ChannelLife New Zealand logo
Industry insider news for New Zealand's technology resellers
Story image

Review: The true wireless earbuds you’ve been looking for?

Fri 18 Dec 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The true wireless headphone battle rages on with new contenders entering the ring at a pace that reflects the size of the market.

The expectations of this tech are pretty high, with people looking for a product that is small and lightweight, comfortable but without easily falling out of the ear, great sound quality with all the mod-cons like noise-cancelling and voice assistance integration.

Today, I’m going to talk about Chinese brand Padmate’s latest offering that aims to fill all those gaps: the PaMu Quiet which retails at $299.

Form factor

The product goes for the classic earbuds look and pulls it off pretty well with a look that I quite like and, although it isn’t revolutionary, the matte black look is tidy and unobtrusive in the ear.

The headphones are certainly not the lightest, but they still feel pretty light in the ear. The standard heads they come with fit me well and it takes a really good shaking of my head to make them come out. There are no problems with slipping out when out for a run and they are rated IPX4 which makes them sweat-proof and means they should do okay in the rain.

Padmate’s tried to do something new with their charge case, giving it a faux-pocket watch look that you will either love or hate. Personally, I have an aversion to facades (I’m looking at you plastic ‘houseplants’) and so find the case a little tacky.

The weight of the case is good and makes it feel solid when it is closed. However, the case lid hinge feels loose and plasticky which makes me worry about the durability of it over a long period.

Although, the case is made of a mix of plastic and metal and is really sturdy with little give when I press down hard on the lid and only a little on the back. As long as you are careful with the lid hinge, it should last pretty well. 

A pretty blue LED that semi-circles the top of the case gives some idea as to battery status when you pop the earbuds back in the case to charge.


I am really really impressed by the active noise cancelling (ANC). I sat in front of my TV with the volume up decently and nothing playing on the headphones, and when I used the long-touch of the right earbud to deactivate transparency mode the voices on the telly all but disappeared.

As I sit here typing on my wonderfully loud mechanical keyboard, only the very highest frequencies from the tappity tap come through. This is a keyboard that I have accidentally messed up a few interview recordings with by forgetting not to use it. 

On top of all that, the ANC is really unobtrusive with no heavy white noise or weird pressure. Definitely a highlight of this product.

The microphone is also pretty great. The person I called to test it said my clarity on their end was “really, really great” and Siri (activated with a long-touch of the left earbud) might understand me better than the built-in mic on my phone.

The batteries perform as you’d hope, giving you three or four hours of listening with another 10ish hours in the case. They also charge pretty fast with the USB-C adaptor topping the case up in two hours and 15 min in the case giving you 2 hours of listening time. 

The connected app is a nice touch. It lets you control the ANC, update firmware, see the battery status, and customise what short or long presses on the earbuds do.


Pretty good! I decided to give them a bit of a challenge and so threw a range of songs at it:

Anyone by Demi Lovato – this ballad tested out the ability of the headphones to capture subtly in a huge vocal range and they lived up to it pretty well. The little bits of vocal fry, the belting notes, the vibrato all came through without any loss. The only odd thing was how the background piano sounded, likely due to the EQ being set up more for bass-heavy pop and rock.

Symphony No. 5in C Minor, Op. 67 (that ‘dun dun dun dunnnnn’ one) by Beethoven and Wiener Philharmoniker  – The clarity and instrument separation was good and, although it handles the orchestral range pretty well, the bass notes do overpower the treble range a little at times.

WAP by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion – This is where these earbuds really come into their own. Love it or hate it, WAP has a lot of those little audio tricks that take a decent speaker to truly hear. With the bass, there is a tiiiiny bit of distortion at max volume, but only in certain ranges and this is a really bass-heavy song. Otherwise, every uncomfortable gasp and pant comes through clear enough to make Ben Shapiro clutch his metaphorical pearls and call 911.

I Don’t Know Why I Like You, But I Do by The Wombats – Probably the most balanced song I listened to on these headphones. Clear differentiation between bass, guitar, drums and vocals. Meets the needs of the driving instrumental break and even catches the vocal harmony in the chorus that could be easily missed on lesser headphones.


There’s a lot to like about the PadMu Quiet, especially at the price. Ultimately, I have to ask myself would I pop into Harvey Norman to buy these, or would I look for something else.

Honestly, before I had tried them out, I would have definitely passed based on the look of the case alone – I really hate the fact that there is something that looks like a twist knob on top but is only a press button that pops out the lid. I hate the size of it; I hate the loop at the top that you put the lanyard thing on. I just do not like it.


I could actually deal with all of that because of the quality of these headphones. Everything they say they do, they do well. 

If someone was to ask me to recommend a pair of true wireless headphones for under $300, I would 100% suggest these. I really couldn’t not.

But man do I hate that case.

Full specs

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
What every CISO must answer to enable a best-in-class security operations program
It has been widely reported recently that South Australian government employees have been the victims of a cyberattack.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
The post-pandemic workforce requires secure IAM capabilities
HID Global discusses what identity and access management means for organisations in today's convoluted digital world.
Story image
Microsoft previews Power Platform website design offering
Microsoft has announced the preview of Power Pages, the fifth product in its Power Platform family, designed for low-code makers and professional developers.
Story image
Dynabook refreshes Portégé X30L series with the Portégé X30L-K
The new model contains hybrid-architecture Intel 12th Gen Core P-Series 28W processor options, Wi-Fi 6E, along with Intel Iris Xe graphics.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
RedShield leverages AWS to scale cybersecurity services
"Working with AWS gives RedShield the ability to mitigate significant application layer DDoS attacks, helping leaders adopt best practices and security architectures."
Story image
Vishing attacks reach all time high - Agari and PhishLabs
"Hybrid vishing campaigns continue to generate stunning numbers, representing 26.1% of total share in volume so far in 2022."
Story image
Vodafone NZ buys remaining stake in retail joint venture
Vodafone New Zealand has purchased the remaining 50% stake in the specialist joint venture (JV) with private equity company Millennium Corp.
Story image
'Alarming' rise in ransomware threats - Verizon report
As criminals look to leverage increasingly sophisticated forms of malware, it is ransomware that continues to prove particularly successful.
Story image
Cybersecurity prompts upgrade for 1.3 billion electricity meters
ABI Research finds Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and cybersecurity concerns are prompting the upgrade of 1.3 billion electricity meters by 2027.
Story image
Data Protection
Barracuda launches new capabilities for API Protection
"Every business needs this type of critical protection against API vulnerabilities and automated bot attacks," Barracuda says.
Story image
GapMaps Live to improve brand decisions on physical locations
GapMaps has released its latest service GapMaps Live, giving more insights and features to help brands make better decisions about physical locations.
Story image
Global cybersecurity insurance market worth $11.5b this year
Future Market Insights finds the cybersecurity insurance market is expected to reach USD$11.5 billion in 2022, growing to $61.2 billion in 10 years.
Story image
Maintaining secure systems with expectations of flexible work
Most office workers feel they've proved they can work successfully from home, and as much as employers try, things aren't going back to the way they were anytime soon.
Story image
Noname Security partners with Netpoleon to target API issues
Specialist API security firm Noname Security has appointed Netpoleon as its distributor in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Lexmark launches A/NZ first with retail publishing solution
Lexmark, a global imaging and IoT solutions leader, launched its Publishing Platform for Retail (PPR) in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Data Protection
Information management capabilities to meet privacy requirements
Organisations with customers or operations across more than one country face a spate of new and proposed privacy and data protection laws.
Story image
Comcast to use ThreatQuotient for cybersecurity operations
Comcast, the parent company of NBC Universal and SKY Group, has chosen ThreatQ Platform and ThreatQ Investigations to meet their cybersecurity needs.
Story image
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Booster Innovation Fund. A fund of Kiwi ingenuity – for Kiwi investors.
Link image
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Barracuda expands cloud-native SASE platform
"The expansion of Barracuda's cloud-native SASE platform for hybrid deployment models and IIoT environments solves a number of challenges."
Story image
CERT NZ releases first Cyber Security Insights for 2022
CERT NZ has released Quarter One: Cyber Security Insights 2022, which offers an overview of reports about cybersecurity incidents affecting New Zealanders.
Story image
New Relic enters multi-year partnership with Microsoft Azure
New Relic has announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft to help enterprises accelerate cloud migration and multi-cloud initiatives. 
Story image
Getac and Optalert expand partnership to promote industrial safety
Getac’s ZX70 Android tablets will be used to support Optalert’s Eagle Industrial early-warning drowsiness detection system for use in mining and transportation.
Story image
Hands-on review: HyperX Pulsefire Haste wireless mouse and HyperX Pulsefire XL Mat
With its lightweight Pulsefire Haste wireless mouse and RGB lit Pulsefire XL Mat, HyperX sets out to up your game and add a little colour to your desktop.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Frost & Sullivan recognises Genesys as leader in new reports
Frost & Sullivan has recognised Genesys as a leader in the cloud contact centre market for its robust cloud and digital capabilities.
Story image
i-PRO releases smallest AI-based surveillance camera on the market
The new i-PRO mini network camera is now available, with a pocket-sized form factor and full AI analytics functionality.
Story image
Infosec unveils role-guided cybersecurity training roadmaps
Infosec Skills Roles maps hands-on training and certifications to the 12 most in-demand cybersecurity roles to maximise training efficiency.
Story image
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Hands-on review: WD_Black SN770 NVMe SSD Game Drive
Western Digital expands its WD_Black range of NVMe solid-state drives with the WD_Black SN770 Game Drive.
Story image
Alarming surge in Conti Ransomware Group activity - report
A new report has identified a 7.6 per cent increase in the number of vulnerabilities tied to ransomware in Q1 2022.
Story image
Digital Signage
MAXHUB's Digital Signage range to bolster boardroom productivity
The new MAXHUB Digital Signage technology is purpose-built to make every kind of team meeting more effective.
Story image
Manhattan Associates
Shortening the click-to-customer cycle through smart technologies
Speed of delivery without accuracy is a dealbreaker for consumers. How can retailers operating in an omnichannel environment overcome the challenge of click-to-customer cycle times.
Story image
Employees on the frontline of cyber defense - report
In the first quarter of 2022, employees found themselves more than ever at the frontline of cyber defense, according to a new report from Kroll. 
Story image
Vectra AI
Vectra’s inaugural Partner of the Year Awards revealed
APAC companies Baidam, Firmus, ShellSoft and Macnica have been recognised in Vectra AI's inaugural Partner of the Year Awards.
Story image
Sony launches LinkBuds S - the latest model in the series
Sony says the LinkBuds S will give users a unique sound experience through sensor and spatial sound technology, even in AR games.
Story image
Elevation of Privilege the top 2021 Microsoft vulnerability
BeyondTrust has released its 2022 Microsoft Vulnerabilities Report, finding that Elevation of Privilege is the top vulnerability category for the second consecutive year.
Story image
WhatsApp and QR codes the next scam threat - report
KnowBe4 has warned it expects to see an increase in QR Codes and the WhatsApp chat platform being used for phishing and other scams. 
Story image
ChildFund launches new campaign to protect children online
ChildFund says WEB Safe & Wise aims to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse online while also empowering them to become digitally savvy. 
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Pluralsight and Ingram Micro Cloud team up on cloud initiative
Pluralsight has teamed with Ingram Micro Cloud to build upon cloud competence and maturity internally, and externally support partners’ capabilities.
Story image
Asia Pacific plagued by sophisticated bad bots - report
The three most common bot attacks were account takeover, content or price scraping, and scalping to obtain limited-availability items.
Story image
Red Sift
Entrust expands strategic partnership with Red Sift
Entrust has expanded its strategic partnership with Red Sift to make it easier for businesses to adopt Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) standards for email identification and security.
Story image
Hands-on review: Technics EAH-A800 Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones
Designed in Osaka, Japan, these headphones just exude quality. They aren’t heavy, but they feel well built and solid.
Story image
Vectra AI
Understanding the weight on security leader’s shoulders, and how to shift it
Millions of dollars of government funding and internal budgets are being funnelled into cybersecurity to build resilience against sophisticated threats, indicating how serious this issue has become.