Recently I had an opportunity to test the Crave Octane wireless headset, so today we will get acquainted with it and evaluate its competitiveness on the endless market of “almost wireless” headphones.
For reference. Crave is a relatively young company founded in 2015. It’s remains largely unknown in Europe, but in the US it has its fans in the niche of budget accessories for smartphones: cases, charging cables, power banks, portable speakers and Bluetooth headphones. Yes, it’s an American brand, but the devices themselves are all made in China. But focus on the US market might mean better quality overall. Let’s see!
What’s in the box
Crave Octane Bluetooth headphones come in a presentable cardboard box, on which, in addition to the product image, you can see its key features.
Since these are in-ear headphones, we get a whole arsenal of ear tips (4 pairs) and additional silicone hooks(3 pairs). In addition to them, the box contains the headset itself, a charging cable (USB-microUSB), a pin for fixing the cable to clothes, a small plastic clip to tighten the cable around the neck, a convenient fabric storage pouch and, of course, a user manual.
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Materials and Design
The headphone design is somewhat restrained, but neat. Crave Octane is a“wired wireless headset”, which means that the headset can be connected to the smartphone via Bluetooth, and the emitters are connected by a cable.
The ‘phones themselves have a lightweight aluminum case with a matte silver color with a decor of ring notches. The external part is magnetic – this is necessary in order to turn the headset on and off. But more on this below. The inscriptions L and R are present on the corresponding headphone, but they are barely noticeable. However, remembering which one is left and which one is right is simple: the unit with the battery, electronics and the in-line remote is located under the right earphone.
The in-line remote is made of white matte plastic. There are three buttons, the functionality of which I will discuss below, as well as a hole for the microphone, a light indicator (very bright) and a charging connector, covered with a soft silicone plug. The headphones themselves are quite fine, but the cable and the in-line remote leave much to be desired.
The cable is flat and, in my opinion, too thin and hard. During the week of testing I bent it in one place; it works fine and all, but I can’t fix it and it makes me a bit nervous. I hope that in the future it won’t brick the headphones. Now, the in-line remote. I dislike the plastic, the seams are sloppy, there are microscopic defects as well. It looks messy.
Crave Octane specs
- Connection: Bluetooth 4.1
- Battery: Li-ion, 65 mAh × 2
- Full charge time: 2 hours
- Battery life: listening to music – 6-8 hours, talking time – 8-10 hours
- Water proofing: IPX4
- Microphone: yes
- Noise Canceling Function: Yes
- Options: headset, pouch, charging cable, clip, cable retainer, a set of ear tips and additional hooks (7 pairs), manuals
- Charging cable length: 30 cm
- Colors: black, silver, pink
Let’s be honest – in-ear headphones aren’t for everyone. The reason is both the anatomical structure of human ears, and personal preferences. But Crave made every effort to ensure that their headphones fit the maximum number of users. That’s a plus.
As mentioned above, we have 4 sizes of silicone ear tips for every time of ear. However, if it’s still not enough for you, there are also silicone hooks (3 pairs), which are similar in shape to a comma and serve as another support for the earbuds.
But not everything is rosy. It’s not a big issue, but perfectionists will understand me. The problem is the in-line remote, which is located under the right earphone. If you use headphones while in one place, then no questions arise. But on the go, a plastic panel with buttons pulls the cable down, which is why it constantly shifts to the right side. It is more convenient to control playback using the buttons on the in-line remote, but if you are used to controlling music playback from a smartwatch, it would be better if you did not have to fix the cable every time.
As mentioned above, the box includes a pin and clip for attaching the cable. Using the first one, you can pin the wire to your clothes, and the second one allows you to “tighten” the excess wire on the neck.
The idea may not be bad, but in practice it’s not very effective. Attaching a wire with a plastic pin to light summer clothes is hardly the ideal solution. The cable continues to fidget, only now along the neck of the T-shirt, and the headphones can drop out every now and then. Maybe you can attach it to a jacket or on clothes with a collar, but for wearing a headset in the summer the option is not the best.
If the aesthetic side is not important, then the clip does solve the problem. For me it looks bizarre.
In order to connect to Crave Octane, you will have to refer to the manual – I doubt that winging it is the best option here. After you take the headphones out of the box, the headphones must be merged with the back side (which is on the magnets) to each other, and then disconnected. After that, the indicator on the in-line remote should blink blue and red, which indicates that the device is in pairing mode. If something went wrong (like happened with me) and the indicator did not blink, then after disconnecting the headphones, hold down the “Play” button for 5 seconds. Now, the indicator should definitely light up.
And everything else is quite standard. Turn on Bluetooth on your smartphone, look for Crave Octane in the list of available devices and connect. After connecting, the indicator should blink blue. This is all, now the headphones are tied to a smartphone. For automatic connection, you must not forget to turn on Bluetooth on the phone, and disconnect the headphones from each other. To disconnect it is enough to bring both headphones together. Do not press anything! This is a convenient feature.
A little about the reliability of the connection. This headset never disconnected from the smartphone during testing and there were no interruptions in music playback, which surprised me very much. Usually in urban conditions, almost all Bluetooth headphones have connection problems in certain “problematic” places (transport, metro, shopping malls). But nothing of the kind happened here. There were also no delays in watching videos on YouTube, so Crave Octane is doing fine with these moments.
Headphones are controlled using the buttons. There are only three buttons, but each of them has several functions. Let’s take a closer look.
- “+” Button: single press – increase volume, hold for 1s – next track
- “-” button: single press – volume decrease, hold for 1s –previous track
- Play button: single press – play/pause, answer a call, end a call, double press – call back (the last number in the call list), hold for 2s – reject an incoming call
The controls are quite logical. But I still prefer to use a smart watch to work with headphones. Although this is a matter of taste.
What about the sound?
Since the manufacturer was greedy with the main characteristics of sound, and did not share with us either the size of the emitters or the range of supported frequencies, I’ll have to judge the sound subjectively. To begin with, I detected that the codec here is a usual one – SBC.
In my opinion, for this price segment, the sound of Crave Octane is quite decent. The volume is sufficient and at maximum loudness the sound does not damage the hearing, the bass is very well defined (for lovers of low frequencies this is a significant plus), and overall the sound can be called balanced. For those who prefer dynamic music, the headset is quite decent.
The only thing the headphone lacks is sound clarity. This is especially noticeable if there is a pause in the track: in this case, a quite background noise is heard, which cannot be overlooked. This means that the fans of instrumental, folk, acoustic and other similar music won’t be very happy with the headphones. Otherwise, they are extremely good.
How Crave Octane behaves in headset mode
As practice has shown, the headphones work fine in headset mode. No problems with sound quality at all. I couldn’t test the headset in really noisy places, but even if you answer the call in public transport, there’ll be no issues with the sound.
Crave Octane has a pair of 65 mAh lithium-ion batteries. The manufacturer claims that one charge allows you to enjoy 6 to 8 hours of uninterrupted music. Listening to 8 hours of music with in-ear headphones is a pleasure select few will enjoy, so I had to test the battery life in small portions (1-2 hours). As a result, according to my calculations, at about 80-85% of the max volume the headphones worked for a little over 6 hours. So 8 hours of music is possible at 50% of the max volume.
In-ear headphones are not the type of headphones you can listen to all day. So, if you use them for a couple of hours a day (for example, for an hour on the wat to work and home), then one charge is enough for a couple of days. Decent result for budget wireless headphones.
Crave Octane are decent in-ear headphones in this price segment. On the official website they cost $40 (and on Amazon $33), and this price tag is justified.
The headphones are interesting. They offer decent sound and good bass, ease of use, nice design, a stable connection, and, what I really liked, a magnetic mechanism for connecting and disconnecting the headset. And for those who want to go full wireless, but dislike the TWS-headphone format for some reason, Octane Crave might be a good option.
Crave Octane: Where to buy
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