A few months back, we first heard about the Pamu Slide. These were some highly-anticipated earbuds, which came from the same company that brought us the Padmate, some of the best wireless earbuds on the market. To put it mildly, the Slide did not live up to expectations. What went wrong? We’re about to take a closer look, and find out.
But to judge these earbuds fairly, we first need to establish what they were designed to do. First, they’re supposed to stay in your ears even when you’re physically active. This is something we’d expect from any pair of earbuds, but some buds are stickier than others, and the Slide was touted for its reliability. Secondly, the Pamu Slide is designed to maintain a long battery life, for minimal down time. With 10 hours of battery life in stereo, they’ve certainly achieved their goals in this regard.
But there are other features that are just as important for a good pair of earbuds. Reliability, audio quality, and the be-all and end-all of all companies, customer service. And in many of these areas, the Pamu Slide hasn’t just disappointed. It’s been downright awful. As a result, we’ve decided to write this review, taking into account all of the Slide’s post-launch failures. Let’s get started!
Design & Construction
The Slide gets its name from the unique charging case. While most earbud charging cases have a clamshell design, the Slide’s case slides open like a patio door. This is neither a good thing nor a bad thing, but it’s a neat marketing gimmick, and the case itself is well constructed. The bulk of the design is manufactured from ABS plastic, but it has a rigid internal aluminum frame for added strength, and the top of the lid has aluminum accents. The earbud charging wells are magnetic, which allows for easy retention when the earbuds are inserted. Pop them in, turn the case over, and shake it. It doesn’t matter. They’re going to stay in place. At least in theory.
This is where we come to the first of the Slide’s many failings. As many of Pamu’s Indiegogo backers have discovered, the Slide buds can and do fall out of the case at any opportunity. This isn’t a big issue if they’re just sitting on a flat surface in the charging case. But if you were actually relying on the magnets to hold the earbuds in place, you’re going to be disappointed.
One thing we did appreciate about the Slide is the fact that you can use the charging case as a portable power bank. There’s a button on the back of the case that will put it into charging mode. This should really be considered an emergency feature, not your go-to option. The Slide’s case carries a lot of charge for earbuds, but it’s only enough to power your phone very briefly. But it’s still nice to have the emergency option available.
Both the case and the earbuds themselves are IP6-rated for water resistance. This means they’ll stand up to splashes, sweat, and rain, but they’re not rated for submersion. Wear them anywhere you want, except in the swimming pool. The controls are soft touch buttons, which should be familiar if you’ve owned a pair of wireless earbuds in the past.
In addition to the earbuds and case, you’ll also receive a few extras. You’ll get three different sizes of ear tip, so you can find a comfortable, custom fit. You’ll also receive a USB Type-C charging cable, and an owners manual. The USB cable can be used both for charging your earbuds, as well as for charging your phone in power bank mode.
Battery and Charging
One of the Slide’s main promises was for long battery life. And, to be fair, Pamu has delivered. While many popular wireless earbuds offer from 3 to 5 hours of battery life on a single charge, the Slide offers an impressive 10 hours. The case carries enough juice for 5 recharges, so you get a grand total of 60 hours with a single charge of the case. Obviously, your actual listening time will vary based on volume, bitrate, and other variables. But even if you somehow manage to cut the Slide’s battery life in half, you’re looking at a 30-hour pair of earbuds, which isn’t bad at all.
The Slide’s charging case doesn’t technically utilize quick charge technology, but it’s still pretty speedy. With only 5 minutes on the charger, you’ll get an hour’s worth of use from the earbuds, enough for a workout or a morning commute. Total charge time is about 90 minutes, and as with many chargers, the pace of recharging slows down as the battery fills up.
And now we come to another of the Slide’s failings. Simply put, the batteries and charger aren’t reliable. As this YouTuber discovered (video above), they’ve been known to fail after just a couple of cycles. Needless to say, this is unacceptable. Worse yet, all the reports we’ve seen about Pamu’s customer service are as bad as they come. Phone calls and emails go unanswered, and promised refunds are never paid.
Comfort and Fit
Slide earbuds are about what you’d expect in terms of comfort. If you’ve owned a pair of silicone-tipped earbuds before, you’ll know what you’re getting into. Specifically, the quality of the fit depends on which ear tips you use. The larger the tip, the more secure the fit, and the better noise isolation you’ll receive. Conversely, a smaller tip will leave you with a looser fit, but it may be more comfortable.
Here’s where Pamu has once again failed their customers. The Indiegogo campaign promised a secure fit that will never fall out. Maybe that’s unrealistic. After all, the company has no control over what set of ear tips you end up using. But we’ve seen numerous reports of people losing their Slide earbuds. We understand why this happens, but it’s disappointing that Pamu made a promise they were unable to keep.
Wireless Connectivity & Call Quality
The Pamu Slide uses the current Bluetooth 5.0 protocol. This allows for faster syncing and lower latency than older Bluetooth protocols. You can connect them to just about any device, including Android, iOS, and Windows machines, so you’d be hard-pressed to find a device that’s not compatible with the Slide. The range of the Bluetooth connection is about 30 feet, although it’s considerably less if you don’t have a clear line of sight. Still, 30 feet is enough to leave your MP3 player or phone on the coffee table while you go about everyday chores.
Call quality is lag-free, and you can easily hear the person on the other end of the call. However, the microphone leaves a lot to be desired. To begin with, it doesn’t incorporate any noise cancelling features, but that’s common on earbud microphones. But even worse, there seems to be a constant hiss over the microphone. Whoever you’re talking to is not going to appreciate that.
In addition, the Bluetooth syncing is janky at best. The earbuds oftentimes lose their memory when they’re put on the charger, and can require re-syncing every time you take them off the charger. Annoyingly, this sometimes happens with only a single earbud, so you can go out for a run and find that only one of the earbuds is actually producing any sound.
Finally, we come to audio quality. Normally, this is the most important part of an earbud review, but given the Pamu Slide’s other issues, we wouldn’t recommend these earbuds if they offered the best studio-quality sound available. Still, if you’re going to make an informed decision, it’s important to know how good the sound quality is.
To begin with, the Slide earbuds utilize passive noise cancelling, not active. This is par for the course where wireless earbuds are concerned. Active noise cancelling would be nice, but it would significantly lower the battery life. And provided you’ve chosen ear tips with a secure fit, outside noise shouldn’t be much of a concern.
The actual audio drivers are fairly vanilla for a pair of earbuds. They’re small and compact, and they do a decent job of producing quality highs and mids. Cymbals and strings are clear, and your vocals will come through without any muddiness. You also get consistent quality at all volume levels, without any distortion when you crank up the volume. So far, so good.
But the bass is horrendous, and we don’t say that lightly. After all, you expect earbuds to deliver considerably less bass than a set of speakers or over the ear headphones. But we’re not just talking about underwhelming bass. We’re talking about bass that literally isn’t there. Dance music, heavy metal, and anything with a strong backbeat suffers severely.
At the end of the day, the Pamu Slide is just fine for podcasts, audio books, and treble-heavy genres like country and classical. But if you’re a serious audiophile, you’re going to be disappointed, just like thousands of Pamu’s Indiegogo backers.
When we first heard about the Pamu Slide, it was still in development, and it looked like one of the best earbuds of the year. And considering how well-loved the original Padmate earbuds were, we had plenty of reason to be optimistic. But rarely has a technology manufacturer let us down this badly.
First off, Pamu promised a secure fit. In reality, we got an average fit. In itself, this wouldn’t have been very disappointing, but it’s part of a pattern. Pamu has made several claims, and failed to deliver. Secondly, they promised long battery life and, to be fair, they delivered in this regard.
But why would you even care? The earbuds frequently fail, they don’t stay in the case, and the audio quality is what you’d expect from a set of $10 wired earbuds in the Wal Mart checkout lane. Worse, the company couldn’t even get connectivity right. The frequent failure to pair is simply unacceptable, and it wasn’t a problem with the original Padmate.
So what went wrong with the Pamu Slide? Just about everything. Do yourself a favor and buy another pair of earbuds. You could choose your next pair totally randomly, and you’d be guaranteed to do better.
37 thoughts on “Pamu Slide Scam? Review of the Earbuds That Will Surely Disappoint”
Please visit Indiegogo now and see what they are currently doing with backers in their comment section. A definite NO-GO. Worst post production service, they are becoming so much greedy for new orders but can’t send out shipment which are already 45days old. WORST EXPERIENCE EVER
Its a horrible device and definately a faulty one.
Worst tech support for defective product. Asks to take video of the headphones not working. Started power cycling and disconnecting after about 1 week. My set was garbage.
I threw my away because one failed to pair and it took 6 months for them to answer me. I prefer my Apple i pods. Much more reliable!
Warning to anyone considering purchasing these. Left earbud started crackling and cutting out, and their customer service is awful. They keep asking for video’s showing the intermittent issue. Extremely frustrating. This think they plan on winning a war of attrition with me.
I supported this campaign, and so far I’ve been VERY unimpressed with these. They are comfortable, but I have to forget them and repair them every time I want to use both of them, and the sound quality is absolute crap. I’ve gotten more bass out of $5 corded earbuds than these! It’s tinny and sounds distant even at the highest volume. There are no instructions for adjusting the equalizer settings.
Before anyone says that you get what you pay for, let me point you towards Raycon E50 earbuds. I ordered them only a week after I supported the Pamu slide campaign, and I got hit them almost a month sooner. Yes, I realize the limits of a crowdfunding campaign, but it was definitely a point in Raycon’s favor. The E50 had been replaced by the E55, which runs about the same price as the E50, about $80. The E50 paired seamlessly with my prepaid Motorola E5 Play, and sound is AMAZING. Nice deep bass, even treble, and REALLY good ambient noise cancellation. That’s not even a selling feature of them, but they do it anyway! I work in a jewelry repair shop polishing jewelry on a bench grinder with a vacuum cabinet, both of which are loud on they own and together you can’t hear much. The Raycon E50 buds block that noise; when when all the machines are off and I have one in but I’m not playing music, I can’t hear what anyone says if they are on that side of my body! So if you are looking for a REALLY great pair of wireless earbuds for less than $100, check the Raycon E55 out.
Fail, fail, fail… very disappointed with these and the so called back from the supplier.
Yep very aware it’s a crowd funding gig however, are they not supposed to be in this for long term ?
I used mine for approximately 3-4 hours in total and now will not even connect.
I paid $50 Aud for a pair of Fitbit Flyer on special and they eat these for breakfast.
I’ve sent 4 emails now and still no response.
Totally agree with Heather Vandergrift in previous post.
Don’t waste your money.
Peter Shane Townsend
Third email regarding this item not working… fails to connect on many occasions… drops out for no reason on the rare occasion it works… Bluetooth does not register … fail fail fail.
Why do you not answer my emails?
Have you disappeared and taken the money ?
These things are garbage!
Pamu Slide seems to be universally disliked. Well, I beg to differ. I bought a pair when my Xiaomi Air buds went dead after a couple of months of use. Until then I thought they were perfect, on par with the best wired earbuds.
Pamu made some bold claims for the Slide, so I bought them at discount (under 50 euros) in August. They paired perfectly (and have stayed paired ever since). The battery seems to last forever. They do not sound quite as good as the Xiaomi Airs, but close enough.
But they do not stay in the ear. I mean, the one thing they chose to advertise on is moot. The eartips provided are very flimsy and even with the largest ones these rather heavy earbuds fall out very easily.
Luckily I was able to replace the eartips with memory foam tips. Now they seal the ear canal efficiently, which helps to boost the bass frequencies to a very good level. And, more importantly, they stay put until you choose to take them out.
I have used Comply memory foam tips for other earbuds, but their holes are too big for Pamus. However, I found suitable memory foam tips at a Chinese webstore. They fit fine and cost 1/10th of the Complys (which are very expensive for what they are…).
The only grievance with these memory foam tips is that if you put the earbuds in the case, the weak magnet won’t engage the buds with the charging point so they stay on until the battery runs out.
My only solution to this problem is to take off the tips every time I put the earbuds in the charger. Not an ideal situation, but I think the pros outweigh the cons in this case.
Luckily I have had no quality issues with the Pamus, so no opinions of the customer service. I know, though, what a PITA it can be. When my Xiaomi Airs broke, the seller required me to shoot a video that proves they don’t work. After much arguing the seller’s parent company stepped in and ordered the seller to reimburse me.
Apparently this video thing is a feature in Chinese webstores to discourage customers’ complaints. Next phase will probably be a compulsory dance routine in the complaint video while singing “The East is Red” in chinese.
Supported this drive only to receive defective items that dont connect half the time and after only a week of use it started to rattle when listening to anything with a little base. Also falls out easily, not as advertised. Sound is ok but is total junk.
TERRIBLE Customer Service!!! The slide on the case came detached. I sent an email with pictures and followed up 3 days later when I didn’t get a response. They actually got back to me and told me it wasn’t possible for the top to come off and asked if I dropped it. Same song and dance when I replied. Had to follow up a few days later. I said it certainly is possible (because it happened to me) and that I didn’t drop it. Their response was to superglue the top back on. I replied that I am not fixing their defect and to honor the warranty. I got a reply saying to superglue it again.
Lesson learned… Don’t by from this joke of a company. I guess they are spending all their money on celeb endorsements (if real) and fake amazon reviews. But, don’t take my word for it. As others suggested, go to indiegogo for reviews. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/pamu-slide-born-for-music-never-fall-out/x/21817515#/comments
Non existent support, I have emailed three times with no response. Silicone sheath falls off easily. Bulky and hard to carry. Very hard for others to hear u during a call
my left earplug started crackling and i had to write 7times and made 3 videos in order to get a response. The response was:
Hi Hannes ,
Thanks for your video
There was no question about headphone noise in your video,
For noise issues, you can follow the steps below to solve the problem:
….and then 5 tipps to lower the volume…..
what a joke…
I have had my Slides since June and they aren’t perfect, but they work and I use them daily. My issues with them are: you can only use the left bud individually, the rubber cover keeps falling off, and customer service is poor. The sound is good, but like with any earbud, they need to be set in your ear canal right or they’ll fall out and the sound is poor. I talk on them all the time and ask the other end how they sound, their reply has always been clear. I use them daily, because their battery life is crazy. I have been getting 8 -10 hours a day with them. I also have Jabra Elite Sport buds and Powerbeats Pro. Both are good for work outs, but the slides have been my go to for everything else. Like I said they aren’t perfect, but have worked for me.
Upside: I cannot complain about the sound quality, definitely better than the Antimi I bought for the same price. Sound IS great – maybe its a question which angle you put them in and which size you use. I gave them a couple of months now and they work perfectly, connection to iphone is fast, battery still fine so I personally dont understand what went wrong. Maybe you got some from the first and second production which had some issues.
Service really not good, had some issues with the adress and it took me a lot of time to fix it.
I got my PamuSlides in Oct.’19. Touch controls (click or long press) of the right side earphone has never worked.
I wrote to the padmate support 8 times (!) to no avail. Their instructions to fix my issue never improved the defective touch controls.
In other words, since I received these PamuSlides, they never worked. PadMate apparently won’t replace defective earbuds. So the final destination of my PamuSlides is the dustbin!
Waisted money and waisted time spent writing to PadMate support. I’ll inform Indiegogo of the PamuSlide rather failed crowdfunding stint.
Must say, this is the worst review ever. The whole review reads like the reviewer never even had a pair in the first place.
I’ve had mine for many months. After getting the right size of tips, the sound quality, bass, treble etc has been excellent. I can use either earpiece individually, I’ve only paired once to my Google Pixel and the range is absolutely incredible. I managed 2 stories of my house through stud walls, just brilliant, the battery is amazing too and the touch controls work fine too. Call quality is perfect too, the person on the other end didn’t know. The earphones definitely do not fall out of the case, even when upside down, did the reviewer have them in the correct side? They are held in magnetically and there is a light that shows them charging both on the case and on each earphone.
I agree with you 100%! The customer service is absolutely her Renda’s, the company needs to work on this however, great product and I recommended it and gifted it to a few friends! Looking forward to the Pamu slide mini now
Just wanted to share my thoughts so far – received mine back in Dec 2019. The sound quality and bass is very good – HOWEVER – it’s gotta be at the right angle in the ear! So you have to have a bit of a play to make sure it’s snug and in your ear properly – otherwise yes it just doesn’t have any bass at all and overall sound is bad. All other aspects like battery life is all OK so far and never had issues pairing with my iPhone
Well written and very accurate review based on my experience with these. Real disappointment.
Not satisfied at all. I use them every odd day to run for 30 minutes and it’s already damaged by sweat after only 4 months of non intensive use (although I wipe it clean after use). I’ve been experiencing a lot of sync problems with my Samsung S8+ and incompatibility with chromebook and some other devices. Plus, their “customer service” lacks service… Apart from long battery life, I don’t recommend it at all…
Wow, so many of us are wrong… Been using mine for work since they came out and I love them… Love them so much I bought two pair! Keep in mind that I also have Shure 846s and 425s so I know good quality and good sound…
You must’ve gotten a bad pair or didn’t have them properly seated in your ears… anyway, really horrible review in my opinion because it is going to steer people away from a quality product
Everyone, try these with the comply your buttocks… You will be amazed
definitely has terrible customer service. I went back and forth repeating the same issue to them and they kept calling me dear! They refuse to refund and or take the product back even though they claim they will never fall out. THEY DO FALL OUT!
Your hat will fall off when the wind comes
Worst headphones I ever purchased. Padmate sold me defective product and their customer service is absolutely appalling. Going to throw these in the trash and make sure I warn others about this shady business.. Padmate sucks.
Steer clear. I purchased 1 on Indiegogo, and whilst waiting another 2 direct from their website. Non of the products ever arrived. I complained, and they claimed they sent me another one which also did not arrive. When I asked for proof of delivery, they sent a letter from a different tracking company from in a different country than where I reside saying they don’t insure deliveries. I have never had any lost orders for the hundreds of online purchases I have made on eBay. Since I paid for three headphones they have made a good deal of profit from me, so I suggested they can send one insured with proof of delivery so I at least get to try one, but they have refused and stopped replying to me.
Kit: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 with Pamu Slide+/Pamu Mini/Sony WF-1000XM3.
Bought a Pamu Slide+ in Dec’19 and really like the battery life (10hrs), haven’t been able to flatten them yet. Good highs and mids, but the bass is lacking. Great syncing and absolutely clear to about 50 feet distance, then start to crackle. for $69 it was a lucky investment.
I’ve used the Sony WF-1000XM3, they are absolutely brilliant sound, highs, lows, mids, bass awesome, but the battery not so good ( by comparison) at 6hrs with Active Noise Cancellation.
The second set of Pamu’s were the mini’s, they suck. One earbud, the right hand one, has less volume than the other and the instructions to factory reset are extremely poor.
I have not been able to get them to work properly. Still trying to fix them…… 🙁
So I think a lot is about quality control and if you’re lucky, you might get a good pair.
Advice? not worth the risk of a bad pair, save and buy a quality brand if you can.
I supported these after supporting their previous product the Pamu Scroll (which were amazing bar the battery life). These have put me off Pamu for the foreseeable future; The slides are awful, they sound average compared to the scrolls, and their design fit and finish is amateur (the silicon back goes walkies after 2-3 uses). The thing that really annoyed me was that they just don’t fit in my ears, whereas the scrolls were perfect.
This is the worst airbuds ever
I bought one pair last year, but it still works so well so far. Sound is great , playback time is impressive. I have no idea why so many compaints on Pamu , maybe they did really need to improve on their support service , but to be midly, their product is great.
The only time in my life I felt scammed for real. Right bud stopped working after 2 weeks. Then worked intermittently, when finally stop working and I reported it, they took forever to answer until finally the warranty was expired. Never buy a thing from pamu
Absolute garbage, worst of the worst. This review is spot on.
Mine are absolutely great, I don’t understand the hate bandwagon. I got initial batches from Indiegogo and they are have been awesome. This review was also full of hearsay without any proof of issues.
Why did I find this page? I was looking for support on my 2 year old earbuds where one finally seemed to die. Oh well, I got more than my $60 out of them and decided to purchase their new earbuds with active noise cancellation.
I just wanted people who found this article to see an opinion from someone who has owned these for quite some time. They sound great and have never fallen out of my ears. Do you people know how to use earbuds?
Just gargabe they lasted little over 2 years until one died.
Utter garbage; also failed after just over a year. Don’t waste your money.