AUKEY EP-T21S Review, Specs, Price & Shop link: At the moment you can get the S version of the AUKEY headphones at Manzude for €12.19 with the coupon code DEAL20. It differs from the normal variant by:
- IPX6 instead of IPX4
- USB-C charging port
- slightly lower battery
With the AUKEY EP-T21, the Chinese manufacturer now also offers a budget in-ear with AirPods-like design. How do the ~30€ headphones compare to the budget competition? You can find out in this test report.
- AUKEY EP-T21 wireless in-ear headphones
- at Aukey for €12.19 – voucher: DEAL20
- Technical specifications
|Surname||AUKEY EP-T21||TaoTronics Soundliberty 53 (TT-BH053)|
|driver||2x 6 mm Ø dynamic drivers||2x 6 mm Ø dynamic drivers|
|Bluetooth||bluetooth 5||bluetooth 5|
|battery capacity||380 mAh in charging box; 40mAh per earpiece||650 mAh in charging box; 45 mAh per earpiece|
|IP protection class||IPX7||IPX7|
|sensitivity||100±3dB ( 1kHz@1mW ）||100±3dB ( 1kHz@1mW ）|
|Bluetooth profiles||A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP||A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP|
|Bluetooth codec||SBC, AAC||SBC, AAC|
Packaging & scope of delivery
In contrast to the high-priced Key Series, the AUKEY EP-T21 comes in a classic, natural box. The AUKEY logo and the abstract silhouette of the headphones are printed on the front.
Inside the small box you will find the headphones themselves, as well as a micro-USB charging cable, a total of three pairs of ear pads and a user manual in different languages, including German and English.
Design & Processing
The AUKEY EP-T21 (why do the manufacturers still use product names that are so incredibly difficult to remember?) are kept in plain black. The AUKEY logo is only printed in light gray on the charging box flap.
The earphones, which have an AirPods-like design with “sticks”, each weigh 4.5 g, together with the charging box this results in a slim total weight of 51 g.
The design of the headphones has a very flowing shape, which does not have any sharp edges. I’m a bit puzzled about the fact that the QCY T5 headphones apparently use the same design, or the handset and charging box housing. Apart from the logo on the charging box, the external appearance is completely identical.
This is not the first time that products from different manufacturers have an identical appearance. There is often something similar with inexpensive Chinese notebooks from CHUWI or Teclast, and this is not the first time in the audio area either.
I assume that AUKEY simply wants to save development costs at this point in order to be able to offer the headphones at the lowest possible price. Based on the technical data of the two headphones, however, it only seems to be an external similarity. Unfortunately, since we haven’t been able to test the QCY T5 yet, I can’t report on practical experience at this point.
The workmanship of the AUKEY EP-T21 leaves no room for criticism. The housing parts are neatly glued and the plastic parts themselves do not show any production errors or other defects.
Sound of the Aukey EP-T21
The AUKEY EP-T21 each come with a 6mm dynamic driver , as do the TaoTronics Soundliberty 53 headphones, the current best budget headphones for my taste.
In the test, the AUKEY EP-T21 sounds much more balanced. So the focus is less on the bass than with the TaoTronics Soundliberty 53, but it is still available in sufficient form for my taste.
This also affects the midrange, voices are less bassy and sound more realistic in my opinion. In addition, fine nuances in the middle and upper middle range are more effective, since the AUKEY EP-T21 is less “shadowed” by the bass.
The situation is similar in the high-frequency range. In my opinion, the AUKEY EP-T21 does not have a higher resolution in the test, but I still like the treble here better, as it comes into its own better in the overall sound image.
The AUKEY EP-T21 is on the same level as the TaoTronics Soundliberty 53. Nevertheless, AUKEY sets the focus audibly differently than TaoTronics does. In my opinion, which one is the better choice depends on your personal (music) taste.
AUKEY clearly delivers the more balanced sound here, which means that the high and mid-tones come into their own. In my opinion, it is better suited for fans of live music, pop, rock, classical or acoustic music.
As a fan of bass-heavy music, I would personally prefer the TaoTronics Soundliberty 53. The TaoTronics Soundliberty 53 conveys electronic sounds, RnB, hip-hop or other styles of music where you would like to hear “fat bass” better – the choice is yours.
The microphone of the AUKEY EP-T21 did a solid job in the test. During the test calls, the people I was talking to could usually understand me well. In stronger winds, however, my counterparts said that wind noise is audible.
However, other background noises are reliably suppressed up to a certain volume. The AUKEY EP-T21 are also suitable for longer telephone calls, depending on the external controls.
Like the TaoTronics Soundliberty 53 earphones, the AUKEY EP-T21 are also ergonomically adapted to the shape of the ear canal. So these headphones offer me personally a comfortable fit.
However, the scope of delivery includes a pair of fewer ear pads than the TaoTronics Soundliberty 53. So you have a somewhat more limited choice. In the test while jogging, the headphones still had a good grip in the ear and didn’t slip.
Operation via touch sensors
Oddly enough, there are hardly any headphones in the budget class that work with ordinary push buttons. Almost all manufacturers are now using touch sensors. In the middle class and also in the high-end area, snap fasteners are found much more often.
Compared to the TaoTronics Soundliberty 53, the operation of the AUKEY EP-T21 is unfortunately more limited. Unfortunately, it is not possible to adjust the volume using the handset.
functions of the buttons
|Button:||Touch for 2 seconds||2x tap||3x tap|
|right earpiece||next title; reject call||play/pause; Answer/end call||Start voice assistant|
|left earpiece||previous title; reject call||play/pause; Answer/end call||Start voice assistant|
In practice, the built-in touch sensors react reliably to light touches, so that you don’t accidentally move the earpiece in your ear.
Bluetooth pairing and range
The AUKEY EP-T21 is equipped with Bluetooth 5, as is currently the standard. As usual, pairing with the smartphone is unproblematic. To connect the headphones to the mobile phone, it is sufficient to take one (or both) of the headphones out of the charging box.
If they have not been paired before or if there is no previously connected device within range, the headphones automatically switch to pairing mode and are thus visible in the Bluetooth settings of the mobile phone. If a previously connected device is within range, they will automatically reconnect.
What I really like is that, similar to the Earfun Free headphones, both headphones can also be used individually. A separate pairing of a handset is not necessary here – smart!
In the test, the Bluetooth connection between wireless headphones and mobile phone remained stable at a distance of around 12 meters in an open area. A solid value for this price range. Depending on the obstacles, the connection will be unstable earlier in closed rooms. However, there are no problems within a room.
The battery box of the AUKEY EP-T21 is equipped with a 380 mAh battery, in the handset it is 40 mAh each. According to the manufacturer, the handset batteries should last for up to 5 hours. In the test, it was between 4 and 4.5 hours, depending on the volume.
The complete charging process in the charging box takes about 60 minutes, the charging process of the battery box about 2 hours. In total, the earphones can be recharged a little more than 4x in the charging case, giving a total runtime of around 18-20 hours without a socket. Unfortunately, AUKEY still relies on the already somewhat outdated micro-USB connection, which is (unfortunately) still more common in this price range.
Overall, the AUKEY EP-T21 are very solid budget headphones, which do not rely on an independent design, but also on a reasonable price. When it comes to workmanship, you can’t really fault AUKEY here, which I like.
Unfortunately, no volume control is supported via the handset, but it scores with simple connectivity via Bluetooth, which allows both handsets to be used individually after the one-time connection. In terms of battery life, it is solid, but performs a little worse in the test than the TaoTronics Soundliberty 53. (AUKEY EP-T21S Review)
In terms of sound, it is a bit more reserved in the bass than the competition from TaoTronics, but can score with a more present treble and midrange. Which may be a point for AUKEY or TaoTronics depending on your personal taste in music. AUKEY EP-T21S Review..