For the past few weeks, I have been testing out the Indiegogo-driven PaMu Slide Plus Bluetooth earbuds. The company behind these earbuds, Padmate, has been developing Bluetooth and audio products for some time, and with their latest product release, the PaMu Slide, they have literally destroyed records on crowdfunding. As of this writing, they have raised over SIX MILLION dollars for the PaMu Slide earbuds. Can you say, crushing it? So what’s all of the hype about? It’s just a set of Bluetooth earbuds, right? Wrong! Read on for my review. (*Disclosure below.)
When I was contacted to find out if I wanted to write a review of the PaMu Slide’s, I was initially a bit reluctant. I was pretty happy with my Apple AirPods (the original version). But then those started to simply not have good battery life, and in my commute, I got lots of exterior noise bleeding through. So, I was beginning to look at other more in-the-ear earbud solutions. I had tried others, but many of them didn’t have good bass and treble, and the battery life was a couple of hours at best.
So, I accepted the offer to test out the PaMu Slides. Billed as TWS (True Wireless Stereo) earbuds, I wanted to see, or actually hear, what all of the hype was about and why these earbuds had raised so much on Indiegogo.
Setting Up the PaMu Slide
Setting up the PaMu Slide is quite easy. I would recommend, however, that you choose one device for pairing. While you can have multiple devices paired, you can only have one connected at a time. And, the PaMu Slide will grab one right away and pair with it automatically (once you have done the initial pairing). While this is super convenience (the quick connection, that is), it can be a bit frustrating if you have two devices next to each other. You have to disable Bluetooth on the non-wanted device.
Regardless, when you take one or both of the earbuds out of the PaMu charging case for the first time, it begins to look for a device to pair with. On my iPhone, pairing took just a few seconds. It’s important to note that two “PaMu Slide” Bluetooth devices will actually show up on your smartphone or laptop. But you only need to connect to one of them. The other one will immediately connect, as well.
Once you have the earbuds paired, you don’t need to physically turn them on or off. Putting the earbuds back in the charging case will turn them off. And taking them out will automatically turn them on and initiate a search for your preferred device. The connection is fast!
Using the PaMu Slide Earbuds
The box came with various silicon sheaths to allow for a good fit in the ear. I highly recommend you test out different sizes as everyone’s ears are unique. Eventually, I found ones that fit my ear well. With a proper fit, you can block out much of the surrounding noise to allow you to enjoy the audio.
The PaMu Slides use Bluetooth 5.0, AptX, and the Qualcomm QCC3020, which is one of the newer core processing chips available. The result? Great sound through crisp highs and deep bass. I found listing to movies or music on the PaMu Slides to be enjoyable and quite high-fidelity.
While you don’t have to press a power button to turn these earbuds on or off, you can use built-in tapping or touch buttons to control various aspects of the audio playback. For example, tap once on either earbud to play or pause the audio, or to answer a phone call. Tap twice on the right earbud to skip to the next song or to reject a call. Tap twice on the left earbud to trigger Siri (or to reject a call as well). And to raise or lower the volume, simply long-press on the right to increase volume or on the left to decrease it.
Also, there are two mics built into the PaMu Slides. The advantage of having two mics is to reduce noise when you are on calls. The mics automatically reduce noise to make your calls clearer.
One quick note for Mac users and this is true with many other Bluetooth earbuds with mics. If you notice that the audio playback quality is not very good, check to see if you have an app that uses the microphone running. If one is, Bluetooth audio may be running at reduced quality. Just quit the app that might use the mic (like WebEx), and your audio quality will instantly improve. See this Apple Support document for details.
The Amazing Charging Case
I have to say, I was a bit surprised by the size of the charging case. I was used to carrying around my AirPod case, and the PaMu Slide case is quite a bit bigger. But it is not too big. You can easily have it in your pocket or bag or purse without much issue. It measures 72 x 72 x 38.5 mm.
But there is a good reason for the charging case to be large. And, honestly, I think the case is a huge bonus. For starters, the earbuds are held in magnetically. You slide the top of the case back to take out the earbuds. And, if you hold the case upside down, the earbuds stay in place.
I actually like how the earbuds are situated in the charging case. The right earbud is actually on the left side and vice versa. It a very subtle thing, but when you are putting the earbuds back or taking them out, it kind of makes sense having them criss-cross. You sort of need to try it to understand what I’m talking about.
When you put the earbuds back in to charge, you will see individual lights turn on for each earbud to ensure you have them properly seated in the charger. With the magnets, it’s hard not to put them in correctly. Also, when they are in, some lights on the lid of the case itself will turn on to indicate how much charge is left in the case battery.
Let’s talk a second about the battery in the case. For starters, you use USB Type-C to charge the case. This allows for a very quick charge. The battery is 2000 mAh, which is significant. While the earbuds themselves offer up to 10 hours of playback, the case will provide up to 60 hours of playtime total. And there is over a month of standby time.
But I don’t want to stop there. There is a little hidden feature of the Plus version of the PaMu Slide. The PaMu Slide Plus can actually wirelessly recharge your wireless charging capable smartphone. Just flip the case over and press the button, and suddenly you have the ability to charge up your smartphone. I love that!!!
Some Other Standout Features
So, apart from the great sound and fantastic charging case, the PaMu Slide Plus offers some other leading features that may make you rethink getting other name-brand earbuds, specifically:
- Water Resistant – these earbuds have an IPX6 rating, which means they are splash and sweat resistant. You might even be able to shower with them.
- Dual Ear Call Audio – some major brands only have single ear audio for phone calls
- Instant Pairing – for quick, single-device pairing, the PaMu Slides connect extremely quickly
- Low Power Consumption – I already mentioned the 10-hour playback, but this is significant!
And there is one more thing — the price.
As of this writing, you could get the PaMu Slides for $69 or the PaMu Slide Plus for $79. But, unfortunately, those prices are going up according to their Indiegogo page. And, probably by the time you read this review, they will have already gone up in price. I’m not sure what the final or updated price will be, but the site shows $200 for the Slide and $200 for the Slide Plus as well. I’m going to guess it will be less expensive than that though.
The PaMu slides connect to many different Bluetooth devices and Operating Systems (iOS, Android, Windows) and can be used with Siri and Google Assistant. They come in three different colors: white, black, and green.
Bottom line – if you are looking for a great set of Bluetooth earbuds (and the price hasn’t jumped too significantly), you may want to get some of the PaMu Slide Plus (definitely get the Plus version).
HTD says: Sometimes paying for name-brand Bluetooth earbuds is more expensive and with fewer features. The PaMu Slide offers excellent audio, easy pairing and connecting, and has a stellar charging case that can optionally charge your smartphone as well.
Sometimes paying for name-brand Bluetooth earbuds is more expensive and with fewer features. The PaMu Slide offers excellent audio, easy pairing and connecting, and has a stellar charging case that can optionally charge your smartphone as well. If you are looking for budget earbuds, the PaMu Slide Plus might be a perfect option for you. The Indiegogo prices is amazing for what you get, not only great sounding in-the-ear earbuds that have IPX6 water-resistance, but also an amazing charging case that can also wirelessly charge your smartphone. They are easy to set up and use, and won’t shake loose from your ears as you exercise.
- Current Indiegogo price point is amazing
- Case charges earbuds AND smartphone (if you get the plus)
- Good audio quality
- Easy to set up
- Hard to have paired with two devices
- Unclear on what the new price point will be