Raycon, the brainchild of the multiplatinum recording artist, became reality TV mogul Ray J and tech entrepreneur Ray Lee. In early 2018, Raycon released a variety of speakers, headphones, and earbuds, including the E50. The sequel, The Performer E55 Pro, comes at a time when the audio hardware maker has become a major player with 1.5 million registered customers.
An improvement over almost every aspect of its predecessor, the E55 Pro offers a better case with wireless charging and the ability to charge the earbuds five times for an average total battery life of 35 hours. This also includes minor improvements to the calling and audio experience. At $ 119.99, the E55 Pro is a great option for those who sit between the lower budget range and the more expensive premium arena for wireless bluetooth earbuds.
For whom these are: The Performer E55 Pro is suitable for iPhone and Android users who are looking for inexpensive Bluetooth earphones with good comfort, above-average audio quality, longer battery life and sufficient functions. With IPX4 protection, they are worth considering for frequent gymnasts.
What you need to know: The Performer E55 Pro offers first-class features, including wireless charging and battery life, which promise a life of almost 35 hours between charges of the case. There are also a variety of convenience options with five silicone ear tips. IOS users can rest assured that the earbuds are Siri compatible, and the IPX4 protection ensures that sweaty workouts or accidental splashes of water won’t damage the earbuds.
How they compare: At its price, the Performer E55 Pro can significantly cross the line between budget earphones like the EarFun Air valued at $ 59 and higher priced models in the $ 100 to $ 150 range like the Amazon Echo Buds, Samsung Galaxy Buds +, and Apple AirPods . One area where it manages to outperform both lower and upper price range competitors is battery life.
Ural Garrett / CNN
Speaking to Raycon bosses Ray J and Ray Lee about The Performer E55, they mentioned that they wanted to make significant improvements over the E50. “We’ve always tried to improve our products by listening to customers and my close friends who really know their music, and now the E55 is ten times better,” says Ray J. After opening the box, it’s clear where these advances had been made.
The most important improvements concerned the loading case in two areas. First, the case has a fixed hinge that replaces the open design of the previous model. According to Ray Lee, many customers have complained that they lost the top of their charging case.
The other big innovation in the case is wireless charging with full Qi compatibility. Mobile devices with reverse wireless charging and charging mats performed pretty well in our tests. Those who prefer a traditional charging solution can use the standard USB-C port, updated from the E50’s micro-USB. Interestingly, the newer case design doesn’t detract from the portability or weight of the previous model. There’s even a strap for those who want to attach their suitcase to something like a key ring, which is a nice touch.
Despite improvements to the actual earbuds themselves, they essentially keep the same design as their predecessors. One of the better style decisions regarding the E55 is the fact that it doesn’t stick out nearly as far out of the ear as the AirPods or Galaxy Buds. They sink really well into the ear canal a bit better than something like the Jabra Elite series.
Those in need of larger or smaller soft silicone gel tips have five to choose from. The standard pair are tight fitting and can do all kinds of movements without feeling like they’re about to slip. Given that the Performer E55 Pro earbuds are suitable for more active users, IPX4 protection means that activities that can lead to excessive sweating won’t ruin the earbuds themselves. Although it was difficult to get enough sweat to test for, it could easily be submerged in about 3 to 4 inches of water.
There are also five colors available for The Performer E55 Pro including Carbon Black, Flare Red, Electric Blue, Frost White and Rose Gold for users who want to match their earbuds with outfits.
Ural Garrett / CNN
Like previous Raycon Bluetooth audio devices, including the E50, the Performer E55 Pro single-handedly offers the largest power-on chime we’ve ever heard on a device of its kind. It’s literally Ray J singing “Raycon” in three-part harmony. If you want the guy who gave the world “One Wish” as the celebrity face of your wireless audio technology brand, these vocals might as well be put to the right use. There’s no better way to make a great first impression before trying to connect to different devices. Will some people find this annoying? Absolutely, which is why the inability to disable the chimes can be a shutdown. The best way to avoid this is to hold the earbuds in hand for an extra second after taking the earbuds out of the case.
From desktops, MacBook Pros, iPads, and iPhones to Android devices, connecting the E55 Pro to a variety of devices was relatively quick and easy. Each earbud uses a tactile button press for various commands such as answering phone calls, increasing / decreasing the volume, and turning it on and off. The earbuds are compatible with Siri, but not the Google Assistant. Users don’t need to be anywhere near their devices either, as the Performer E55 Pro has an excellent line of sight of 260 feet which is perfect for those in an apartment or medium-sized house.
However, there are notable areas where corners have been trimmed to hold their own in price competition. Actual call quality is relatively average as the E55 Pro earbuds don’t lack active noise cancellation technology. This feature is reserved for the more expensive The Works Earbuds offered by Raycon.
Busy places like street intersections, parks with a large number of people, and gyms can all lead to potentially frustrating phone calls for outbound audio. During several phone calls outside while out for a walk, there were moments when both callers had more than enough “huh” and “sorry”. The microphone quality just doesn’t feel great outdoors. Things went much better in quieter areas. In general, there doesn’t seem to have been as much thought as about music volume.
The call quality doesn’t match high-end earbuds like the Samsung Galaxy Buds and Apple AirPods, but is on a similar level to our preferred budget earbuds in the EarFun Air. The volume of incoming phones can sound a bit louder in some places, but is usable and not difficult to hear. Also, due to the lack of an app that works alongside the earbuds, there’s no way to tweak the audio quality. Users who are on the go and need to make quick calls in quiet places should get solid mileage in terms of performance.
Ural Garrett / CNN
The audio quality of the Performer E55 Pro for music exactly meets the brand’s expectations: razor-sharp and clear, heavy bass without great musical nuances. That’s perfectly fine with millennial consumers through their social media influencer marketing campaigns. The Performer E55 Pro can handle much of the radio-friendly mainstream music. Crisp, heavy bass means everything from contemporary hip hop to EDM sounds loud with great low end. This makes the earbuds more in tune with the Amazon Echo Buds and Jabra Elite Active 75t.
Users who are more likely to hear Cardi B’s “Up” and prepare for Young Thug’s “ski” challenge should feel right at home. West Coast bounce tracks like Dezzie Gees “I Need That 2.0” and southern club joints like Beatkings “Keep It Poppin” sound simply amazing on the E55 Pro. Even more international pop tracks, including the collaboration between Becky G and Burna Boy “Rotate” or EDM-focused tracks like Major Lazer’s “Jadi Buti”, do an admirable job. Anyone looking for earbuds to process their bass-heavy playlist at a loud volume will find a lot to love here. There wasn’t much that could be improved on this aspect compared to the E50. However, this is where the most notable audio quality improvements end.
The Performer E55 Pro doesn’t offer much of a nuanced music experience. In general, the overall music listening experience is flat, which is definitely noticeable when listening to genres oriented towards classical, jazz, country, classical rock and the like. The opening guitar riffs of Gene Harris’ “Losalamitoslatinfunklovesong” and horn section moments lack a lot of richness. As a big Staple Singers fan, it was really difficult to enjoy the musical dynamics of classics like “This is what friends are for” or “Let’s do it again”.
Those looking for a richer audio experience across multiple genre types may be a little disappointed. However, if your taste is towards hip-hop and electronic music, The Performer E55 Pro holds up very well.
Ural Garrett / CNN
With an impressive 36-hour battery life when fully charged, the earbuds stayed on their own for about five hours of continuous use before being put back into the case. This means the case can charge the earbuds up to five times before fully emitting.
In fact, if users plan to commute to work or work out at the gym for an hour, the case only needs to be charged once a week when it does. Despite the earbuds lasting roughly five hours, the five extra charges make these earbuds a strong competitor in the battery life department. During testing, these claims were pretty much true, with the earbuds themselves dying for a little over five hours from general music listening. When The Performer Earbuds can’t compete with the competition lists or audio quality in terms of battery life, including Powerbeats Pro, Apple AirPods, and Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro.
The earbuds lasted nearly six hours as we focused mostly on phone and video calls. It took about an hour and a half to fully charge the case itself, with additional time required for wireless charging.
Ural Garrett / CNN
The Performer E55 Pro are admirable earbuds for bass lovers who don’t want to worry too much about battery life management. And let’s not forget this charming “power-on” harmony. While the feature set is sufficient for these types of users, audiophiles may be turned off a little by the overall quality of music listening, which is pretty average at best.
Those who are no less interested in musical nuances will find extremely comfortable earbuds at reasonable prices that come with a 45 day no questions asked return guarantee. After that, the earphones have a one-year manufacturer’s guarantee. Android and iOS users who don’t want to pay the higher premium prices of the AirPods and Galaxy Buds Pro range should definitely consider the Performer E55 Pro earbuds as a cheaper alternative.
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