Reviews Sports and Fitness

Awei A880BL (Review)

Written by Adrin S

The Awei A880BL is a pair of entry-level wireless sports earphones. It costs less than $20 with shipping and features Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connectivity and a self-folding wrap-around design that hugs onto the rear of your head like a headband. When not in use, they coil back into an O-shape that resembles a small pancake for easy storage.

They also come with three sets of ear buds with different sizes and a high quality micro USB cable for charging. A user manual with clear instructions in English and Chinese is provided in the box.

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The earphone bodies are made entirely of plastic and they do feel a little bit cheap although functional. One thing I don’t like about the A880BL are the buttons. There are a total of two buttons on the right earpiece — one at the top which serves as the power button and a rocker button at the bottom which is used as a next/previous and volume button. The power button can also be used to answer or reject calls.

Highlights
  • Supports APT-X HiFi sound quality
  • Sweat and splash-proof
  • Supports NFC
  • CVC 6.0 intelligent noise reduction
  • 8-hour battery life
  • Power display (iOS only)
  • Support multi-point connection (multiple devices)
Specifications
  • Bluetooth version: V4.0
  • Bluetooth protocol: HFP/HSP/A2DP/AVRCP/APT-X/CVC
  • Output power: 10mW
  • Workable distance: 10m (barrier-free space)
  • Charging time: 2 hours
  • Charging voltage: DC 5V
  • Sensitivity: 90dB + / – 3dB
  • Frequency response: 20-20000Hz

The problem with these buttons is they are located at opposing sides, meaning if you want to press the volume button you might accidentally press the power button. Not only that, the volume button is also quite flush against the earpiece casing so trying to locate it with your thumb can be a bit tricky and since it is a rocker button that’s very small, it’s also a bit hard to discern between the “volume up” and “volume down” button using only your fingers.

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When running with the A880BL, I notice that these buttons also rattle quite a bit due to impact whenever my foot strikes the ground. This is due to some play between the buttons and the casing. The rattling isn’t very loud but can be heard even when a song is playing. It also doesn’t happen all the time.

And the last thing that I don’t like about the A880BL is the fit. I’m not sure if it’s the shape of my ear lobes or their size but the rear part of the earpiece casings press against my ear lobes quite firmly causing discomfort after about 30 minutes of running. I reckon users with larger lobes might find the A880BL a good and comfortable fit but that’s not the case with me. I guess it all depends on the size of your ear lobe and their shape.

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Now let’s move on to the positive points of the A880BL. Battery life is quite decent at 8 hours. Wireless reception is also good and the A800BL can remain connected up to about 10 meters as claimed. Occasionally, I’d get some interference and jitters but this is very rare. CVC 6.0 noise suppression does a good job in smoothing things out. It also has a built-in microphone which worked very well. Now let’s talk about another strong point of the A880BL — sound quality.

Sound Quality

For a pair of $20 earphones, the A880BL delivers impressive sound quality with a frequency range of 20-20,000Hz which is about as good as it gets for wireless earphones. Bass is punchy although it does sound flabby at times and spills over to the lower mid range. The mids and highs have decent clarity despite sounding a bit muffled. Where the A880BL struggles the most is in the lower mids. Overall, sound quality is good for a pair of $20 wireless earphones.

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There is no mention about the A880BL’s driver size in the user manual or on any product page that I can find online but my guess is, it’s somewhere in the range of 8 to 10mm which is common for earphones like this. The A880BL won’t deliver sound quality that will please the most discerning audiophile but as a pair of wireless sports earphones, its sound quality is good enough to keep you motivated during your workouts.

Conclusion

Costing just $20 with shipping, the Awei A880BL delivers plenty of value. Its earpiece casings may not be the best in class, feeling a bit cheap with very poorly designed buttons but the A880BL more than compensates with its decent sound quality, excellent battery life and Bluetooth reception. Fit and comfort may be a bit of a hit and miss. If you have the right ear lobe shape and size, they can be very comfortable but in my case, they start getting uncomfortable after about half an hour of use. If you think the A880BL is the right sports earphones for you, then you can get it at GearBest with four different colors to choose from — red, yellow, blue and black.



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Adrin S

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