LA audio brand Ausounds continues its journey into the European earphone market with the AU-Flex ANC, a wireless earphone that goes big on bass and stands out thanks to its innovative neckband design.
The AU-Flex ANC is the older sibling to Ausound's AU Stream earbud and should be seriously considered by those looking for low-end weight, impressive noise cancelling and efficient audio detail.
Ausounds has just two earphone models in its arsenal but already the brand has taken home a CES Innovations Award as well as being a HiFi Award Winner for the AU-Flex ANC. It retails at £229.95 and is aimed at musicians and discerning listeners who want quality audio while at home or in transit.
The talking point here is Ausounds' AU-Hybrid Planar Magnetic Drivers, which are responsible for the earphones' powerful bass output and detailed mid range. The low-end gets really up close and personal and is much more impressive than Apple's AirPods Pro and a rival to Bower & Wilkins' newly released, high end PI7. Happily, the low-end is reassuringly weighty and doesn't get in the way of percussion or vocals.
Elsewhere on the wireless earphone checklist is state-of-the-art Bluetooth connectivity, solid noise cancelling and a 10-hour battery with noise cancelling on and 15-hours with it off (a 'please charge' warning will sound for at least 40 minutes before the earphones power off, which is a pleasant surprise). At IPX5, there's a decent level of waterproofing too.
Then there's the design: rubber ear hooks mean the AU-Flex ANC isn't coming out under any circumstance (and we've roadtested them in plenty of on-the-go conditions) and three different sizes of silicone ear tips are in the box.
The neckband may be divisive however. The cable connecting the ear hooks to the neckband can be easily tangled and the neckband is fairly heavy compared with other audiophile earphones like the Nuraloop. This configuration means that while you can use these earphones for cycling and jogging (although the neckband does bounce), they aren't recommended for for the gym or activity where you're likely to be moving your body around, which is a shame as the earphones themselves stay in place very well.
All said, the AU-Flex ANC is aimed at music lovers and music creators, and for that demographic the earphones will deliver a powerful wireless solution and give audiophile consumers something different – but no less assured – to choose away from the ear and headphone status quo.