We have looked at several wireless earbuds in the past but the AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless earbuds may be the closest to Apple’s AirPods we have seen yet.
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Apple Tech Talk Scorecard
|Excellent sound quality||Very short charging cord|
|Easy user controls|
AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds – Unboxing
Our unboxing of the AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds (Model #: EP-N5) was our first surprise. In the box were the AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds, the charging case, three (3) pairs of rubber ear tips (S, M & L), a USB-A to USB-C Charging Cable, a User Manual and the typical AUKEY 24-month warranty card. What was a surprise to us was that in addition to the User Guide, there was also a Quick Start Guide, which we are not used to seeing with an AUKEY product.
Most of the wireless earbuds we previously tested where the smaller design that fit inside the ear. The AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds are the first we have tested that resemble the AirPod style with a stem that extends down from the earpiece. The biggest difference in design is that the AirPods stem is rounded and the AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds are mostly flat with slightly rounded edges. Also, the AirPods connect for charging with an outlet on the bottom while the AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds are flat with two small metal connection points on the bottom. To be clear, we are not saying one style is better than the other. Rather, they are just different.
We also found the AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds to be among the most comfortable we have tested. We could easily wear these for an extended period of time without them getting uncomfortable.
AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds – Specifications
The AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds each contain a 0.3” (10mm) speaker driver which support a frequency range of 20Hz – 20kHz with a sensitivity of 101dB +/- 3dB.
The four (4) built in microphones have a frequency range of 200Hz – 5kHz with a sensitivity of -42dB +/- 1dB.
The earbuds each contain a 60mAh Li-polymer battery that can be charged in the case in 1.5 hours. A full charge will power the earbuds for 7-hours.
They are also IPX5 rated so you can use them for a brisk workout.
The charging case has a charging input of DV 5V to charge the 500mAh Li-polymer battery and can be fully charged in 2-hours. A full charge will recharge the earbuds 4-times, for an additional 28-hours of playing time.
The earbuds appear to be held in the case with a strong magnet. There is little chance of an earbud falling out of the case. In fact, we sometimes found it a little difficult to remove the earbud.
The case is charged using the USB-C port on the bottom of the case, and there are four (4) LEDs on the front of the case to indicate the charge level. While charging, the LEDs will flash as the charge level increases. When all four LEDs are solid, the case is fully charged.
The USB-A to USB-C cable includes with the AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds measures 8” tip-to-tip. This is long enough to charge the case if your computer or laptop is right next to you on your desk but in most cases, is too short if you are using an AC power brick. Also, since newer Mac laptops and even some of the AUKEY power bricks now use USB-C exclusively, you will need a USB hub or a USB-A to USB-C adapter to connect the charging case directly to a power source.
AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds – Set-up and Use
Pairing the AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds to our iPhone Xs could not have been easier.
After removing the protective plastic from the stem of each earbud, and fully charging the case and the earbuds, we put our iPhone into Bluetooth pairing mode and opened the lid of the case. Almost immediately, the AUKEY EP-N5 popped up in our device list. We accepted the device and the pairing was completed.
Opening the cover of the case pairs the two earbuds together but you have the ability to use a single earbud. In theory, you could give one of the earbuds to someone else and you would both hear the same music or call.
Controls for the AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds were straight-forward and easy to remember.
Function Action Play or Pause Music Tap either earbud Previous Track Double-tap left earbud Next Track Double-tap right earbud Answer call Tap either earbud End or reject call Touch and hold either earbud for 2 seconds Activate Siri Triple tap either earbud Turn active noise cancelling on or off Touch and hold either earbud for 2 seconds
We did find the touch controls to be a little finicky at first but found applying the gesture towards the top of the stem, which is also closer to the built-in microphones, gave a much more positive response.
AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds – Test Results
Of course fit and features don’t mean much unless your earbuds provide good sound quality and the AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds do not disappoint.
We found the sound reproduction to be excellent with a good balance of highs and lows. Listening to music with lyrics and an orchestral background provided crisp highs of strings and brass with distinct percussion and vocals.
Volume levels were more than adequate. Some of the earbuds we have tested required us to crank up the volume level to hear the music. In the case of the AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds, we actually needed to turn down the volume on our iPhone.
The AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds have Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). With the advanced ANC, the AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds detect and cancel out a maximum of 28dB. Overall, we found the ANC worked well.
Finally, we were impressed by how well the AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds stayed in our ears. We moved around aggressively to see if we could dislodge them and they stayed put.
The Bottom Line
Overall, we think the AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds may be one of the best non-Apple wireless earbuds we have tested to date. The controls are easy to use and the sound quality was excellent.
The total 35-hours play time (7-hours per charge with 4 recharges from a fully charges case) means you can go almost a full work week (35-hours) of use, without the need to recharge.
We do wish the included charging cord was a little longer but that is an easy enough issue to deal with and certainly not a reason to give the AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds a negative mark. Short charging cords seem to be the norm in this product class.
Some Apple purists on our staff feel that nothing can compare to Apple’s AirPods but if you consider that the least expensive AirPods, with the non-wireless charging case is almost three times the cost of the AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds, it becomes a much more difficult decision as to which one is a better value.
The AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds come with the standard 24-month warranty and are available directly from the AUKEY web site.
We would like to thank the folks at AUKEY for providing the AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds for our testing and review.
What are your favorite wireless earbuds? Have you compared third-party brands to Apple’s AirPods? Which do you prefer? Why not join the conversation and leave a comment below?
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