Aukey EP-T16S Review
The Aukey EP-T16S wireless in-ear headphones only cost half as much as the Aukey Key Series EP-T10. So what is the difference between the middle class and the top model? Is the surcharge even worth it, and where do you have to compromise? We’ll clarify that in this review!
- Good support.
- Complete orders.
- Sound rendering much too focused on the bass.
- Obvious lack of precision on the entire reproduced spectrum.
Packaging and scope of delivery
The experienced tester’s eye will notice the first differences in quality on the packaging. While Aukey uses color-printed cardboard boxes with partial relief varnish for the Key Series packaging to highlight the headphone’s graphic on the cardboard, the Aukey EP-T16S arrives in a plain, white cardboard box.
Only the Aukey logo can be seen on the front. A hint as to what kind of product it might be inside can only be found on the back. The type designation “EP-T16S” is printed here. The addition “headphones” or “headphones” is also missing here.
Most of them, apart from me, will probably not care much about this. After all, it depends on the inner values! The box contains the headphones themselves, a micro-USB charging cable, three pairs of ear pads, and a multilingual user manual.
Design & processing
The Aukey EP-T16S has an ordinary bud design. However, I noticed that the headphones here are less ergonomically shaped than we know from the Aukey Key Series EP-T10. The speaker outputs are slightly angled and thus adapt to the ear canal – the Aukey EP-T16S is not.
The AUKEY logo is printed on the back of the earphones but in a darker font than the Amazon product images suggest. So it is much less noticeable than expected, at least on our black version of the wireless in-ear – I like it! In addition to black, the headphones are also available in white.
The headphones are always made of light plastic, which is matt on the inside and the front of the headphones, but the side elements are glossy, a nice contrast, I think. The charging cradle of the Aukey EP-T16S has a similar look. Shiny “piano lacquer look” for the flap to open the charging cradle, while the underside with the battery is again matt black.
In the course of use, the top of the charging cradle will probably lose its shine because it already shows the first small scratches. If you carry it in your pocket or a backpack, you will probably not be able to avoid further micro-scratches.
In principle, I don’t have much to complain about when it comes to the quality of the headphones. Both the charging cradle and the earphones themselves have no material or production defects. The quality of materials and quality is apparently on a par with TaoTronics or Tronsmart headphones – the solid middle class!
Sound of the Aukey EP-T16S in the test
A 6 mm dynamic driver is built into each of the small in-ear headphones. At least the membrane size is the same as that of the Aukey Key Series EP-T10, but the differences in terms of sound are greater.
As is so often the case with cheap wireless in-ears, the bass is also dominant in the Aukey EP-T16S. Compared to the Aukey EP-T10, however, it seems a bit superficial, and the subliminal sub-bass is missing.
The midrange is okay, but it appears flattered and not so multifaceted even in direct comparison to the Key Series EP-T10.
In tweeter convinced me of Aukey EP-T16S not, even with the first trial hearing and without comparison, I realize that some sounds or instruments very “spongy” are played back. Anything but high-resolution and roughly on the level of Redmi Airdots, which, at least regularly, only cost a fraction.
Compared to the TaoTronics Soundliberty 53, which regularly costs 39.99 € but is often already on offer for ~ 29 €, the Aukey EP-T16S can unfortunately not quite keep up, in my opinion. On the other hand, the TaoTronics headphones score with stronger sub-bass frequencies, and also in the high and mid-range, they are a bit more detailed for my taste.
The sonic tuning of the individual frequency ranges of Aukey EP-T16S I like good overall. It’s a bit bass-heavy, which doesn’t bother me that much given my taste in music. Otherwise, as with the Aukey Key Series EP-T10 and TaoTronics Soundliberty 53, no frequency range is too prominent – the overall sound is right!
Unfortunately, the Aukey EP-T16S sounds quite flat despite good tuning. I especially lack depth in the sub-bass range and details in the highs. But, of course, everything is within the scope of the price/performance ratio. In my opinion, this is better with the Tronsmart Soundliberty 53, at least at the regular price.
Compared to Aukey’s top model Key Series EP-T10, the EP-T16S can only be compared in tuning. However, in terms of sound quality, in my eyes, there are worlds between the two, so that the EP-T16S cannot be called a cheaper alternative in my eyes.
As already briefly mentioned under Design & Workmanship, the headphones of the Aukey EP-T16S are not ergonomically shaped. So they adapt less well to the ear canal shape than other headphones in their price range.
With their very low weight of only 3.5 g per earphone, the headphones, at least for me, still have a good grip in the ear and do not become uncomfortable even when worn for long periods. For example, I have bigger problems with semi-in-ear headphones like the Huawei FreeBuds 3 or the Apple AirPods.
During my test phone calls, the people I spoke to understood me well, and background noises did not play a major role. However, even though it was fundamentally intelligible, the people I spoke to said that my voice now and then sounds “ticked off” or falsified, which reduces the quality of the conversation. So are suitable the Aukey EP-T16S though it could be tough to follow for the other party for short conversations, with long talks.
Operation via touch panel
On the back of the earphones, at the level of the AUKEY logo, there are touch elements with which some functions can be carried out directly with the headphones when listening to music and making calls.
In the test, the operation via touch panel worked reliably, and I also like that Aukey supports all common functions with the EP-T16S. Compared to the more expensive Soundcore Liberty Air 2 or Liberty 2 Pro, you don’t have to do without anything here.
Bluetooth pairing and range
The headphones are equipped with the current Bluetooth 5 standard and, according to the manufacturer, should be stable over a connection of 10 meters. In the test, we were able to confirm this range on open space approximately. The right handset always acts as the master (is directly connected to the cell phone), the left one always acts as a slave (is connected to the right handset, not the cell phone).
Unfortunately, it is not possible to change the master with this model. For left-handers, it makes perfect sense that the left listener is also set as the master. Unfortunately, it is not even possible to use the left handset individually, but only in conjunction with the right handset – a shame!
In the middle class, the Earfun Free or the TaoTronics Soundliberty 79 have solved this better, in my opinion. A one-time pairing in stereo mode is sufficient to use both left and right earphones individually afterward.
The Aukey EP-T16S are each equipped with a 55 mAh battery, plus 400 mAh in the charging box. Despite the average battery capacity, the runtime, with around 2.5-3 hours in the test at a 50-70% volume, is below average for today.
The earphones can be recharged about three times in the charging box. This achieves an approximate running time of 8-9 hours without the need for a socket. The charging process of the charging box takes about two hours in the test, depending on the charging adapter used. Unfortunately, the case is still charged with the micro-USB standard, which is no longer up-to-date.
Although the Aukey EP-T16S and Aukey Key Series EP-T10 look almost identical on the datasheet, they don’t have much more in common in practice. The headphones are well made, stylishly designed, have well-functioning touch control, and are suitable for short phone calls.
On the other hand, sound and battery life are unfortunately not so good for today’s standards. In the sound comparison test, I like the TaoTronics Soundliberty 53 and also the Earfun Free better. Unfortunately, the battery life of just under 3 hours is no longer up-to-date.
However, if you consider the generous 50% voucher code that Aukey has set up especially for you, the China Gadgets Community, the price-performance ratio is okay again, in my opinion. For ~ 25 €, they are about the same price as the Redmi Airdots, and they are on par with these.
With the Aukey EP-T21, the Chinese manufacturer has already presented the next mid-range model. However, at first glance, this makes a more promising impression!