Wireless headphones are great. Without wires, one has the ability to move freely without feeling confined or worried about damaging the headphones. This freedom is especially useful when exercising, whether it be running, weightlifting or other physical activity. This luxury usually comes with a price. With the A6 earbuds, Syllable, a Chinese-based audio company, aims to impress without breaking the bank…and succeeds. Here’s our full review of the Syllable A6 Bluetooth Earbuds!
What’s In the Box:
Syllable kept things simple with the A6’s packaging. The headphones come in a nicely branded rectangular box. Inside the box are the headphones, a micro-USB charging cable (the same cable used for Android phones and many accessories) and a user manual. No power brick is included with the headphones, but a user can alternatively charge them through a computer
With headphones meant for exercise, design is crucial. Headphones in this category must be able to fit comfortably in a user’s ear during rapid movement. The A6s have a very unique and interesting design. Before using these, I had never seen, let alone used another set of headphones with this ‘necklace style’ design. A user simply separates the magnet, then re-attaches it behind their neck. This magnet houses the headphones’ battery and charging port.
This is a brilliant way to keep the headphones small and light. The headphones conveniently hang down, now available to be inserted in a user’s ear. The buds themselves are marked with an “L” and “R” to indicate which earbud goes in which ear. Each bud also has a microphone which provides clear audio on both ends, according to my testing.
The headphones also feature a small control with a multi-purpose button and volume controls.
This control sits just below the user’s neck while the headphones are in use. This control can be tucked into a user’s shirt conveniently, if desired. The headphones are quite light and can be easily carried in one’s pocket. However, it may be easier to keep the earbuds around your neck while not using them. I spent a day with the headphones at this position and it was perfectly comfortable and convenient when i decided to resume listening. The magnet is strong enough so a user doesn’t have to worry about losing the headphones and they are so light that one may forget that they are there! With the control tucked in, chances are, others won’t even notice you are wearing the headphones. If they do, however, they may be impressed. These headphones are very sleek and visually appealing. This is important because style is often sacrificed with low pricing. I ordered the black color option and they look quite nice. They have a smooth, matte design that feels very premium. The LEDs on the control are a nice touch that is not intrusive in any way. This light indicates charging and connection status. I would not hesitate to wear these headphones in public. So do they stay in your ears? This depends on the size and shape of the user’s ear, but for the most part, they will fit adequately. For me at least, they took a little bit of getting used to. After a day of using them, I adapted to the shape and had no further issues. Something definitely worth noting with these headphones is they only come with one size of ear cushions. Many competing headphones come with at least two size options, if not more. If the provided size doesn’t work for you, ear cushions from other earbuds should fit just fine (depending on the earbud.) I had some others try the headphones on with the provided ear cushions and no one had any issues with fit. I was able to run and lift weights with minimal adjusting of the earbuds. Since they are earbuds, they are a lot less noticeable than other styles. Overall, the design was clever, simple and high quality.
Sound Quality/Noise Cancellation:
The main reason for using headphones is of course to listen to music (or audio of some sort!) Therefore, sound quality and noise cancellation ability is just as important as design. When dealing with budget headphones or speakers, we as consumers must keep in mind value. We can’t expect excellent audio quality with headphones under $50 especially if they are Bluetooth headphones which are more expensive than standard wired headphones. The Syllable A6 headphones greatly surprised me with audio quality that exceeded all of my expectations. Even when no music is playing, the earbuds block out sound because of their in-ear design. Once the music starts, the noise cancellation further improves. When I had music playing at a comfortable volume, I wasn’t able to hear the TV when standing right next to it, nor was I able to hear people speaking when standing next to them. To be honest, I was not expecting this level of noise cancellation from headphones in this price point. A friend of mine owns the popular $200 Powerbeats wireless headphones and the A6s seemed to cancel noise better than the Powerbeats. As hard to believe as this is, it’s true. As for sound quality, I had a similar experience. The headphones get plenty loud and have some pretty decent bass (as advertised on the box). I am not an audiophile but I can appreciate good sound quality. In this category, the A6s were all that I would hope for and more.
The A6’s battery takes about an hour to charge from dead to full battery. Depending on volume level and time spent passively versus time spent playing music, the battery lasts for a few hours. A few being two to four, once again depending on usage. If one is using these headphones constantly throughout the day, they will most likely have to recharge the headphones daily. This battery life isn’t terrible by any means, especially for the price, but there are definitely headphones out there that have superior battery life.
Overall Value/Final Thoughts:
For $30, I really can’t complain. The A6s are not perfect headphones, but there are competitors that cost ten times more than these that aren’t perfect either. For $30 you get a premium pair of strategically and ergonomically designed wireless earbuds that cancel noise surprisingly well and sound great. Finally, I must mention that the more use I get out of these headphones, the more I like them. When I initially received and tested the headphones, I was going to give them a four star rating. However, before publishing this review, I decided to spend a full day using only these headphones. Maybe it was the convenience of keeping them around my neck like a necklace when not using them or maybe I just got used to the form factor, but either way, these were a pleasure to use. I am strongly considering using these as my go to earbuds from now on.
Review At a Glance:
The Good: Audio quality, noise cancellation, design/build, appearance
The Not So Good: Battery life, lack of ear tip size choice
A Quick Note on the Company:
I have never been one to let stereotypes affect my thoughts. I am aware that some believe a company’s popularity reflects a product’s quality. This may be true in many cases, however, this doesn’t mean that if a product is manufactured by a less popular company, it is of poor quality. Syllable has proven this with their A6 headphones. I had never heard of Syllable before using these headphones and no one who I have asked has heard of the company either. For $30, you get a premium set of headphones that I would pay well over $100 for. The A6 model is one of Syllable’s less expensive products. If this level of quality is offered with the company’s lower end products, one can only imagine the level of superiority of Syllable’s pricier options. This company is one with major potential and I am looking forward to seeing what products will be released in the near future.