Aukey EP-T21 Review - Are Bargain Earbuds Worth $30?
Aukey delivers cheap Airpod-like earphones that offer fantastic value for money.
The overall score: 3.2 out of 5 points.
If you’re looking for an Airpod alternative for much less money, the Aukey EP-T21 are a great option. The design is almost the same with prolonged earbuds and in-ear style with eartips (Similar to Airpods Pro).
You can listen for 4.5 hours of music per charge, and the charging case is quite small, so it fits into a pocket.
They are loud and sound much better than their price suggests. For MSRP of $30 (earbuds under $30), they are the go-to true wireless earbuds of this style (for value for money).
PROS & CONS
- Very loud
- Ergonomic design that’s stable and comfortable
- Good battery capacity
- Low price
- The lid on the case feels a bit flimsy
- Okay sound
Aukey EP-T21 are one of the:
Type: in-ear headphones
Connection: Wireless Bluetooth 5.0
Driver size: 6 mm
Frequency range: 20Hz – 20,000Hz
Impedance: 16 ohm
Weight: 9 g – 0.32 oz (without the case)
Cable length: n/a
Microphone & controls: Yes
Water-protection: IPX4 (sweatproof)
Battery life: 4.5 h in our test (2x 40mAh)
Charging time: 2 hours
Active noise-cancelling: No
Charging cable: Micro-USB
Bluetooth codecs: SBC
Wireless range: 33ft (10m)
Type: Built-in microphone
Mic freq. range: 200Hz – 5kHz
What’s in the Box?
- Aukey EP-T21 true wireless headphones
- 3 pairs of silicone eartips (S, M, L)
- Charging case
- Micro-USB charging cable
- User manual
Comfort & Fit – 4/5 Great
Aukey T21 are very comfortable thanks to their ergonomic and lightweight design. They fit in the ears well but tend to lose the fit if you move your ears often.
The ergonomics are pretty much figured out. The Aukey true wireless headphones feel and stay comfy for hours. And due to the angled tips, they generally stick in the ears during exercise as well.
Though they aren’t perfect. If you move your ears a lot, when smiling or talking expressively, then the buds slowly “squeeze” out. You need to readjust them from time to time.
You get to choose from 3 pairs of silicone eartips, from small to large. You can replace them with memory foam tips for better noise isolation (not included).
There are small side markings (badly visible), but the earbuds feel weird if you put them in on the wrong sides, so it’s easy to put them in the right way.
Noise Isolation – 3.5/5 Almost Great
Passive noise isolation is better than good but slightly less effective than with comparable in-ear headphones.
One of the reasons might be the fact that the eartips don’t go as deep into the ear canal. The best noise isolating earbuds tend to push the eartips deep in for maximum noise blockage.
Though, like mentioned before, you can improve it by using memory-foam eartips instead of silicone ones. Pick the right size that fully fills your ears, and you’ll enjoy more peace and quiet.
Also, due to earbuds somewhat sticking out you do get some wind noise. It’s not too bothersome in most situations, but on a windy day, you’ll hear it.
Bluetooth – 2.5/5 Average
Bluetooth 5.0 stays connected without interruptions when you have your music device close nearby. The moment you put a wall in between, you get distortion.
Usually, most Bluetooth headphones keep the connection stable even over 1 wall. The Aukeys struggle with that.
A wall makes the music stutter. The second wall kills it altogether.
So, if you want to listen to these without problems, you need to keep your smartphone close.
You still get the standard 33ft (10m) Bluetooth range without obstacles.
Since these are cheap true wireless earbuds, they support the basic SBC codec only, which is understandable.
Is There Video Delay?
The video delay is so minimal you won’t notice it. You can watch YouTube videos in comfort.
Battery – 3/5 Good
You get 4.5 hours of battery life per charge, with around 20 hours more in the charging case. It’s a solid battery performance.
To charge the true wireless earbuds, you have to fill up the case first. You can do that with the included Micro-USB cable and takes about 2 hours.
Then when you want to use them, just take them out, and they turn on and connect automatically (after the initial pairing).
Turning them off is the same. Just put them in the box.
There are no battery indicators on the box, something we’ve gotten accustomed to from other true wireless headphones.
While the battery life isn’t as long as that of the Jlab Audio Jbuds Air at 5.5 hours but it’s close enough for the price tag. Cheaper earphones usually come with smaller batteries.
Durability – 4/5 Great
The Aukey true wireless earbuds are fully plastic but feel like more expensive headphones. Plus, with IPX4, you can use them for working out and other sweaty activities.
You might think they have to be badly built since they’re so cheap. But that’s not true at all.
They’re well built and feel like premium earbuds. You wouldn’t be surprised if you paid $100 for the same build quality.
Still, the sleek plastic finish is prone to small scratches but only if you drop them a lot. If you could get them in white, many people would mistake them for Airpods.
The only thing that points to a cheap set of earbuds is the charging case. The lid on it is slightly flimsy, though not as bad as with Beat Powerbeats Pro. In reality, it’s not a big issue.
Features – 2.5/5
Touch controls, microphone, automatic reconnection, auto switch to your wireless earbuds during a call, but no volume control or multipoint (connecting to 2 devices).
You get all the basic features you can expect in modern Bluetooth earbuds. Though, considering the price you pay, you don’t get any extras we’re accustomed with premium models.
There’s no app with customizable options and no multipoint if you’d want to connect 2 devices at the same time.
And, more importantly, no way to change volume without taking out your smartphone. It’s a downer but acceptable considering the price.
On the other hand, you can control music and calls with touch controls (a combination of taps and long presses). Make phone calls with good microphone quality, and enjoy hassle-free connecting and charging.
Plus, you can call up your favorite voice assistant too.
Microphone Quality Test
Sound – 3/5 Good
Aukey EP-T21 have good sound quality, you can get them really loud, but still, remind you that you’re listening to budget earbuds.
There’s nothing particularly wrong with the audio quality if you look at it from the perspective of an average user (and low price).
It’s enjoyable with a balanced sound signature that works for music and videos.
The bass isn’t super powerful or deep, but you can hear a bit of rumble if you get an airtight fit. Otherwise, it’s quite subdued.
The treble is quite clear but lacks a bit of spark and detail of more expensive headphones. And at max volume it somewhat distorts.
Plus, you can increase the volume to painfully high levels. It’s probably not healthy, but if that’s your thing, you can do that for a short while.
In addition, the soundstage is tiny as is usual for in-ear headphones.
They sound good, just not great. But considering the price, you can be very happy. It’s better than you would expect.
Why Buy the Aukey EP-T21?
If you’re looking for cheap Airpod-like earbuds that cost peanuts but still deliver on most fronts, then the Aukey EP-T21 make for a great choice.
When it comes to budget headphones you have to give up certain features. You can’t expect fantastic sound or the latest tech.
Though, you get perfectly decent true wireless earbuds with 4.5-hour battery life, comfy design, and enjoyable sound.
For the low price of $30 MSRP, you’ll get more than your money’s worth, which is why these are so popular.
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