Last Updated on December 2, 2021
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You might not think of Aldi as an electronics store, but the grocer does sometimes carry electronics. Many of those electronics are under the house brand Bauhn or are sold by Medion, a subsidiary of the Chinese company Lenovo. Others are sold by brands not exclusive to Aldi, such as atomi.
Over the years, I’ve seen Aldi sell a handful of headphones and earbuds. They’ve generally put out decent sound, even if they haven’t lasted quite as long as I would have liked. Still, I’m always on the lookout for whatever audio accessories Aldi is looking to serve up.
Recently, we were surprised to find wireless earbuds on our Aldi shelves. They weren’t mentioned in the weekly ad, and in our store they didn’t even have a price sticker. That didn’t keep me from trying them out.
The ProBuds Wireless Stereo Earbuds Set (Product Code: 705517) is an Aldi Find, which means you can only find it in stores for a short time. At the time of this post, the earbuds cost $19.99. That’s a fraction of the cost you’ll pay for Apple AirPods, and even a little cheaper than what you’ll pay for most off-brand wireless earbuds.
The buds are made by Tzumi Products, which produces a variety of home electronics, including some past products sold at Aldi. These ProBuds are not an Aldi exclusive; they can be found at a few different retailers, including Walmart. The ratings over at Walmart are all over the place, with some users raving about the sound and others complaining about the build quality of the buds.
The package comes with the buds, a recharging case, silicone ear hooks, and a silicone neck strap. There is also a user manual, which covers most of the basics. I did not see any warranty information in the packaging.
I found setup to be pretty easy. The buds charge in the case, which has its own battery for charging the buds. When needed, the case connects to a USB charging device, such as a laptop or phone charger, through an included USB cord. One minor complaint is that the included cord is only 9 inches, although most people probably have plenty of longer USB cords lying around.
The case deserves a little mention. On the positive side, it is a pretty effective charging station with a decent build quality, and it even comes with a little carabiner for hooking it to things. However, the case doesn’t stay closed very well, which is a major issue if you’re looking to transport these buds in, say, a bag.
Pairing the buds to a device is as simple as pulling the buds out of the case, pressing the button on one of the buds, and then searching for the buds on whatever device you want to use. I tried pairing them to both an Android smartphone and a Windows laptop, and both found and connected to the earbuds with no hassle. Once paired, they function just like any other pair of headphones.
My first impressions of the buds are good. The buds stay in my ears without a problem. The sound is better than I expected, with a solid base that doesn’t feel overwhelming and mids and highs that seem to deliver without too much distortion. I found my connection to be strong and stable, even when I walked a short distance from my phone. The device claims to support up to Bluetooth 5.0, which has a longer range than the Bluetooth 4.2 phone I tested.
I tried them with and without the silicone hooks. I preferred them without the hooks, but your mileage may vary.
A few other observations. Both earbuds have a single button on them that can be used to do various things like pause (push left button), answer a call (press left or right button during a call), reject a call (push and hold left or right button during a call), move back to the previous song (press and hold left button), move ahead to the next song (press and hold right button), and even activate Google Voice Assistant or Siri (press the left or right earbud button twice).
One other thing: these buds do have microphones. I couldn’t find anything in the documentation to say they do, but when I tested a phone call in a different room from my phone I was able to use the buds to chat with someone.
There are some things I don’t know yet. While the buds claim to be good for up to 5 hours, I don’t know how long they’ll hold a charge. I also don’t know how durable they are, especially without a warranty, or how long the battery life lasts under repeated charges. I’ll be updating my review as I learn more.
If you’re looking for a cheap alternative to AirPod-style earbuds, these ProBuds might be worth a look. They set up easily, put out pretty good sound, and seem to hold a solid Bluetooth connection. The case leaves something to be desired, though, and the jury remains out on long-term durability, especially when there’s no warranty to back them up.