- Rich audio quality.
- Long-lasting battery.
- Can be paired in stereo or mono mode.
- Supports both wired and wireless charging.
- Ear-hook design provides a snug fit.
- Mono pairing can be twitchy.
- Can fit uncomfortably in sensitive ears.
Finding a good pair of wireless earbuds can be challenging, and not because of a lack of options. These days, there are thousands of options, and the sheer number of them can be overwhelming. Why are there so many kinds of wireless earbuds? In fact, we’re witnessing the boom that happens when any new technology becomes popular. Every manufacturer wants in on the game, which is why you have thousands of choices.
This is actually a recent development. Not too long ago, wireless earbuds were notorious for their shoddy quality. This wasn’t for lack of trying. Reputable manufacturers like Sony were doing their best. The technology just wasn’t ready yet. But then, along with the AirPods, came True Wireless Stereo (TWS) technology. TWS was a game changer, because it allowed you to listen to full-quality audio over a wireless connection. No longer were you limited to the empty, lifeless sound that came from older wireless audio.
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But this has left consumers in a pickle. With so many choices, how do you know what’s what? There’s no hard and fast rule, but one rule of thumb is to stick with a manufacturer you trust. Aukey is one of the more reliable manufacturers on the market, and they make all kinds of gadgets. When they put their name on a pair of wireless buds, it’s time to pay attention. That’s why we’re about to review the Aukey EP-T32 True Wireless Headphones. We’ll look at every aspect of their design, from the physical engineering to the audio quality. After that, we’ll sum up what we’ve learned, and render our verdict. Let’s begin!
Despite their name, the Aukey EP-T32 True Wireless Headphones aren’t actually headphones. They’re earbuds, with a rubbery, over-the-ear hook that helps to secure them in place. This hooked design can have a couple of different benefits depending on how you use it. With a looser ear tip, it helps keep the buds from flopping out. With a tighter tip, it provides even better security for the most intense workouts. Despite their rubbery finish, don’t let the ear hooks fool you. They’re fairly rigid, and won’t give out easily under stress.
Even so, the fit is just as dependent on the ear tips as on anything else. The tighter the fit, the more secure it will be. A tighter fit will also provide a better seal against outside noise. That said, a tight fit is not without its downsides. If you have sensitive ears, a tight pair of ear tips can be uncomfortable, no matter how soft the silicone is. This balance between fit and comfort is a personal one, and there’s no single right answer. Thankfully, Aukey includes three extra pairs of ear tips in the box. If you want a tighter or looser fit, there are larger and smaller pairs close at hand.
Ear hooks aside, the earbud shells themselves are larger than average. They’re black ABS plastic, with an easy-to-clean matte finish that won’t show fingerprints easily. The large backs function as touch panels, and are made to be easy to operate. The idea is that when you’re out on a run, you don’t want to fumble for hard-to-find buttons. This is indeed the case, and you can even summon your voice assistant while rock climbing. But the large surfaces are also easy to activate by mistake, such as while you’re adjusting the earbuds. This is yet another one of those design choices that comes down to personal preference more than anything else.
If you prefer a more compact design, there are plenty of options. For instance, the Aukey EP-T31 has a traditional, in-ear design that’s nice and low profile. However, the sound isn’t as big or powerful as the EP-T32.
These earbuds have a water-resistance rating of IPX8. This is the highest rating available, and relies on custom testing. The only real requirement is that they must perform better than IPX7. IPX7 earbuds can be submerged for at least 30 minutes at one meter’s depth. At the very least, we know the EP-T32 buds surpass that. Showers and even the occasional soak in the hot tub won’t pose any risk to your earbuds’ longevity.
The earbuds come with a charging case, which is designed to keep them safe during your travels. The case has a roughly square shape, measuring 4.13 inches on each side and 2.64 inches thick. This is bigger than your average earbud charging case, to accommodate the large ear hooks. It’s too fat to carry in your pocket, but it’s still small and light enough for a purse or a backpack. And with rounded edges and corners, it won’t damage anything else in your bag.
The inside of the case features a pair of molded wells, where the earbuds rest while they’re charging. The molded shapes ensure that the contacts will always be touching, so the charging cycle is reliable. The lid has a clamshell-style design, with a spring-loaded hinge that stays shut when you want it to. Just underneath, you’ll find a pair of LEDs. These indicate the charging status of the left and the right bud respectively. The charging case includes a USB Type-C cable for powering the battery.
As an alternative to a charging case, some earbuds keep more power on board. For example, the Aukey Key Series EP-B33 has a neck strap design, with the battery behind your neck. This means they can last longer before recharging. However, the total charge time is still less than you get with a charging case. This is a disadvantage if you don’t have access to a power outlet.
The EP-T32 is covered by Aukey’s 24-month manufacturer’s warranty. This warranty covers all defects in materials or workmanship, and is among the best in the wireless earbud business.
Battery and Connectivity
The EP-T32’s built-in batteries have enough juice to last for up to seven hours on a single charge. This assumes that you’re listening at medium volume. 5 ½ hours is more reasonable if you like to crank things up to 11. Still, you’re looking at plenty of juice for a morning workout, a commute, and your trip home. In-between, you can always leave the earbuds on the charger. The charging case’s internal battery has enough charge to fill the earbuds four additional times. This works out to 35 hours of total playtime before you have to plug the case into a wall outlet.
These buds connect to your phone with the Bluetooth 5.0 wireless protocol. Bluetooth 5.0 is the current standard, and has three major upgrades over the earlier 4.2 protocol. First off, it has a more stable signal, so you have fewer dropped calls. Next, it allows for higher bitrates, so you can listen to high-quality music. Finally, it has less latency, so it’s suitable for watching movies or for gaming.
In addition, the EP-T32 earbuds can be paired in either stereo or mono mode. Stereo mode is ideal for music, while mono mode helps you maintain spatial awareness while driving. It also has the added benefit of doubling your battery life, since you’re only using one earbud at a time. That said, single earbud pairing can be finicky. When switching from mono to stereo and vice-versa, you may need to reset the earbuds and make a new connection.
For more reliable single-earbud pairing, the Aukey EP-N5 earbuds are a great choice. Switching from stereo to mono and back is quick and painless. On the other hand, they have a shorter battery life than the EP-T32.
With that being said, the EP-T32 buds have built-in infrared proximity sensors. When you take them out of your ears, the music will automatically pause. When you put them back in, it will resume. This is great for short social interactions, since you don’t even have to pull your phone out to pause your music.
The Aukey EP-T32 earbuds have large, 12mm drivers that move a lot of air. They’re almost twice the diameter of ordinary earbud drivers, with correspondingly big sound. They’re not studio headphones, but they have surprisingly strong bass. Not only that, but the treble and middle frequencies keep up with the bass in richness. Finally, the soundstage is very wide. It sounds like you’re in the room with the musicians, no matter what genre you’re listening to.
In addition to all this, these Aukey earbuds support the aptX Low Latency protocol. This protocol is designed specifically for gaming and watching movies. It keeps audio and video in perfect synchronization, which is especially important for online gaming. You won’t notice it if you’re just listening to music, though. It’s only noticeable if the audio is paired with video.
For hands-free calling, you get a Qualcomm chipset with cVc 8.0 noise isolation. This technology doesn’t affect how well you hear the other person. Instead, it uses multiple microphones to filter out background noise while you’re talking. This makes it easy for the other person to understand you, even in a noisy environment.
So, are the Aukey EP-T32 True Wireless Headphones worth buying? For many people, yes! To be fair, these aren’t everyone’s ideal earbuds. The large design is either something you want or it’s not, and reasonable people can choose one or the other. Similarly, the transition from single to dual mode and back isn’t as smooth as we would have liked.
That said, there’s a whole lot to like here, starting with the sound quality. The audio is full and rich across all frequencies, and sounds more expensive than it is. Not only that, but the low latency and cVc noise cancellation add a lot of value. The battery life is among some of the longer-lasting on the market. Last but not least, the IPX8 water-resistance and two-year warranty ensure that these buds will last for years to come.
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