review

AUKEY B80 Hybrid Earphones Bluetooth 5.0 USB-C Charging

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

When it comes to in-ear monitors (a.k.a. in-ear headphones or earphones) they use three types of speaker driver setup, namely balanced armature drivers and dynamic drivers or hybrid such as the AUKEY Key Series EP-B80 which feature a combination of both.
Which type you go for really depends on your needs. The main advantage of dynamic drivers is a wider frequency response and superior bass, while balanced armature drivers provide an analytic sound signature that focuses in on the treble vocal range.
Incorporating both types of drivers solves the frequency response problem of in-ear monitors and the overall sound signature. Some in-ear monitors come with a quad-driver setup while others like in the case of the AUKEY B80 come with a dual-driver setup that offers a good compromise since more drivers doesn't always equal better sound.
The AUKEY B80 speaker housing contains a 10mm dynamic driver and a 10.1mm balanced armature driver designed to handle the treble frequencies. Along with good sound, the AUKEY B80 have loud volume thanks to their high sensitivity (95dB with a +/-3 dB specification) and low impedance (16 ohms).
Having both dynamic and balanced armature drivers means the AUKEY B80 can have a very wide frequency response range (within +/-3 dB between 10Hz and 40kHz) so you get the complete audio spectrum from low end, mid-range and high end frequencies.
housing and cable have a soft silicone rubber construction
On top of a hybrid-driver setup, the AUKEY B80 have an IPX6 waterproof rating so they can withstand heavy sweat, splashing of water and rain but not submersed under water (for that they would need an IPX7 rating).
The AUKEY B80 are bluetooth 5.0 earbuds with USB-C charging so the B80 feature the latest bluetooth chip and a USB-C port which is nice because it won’t be long before the majority of gadgets will come with USB-C ports.
The combination of USB-C and bluetooth 5.0 in the AUKEY B80 hybrid earphones is great for many reasons including easy connection, faster charging and better power consumption. The AUKEY B80 60mAh li-po batteries are able to deliver power for 8 hours from a 1.5 hour charge (and from a 7-minute charge, you get 60 minutes of play time which is very good).
low battery led status: intermittent green flashing
The battery units are located inside the earphone housing which adds to the overall 15 gram weight although the weight is still reasonable lightweight for in-ear monitors.
The fit is comfortable and secure thanks to the angle design of the nozzles and the design of the wiring which loops around the top of the ear.
approx. 30cm long USB type C charging cable
The integration of the QCC3005 bluetooth audio SoC (system-on-a-chip) on the AUKEY B80 hybrid earphones means a longer wireless range (up to 15 meters) too.
There is also support for high-definition bluetooth audio codecs for both Android and iOS devices including Qualcomm aptX, aptX LL (low latency), SBC and AAC for Apple iOS.
AptX Low Latency is particular neat because it cuts down substantially the lag between audio and video so you can use the AUKEY B80 hybrid earphones for watching movies and playing games.
The AUKEY B80 bluetooth chip also supports the latest bluetooth profiles, namely HFP v1.7, A2DP v1.3 and AVRCPv1.5, as well as Qualcomm cVc noise cancellation technology for the microphone. 
Speaking of the AUKEY B80 built-in microphone, it is located on the back side of the 3-button remote and offers clear amplification (-42dB with a +/-3 dB specification).
You can answer, reject, end a call, redial the last number and prompt voice assistant using the 3-button remote. You can also switch between microphone and phone conversation during a call by long pressing the volume + button.

The B80 bluetooth 5.0 earphones pickup from where the B40 bluetooth 4.1 version left off. The B80 is part of AUKEY's Key Series line up that also include the EP-B60 which will be launched in the United Kingdom early this year. 

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