Haylou PurFree BC01 Review
A new challenger appears in the bone conduction market
The Haylou PurFree BC01 sits in the good category of sporty bone conduction headphones that deliver Shokz-rivalling sound and strong battery life in a comfortable, lightweight design.
- Light, comfortable design
- Sound on par with Shokz headphones
- Solid battery life for a week of use
- Needs more precise battery prompts
- Proprietary charging cable
- Struggle to set up multi-device support
- UKRRP: £99.99
- USARRP: $119.99
- WaterproofRated at IP67 to seal against water/sweat
- Battery8 hours of battery life
- DesignOpen-ear design allows for outside sounds to be heard
The Haylou PurFree BC01 are a pair of bone conduction headphones built for exercise that keeps you aware of your surroundings while also offering hte boost of audio motivation as you work up a sweat.
The open-ear set seems to tick all the key boxes, promising a sweat- and rainproof design, what Haylou calls “premium” sound quality, and a strong eight-hour battery life, which should cover a solid amount of workout time.
Its price puts it up against bone conducting options like the Shokz OpenRun, while it comes in cheaper than the impressive Naenka Runner Diver. There’s no shortage of affordable bone conduction headphones on the market right now, making it tricky to pick out the good ones. Does the Haylou PurFree BC01 sit in that good pile?
- Water-resistant design
- Physical volume controls
- Weighs 28g
Haylou has adopted a pretty familiar neckband-style design that’s become synonymous with most fitness-focused bone conduction headphones. It’s predominantly made from a light titanium alloy, with two physical buttons tucked underneath one of the arms that let you adjust volume and turn on the headphones. These sit alongside the charging port – a proprietary kind of charging setup, which was a little disheartening to discover.
There’s also a larger physical button on the left side of the headphones that sits on the outside, making it easier to reach when you need to play or pause audio, or skip backwards and forwards through tracks.
The PurFree BC01 packs an IP67 water rating, which means it’s got some protection for rainy runs outside – as opposed to being something to take in the swimming pool with you.
This set weighs 28g, which is just slightly heavier than a pair of Shokz OpenRun headphones. Overall, the PurFree BC01 felt light to wear at the gym and on runs and didn’t put any unwanted pressure on the top or sides of my head during longer workout sessions.
If the goal was to essentially clone what Shokz has done with its bone conduction headphones, then the PurFree BC01 is pretty successful. Considering the weight and comfort of the design, the positioning of buttons and even a similar proprietary charging setup, the only real difference here is the slightly bigger housing sat around the controls.
Ultimately, it’s a design and look that works, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing that this set is modelled on another successful product.
- Dual microphones for calls and smart assistant control
- Up to 8 hours of battery life
Haylou does include some additional features here, such as a Qualcomm QCC3044 and Bluetooth 5.2 chip, which is onboard to deliver quick and stable connections to devices as well as the ability to connect simultaneously to two devices.
I didn’t experience any sort of connection issues when using the PurFree BC01 with an Android phone or a MacBook, and I paired it with a Garmin watch as well. In terms of getting that multi-point support working, though, I struggled to do that when pairing it up with an iPhone and a Macbook.
Dual microphones are included – with noise-cancellation smarts also onboard to improve clarity – if you’re using this set for handling calls or conversing with your phone’s smart assistant. I’d say this is something that makes more of a difference indoors than it does outdoors, where there are often more sounds competing with those calls. I wouldn’t describe the call quality as crystal clear, but it was very good in general and by no means a muffled mess.
Battery life is definitely a plus here, giving you up to 8 hours of playtime with a 10-day standby period. It takes 1.5 hours to charge fully, or you can use the fast charging feature, which gives you 2 hours of listening time off a 10-minute charge.
You can get 8 hours of battery between charges, but I’d also note that having that volume a little closer to the top does seem to drain the battery a bit quicker.
You get battery prompts when you turn the headphones on, although telling you the battery is “strong” or “medium” isn’t a very precise indication of its actual level. If you’re pairing it with an Android phone, that’s less of a problem as it’ll detail the percentage. Pair it up with an iPhone, however, and it’s a bit harder to gauge the precise level of battery you have to play with.
- Bone conduction technology
- Balanced sound profile
With bone conduction headphones, you’re generally going to accept some compromises in terms of sound quality. It’s a technology that typically doesn’t deliver big power or bass, and that open-ear approach means you can expect some sound leakage as well.
Fortunately, the PurFree BC01 performs very well on the sound front: it’s up there with the best-sounding bone conduction headphones I’ve tried. The overall sound profile is balanced, with a bigger emphasis on detail and clarity, but there’s also some subtle warmth there, which does make listening to more bass-heavy audio more pleasing. I’d put it up there with the sound profile I’ve enjoyed on Shokz’s OpenRun headphones.
You will inevitably have to deal with some sound leakage – especially if you listen at closer to maximum volume, which does get surprisingly loud. Keep it to moderate volume levels, and that leakage is certainly less noticeable.
In terms of striking a good balance between letting you hear your own audio and the sounds around you, the PurFree BC01 does a pretty good job on that front as well. Outside, windier conditions and running near traffic don’t entirely cut through the music, which can sometimes be the case with cheaper bone conduction headphones. This set also performed well battling with sound systems at the gym – which is another scenario bone conduction can struggle with.
Should you buy it?
You want Shokz-rivalling sound: For bone conduction headphones, the Haylou PurFree BC01 offers a very good sound profile, which makes them well suited to most music genres and podcasts, and for handling calls.
You want that bassy feel: It’s not an overriding characteristic of bone conduction headphones, but options from Philips and Shokz OpenRun Pro give you a bit more in the bass department.
The Haylou PurFree BC01 are another great example of a set of bone conduction headphones that prove you don’t need a pair of Shokz to get a good experience.
The PurFree BC01 sounds good, has an exercise-friendly design and should last a week’s worth of training with the added bonus of a fast charging mode. Some of the extras didn’t massively impress, but if you’re looking for a well-priced set that’s fit for exercise, this is a really strong option.
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We test every set of headphones we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
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Tested with real world use
Compared to competition
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The PurFree BC01 headphones can support connections to two devices simultaneously
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