Sep 29 2016
I had been thinking about Bluetooth earphones quite a bit, ever since Apple caused a stir by revealing that the iPhone 7 would not come with a headphone jack. This reminded me that the world was becoming increasingly wireless. The time was right for me look into Bluetooth earphones.
After much research and tests, I ended up with the AYL AX8 Bluetooth Headphones (AYL = Accessorize Your Life). I have now spent several weeks using it in many different situations, and I can report from firsthand experience that it’s an excellent product. Here’s what I like about it:
- Inexpensive. At only $30, the AX8 is quite affordable.
- Comfortable. I am able to wear the AX8 for hours without any discomfort. The earbuds are lightweight and well-shaped to fit the ears. If the fit isn’t quite the way you want it, you can always try the different ear caps and ear hooks included in the package until you find something that works for you.
Some Bluetooth earphones have magnets so the earbuds stick together, making them easier to tidy up and be stored away. This is a cool idea, but the magnets do add to the weight. Personally, I would rather do without the extra weight and keep the earphones as light as possible.
- Long battery life. AYL says the AX8 provides 7 hours of listening on a full charge. For me, this means I plug them into the USB charger at night, and the next day I can use them without worrying about it. If power does run low during the day — you’ll be able to tell because the volume will also be lower — you can always use the included USB cable and charge up using any USB port on a laptop or PC.
- Range. I can be 20 feet away from the sound source and not have any problems. This means I can walk around the house with the AX8 on and be able to hear music. This one factor alone makes Bluetooth earphones ten times better than any of the regular earphones I used before.
- Sound quality. The most important thing about the AYL AX8 is that the sound is very good. It’s not exactly at the audiophile level, but I have no complaints. According to AYL, the clarity of sound is due to the improvements of Bluetooth 4.1, the AptX audio codec compression algorithm, and the CVC (Clear Voice Capture) 6.0 noise reduction technology. Bass is also acceptable due to these factors plus the in-ear design — and also bearing in mind what small earphones can realistically accomplish. Overall, music sounds good — certainly good enough for casual daily use.
I used to put on regular earphones when working out at the gym, especially for cardio. Sometimes, I would inadvertently yank the wire when a hand got caught in it. This happened enough to be annoying. I would worry about damaging the thin wire, or wearing out the contacts. That’s all in the past. With the AYL AX8, it is safe to say that I’ll never go back to regular earphones again.
How to Use the AX8
The first thing you’ll want to do with the AX8 is to charge it up. Pry over the rubber cover of the mini USB port, and plug the charging cable into it. Any USB port on a laptop or PC should provide the power you need. Its LED will be red as it is charging, and turn blue when it is fully charged.
This is a user-friendly product with simple controls:
|Press Button||Hold Down Button|
|Plus Button||Volume up||Next track|
|Middle Button||Play / pause||Turn on / off|
|Minus Button||Volume down||Previous track|
Pairing is easy. To pair it with a Bluetooth-capable audio source (perhaps a laptop, tablet or smartphone), just hold down the middle button to put it into pairing mode. Connect to it from the audio source, and you’re done.
The AX8 provides you with audio feedback. When you turn it on, the unit will respond with its female voice: “Power on.” If the audio source is ready, the AX8 will connect to it and report: “Phone one connected.”
That’s it! You are now ready to enjoy music while retaining the freedom to move around and go anywhere in the vicinity as you wish.
You can find this product, AYL AX8 Bluetooth Headphones, on Amazon as well as other stores.