With the lack of headphone jacks on so many smartphones today, it’s no wonder wireless earbuds are more popular than ever.
To answer the demand, many top companies like Google or B&O have released wireless earbuds, but unfortunately, these offerings aren’t really affordable. Google’s Pixel Buds, for example, will take you back with $129.99 (originally priced at $159.99).
But what if you like the convenience of being able to listen to wireless music while you go for your morning run, but are not willing to spend $100+ on a pair of wireless buds?
The good news is that you have options. A few weeks ago I was sent a pair of Aukey Latitude Wireless Headphones (EP-B40) and given that they were priced at just $25.99 on Amazon I was pretty skeptic to begin with. But as I set out testing them, I soon found myself presently impressed with the wireless earbuds.
To make it clear from the beginning, the Aukey Latitude are not what you’d call “true wireless” headphones. Instead, they are earbud-style headphones that connect to each other through a wire.
The design of the earbuds is minimal with a plastic construction to make them lightweight. The silicon wings and tips keep the earbuds secure and come in three different sizes, so you can get the optimal combination.
The Latitude earbuds boast a black finish with the Aukey logo plastered on each earbud. Yes, they do feel plasticky and a bit cheap, but hey they cost only $25.
The two headphones are connected by a wire with an in-line 3-button remote on one side of the cable, which allows you to perform things like adjusting the volume and skipping tracks.
On the left side of the remote lives the microUSB port which you will need to use to charge your wireless audio accessories.
In addition to extra silicone tips, the Latitude ship out with a tiny charging cable and a rubbery carrying case open at the top in the box.
The in-ear headphones are really comfortable to wear, once you find your fit. You’ll probably have to try a few combinations before doing so. My ears are quite small, so most in-ear headphones are usually too loose or aren’t seated well in my ear. Aukey provides you with three sizes of ear-tips and in-ear ear-hooks in the box, and fortunately, the small sized one fit relatively well in my ear canal.
I do a bit of running in the morning, nothing too grand, but I found that during my sessions the buds stayed firmly in place. No slipping out! They also managed to provide pretty great noise isolation. I run in a small park that’s next to a busy road, so the buds helped me tune out the noise and focus on my workout.
On the negative side of things, the long cable does have a tendency to tug a bit when you turn your head, but it’s nothing I couldn’t get past.
The Latitude wireless earbuds are marketed as offering a Sports design. Which means they are IPX4-certified to be able to washstand sweet and rain. This is particularly helpful during workouts when every anyone would sweat profusely.
Another cool detail, the earbuds have magnets that allow you to clip the back of the Latitude around your neck when you’re not using them. If you’re forgetful like me, it’s a great addition.
How to get started
The in-ear headphones connect to any Bluetooth-enabled device including most Android phones. The Bluetooth range is fairly accommodating.
To get them started, hold the middle power button to turn them on (or off) and they will be ready to pair in seconds. The middle button doubles as play/pause music, answer calls (short press) and switch EQ modes (double press). While the volume buttons can be used to skip tracks back and forth (press 2 seconds).
Be warned that you might often find yourself hitting the wrong thing, especially if you’re running or jumping up and down at the gym. But the more you use them, the more you will get accustomed to the commands.
In case you’re wondering how much these budget earbuds can last you on a single charge, well I found them to be able to provide approximately 7-7.30 hours of music. Also in my experience, the buds need about an hour and 20 minutes to fully recharge.
For its tiny price, the Aukey in-ear headphones manage to deliver reasonably good sound. The manufacturer says it is using aptX technology to offer robust sound with punchy bass and a choice of three EQ sound signatures including vocals/bass/treble.
But despite the alluring presentation, I can’t really recommend the Latitude to an audiophile. Don’t get me wrong, for me, they proved great, although I have no real highlight to report. The earbuds are a lovely fit for hitting the gym or any place where stellar sound quality isn’t necessary.
Yet, if you want to be able to discern the subtle changed in the produced music, you’ll have to look somewhere else. And upgrade your budget for a pair of wireless earbuds.
All in all, these wireless earbuds proved perfect for my needs. I don’t focus much on audio quality while running or working out, but I do like the convenience of going wireless.
In situations when I do want great audio, for example while commuting, I will turn to my trusty over-the-year headphones. Basically, I don’t use the running buds all that often, as I usually jog once or twice a week. So the Aukey wireless earbuds are an excellent choice if you’re a casual user.
The bottom line is that the Aukey Latitude offer quite a lot for their price range. Yes, they might not be able to deliver stellar audio, but they get the job done.
So if you don’t feel like you want to invest a lot of money into a pair of wireless ear-buds you won’t use every day, the Aukey Latitude really offer a great package for only $25.
Our pair was all black, but you can also get a pair of Latitudes with Blue and Red accents on Amazon for $29.99.