December 1, 2020

Great Sound, Great Fit, Weird Case – Review Geek

Rating:
8/10
?

  • 1 – Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 – Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 – Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 – Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 – Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 – Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 – Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 – Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: $109.99

Aukey has entered the true wireless headphone market with its first pair; the Aukey Key Series T10 earbuds. Following up on the B80 headphones, Aukey has ditched the neck wire with inline remote to deliver a completely wire-free experience.

Here’s What We Like

  • Well balanced, well-defined sound
  • Nice finish
  • Responsive capacitive controls
  • Great battery life
  • Wireless charging
  • Comfortable to wear

Given that this is Aukey’s first foray into the world of true wireless headphones, it suffices to say I’m left pretty impressed. Here’s what I thought of the Key Series T10 earbuds.

Comfortable, Straight From the Case

I must say, I was a bit concerned about how comfortable these little buds were going to be. Aukey has moved away from the “hook style” earwings that its B80 headphones featured and instead replaced with a more rigid arched earwing.

I complained about this kind of arched earwing in my review of the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro earphones. I felt this less collapsible design made them too rigid and a little uncomfortable. This was the concern with the Aukey T10s. How wrong I was.

Straight from the case (we’ll come to the case shortly) they were very comfortable in my ears. In fact, I would go as far as to say they are a perfect fit. Quite the accolade straight from the factory. Normally I would have to mess around with ear tips and wings until I find the right combination. Not with the T10s.

earwing and ear tip selection

The earbuds themselves have a smooth finish to their chassis, so they feel nice to hold in your hand and your ear. They fit snugly and they feel very secure in your ears. I can thrash out some air-drumming (with Animal-style head movements) and still they stay in place. Secure!

You receive two pairs each of additional ear-tips and wings in the box, so the fit is entirely customizable to suit your own ears. They come with the medium ear wings pre-installed, along with the smaller tips.

With IPX5-rated water resistance, you could get out for a run in the rain without the fear of frazzling the buds with water ingress. This makes them great for exercise, too, as your sweat won’t get inside and ruin your headphones.

The Capacitive Controls Are a Delight

t10 earbud logo and capacitive control

I’m a big fan of capacitive controls. They add to the overall aesthetic experience of a device because the design flow isn’t interrupted by buttons popping out all over the place. Aukey placed the T10 capacitive controls beneath the logo panel at the side of each earbud.

The capacitive controls are useable either on their own or in combinations, with different gestures achieving different results. The same controls are used for both media playback, taking calls, and launching your voice assistant.

For audio streaming, play and pause are controlled with a quick tap of the capacitive controls on the side of either headphone. It doesn’t matter which one. Increasing the volume requires a long-touch on the right earbud, with a decrease in volume controlled by the left earbud. Skipping forward to the next track? Double-tap the right earbud. Double-tapping the left earbud allows you to go back a track.

Where calls are concerned, you just tap either control once to answer any incoming comms. The same gesture ends a call. I particularly liked the call waiting controls that the T10 incorporates. With a second call coming in, you can tap the controls once and answer it, ending the first call. To put your first call on hold, a two-second touch is required, and you can flit between the two calls using the same gesture.

If you want to access your phone’s voice assistant, then a triple tap on the capacitive controls will bring your virtual pal to your behest.

Unfortunately, at the time of writing, the Aukey Key Series app, available via both the Google Play and Apple Store, doesn’t support the T10 headphones—hopefully, that will be added in future app updates.

That Case

Aukey T10 earbuds in their open case

So. The case. I’m just going to come clean and say I’m not the biggest fan. For a start, it is a little on the large side. I also don’t like the opening mechanism. It reminds me of some sort of minimalist salt cellar. Or a device that allows you to automatically feed your captive budgerigar at certain, scheduled times of the day. Or some kind of pod-style house that everyone in the 1950s thought we’d be living in now.

The top of the case, which features a semi-circular cut-out, rotates 360° to seal your earbuds in position. The portal it creates, with a quick 180° twist of the lid from the closed position, reveals your headphones.

Removing them is a bit on the fiddly side, though. The hole is a bit too small to take the headphones out simultaneously, which the instructions suggest you must do to pair the device initially. You can’t slide them out, because you can’t get enough purchase on their smooth housing to match the strength of the magnet holding them in place.

I mean, it isn’t all bad. The material that is used to make the headphones has the same smooth finish as the earbuds themselves. I’d quite happily sit and rub it on my baby-soft face while I procrastinate, it feels that nice.

The case also gifts you with an impressive total of 33 hours playback, as it holds enough juice for two-and-a-half full earbud charges. The earbuds themselves pack enough energy into their on-board battery to last for 7 hours of continuous playback—almost enough for an entire working day.

There is a USB-C port on the back of the case for recharging and the front houses four tiny lights to indicate the charge left in the case. In addition, you can charge the case wirelessly, too. Just pop it on top of a wireless charger in the open position and away you go!

Sounds Great!

detailed shot of aukey t10 earbuds out of case

The sound is significantly more important than the case (unless you need to charge the earbuds…) and I’m pleased to report that these earbuds deliver VERY nice sonics. Looking at the literature around these earbuds, the architecture should make for some impressive sound. No complaints here.

The bass is deep and well-rounded. It never sounds muddy or flat and doesn’t overwhelm any of the other frequencies. So, a very well-balanced bottom end. This is thanks to the 6mm driver. Likewise, the top end is crisp and clear, without sounding tinny.

Mids are great, too. They are well-defined and not overpowered by the bass or treble. Obviously, this is important as the mid-range is where the human voice sits, alongside the sound made by musical instruments.

Given their diminutive size and low price point, I wasn’t expecting the sound to be as good as it is. For a pair of moderately inexpensive headphones, the sound produced is excellent. I would certainly recommend them as an option for someone looking to get their first pair of true wireless in-ear headphones or upgrade from a cheaper pair.

The call quality is excellent, too. I have literally just finished a call with my better half and I used the headphones to take the call. I could hear everything perfectly and, thanks to the 2-microphone noise isolation, she could hear me perfectly.

Great as Your First True Wireless Earbuds

both t10 headphones next to open case displaying logo

Case aside, I actually really like these headphones. To be totally honest, the case isn’t all that bad, and perhaps I’ve been a trifle overly critical but, in actual fact, I can find very little otherwise to fault with these earbuds.

If my only major complaint is the manner in which the case opens, then I think it is fair to say that Aukey is on to a winner with the T10 true wireless in-ear headphones. As soon as they give us an app that perhaps means we can tinker with the EQ settings and such, these will be a damn-near perfect budget buy.

Rating: 8/10

Price: $109.99

Here’s What We Like

  • Well balanced, well-defined sound
  • Nice finish
  • Responsive capacitive controls
  • Great battery life
  • Wireless charging
  • Comfortable to wear

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