The Indiegogo campaign was an incredible success, collecting something like 2,812,964 euros, repeating the exceptional feedback obtained with version 1.0. Thanks to the acclaim, the feedback and the first reviews, PaMu Scroll immediately established itself in the fierce segment of “True Wireless” Bluetooth headsets, that is without any cable, configuring itself as the most concrete rival of Apple AirPods, as well as decidedly cheaper – at least for those who believed in the company by participating in the crowdfunding campaign. Thus, from nothing but working hard, Padmate brings us today a solid and qualitatively important product, able to combine the excellent audio experience with a premium and intelligent design.
Packaging and design
A quality product that immediately shows what it is made of. It’s called ” PaMu Scroll”, because of the earphone case, cylindrical and covered in leather, closes with a magnet, giving a parchment effect. You decide on the color and pattern – complete with a different tactile sensation – when buying, because PaMu Scroll arrives on the virtual shelves in 4 variants, but the difference between one and the other model only concerns color and design of the case. Rock’n’Roll in color Sienna, Graphene is the blue version; Glory Edition is the “Brown” variant, but darker than normal; Sakura is the pink and the finest edition. The case is also clearly used as a charging base to keep the earphones always at maximum service, as we will see later.
Aesthetically, the earphones remain the same regardless of the model chosen, and offer a characterization with attention to detail. It builted on 3 levels, the outer part is glossy, black, the border is sand-colored, and finally the end band, hidden in the ear, is gray. Overall, the PaMu Scrolls represent in aesthetic terms, the most successful product among the many headsets (True Wireless and not) that I have tried up to now, while maintaining unchanged the basic features offered by competitors, such as IPX6 certification against water and dust and overall lightness.
Do not expect surprises from the sales package, which in addition to the standard, does not provide any unexpected inspiration. Inside the box we find only the different size rubber pads to replace those pre-installed, the charging cable and the manual.
If from an aesthetic point of view, PaMu Scroll manages to be talked about due to the good level of innovation and the many ideas put into the design, in technical and ergonomic terms there are few fresh ideas on the market. Starting from the beginning, the Bluetooth module with which the product is equipped is version 5.0, the most recent, and currently little used by competitors in this price range. This allows the PaMu Scrolls to guarantee up to 200 meters of range (in the air line) compared to the 50 of any 4.2 model, as well as a much faster, it will immediate pairing with the smartphone. Among the strengths of the earphones, we find in fact the whole instant pairing system will be able to immediately connect to the smartphone once extracted from the case – after a first manual pairing. In itself the automatic pairing is not new for the sector, but what is surprising is the speed with PaMu Scroll fulfills its duty. This is also thanks to a superficial intelligent behavior that never completely turns off the earphones when placed in the case, keeping them instead in a sort of hibernation until the next use – the awakening, therefore, is faster than the normal ignition. The flip side of the coin you can imagine, the earphones, in fact, are never turned off, so they consume energy even when placed in the case, even if we talk about an infinitesimal consumption.
Although the concept of “master” and “slave” is present (that is, the “main” and “secondary” earphones), this can only be seen by using the PaMu Scrolls in mono-earphone mode, allowed only with the right in-ear. This is the only aspect that differentiates the two earphones, because in practice they are also balanced in the controls. Here we come to another interesting component proposed by the company, the outermost smooth surface is in fact touch, and replaces the common physical buttons found on all wireless headphones sale on market with touch controls – in fact often uncomfortable. Not of the impossibility of being able to adjust the volume from the earphones – a decidedly heavy and unjustified absence, the integrated controls allow you to answer / close a call, play / stop a music track and interact with the virtual assistant – Siri and Google.
In this interesting park of merits, PaMu Scroll highlights some defects that should not be underestimated, some common to all True Wireless, others peculiar to the product. Starting from the first, the Scrolls do not give the best call in noisy environments due to the distance of the microphone from the ear: those who listen to us while we are, for example, in a supermarket or in traffic, must pay close attention to understand what we are saying. This problem is felt especially in the mono-earphone call, but the good news is that each in-ear has its own microphone, so as to increase volume and sensitivity by wearing both earphones – Padmate calls the Binaural Audio Call system.
The autonomy, then, will always be monitored even if you bring the case (top-up) with you so as not to run the risk of finding yourself on the ground with both batteries. In this case the wireless docking station could come in the car, to be purchased separately, on which to rest the apparatus for a recharge – even at night. This would also allow you to bypass another product defect, that is the earpiece autonomy, of just 3.5 hours in music listening and 5 hours in call. Considering the need to use the microUSB input to recharge the case (which in turn allows you to restore the earphone’s range for 2 times) the charging speed is also quite slow: it takes just over 2 hours to go from 0 to 100. Fortunately, the case has 4 status LEDs to indicate the remaining battery level of the docking station, allowing you to adjust when to do a complete reset of the autonomy.
From the audio point of view, particular attention was paid to the bass, following the fashion of the moment that sees the latter mastering the mid and high frequencies. The advantages of PaMu Scroll, however, are to be found elsewhere and not in the sound experience: earphones fulfill their work well, but without excelling. Even the ergonomic level stands for a good result but this aspect remains purely subjective. Personally I continue to prefer the Bluetooth earphones with cable, because I find them more comfortable, functional and discreet, but the fact of being able to interact with touch controls instead of pressing a button pressing towards the ear, certainly plays in favor of the Padmate solution. To conclude, I would say that at the moment the AirPods remain the best compromise in circulation from an ergonomic point of view.
The price-quality ratio should be set against the final cost, or about $ 149, because the advantageous offer from the crowdfunding campaign is now gone. In this perspective, PaMu Scroll loses a bit of points, because net of the excellent design and good construction, offering more than $ 100 to the market necessarily means having to offer something more than the others. That gap on the competitors, in fact, is absent than other models of the same price if not lower, put on the table with same characteristics, as well as a better audio experience and some more guarantee in the long term. But, now you can buy them on Moldac only with $79, that is very recommend to own then.