The headphone market is one which is bulging right now with an abundance of options available. A clear trend which is developing from the options available, is the use of Bluetooth technology. A trend which is understandable, as Bluetooth connectivity offers consumers a way to detach themselves from having to hold any additional devices or even having to be near a target device. One area in particular which is seeing a wealth of options coming through, is the affordable sector.
Here we are taking a quick look at the Syllable A6 Necklace Bluetooth Earbuds. These are a prime example of the type of quality and product that you can expect to get within the affordable sector, with these ones currently coming in with a price tag just over $35. However, they do come with a slightly more unique form factor than most of the other options you will find at this price point.
In terms of the basic specs, the Syllable A6 Necklace Bluetooth Earbuds come equipped with 10 mm copper drivers. Impedance is set at 32Î©, Signal to Noise Ratio comes in at â‰§75 db and the output power is rated as â‰§1.4mW. In terms of connectivity, the Syllable A6 Necklace Bluetooth Earbuds makes use of Bluetooth v4.1, which is expected to offer a connected range of up to 33 ft (roughly 10 meters). The Bluetooth range on offer is 2.4-2.48 GHz and the inbuilt microphone sensitivity comes in at -43db±2db.
Design & Hardware
In terms of the design, the Syllable A6 Neckband Bluetooth Earbuds are built to offer a more natural level of usage. The most obvious design aspect in play is their adoption of a necklace form. This is achieved thanks to their more unusual form factor. Instead of just adopting a y-shaped design, the Syllable A6 Earbuds also come with a magnetic clasp which easily allows the two sides of the y-design to attach. This then results in the volume control panel essentially adopting a pendant-like position and appearance. The other immediate benefit to this design and the pendant positioning of the control panel, is that it is very easy to make use of the controls.
As such, you do have the option to wear them in one of two ways. The first is in the intended necklace manner and this means that they can be worn tightly around the neck with the pendant aspect hanging down. In this mode, the earbuds then can be simply pushed into the ear from behind. Alternatively, of course, you can forgo the necklace form factor completely and opt to wear the earbuds in a normal fashion and making use of a traditional y-design, with the earbud wires hanging down.
That said, when used in the necklace mode, it does very quickly become clear of the benefit of wearing the Syllable A6 Earbuds. The necklace mode does mean that the earphones essentially become even more wireless. You are no longer worrying about wires hanging down or getting caught up or tangled with anything. This was especially noticeable with trips to the gym and when running. If you are someone who generally wears a necklace or a chain when at the gym, the using the Syllable A6 Earbuds feels pretty much the same. The control panel generally falls in the same position as most pendants would and as a result, feels incredibly natural when worn. Another benefit noted when being used in this manner, is that the earphones almost never came loose or fell out of the ear. These are very stable earbuds and if you are a regular gym user, you will see a very specific benefit to using these earphones.
Likewise, when you are not listening to music, they earphones do very easily remain in place, as the necklace simply retains a necklace form. As such, jumping from using to not using and back to using again, was as simple as plugging the tip into the ear. In terms of the rest of the design, the headphones are largely typical of what you might find in this price range and consistent of a similar build quality. However, the earbuds are shaped quite nicely and at an angle which results in a nicer fitting when in-ear.
It is also worth pointing out that as these are Bluetooth earbuds they are rechargeable via USB. Interestingly, thanks to the magnetic clasp used to create the necklace form factor, the microUSB charge point is very conveniently hidden away. The charge point is tucked within one of the two adjoining clasp points. This was felt to be a big benefit over some of the competitive offerings in this price range, which typically position the change point in or near the ear tips. By housing the port in the clasp, it not only adds weight to the clasp ensuring a firmer joining but also lightens the weight of the ear buds. Which in turn, helps to ensure the earbuds remain in place more firmly.
When it comes to the design, the one major criticism which can be picked up on, is that there is no way or option to adjust the earbud size. What comes out of the box is all you have to work with. While this was not an issue personally, there will be some who might find the earbud fitting less kind to them.
Sound Quality & Performance
When it comes to Bluetooth headphones and earbuds, the sound quality is equally as important as the likes of battery life. After all, these are primarily designed to offer a listening experience and this should always be the major concern. In the case of the Syllable A6 Earbuds, the sound quality is of a decent level. Now, these are not going to be the best or clearest sounding earphones due to their price point. However, they are not designed to be. What they are designed to offer, is a decent sound, at a decent price. In truth, the sound quality was surprisingly good on the Syllable A6 Earbuds. Tops and mids come through clearly and have a nice warm tone to them. The bass is a slightly different matter though, These aren't the most bass-heavy earbuds you can find and depending on the level of bass you are seeking, will determine how right these are for you. The bass is there and is fine on the majority of tracks played. However, if you are looking for something a little more pounding, this is where the Syllable A6 Earbuds do fall short.
When considering all the aspects of the sounds quality on the Syllable A6 Earbuds, it does have to be said, that for the price, these are a good set of earphones. The mids and highs are very bright, without sounding too 'tinny'. Vocals come through nice and clear and distortion was never really an issue at either the high or low ends. Yes, bass could be punchier, but for the level and price that the Syllable A6 Earbuds come in at, there is not too much to complain about.
In fact, the performance in general were quite good. The design of the Syllable A6 Earbuds is the big selling point here and do add a very clear USP to the earbuds. These are an ideal solution for gym goers and those who want a low-cost, but functional pair of earbuds which can be thrown in a bag when not in use, detached and reattached to the ear easily and still provide a decent enough audio experience.
It does also need to be pointed out that the Syllable A6 Earbuds do come with hands-free functionality. So as well as the general audio playback feature, the Syllable A6 Earbuds can be used to take and make calls. Again, thanks to the design and the pendant positioning of the main controls, taking and hanging up is extremely easy. There is a main red button on the control panel which is the power on/off button and also doubles as the Bluetooth pairing button. This is also the button which triples as the answer/hang up control. Pressing once answers a call, while long pressing hangs up again. You can also double press the red button to dial the last number dialed. In terms of the quality of hands-free calling, calls could be made fine and did not drop off, although the quality of the person at the other end could have been a little better.
Battery Life & Connectivity
This is always going to be one of the big aspects when it comes to Bluetooth headphones and earbuds, as the battery life will determine how long these can be used for any one setting. In terms of the battery life with the Syllable A6 Necklace Bluetooth Earbuds, these are officially stated to offer in excess of three hours of continuous audio playback. Of course, this will be dependent on factors like volume and music type. In terms of our testing, the three-hour marker was considered to be the maximum that they would offer. Consistently we were able to achieve somewhere between two and three hours of playback in between charges. The Syllable A6 Necklace Bluetooth Earbuds very rarely passed the three-hour marker and only did so at much lower volumes. As such, this should be considered the uppermost level of usage you will achieve with two hours being the absolute minimum you can expect.
Whether or not this is enough for you will depend on your likely level of daily usage. During testing, although not the longest battery life on offer, it was easily enough for a daily gym visit or run. Likewise, it should be plenty for your daily commute to and from work. However, these will not offer an all day level of usage off the charge. That is, if your daily usage is defined as longer than three hours. There were no major issues noted in terms of charging. As the battery is quite small, the earphones typically charges in about ninety minutes. So you could quite easily use for a couple of hours, stick on charge for an hour or two and expect to get a full level of usage again.
In terms of connectivity, there were zero issues noted in this respect too. The Syllable A6 Necklace Bluetooth Earbuds come equipped with Bluetooth 4.1 and offer a distance of up to 10m while maintaining a reliable connection. This was certainly one of the high-points of these earbuds, as they did seem to be incredibly reliable in maintaining a connection. Sound never dropped off, down and there was no notable interference encountered. Likewise, they do seem to be able to hold their connection well with the 10m distance. So you should have next to no issues in this respect.
Whenever it comes to an audio output accessory like a speaker, headphones or earphones, sound quality does and should always be of a top concern. However, it should not be the be-all-and-end-all and especially when it comes to earbuds and headphones. There is a myriad of aspects which need to be taken into account including their design, battery life and one of the most important factors, price. The Syllable A6 Earbuds are one of the earphones which falls very much in the affordable sector of the market and taking their price into consideration, these are a good pair of earphones and ones which could be recommended. Their design is their saving grace and offers the consumer a very unique experience for under $40.
Should you buy the Syllable A6 Earbuds?
If you are looking for a more affordable set of earphones, then the Syllable A6 Earbuds are a good option to go for. They are very lightweight and do offer a good enough sound quality. More specifically, if you are a runner or a frequent gym goer then you will in particular, find the design of the Syllable A6 Earbuds a real added benefit.