Tunai CLIP - Wireless Headphone Amplifier - Closer Look, Testing and More

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Tunai CLIP - Wireless Headphone Amplifier
Closer Look, Testing and More

Closer Look:

The CLIP has a pretty basic and useful design. The outer perimeter is used for cable management and the controls are clearly labeled with standard, play/pause, forward, back, volume up and down as well as a power button. A long press on the power button will initiate pairing and a short press turns it on and off. Once it's connected you can use it to activate voice command control through Google Assistant on your Android or Siri on your iPhone. The rear of the unit holds the metal clip (hence the namesake) and the top of the product - recessed in the cable management perimeter is the headphone jack.

CLIP Top
Headphone Jack

 

Inside the CLIP is a large antenna array as they claim up to 250 feet of range with this little unit. Also housed inside is a battery that provides up to 8 hours of battery life. I've used it for a couple of days with pretty heavy use and still had some battery left, but I charged it up for the third day as I didn't want to be without wireless music.

As I mentioned before, the controls are well thought out and quite logical.

Close CLIP
CLIP Close-Up

 

The small hole in the outer housing beside the power button is the microphone. It works well enough, but in a loud environment, a specialty headset seems to cancel noise a little better.

 

Installation is as simple as turning the CLIP on and pairing with your phone. There is nothing extra or special about the connection process and it works equally well on a Windows PC, as it does a Windows Phone or an Android. I'm sure iOS works equally well, but we don't have one available for testing.

 

Testing and Thoughts:

For testing out the Tunai CLIP, I plugged it into some earbuds as well as a couple pair of headphones. My favorite pair of over-the-ear headphones are my Sennheiser Momentum M2's. They are wired and that is why I only use them at certain times. If you're active, a wire gets in the way as it travels from your headphones to your media device. I used the CLIP with these almost exclusively as I was able to wrap up the cord, and keep the cables tidy. When connected I could move around without feeling like I was tethered to my computer or phone. The freedom of movement with these headphones was actually a little surreal.

As for audio quality, I wouldn't say it's "Audiophile" quality. With entry-level or mainstream headphones, their probably wouldn't be any noticeable degradation of audio quality, but with higher end headphones you will notice some distortion effects that aren't present when connected via the wire. I'm not saying the CLIP is bad, it's just not perfect in terms of reproducing loss-less audio.

Connected

 

The battery life and range are actually really good. The range in fact is incredible. In an open environment, you can easily stray 200 feet from the media device and still receive the same great audio quality without stuttering, popping or pausing that can often plague Bluetooth headphones when you are more than 30 feet from the media device.

Battery life is solid and while it is always nice to get better battery life, 8 hours is not bad and the CLIP charges quickly via a standard MicroUSB cable. Unless you are listening constantly, you should get a couple of days of listening enjoyment out of the CLIP. I've listened to a few audio books as well as tons of music and have only had to charge it twice so far. For light usage, it is possible to get a week out of a charge.

 

Final Thoughts:

Tunai first crossed our bench a little over a month ago with their Firefly Bluetooth Music Receiver and today they are showing us their battery operated version that outputs to headphones rather than a car stereo. The product is very similar in idea, but the CLIP provides power, easy controls and gives you freedom to move around without having your headphone wire connected to your pocket. Wireless is great, but you are giving up a couple of things. 

You give up constant-all-day listening. While the battery life is solid, any wireless headphone product is limited by the length of run-time between charges. If you are planning on going camping and want to use the CLIP for a week long camp trip, you'll have to bring along a power bank in order to charge. That's Jason's biggest beef with devices that remove the headphone jack. Either you have another dongle, or you have yet another device to keep charged.

The other thing you lose off the top is audio quality. While the CLIP is very good, it's not perfect and when using high-end headphones, you can hear some artifacting that isn't present when connected to a wire. When I used different earbuds or other sub $100 headphones, I couldn't hear the anomaly, but I also couldn't hear the same detail in the music either.

 

At the end of the day though, the CLIP is a clear winner as I am able to use my good headphones without worrying about rolling over the cord in the office or routing a cable from my head to my pocket when using my phone on the go. I can now wrap my headphone cord around the CLIP, attach it to my shirt and go. It is a wonderful feeling, a solid product and I'm looking forward to seeing what else Tunai can come up with in the future.

 

Pros:

  • Makes wired headphones wireless
  • Great range!
  • Good battery life
  • Charges quickly via MicroUSB
  • Simple, intuitive controls

 

Cons:

  • Audio quality isn't perfect
  • Yet another device to charge

 

 

If you have any questions, comments or general feedback, please feel free to post in the forum right here.