Competing in the headphone industry is a tricky business. Keeping up with the latest trends in technology only compounds the challenge. Still, many headphone makers are getting in on the latest craze and launching true wireless earphones to vie for their piece of the wireless pie. Axgio is breaking from the herd of premium true wireless earphones like Apple’s AirPods and Bragi’s ‘The Headphone,’ which cost $150 or more, by offering a more basic product, the AH-T1, which will retail for $50. But do they actually perform?
The AH-T1 is built for an active lifestyle and won’t easily fall out of your ears during a run or working out
Axgio’s AH-T1 design is based off of the Vigour 2 sports headphones and is basically the same product, minus the connecting cable. The size of each earpiece is bigger than the bullet style true wireless earbuds we’ve covered in the past, but the extra room allows for more hardware inside, stronger wireless connectivity, physical controls on both earpieces, and space for behind-the-ear hooks which keep the earphones in place.
They’re definitely built for an active lifestyle and won’t fall out of your ears easily during a run or working out. They are also sweat proof with an IPX4 waterproof rating.
The AH-T1 does lack some features that many premium true wireless earphones offer. Most notably, they don’t offer a battery case for drop-in and on-the-go charging. Rather, each earpiece has a microUSB port covered by a tiny rubber cover that you need to pry open with a fingernail. Axgio does provide a split microUSB cable, so at least you can charge them both at the same time using a single power source.
Interestingly enough, each earpiece functions perfectly fine as a standalone mono earpiece, complete with built-in mic for hands-free calling and a set of physical playback controls. When pairing to your phone, you can select either earpiece as the primary device to connect via Bluetooth. Then to sync the second earpiece simply power it on, and it pairs automatically to the first within seconds without any complex setup.
We were surprised how quickly and consistently they paired together every time given some of the syncing issues we’ve had with other true wireless earphones, like the Bragi Dash. With the earpieces synced, you can use the playback and volume controls on either side and the sound will adjust in both. It does take about one second to register each button press, however, which makes it impossible to change the volume quickly since you have to wait between clicks.
The AH-T1’s relaxed sound signature is fine for casual listening and can definitely handle some motivational workout playlists.
Of course, we weren’t expecting audio performance to compete with wireless earphones that cost hundreds more, but sound quality actually isn’t bad. They do a nice job producing frequencies in the bass range, though lack definition in the midrange, and the treble register doesn’t quite sparkle. They also produce an audible hiss when the volume is low or nothing is playing. This is particularly noticeable between tracks but less so when the music is turned up. The AH-T1’s relaxed sound signature is fine for casual listening and can definitely handle some motivational workout playlists. However, these aren’t great for watching video or movies because there is notable lag between the video and audio.
Even without a battery case, you can get four to five hours of listening time out of them when fully charged, depending on volume level. Though large, the earpieces are comfortably lightweight and likely easier to keep track of than tiny bullet style wireless buds. At $50, it’s a small investment, and even if you do end up losing one, you can still use the remaining one as a mono Bluetooth headset — not a bad deal!