Headphone reviews are something we do pretty consistently around here, and we’ve used a wide variety of them. One of the things I am often asked is, why are there so many headphones? Well, my answer is usually, not everyone likes the same thing and variety is a good thing. Take neckband headphones like the Ausounds AU-Flex ANC for instance.
Neckband headphones aren’t something that everyone is going to like, but for those that do, it’s an option. And for you neckband headphones users out there, we have the Ausounds AU-Flex ANC headphones. Read on for our full review of these outstanding neckband headphones.
The Ausounds AU-Flex ANC neckband headphones have the following features and specifications:
- Impedance: 16 ohms
- THD: ≤1%
- SPL: 99+/-3dB
- ANC Depth: 20 ~ 25dB
- Weight: 36 / earphone
- Total Battery Life: 15-22 Hours
- Active Noise Cancellation: With a noise reduction of -25db you can isolate yourself without compromising your music playback. Our standard feed-forward noise cancellation earbuds were designed to allow music creators to travel and create whenever, wherever, without interruption.
- LDAC Hi-Res Wireless: Unlike other Bluetooth compatible coding technologies such as SBC (sub-band coding), it operates without any down-conversion of the Hi-Res Audio content and allows approximately three times more data than those other technologies to be transmitted over a Bluetooth wireless network with unprecedented sound quality.
- Hybrid Planar Driver: Our uniquely designed Hybrid Planar Magnetic technology comprises a planar magnetic driver for superior resolution at the mid and upper frequencies and a phase-aligned dynamic driver to deliver deep rich accurate bass. The drivers are enclosed by dual-voice coils and encased with a durable metal enclosure.
What’s In The Box
- Ausounds AU-Flex ANC headphones
- Carrying Pouch
- USB Type-C Cable
- Documentation and Warranty
As I already mentioned, neckband headphones aren’t for everyone and a lot of that comes down to the design. This type of headphone style tends to be bigger and bulkier than others. For some users this isn’t a problem at all, for others, though, it’s a big deal.
The Ausounds AU-Flex ANC headphones are certainly not small, the neckband is substantial but comfortable. There is a generous amount of cable that runs through the neckband and out to each headphone. The headphones themselves are slightly larger than others I’ve used. Fitment is solid and the provided ear tips gave me a good seal with decent noise isolation.
Each headphone has a magnet inside which is used for clamping the two together when not in use. This helps them from falling off your neck and keeps them from dangling around too much. All of the controls are on the right side of the neckband and consist of the following functions:
- Answer/End Calls
- Decline Call
- Volume Up/Down
- Track Forward/Back
- ANC On/Off
- Call Device Switching
Also located on the right side of the neckband is a small flip door on the end that houses the USB-C connector for charging.
Wearing the Ausounds AU-Flex ANC headphones around your neck is fairly comfortable. I’ve never been a huge fan of neckband headphones, and while these are excellent, I’m still not one for this style. Of course, there are many users out there looking specifically for neckband headphones and for those users, the Ausounds AU-Flex ANC headphones are perfect.
Overall, the design is excellent. While I’m not a fan of the feeling of a neckband, that doesn’t make them bad. It’s a style not meant for everyone and you probably have an idea already if this is something you’ll enjoy or not.
Ease of Use
Bluetooth headphones have gotten so easy to use that nearly everyone should take to it second nature. There’s not much to say here at all. Pairing is simple, just hold the power button down for a few seconds until you’re in pairing mode, then head into Bluetooth settings and find the Ausounds AU-Flex ANC headphones on the list. Boom, you’re paired!
As for the controls, they are pretty much your basic fare here. A series of button presses will activate the functions on the control module and those are all pretty standard.
Overall, the Ausounds AU-Flex ANC headphones are super simple to pair to your devices and super simple to use.
Like many other headphones on the market these days, I feel the Ausounds AU-Flex ANC headphones tend to lean towards the bass-heavy side. They’re not tuned too much to the low frequencies, but I can tell whoever was responsible for the tuning here favors the low end.
This doesn’t mean that all you’re going to get is a huge amount of bass which drowns out the mids and highs. Ausounds actually did a decent job of elevating the mids and highs so that they were discernable and not muddy. This is a good thing. I enjoyed the music I listened to and it sounded fantastic, it was just a bit thicker than a flat EQ.
I’d say if you like a bit more bass responsiveness with a good mid and high mix, then the Ausounds AU-Flex ANC headphones are going to be great for you. If you like a flat EQ, I don’t think you’ll enjoy these as much. If you like heavy bass, then I think it may be a hit or miss for you.
We can’t close out this section without talking about the active noise cancellation (ANC) feature of these headphones. I’ve used a lot of ANC headphones with most of those being over-the-ear style headphones. The Ausounds AU-Flex ANC headphones do not compete with over-ear headphones at all. As much as I would have liked the ANC to be as effective as the ANC on a set of Bose headphones, it just wasn’t.
But that’s okay because these are earbuds and there is a certain amount of challenge for ANC to work on earbuds. Given the Ausounds AU-Flex ANC headphones aren’t as isolated as an over-ear and given that the bud can shift in your ear, I can deal with the performance of the ANC on these. I think the ANC did just fine for the type of product these are. It’s not perfect, but it works fairly well and should please most users.
Overall, I enjoyed the soundstage on the Ausounds AU-Flex ANC headphones, it’s not my favorite but I do know my tastes are not everyone else’s. I think plenty of users will be happy with the sound Ausounds produces with these headphones.
Bluetooth reception is standard on the Ausounds AU-Flex ANC headphones. I was able to get around 400-500 feet from my device when it was in the line of sight. Around the house, when the device was in another room, I could get 200-300 feet depending on which room I wandered into. There’s really no surprise here, these are your basic results from any Bluetooth product.
The call quality is fine. There is nothing mind-blowing. It works and doesn’t echo or sound tinny. Overall, this category shows basically the standard results you’ll get from most any other Bluetooth headphones.
Interestingly, Ausounds website says these headphones have 22-hours of battery life, but their packaging says they have only 15-hours. I didn’t do a full-on stress test of the Ausounds AU-Flex ANC headphones when it comes to battery, but what I did notice was that after using the headphones for about two weeks, for about 2-3 hours every other day, they never needed to be recharged.
Of course, the longer you use them, the more battery you’ll use. Things like volume and distance from your Bluetooth source will also affect battery life. Overall, I think the Ausounds AU-Flex ANC headphones have solid battery life.
The Ausounds AU-Flex ANC headphones will run you $199.95, which isn’t too expensive and is in the range of its competitors. Some may find this price point a bit much, but the value is there for those who are looking for neckband headphones.
I’m not a huge fan of neckband headphones, but the Ausounds AU-Flex ANC headphones are actually a decent pair. I believe, if I like them, those who are actual fans of this style of headphone will love them. I’d recommend the Ausounds AU-Flex ANC headphones for anyone seeking the neckband style of headphones.
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Ausounds AU-Flex ANC neckband headphonesUS$199.95
- Nicely designed
- Comfortable in the ear
- Easy to use and control
- USB-C charging
- Good soundstage that's tuned slightly to the bass frequencies
- Good battery life
- I'm not a fan of the neckband but this is purely a personal thing
- Pretty bulky for earbuds
- Pricey at just under $200
- ANC is just okay, not the best but we do have to offer some forgiveness for them being earbuds