NoisyGeeks

Review : AUKEY EP-T21 S True Wireless Earbuds 

AUKEY EP-T21 S review

AUKEY’s’ Move Compact II In-ear immersive earbuds (a.k.a EP-T21S) are budget-friendly TWS that are dependable in every way

Hear It. Feel it. Live it.

This advertising tagline of AUKEY EP-T21S captures the entire essence of possessing this TWS pair. Our detailed product review will dwell on each of the aspects of hearing, feeling, and living with these budget-friendly earbuds.

First the brand. AUKEY is a Chinese manufacturer of reliable consumer electronics and mobile tech accessories. Well-known for their line of audio devices, the company earned rave reviews for their bestseller – Aukey T21. The EP-T21S is an upgrade to this previous version and retains all things good from its predecessor – be it the price or the performance!

One look at these in-ear buds and you know that you are dealing with a distant low-budget sibling of Airpods Pro. Priced notches lower than the Apple wonder product, this new generation TWS offering from Aukey delivers crisp, high-fidelity wireless music. It comes with a rapid charge case that supports USB-C charging and boosts total playtime to a remarkable 30 hours on the go. 

Lets’ explore various aspects of this earbud and see if it is a worthy contender in the budget category or just another cheap rip-off.

Upgrade to the Legacy: Comparing T21S with T21

AUKEY T21 and T21S offer sound quality that is perfect for listening to music/podcasts. Even the call quality is clear for both phone calls and calls through conference apps. 

P.S. Both AUKEY T21 and T21S do not have active noise canceling, but they have passive noise canceling, thanks to the snug fit offered by these earbuds.

What has changed in the EP – T21S?

Mostly every feature in the new version is bigger and better. Here is what has changed.

Feature

AUKEY EP-T21

AUKEY EP-T21S

Waterproof Rating

IPX4

IPX6

Charge port

Micro USB

USB C

Driver diameter

6 mm

10 mm

Playtime 

(It has actually reduced)

35 hours

30 hours

LED Indicators

2 LED lights

4 LED lights

Microphone

Normal Mic

Passive Noise-canceling Mic

Color Options

3 options – Black, White, and Pink

5 Options – Black, White, Red, Blue, and Pink

Price

$29.99

$33.99

What has not changed – Charging time is fairly the same (1.5-2 hours), both support Bluetooth version 5.0 and look very similar with their signature stem design. Touch controls, build quality, and shape of the charging case also remains unchanged. 

Pros 👍

Cons 👎

Hassle-free touch control

Little static noise is felt during inactivity

Great battery life (30 hours)

No voice prompts can be a minor annoyance

Low latency

When earbuds are taken out of ears, automatic detection to stop music is missing

Lightweight and Compact TWS

No volume controls 

USB-C fast charging

Reasonably priced

Who should consider buying AUKEY EP-T21S?

When you have the tech market flooded with innumerable TWS options, you might wonder – “Why Aukey EP-T21S?” If you identify with any of the following categories, then this pair of TWS is worth your attention and wallet. 

  • First-Time TWS Buyers – Those who are experimenting with wireless Bluetooth TWS earbuds for the very first time are sure to be pleased with this pair. It is easy to set up, delivers on major performance criteria like sound, durability, looks, and battery life. It is a safe purchase for any TWS first-timer.
  • Fans of Airpods Pro who don’t want to spend – Airpods Pro is undoubtedly the most superior TWS ever, but it also costs $249. On the other hand, these TWS earbuds cost almost 1/8th and look very similar to the iconic Apple product. Right from the curved ear tip head and the long slender battery shaft, it is like owning Airpods Pro twin but with an affordable price tag.  
  • Gym lovers and runners – The earbuds come with an IPX6 waterproof rating, which is rare among TWS devices in this cost category. These buds are ideal for gym use, running, and heavy strenuous exercises which involve a lot of movement, sweat, and occasional rains. 
  • Users looking for the sound quality on a budget – If you have decided that you don’t want to spend beyond $35, then this pair of buds will easily make it to your top choices. Aukey’s T21S has a balanced sound profile with great bass and very few compromises to be made in terms of audio output. 

Need some more convincing? Lets’ see how Aukey EP-T21S performs in the major performance categories that ultimately influence your decision to buy OR not to buy. 

Key Decision Influencers: Things to keep in mind while buying TWS earbuds

There was a time when TWS earbuds were a niche product strictly limited to the audiophile customer segment. Now with such amazing variety and affordable price points, TWS audio devices have climbed up the popularity charts faster than other tech purchases. There is something for everyone.

In order to find this “something” without getting overwhelmed, consider these factors that will act as a trusted buying guide for picking your right pair of TWS earbuds. 

  • Sound Quality – This is a non-negotiable for any TWS to be a serious contender in the best-of-best list. A rich, immersive, and balanced sound profile that is neither lacking in bass nor too bass-heavy is the right way to go. The size of the drivers matters to ensure the sound doesn’t come across as hollow. 10 mm and above driver size is ideal to pack a wide sound stage. Mic reception is an additional factor to be considered if you are going to make a lot of voice calls with your TWS earbuds.
  • Waterproof Rating – TWS earbuds offer freedom of movement without tangling a mess of wires and hence become ideal buddies for your physical pursuits. This makes it necessary for them to be splash-proof and sweatproof, with an acceptable IPX waterproof rating. TWS with IPX6 and above is considered safe to use for gym and running.  
  • Design & Comfort – When you know a device is going to be hanging from your ears for extended hours, it better be worthwhile. Pick TWS earbuds that offer comfort and the correct fit for your ears. If they are too big, they might be painful to wear. And if too small, they might keep falling out. Go for the ones that come with replaceable ear gel tips in different sizes for that perfect custom fit for your ears. 
  • Noise Cancellation – This feature matters because you want crystal clear sound and fewer of background interruptions when using TWS earbuds for voice calls or gaming. While Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) is the benchmark in a good TWS, but many of them offer decent passive noise cancellation owing to the virtue of their design. ANC design increases the cost of TWS earbuds.
  • Battery life – TWS earbuds are as good as their batteries. You don’t want your TWS lying inside the pretty charging case for frequent recharging. So make sure the earbuds offer enough power to sail through at least 5-8 hours of playtime on a single charge. 

So, how does AUKEY EP-T21S rate on these key decision influencers? Here is the rating.

Influencer

Rating for AUKEY EP-T21S

Sound Quality

Excellent

Waterproof Rating

Good

Design & Comfort

Excellent

Noise Cancellation

Average

Battery Life

Good

Excellent – Exceeds Expectations

Good – Meets Expectations

Average – Meets Expectations but needs some improvement

Poor – Doesn’t Meet Expectations

What’s inside the box?

The Aukey EP-T21S comes safely packed in a small cardboard box with the Aukey logo and sketch of the earbuds. There is a “Go Green with Aukey” message at the bottom of the box, which is reflected in the humble, no-fuss packaging of the buds. The cardboard lining in the box is additionally padded with a plastic covering.

On unboxing, you first lay your hands on the charging case. It has the Aukey logo embedded at the top, 4 LED lights in the front panel, and a USB charging port at the back. The satin matte finish of the case is great to hold and look at, but it also makes it prone to scratches. 

The lid opening action of the case is pretty smooth and the buds fit in the case perfectly as the shape of earbuds is cut out at the top. The earbuds lay inside horizontally, and fit in these molded charging wells. The buds need to be put upside down in the case, which might take some time getting used to but will feel natural eventually. 

The EP-T21S are available in colorful variants – Black, Blue, Mint Green, Pink & Red. This means they can easily be matched with anyone’s sense of style.

Box Contents:

  • 1 × EP-T21S True Wireless Earbuds
  • 1 × Charging Case
  • 3 × Ear-Tips Pair (S/M/L)
  • 1 × USB-C Cable
  • User Manual and Quick Start Guide

Set up:

  • Remove the plastic film first from the earbuds and place them in the charging case. 
  • Open the case to enter the pairing mode. 
  • Find and select “AUKEY EP-T21S” (Make sure your Bluetooth is switched ON)
  • After first pairing, the buds will connect automatically and quickly on opening the case
  • Earbuds can be also be used in solo mode independently
  • In case of any connection issues, to reset the earbuds – Take them out of the charging case, tap and long press both earbuds for 6 seconds to turn off. Then tap and long press for 10 seconds to turn them on. This action clears the previous pairing. Put them back in the case to re-pair.

User Guide:

  • To play/pause, a simple tap on either of the earbud
  • To play the next track, double-tap the right earbud
  • To play the previous track, double-tap the left earbud
  • To answer or end the call, double-tap on either of the earbuds
  • To reject a call – Long-press either of the bud for 2 seconds
  • To activate voice assistant support (Siri and Google Assistant), triple tap either earbud or simply say “Hey, Siri”

Features and Functionality

Tech Specs

Dimensions

5.51 x 4.33 x 1.77 inches

Battery life

30h (With charging case)

Item weight

5 ounces

Wearing Styles

In-ear

Connection

Bluetooth 5.0 (10 m operating range)

Waterproof Level

 IPX6

Sensitivity

-42+/-3 dB

Frequency range

20 Hz – 20 kHz

Impedance

32 ohm +/- 15%

Batteries

1 Lithium Polymer battery

Charge Port

USB-C

Type

Closed

Release Month & Year

October, 2020

Color

Black, Blue, Mint Green, Pink & Red

Connectivity and Compatibility

  • TWS EP-T21S provides a stable, efficient wireless connection with Bluetooth 5.0 and a specialized antenna for solid signal that resists interference
  • Supports AAC and SBC codes
  • One-Step Connection: Simply open the charging case and they will automatically connect to your phone (after being paired the first time)
  • You can connect them to multiple devices, just not at the same time. 

Build and Comfort

  • The Aukey EP-T21S buds and their charging case are made of black plastic. The rectangular charging box has a USB Type-C port on the back side. On the front side are 4 LEDs, that show the charge level of the charging box.
  • The True Wireless Earbuds have small audio shells that are shaped like the Apple Airpods Pro. These have a compact main body, with long slender shaft extending down from the main unit. The microphone is located at the bottom.
  • The earbuds feature an ergonomic design that is comfortable for extended use and doesn’t fall off during physical activity. Their super snug fit gives good passive noise isolation. 
  • Convenient Touch Control and mic on each earbud allow effortless switch between audio playback & calls
  • Supports Voice assistant
  • Each earbud can be used in mono mode or twin mode. 

Sound quality

  • 10 mm enhanced dynamic drivers deliver rich bass and clear sound
  • Aukey EP-T21S deliver Hi-Fi stereo audio with MEMS microphone technology that allows you to make clearer calls with passive noise cancellation
  • These have surprisingly loud sound especially good bass considering their compact size
  • You get a well-balanced sound profile with a focus on clear highs, mids and lows. The sound stage is pretty wide, which means you can hear each instrument distinctly. Some users might feel that the highs are bit accentuated. 
  • Low latency allows for pleasurable experience when watching YouTube or Netflix. 

Added Perks

  • USB-C Quick Charge – 1.5 hours of quick charge juices up the earbuds to deliver up to 5 hours of energetic playtime
  • 25 hours of extended playtime with the charging case
  • IPX6 water and sweat-resistant – Means they can withstand intense streams of water or sweat as long as they are not submerged. They are safe to wear during a sweaty workout, running in the rain or light splashes by the poolside. Some users even claim to have worn them in shower post workout. 

Verdict

Aukey EP-T21S TWS is an impressive addition to AUKEY’s line of audio products. Of course, they have their share of minor flaws but those can be easily overlooked for the price and pros accompanying this set of earbuds. They are high on comfort, design, and overall finish. Noise isolation though not ANC, does a decent job of allowing crystal clear calls by drowning out the background noises. 

The sound quality is fantastic for the price. You get budget-friendly Airpods Pro experience with 2-year warranty, making these humble pair of TWS buds shine among the competitors pitched below $35.

With Aukey nothing takes a backseat. Not compromising on the sound quality or build quality, these are a steal at this price tag, especially if you are buying TWS for the very first time. 

FAQs 

What does a TWS earbud mean?

TWS stands for True Wireless Stereo. This technology allows you to pair 2 audio devices via Bluetooth, allowing you to transmit L channel (left) and R  channel (Right) separately. There are no wires connecting the two buds together. 

Either of the earbuds can act as the “master” and establish a primary connection. You don’t need to worry about whether it is L or R in your ear. 

Are the microphones of Aukey EP-T21S good at noise cancellation?

These earbuds don’t offer Active noise cancellation, however, they are good at lowering down the background noises owing to their snug fit that offers passive sound cancellation. The users have reported of being heard clearly on the calls and the microphone located at the bottom of the slender shaft is of great quality. 

Are Aukey EP-T21S good for running?

Yes, they are ideal for running. Rated IPX6, they are water and sweat resistant too. They stay in your ears, offering secure fit with options to choose from S/M/L ear tips. This works for different ear types and sizes, without falling off during running.

Do Aukey EP-T21S support the iPhone series?

Yes, they work with all Bluetooth-compatible devices including iPhone, as they support AAC codec native to iPhones.

Interesting things to know:

We’ve also ranked them number one in best earbuds under $30

ernests.embutnieks

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