Fairphone's 🎧 Fairbuds on /e/OS

As some here will have noticed, Fairphone recently launched their new :headphones: Fairbuds – in-ear phones with replaceable rechargable batteries (applies to all three batteries). The company was so kind to lend our local Fairphone Community Aachen a pair of white Fairbuds for our upcoming Wednesday, 15 May local meetup. There will also be one six days later in Grenoble, see grenoble.fairphone.community.

While I’m not going to provide a comprehensive test here for now (suffering a bit from this issue right now, although primarily from anti-noise earplugs in the early morning to prevent dove gurring from waking me up well before sunrise), I thought this might be interesting for /e/ users:

  • The Fairbuds app (that supports both the new Fairbuds and the full-size Fairbuds XL introduced last year) can be installed from the App Lounge and works flawlessly on /e/OS. Make sure to switch on Location in your quick settings, otherwise the app will still launch and appear to work, but not connect to the Fairbuds – preventing you from being able to use the Equalizer. If Location (and Bluetooth, of course) is on, the Equalizer works, and so do firmware upgrades for the Fairbuds (and the Fairbuds XL if you own them).

  • I can confirm that you can take calls using the Fairbuds on /e/OS. This was not possible so far with my own Fairphone TWS earbuds (Fairphone’s first in-ear phones they sold 2021-2023).

  • Of course, you can use the Fairbuds for audio playback and calls without Location and just with Bluetooth active, but won’t able to use the Fairbuds app’s Equalizer then.

The above was tested on my (own) Fairphone 3+ running /e/OS 1.21-T-dev.

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Thanks for the review. Good to know.

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Unfortunately, they only support SBC and AAC, so especially no low-latency codecs like aptX LL, aptX Adaptive or LC3. That can be really annoying when you’re using headphones to watch movies or play games. Since they support Bluetooth 5.3, I don’t really understand why they didn’t incorporate LC3 support, it’s in the standard since 5.2.