two of these units, and they have been a real pain to use. To change the connected device, one has to delete the prior pairing from the buds, which IS NOT EASY !! Despite posting videos, and me following the multiple step instructions, it took me over 1 hour repair one unit and almost 2.5 hours to repair the second one. The sound is OK, but ONLY when you get a good seal in your ear canal, which I could not do with the supplied ear tips. Customer support is poor.
Not satisfied at all. I use it every odd day to run for 30 minutes and it’s already damaged by sweat after only 4 months of non intensive use (although I wipe it clean after use). I’ve been experiencing a lot of sync problems with my Samsung S8+ and incompatibility with chromebook and some other devices. Plus, their “customer service” lacks service… Apart from long battery life, I don’t recommend it at all…