Yes, it’s yet another pair of wireless earbuds professing to have active noise cancellation.
While Ausounds Au-stream ‘true wireless’ buds do have some din-dampening properties, they perform to the same general level as other small buds that boast the same thing – to a fairly modest degree. If you toggle the buds’ noise-cancellation on and off, there’s no sudden shut off of the irritating noises invading your ears from outside.
Otherwise, the audio quality is actually quite good. With 10mm drivers, Ausounds resists the temptation to puff artificial bass in here, resulting in a clear, delicate sound that stands up as well to a Gorecki track as it does to something from Calvin Harris.
The design of the buds is stem-based, like AirPods or Huawei’s Freebuds. This has the advantage of giving the on-board microphone – at the bottom tip of the stem –– a slight advantage in picking up your voice. However, it’s not great in a breeze.
Go walking and talking on a typical Irish April day and you might sound like you’re stuck in a storm to whoever you’re talking to.
Physically, they’re the biggest buds I’ve tried in some time. But as they’re black, they’re not quite as noticeable as white ones when you’re out and about.
This larger size is consistent with its charge case, which is bulkier than most. It still easily slips into almost any pocket, though. And because it’s all-plastic, both the buds and the case are generally lighter than rivals, despite the added size.
The buds’ touch controls are a little more practical than some competitors – the touchable surface is a clean, flat surface on the outside tip of the bud, which makes it much less likely that you’ll activate it by mistake.
As you’d expect from semi-premium buds, the touch controls facilitate play, pause, track forward, track back and ANC on or off. There’s no volume control, though, as you’ll find on rivals such as Huawei’s Freebuds; this is a trade off from not making the stems touch-sensitive. Overall, it’s probably worth forgoing this, as miss-touches are more irritating than the lack of volume control.
There’s good and bad news for runners. On the plus side, there’s an IPX4 rating so you’ll have no problem with sweat or drizzle. But the light weight, combined with the stem design, seems to mean that they won’t be completely firm in your ear if you go for a jog. Or that’s my experience.
The battery life is pretty good here, with between 15-18 hours (and 90 minutes from a 15-minute charge).
Reviewed: Ausounds ANC earbuds
Price: €169 from richersounds.ie
Pros: Decent sound quality
Cons: A little plasticky