Aukey EP-N5 Review
There are many things to like about Aukey EP-N5, from comfort to sound quality. However, iOS users might experience some limitations due to the lack of AAC codec.
Overall score: 4.0 out of 5 points
Aukey is a company that makes great value products. EP-N5 truly wireless earbuds follow the same rule, giving as many things as possible for the lowest price.
There are only a handful of earbuds that can provide you with active noise-canceling at under $70. Not to mention the sound quality, which can hardly disappoint anyone but the most demanding audiophiles.
Besides the solid construction and a reliable Bluetooth connection, you can also take these for a run. With IPX5, they can survive even a bit of rain if you even get surprised by it.
However, iOS users might still be cautious when making the purchase decision since the lack of AAC codec can affect your user experience.
Feel free to check our Aukey EP-N5 review to see, if these true wireless earbuds suit your needs.
PROS & CONS
- Solid build quality
- Superb comfort
- Enjoyable sound
- Deep, controlled bass
- IPX5 water-resistance
- Can connect to 2 devices at once
- Decent active noise-cancellation performance
- ANC picks up wind noise
- Shallow fit
- One right earbud can be used for mono mode
- No way of remapping touch commands
Type: In-ear headphones
Connection: Wireless Bluetooth 5.0
Driver size: 11mm drivers
Frequency response: 20Hz – 20,000Hz
Impedance: 32 ohm
Cable length: n/a
Microphone & controls: Yes (built-in)
Battery life: Around 7.5 hours per charge (5h with ANC on)
Charging time: from 0-100% in 1.5 hours
Active noise-cancelling: Yes
Charging cable: USB-C
Bluetooth codecs: SBC
Wireless range: 33ft (10m)
Mic design: MEMS
What’s in the Box?
- Aukey EP-N5 true wireless earbuds
- Charging case
- 3 pairs of ear tips (S, M, L)
- Charging USB-C cable
- User manual
Comfort & Fit – 4.5/5 Great
For somewhat chunky wireless earbuds, comfort is never an issue. And despite the shallow fit, they stay securely inside your ears without continually readjusting.
Upon seeing them for the first time, you’re greeted with a bigger-than-usual housing, with a long stem that resembles the Apple AirPods.
EP-N5’s fit inside your ears in a secure manner. That is surprising since they provide a relatively shallow seal. When you put them inside your ears, you don’t feel that “ear canal pressure”, that ensures the earbuds are truly locked into place.
We tried to shake our heads a bit, expecting them to fall out easily. However, earbuds stayed firmly in their place, making them suitable for walking, running, and working out. Of course, they’re not as secure as the in-ears with ear hooks, but they still do their job very well.
Since you barely feel them inside your ears, and thanks to the ergonomic design, comfort is top-notch. There are no pressure points, nothing that could poke into your ears, even after a few listening hours.
Noise Isolation – 4/5 Great
Shallow seal results in average noise isolation, making you hear everything around you, just a little quieter. Thankfully, Aukey’s come with active noise-cancellation.
No matter which of the 3 ear tips you put on, you can’t push these earbuds deep enough to get a better seal. Therefore, noise isolation is only average. We could hear everything around us, just a smidge quieter.
While that can be a good thing if you still want to be aware of the surroundings while listening to music, EP-N5 also offer an active noise-canceling feature. It can’t do wonders, but it does an excellent job with constant noises.
The difference between ANC ON or OFF is small but still noticeable. Since its performance can’t battle noises like people’s chatting, it’s probably not the best tool to use in the cafeteria or other public environments.
However, if you commute a lot and need to eliminate that buzzing plane or bus noise, these can do the trick. While they don’t provide a night/day difference, the best thing about it is that it doesn’t affect the audio quality at all.
Bluetooth – 4/5 Great
You can expect excellent connection stability, minimal video lag on Android, and multipoint support.
As with many other Bluetooth 5.0 compatible devices, Aukey’s exhibit a reliable connection over a one brick wall. When you try to pass, the second wall audio begins to cut off, making the earbuds impossible to use.
Pairing is super easy. You have to open the case and place both buds out. That is when you hear a female voice saying “pairing”, after which EP-N5 appear inside your Bluetooth menu.
There is a small delay when using touch controls on the stems. You need to wait for about a second before the action gets registered. Some other true wireless earbuds offer a faster response time.
These also come with multipoint support, which is excellent news for users with multiple devices at home (smartphone, tablet, laptop). You can connect the earbuds with 2 devices at the same time. If you want to skip between a phone and a tablet, you need first to disconnect them from a previously used device.
Is There a Video Delay?
Aukey EP-N5 only supports SBC Bluetooth audio codec, with no special chip or other proprietary technology to minimize lag. Although you don’t see the difference in audio quality, the video lag is somewhat noticeable.
When watching YouTube on Android, the lag is there, but you get used to it. Almost to the point of not seeing it after a minute or so. iOS performance is much worse since the earbuds lack AAC. So much, that is impossible to watch videos.
Battery – 4/5 Great
These can easily last your though a day. Of course, if you don’t use the active noise-cancellation too much.
The manufacturer claims the battery life of 7.5 hours with ANC turned off. That appears to be accurate, which is more than enough for a day or two of use. There are another 28 hours waiting inside the charging case.
Enabling ANC does take its toll on the battery life, lowering the playtime to around 5 hours (which is 30 minutes more than advertised), which is still respectable for true wireless buds.
They come with a USB-C charging port and quick-charge capabilities, although Aukey doesn’t say how much you get for a few minutes of charging. It takes around 2 hours to charge them from 0 to 100% entirely.
There is no way of knowing how much of the battery is still inside the earbuds. The only indicator is the 4 LEDs on the charging case that lit up when you open the lid.
Also, since the case has a large surface area, it would be nice to have wireless charging. But for the price, you can’t complain much.
Durability – 4/5 Great
Although you can’t tell by only looking at them, they appear quite solid, with IPX5 water protection to make them more versatile to use.
Earbuds are constructed from hard plastic that doesn’t feel cheap. Seams are also tightly sealed, so the housing won’t open in half if it falls on the floor.
They’re more than capable of enduring heavy workouts, with earbuds getting all soaked in sweat. An IPX5 rating means you can even use them in light rain, although fully submerging them isn’t advisable.
The charging case itself looks reasonably durable, although the hinge might break off easily if you’re too rough. It’s small and lightweight, sounding a bit hollow if you knock on it.
Thankfully, Aukey offers a 2 years warranty if anything malfunctions on the earbuds, or the case.
Features – 3.5/5 Almost Great
For the price, you get much more compared to the competition. These features might not work flawlessly, but at least there is an option.
The biggest thing is the active noise-cancellation. We already covered this feature under a “noise isolation”, so let’s summarize.
Since these earbuds don’t have the deepest seal, the ANC feature helps eliminate that extra noise that could have been eliminated by pushing the ear tips deeper into the ear canal.
However, comfort would be slightly worse by doing so, so Aukey made the right decision here. Of course, since there is the real noise-cancellation, you’re also getting rid of constant humming, like cooling fans, airplane engines, and bus engines.
The effect of cancellation is relatively small but still noticeable. To enable the feature, you need to hold the controls for 2 seconds until you hear a beep.
You can control the earbuds by using the touch-sensitive stems. They feel responsive, although there is a little bit of lag, about a second.
Sadly the commands aren’t remappable, so you’re stuck with whatever Aukey decided is the best. For instance, you can’t control the volume, so you need to use your phone, or summon the smart assistant.
Aukey EP-N5 controls:
- Play/pause – one press on either side
- Accept – one press on either side
- End call – tap and hold on either side for 2 seconds
- Reject call – tap and hold on either side for 2 seconds
- Next song – double press on the right side
- Restart/previous song – double press on the left side
- Voice assistant– triple tap on either side
- Activating ANC – press and hold on the right side for 2 seconds
These are not great for taking phone calls. Even inside the quiet room, the voice gets muffled and distorted. You can hear a distinctive audio cuts in between spoken sentences.
Speaking in a noisy environment doesn’t help either. Distortion gets even more severe, while some words are impossible to understand. If you tend to make a lot of phone calls, you’re in for a disappointment.
Sound – 4/5 Great
Aukey surprised us with genuinely good audio quality on these. The sound is full and punchy, with great bass extension and detail.
Since we’re looking at AirPods lookalike, we didn’t expect much in the sound department. We were so wrong. These sound great, especially at the price of under $70.
Despite the shallow fit, the bass is full and well-controlled, even when exposed to more demanding bass-heavy tracks. It’s punchy and fast enough for those rock and metal souls out there.
Of course, the midrange gets colored by the bass. However, there is hardly any muddiness present. Vocals seem a bit forward in the mix, sounding very natural. Instruments are slightly lacking the necessary bite, which makes the listening experience a touch too laid-back.
Treble feels balanced with the midrange, providing a sparkle when needed. Even though the extension isn’t that great, it’s still decently detailed, with no metallic shimmer.
Soundstage and imaging are decent, but you can get better performance from some other in-ear monitors.
Why Buy Aukey EP-N5?
Do you need a bit of everything, with focus on the sound? In that case, you can’t go wrong with Aukey’s.
Their design might resemble the AirPods, but it still has a character of its own. Most importantly, they’re very comfortable to wear, with a fit that is good enough even if you want to use them while running.
It’s hard to get noise-canceling at this price, but here you have it. It works reasonably well, especially if you want to cancel out constant humming noises.
And last but not least, the sound quality is excellent for the price. EP-N5’s are fun, punchy, and work with all music genres.
The only users that might stir away are the iOS ones. Especially if you like watching videos, the audio lag makes the experience completely useless.
Aukey played it safe here and made a great pair of truly wireless earbuds that we can easily recommend.