PineBuds Pro ANC & TWS Bluetooth earbuds with open-source firmware launched for $70

Pine64 has just started taking orders for the PineBuds Pro ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) & TWS (True Wireless Sound) earbuds based on the Bestechnic BES2300-YP dual-core Arm Cortex-M4F Bluetooth audio microcontroller found in the PineSound development board.

There are plenty of TWS earbuds on the market, but the PineBuds Pro earbuds are hackable thanks to an open-source firmware that could pave the way to interesting features, and potentially the development of open-source firmware transforming the earbuds into hearing aids.

PineBuds Pro

PineBuds Pro specifications:

  • WiSoC – Bestechnic BES 2300YP dual-core Arm Cortex-M4F @ up to 300 MHz with HW DSP instruction, 992KB SRAM, 4MB flash, Bluetooth 5.2 dual mode. Supports hybrid ANC (active noise cancellation) and TWS (true wireless stereo).
  • Wireless
    • Bluetooth 5.2 dual-mode connectivity
    • Bluetooth Profile: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP
  • Audio
    • 3x microphones: FeedForward, FeedBack, Talk with Hybrid Adaptive ANC technology blocking out background noise up to 45dB
    • 6 mm dynamic transducer (speaker)
    • Frequency Response (Output): 20Hz-20KHz
    • Sound Pressure Level:  >100dB (1KHz/1mW)
    • Bluetooth Audio Codec: SBC, AAC
  • Programming – USB to dual UARTs on charging case for firmware programming
  • Power Supply
    • 3.7V 40mAh LiPo battery in each earbud
    • 3.7V 800mAh LiPo battery in charging case
    • Charging case with two Left and Right earbuds taking 5V/500mA via a USB Type-C port
    • Battery life – Up to 5 hours of playtime, up to 25 hours with the case
  • Dimensions – Packaging – 93 x 78 x 63mm
  • Weight – 5 grams (earbud), 65 grams (changing case), 156 grams (whole package)
  • IP Rating – IPX4 for the earbuds. Not suitable for swimming, taking a shower, or in a sauna

PineBuds Pro Eartips Charging Case

The earbuds ship with a charging case, ear tips, and a USB-A to USB-C charging cable. The “Little Whale” firmware source code for the PineBud Pro has been released in a zip file in the wiki, where you’ll also find schematics for the earbuds and the charging case, and datasheets for the components including the one for the Bestechnic BES 2300YP microcontroller. Hopefully, they’ll soon share the code in a public repository (as opposed to a zip file) so that code can be worked on more easily…

Just like other products first launched by Pine64, the Pinebuds Pro are geared towards developers at this time, and accompanied with some warnings:

  • Dismantling the earbuds can negatively affect their performance, especially with regard to the ANC functionality.
  • The user needs to use the programming tools provided on the wiki, and bricking the device due to improper programming may void the warranty.
  • Excessive flashing can potentially brick the earbuds

The warranty is also limited to 30 days since it’s basically sold at cost, or close to it. If you’re good with all this, you can order the PineBuds Pro for $69.99 on the Pine64 store.

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