An update to the BT earphone review

Adel Gabot

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2:39PM

Ok, the Awei A920 110dB Smart Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Sports Stereo Earphone Noise Reduction with Mic (Gold) has been with me for a few days now, and I think I can add some more details to my intial review:

  1. I know I already said it previously, but now I can say it with more authority—the friggin’ cord is really short, particularly when you wear it from the back of your neck. I may have a larger-than-average neck size, but man, it’s really short for me when I wear it fthat way. It doesn’t dangle as much as constrict my neck. When you put the buds together to form a necklace, it looks more like a choker. (Not unless you choose to wear it hanging from the front, which you can also do. But then it looks like any other earphone.) Which brings me to a related thing…
  2. When worn from the back, it’s kinda awkward to reach up to the control pod, which, because of the shortness of the cord, is on the side of my neck. It’s hard to reach up to with my right hand and I have to reach across and operate it with my left. Granted, operating it by touch is easy as there are only three buttons to fiddle around with, but reaching around almost to the back of my neck to adjust the volume or change the song makes me look a bit comical.
  3. The default in-ear earbuds (medium) are a tad too large for my ears, and after a while they tended to pop out. I have to push them in deep to keep them from doing that, and as a result are a bit uncomfortable for the first few minutes, until they settle in and you get used to them. The manufacturer includes three sizes, but the small is too small and the large way too large, at least for me. A size somewhere between small and medium would be nice, but those are the breaks.
  4. The audio output is a bit too bassy for my taste; normal songs play as if you had set the bass setting way up high. The “explosive bass” feature is truly that: if the song has a pronounced bass line, it’s really pronounced through this pair. But I can live with it. Equalization settings aside, it really plays loud and clear in your ear if you want it that way. “HD sound,” you know.
  5. The “intelligent noise reduction” part works well, even without an active electronic component to it. I have to commend Awei for accomplishing this through mere physical means, although I still have no real idea how it works. I wore it in a noisy cafe, and while you could still faintly hear the loud ambient outside noise without any audio input in the earbuds, that all disappears when the sound comes on.
  6. It’s not immune to the clicks, pops and occasional dropouts associated with the current Bluetooth V4.0 technology. Although they seldom occur, the shortcoming is still there. I know the Apple products I paired them with don’t currently employ the A2DP feature that newer Android products use to improve the sound, and which this pair is equipped to handle, but man I can’t wait for the BT tech to advance and finally eliminate this problem. Bluetooth V5.0?
  7. It paired handily and readily with all the devices I connected it to (except the PS4, but it’s more a shortcoming of the PS4 than anything else), so no real problems there. It can also connect simultaneously to two sources, although I can’t think of a situation where you’d ever want to do that.
  8. When you make a phone call, your audio is clean and clear but a little faint to the other side. I believe this is more a function of the mic itself being a bit too far from your mouth (it’s practically on the side of my neck), at least in my situation. Other people with thinner necks might not have this problem, or if they wear it from the front.
  9. I would dearly love for the earphones to have longer battery life. Out of the box and fully charged, you can talk on the phone for about six hours, but only listen to music for four. Standby time is 200 hours. That’s great but it would be greater it if could do, say, at least six to eight hours playing tunes. On the plus side, it takes less than an hour for it to fully charge (45 minutes, by my count).
  10. A final, small niggle: along with the two extra pairs of earbuds, Awei also includes a pair of what I assume are rubber ear-rentention mounts, a cord clip and a small, strange black button with cord grooves, yet nowhere does it say in the packaging and dual-language (English/Chinese) manual what these damn things are and how to properly use them. Eh?

I guess that’s it for this pair of earbuds. Quality and value for money it already has. Only time will tell if they have any longevity.


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