Padmate PaMu Quiet Review
With the Padmate PaMu Quiet Mini, another Bluetooth in-ear headset with active noise suppression comes into our review. Furthermore, the headset should have low latency and a QI charging function of the storage box. AptX and the AAC are, of course, also on board. You can now find out what this headset can do in our test. Padmate provided us with a test sample for this test.
- Effective Active Noise Cancellation
- Serviceable audio output quality
- Good value for its price
- Less than promised battery life
- Weak mids and highs
- Crowdfunding risks
Packaging, content, data
The Padmate PaMu Quiet Mini is delivered in light-colored packaging. The front shows the model name and manufacturer logo, as well as a picture of the headset. On the back, there is information about the features in multiple languages. The front sticks magnetically to the side and can be folded away to the side. The inside of the flap contains information on how to use the headset for the first time.
In addition to the Padmate PaMu Quiet Mini, the following is included in the scope of delivery:
- Storage box with charging function
- Transport bag
- 4x earpieces (2x installed)
- USB Type-A to USB-Type-C cable
- Quick start guide
The Padmate PaMu Quiet Mini comes with a charging case, which hides some special features inside. Not only is it for storage, but it can also recharge the earbuds. In addition, it can be charged wirelessly using an appropriate QI charger. The PaMu lettering is applied to the top. Inside are both earphones in precisely fitting recesses. It is marked which earphones are intended for which side. The medium-sized ear pads are already attached to the factory. If we take the earphones out of the charging case, we can see the contacts they are charged in the case. Magnets are hidden under the cover, which keeps the earphones firmly in place.
The earphones follow a well-known design that is flawless. We do not find any burrs or sharp edges from the cast. They look like they have been made from one piece. The contacts for charging are arranged on the side of the stem of the earphones, while one of the three microphones is located on the inside. The second microphone is located slightly above the earpiece and the third at the end of the stem. Therefore, it is a headset whose active noise suppression works with two microphones on each side. The third microphone is intended for voice transmission.
Commissioning & app
The Padmate PaMu Quiet Mini is easy to set up. All you have to do is remove the earphones from the charging case. They then switch on and are in pairing mode. The user can now activate Bluetooth on the playback device and pair the headset normally via the Bluetooth menu or the manufacturer’s app. There is an app for both Android and iOS devices. To pair the headset, activate Bluetooth on the playback device and then start the app. Here the user is guided through the facility – this is quick and easy even for users with little experience. The app is in German and offers the option to switch to the settings on the start page, and the desired ANC mode can also be selected below.
Active noise cancellation
The Padmate PaMu Quiet Mini belongs to the “in-ear headset” category. These types of headsets provide passive noise cancellation because they sit in the ear canal. Here, however, the manufacturer has gone one better and built-in active noise suppression. A total of four microphones are used for this (two on each side). However, before we get to that, we have to explain two methods – feedforward ANC, i.e., the sensor microphone is outside, and feedback ANC, where the sensor microphone is inside.
The microphone is placed outside the auricle with the feedforward ANC (analogously: pre-listening noise suppression). Thus, the microphone “hears” noises before they reach the ear and transmits this information to the ANC controller. This then processes the noise and generates the anti-noise (anti-noise) before the speaker sends the resulting signal. This happens in a fraction of a second.
The advantage of this is that the microphone on the outside picks up interfering noises early, so there is more time to react to them and generate the “counter-noise.”
The disadvantage is that this technique alone does not have any means of correcting itself, as it does not detect the audio signal issued by the ANC controller. If the sound is incident at an awkward angle, this setup can inadvertently lead to amplification. In addition, Feedforward ANC works in a narrow frequency range. Feedforward ANC can have little effect at frequencies outside of its range. The microphone on the open outside is also more sensitive to wind noise.
With the feedback ANC (analogous to the feedback to the audio signal), the sensor is in the auricle and front of the loudspeaker so that the ANC controller can “hear” the resulting signal just as the listener can.
The advantage is that the feedback ANC monitors the audio signal that the ear also hears and reacts to even slight variations. Feedback ANC also works with a wider frequency range than feedforward ANC. Another advantage is that the angle to the sound source or when the ears are worn where the ears are not completely covered, the feedback ANC can still reduce noise.
However, it is not as effective as forwarding ANC on higher frequency tones. In rare cases, feedback noises can occur because the sensor and the speaker are very close. Feedback ANC could also filter a little too much bass as noise.
A combination of both methods should eliminate the respective disadvantages. For example, hybrid ANC combines feedforward and feedback ANC by placing a microphone inside and outside.
Thus the advantages of both methods are combined. Hybrid ANC can suppress noise at a wider frequency range, adapt to and correct errors, and be sensitive to sound angle and wearing style.
As you can imagine, the Hybrid ANC is more expensive due to the number of microphones and the miniaturization.
Hybrid ANC In Practice
As it sounds in theory, it is also in practice. Outside noise is significantly reduced. For example, the engine noise in a public transport bus or the noise of aircraft turbines, which one normally perceives in the cabin, is either almost or even completely faded out. However, anyone who uses this technology in public road traffic should also be aware of the dangers. Cars can almost no longer be heard so that the user can only rely on his optical capabilities. Therefore, we strongly advise against using it while cycling.
Before we begin with the topic of “sound,” we would like to draw your attention to sound is subject to a highly subjective perception. What sounds optimal to us can be perceived as annoying to another person and vice versa.
The manufacturer designed the Padmate PaMu Quiet Mini dynamically so that it is fun even at low levels. However, with its tendency towards the lower tones, the headset is not suitable for audiophile users. Despite this tuning, the mids can still differentiate themselves from it. Voices come to the fore and are not absorbed by the depths. The heights, however, have a little to contend with. Overall, these earbuds achieve a pleasant, dynamic sound, especially at a higher level.
The manufacturer specifies a battery life of 6 hours per charge. The headset can be charged three times via the charging case, resulting in a total runtime of 18 hours. In practice, a charge at medium volume and activated ANC is enough for around five and a half hours. Without ANC, we trump the 6 hours targeted by the manufacturer – we reach just under 7 hours. The charging case managed to charge the headset within 10 minutes so that there is 1 hour of playtime. This is useful when you want the headset to be ready for use again quickly. We think it is very good that the charging case can be charged via the USB-C port and a corresponding QI charger.
The current energy-saving Bluetooth 5.2 is used in the Padmate PaMu Quiet Mini. The manufacturer specifies a range of 10 meters, which is also possible outdoors without any problems. However, obstacles, especially reinforced concrete, limit the range accordingly.
The Padmate PaMu Quiet Mini does not cost a lot in our price comparison in all available colors. In return, the user receives a well-made in-ear headset with active noise suppression and the option to charge the charging case wirelessly. This means that the case can also be charged on certain smartphones or even in some cars without needing an additional cable. This is the right place for those who prefer dynamic music with a deeper tone. We have a recommendation at this point.