Let’s add this next sentence to the list things that have happened in 2020 that the 2015 version of us would have laughed at:
Ray J, yes the reality star Ray J, has quietly built an earbuds business that’s rumored to pass $100 million in sales this year. And the sound is surprisingly good.
Willie Ray Norwood Jr, also known as Ray J’s, is the founder of 3-year-old wireless headphone company Raycon. In that time short amount of time, Raycon has racked up millions of customers and chipping away at Apple’s market share.
Compared to Apple’s strategy of selling neutral designs at high prices, Raycon’s filling the niche of well designed earbuds at half the price.
Raycon’s wireless earbuds start at $79 gives customers two things: a variety of earbud colors and hard, and I mean hard, hitting bass.
From Reality Star to Business Mogul
After a career in reality TV, Ray J’s first move into the electronics business came in 2015 when he launched a e-scooter product at the height of the hoverboard craze.
While he was able to establish a strong brand, he wanted to scale up faster by bolstering up operations and focusing on a broader market. He decided to pivot and team up with Ray Lee, a AGE entrepreneur in the electronic space.
“When we first started off, we tested everything. Scooters, headphones, smartwatches, and everything in between. Over 30 products. Our goal was to find gaps in the market that big companies like Apple were ignoring for customers that they didn’t really care about. The outcome was clear… super personable wireless earbuds for a user base that was growing like crazy.”
The company’s most popular headphone, the E25 Earbuds, sell for $79 and the higher end performance model sells for $119.
But let’s cut to the chase: can a reality star really compete with Apple, the electronic behemoth that dominates the market?
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We Tested Raycon’s Earbuds: The Results
I spent a week with the E25 Earbuds though the company has multiple models:
- The Everyday E25 ($79): Earbuds. Wireless. Entry model. Most popular. Loud bass. Compact. 24-hour battery life.
- The Performer E55 ($119): Earbuds. Wireless. Perfect for exercise. Wireless charging. 36-hour battery life.
- The Trendsetter H20 ($99): Over-ear. Wireless. Noise-canceling. 22-hour battery life.
To make a long review short:
- The bass: very, very noticeable. If like bass, buy these. If you don’t, stay away. The bass is controlled and punchy. But not for everyone, especially if you want something subtle.
- The fit: About the same as Airpods, which for me is great. I ran 10 miles wearing them and didn’t have an issue.
- The price: Hard to beat. Half the price of the $199 Airpods and certainly more than half the quality. Are they as good as the Airpods? In terms of sound quality, yes. The case doesn’t feel as sturdy, but certainly good enough.
- Battery life: 6 hours of listening. The case has 36 hours of extra charge. Surprisingly, Airpods only have 3 hours. So in comparison, Raycon wins this one.
In other words, maybe Ray J is on to something.
For $79.99 these earbuds are worth a try. And if you don’t like them, the company offers a return policy of 45 days, no questions asked.
Update: I came across a discount code that works for 15% off Raycon orders. Use code QPRL15 at checkout on their website (www.rayconglobal.com).
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