The wireless earphones market is booming with innovative products from both old and new entrants. Ausounds falls in the latter group, a new player based out of New Jersey trying to fight the likes of Apple, Sony, and Beats with its own formula.
Note: We were provided a review unit from Ausounds. However, no other compensations were provided and Ausounds did not receive copy approval rights on this review.
Packaging and Build
Apple is known for using quality packaging and that is the case with Ausounds as well or I could say its even better. The packaging gives off a rich feeling and the unboxing experience is just delightful. I thoroughly enjoyed ripping open the box and was intrigued to find multiple tiny separate boxes (inside the main box) for the earphones, USB-C charging cable, a pouch, and some documentation. Mamma mia!
The neckband style AU-Flex ANC earphones feel premium to hold. Not just that, they look expensive when you wear them as they are; the company has done everything it could to make the earphones be perceived as a luxury item.
Oh boy! The earphones feel premium to hold and wear but the sound quality says something else. The AU-Flex ANC Wireless Earphones cost $199 and I found them to be inferior when compared to a $25 pair of wireless earphones in terms of audio quality. I am not an audiophile but I enjoy a certain level of bass and soothing audio output that is required when listening to certain tracks.
The AU-Flex wireless earphones produces sound that is sharp at high notes and is unpleasant in most cases. For example, when listening to Des Rocs’ Give Me The Night, the audio produced from the AU-Flex made me want to disconnect the earphones altogether as it lacks proper bass and the audio is just too sharp for my ears. On the other hand, my $25 Sony WI-C200 wireless earphones sounded better with proper bass, at least for my taste.
The big feature here is Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) which is in the name of the earphones “AU-Flex ANC Wireless Earphones”. However, the earphones do not implement noise cancellation in the best possible manner to reduce the amount of outside noise. It’s not completely bad – I used this feature on the metro and was able to avoid a little bit of the chatter from the people around me but it could have been better.
The earphones also have “Monitor Mode” which essentially pushes sounds from the microphone to your ears. The outside sounds are amplified to give the users an option to pay attention to the outside world without having to remove the buds from their ears.
Battery and control
The battery life is decent, as during my tests, the earphones easily lasted for more or less 10 hours. I would constantly switch between the provided various listening modes i.e ANC off, ANC on, and Monitor Mode. AU says that users can expect the earphones to last 10 hours with ANC turned on and 22 hours with ANC turned off. The company delivers in the battery department and that is to be expected from neckbands as they have more room for battery compared to true wireless earbuds.
The earphones have four buttons – ON/OFF, Volume Control, and ANC trigger. The ANC trigger button has three modes – ANC turned off, ANC turned on and Monitor Mode which can be cycled through by pressing the button once. However, the process of switching is a little slow and the message reading “ANC turned on” pushed through the earphones is a bummer.
The AU-Flex ANC earphones charge through USB-C and the charging speeds are fairly good. A 15 minutes of charge can provide an hour’s worth of operational time. The charging speeds may vary depending on the adapter used or the USB power output if connected to a computer.
The AU-Flex ANC Wireless Earphones are premium feeling but the sound quality is not upto the mark. There are better options available in the market at the same price as the AU-Flex’s retail price of $199. Apple’s AirPods for one are a much better option as they reproduce a wider soundstage at just $159.
However, if you are strictly looking for neckband style earphones, I still would recommend checking other options before settling on AU-Flex.