The group Aarkstore in 2017 launched the brand AQL (Audio Quality Lab), The line dedicated to the world of music, which seeks to interpret and meet the needs of all fans: people of all ages, genders and spending needs.
Composed of over 90 references including headphones, earphones and speakers that combine technological innovation and distinctive design, each product in this range has unique characteristics to satisfy all types of listening. Among the new products are the True Wireless ESCAPE earphones.
It is a product that promises clear audio without background noise (Environment Noise Canceling), thus allowing both the user and the person with whom he is on call to clearly perceive the voice without distortions or annoying metallic effects.
But is it really so? Find out in our review!
The sales package is pretty neat. It is a solid cardboard case with an aggressive appearance. Once the “book” case is opened, we find ourselves in front of the product protected by a very normal plastic cover.
To open it it was necessary to use a cutter as it does not have the classic closing seal (easy to open) but rather a serrated hatch to follow (with precision) to access the product. An unusual choice. In our opinion it would have been better to put the sealing seals on the outside of the box as once the plastic blist has been cut it is practically unusable. In addition, there is a small box with the inside USB Type-C cable (rather short) and instructions.
That said (which naturally does not affect the usability and functionality of the product) what we are interested in making you understand is whether the ESCAPE earphones can do for you or not!
As for the technological equipment, the ESCAPE do not go to savings, on the contrary.
- Environment Noise Canceling Technology: reduces ambient noise during calls for high audio quality;
- True Wireless Technology: to connect both Bluetooth headsets at the same time without any cables;
- Dual Master: answer and initiate a call either with the right or left earphone;
- Autopairing: once you remove the earphones from the case, they automatically connect with each other;
- Charging case x6: the charging case allows you to charge both earphones up to 6 times for 30 hours of play time;
- Qualcomm aptX: technology designed to improve the Bluetooth sound quality;
- Touch controls: touch controls to better manage music and calls.
- Frequency response 20Hz - 20.000Hz
- Range 10 mt
It is therefore a series of rather interesting features.
The True Wireless ESCAPE earphones once extracted from the case (small, light and very handy, manages to keep the earphones firm even if you have to leave the flap open) are ready for action. Activated on Bluetooth on your device (we tested them with a Samsung Galaxy Note 9) the pairing is almost immediate. You can use either the right earphone, the left one or in pairs. The Bluetooth version is 5.0.
If you are listening to music, for example with Spotify, and for any reason you have to pause the song, just put the two earphones back in the case and the playback will automatically stop. It is not a lightning-fast feature (it takes a couple of seconds) but we really appreciated it as it avoids having to necessarily turn the smartphone screen back on. Instead in case of a call, by extracting one or both earphones from the box, they will hook to the device allowing the user to respond in an instant.
The range of 10 meters is correct. We have moved away from the smartphone several times and have not encountered hesitation or uncertainties of any kind.
Not being in-ear headphones (here the review of the Cellularline Blink Bluetooth in-ear headphones) but with the classic "stick" shape, the performances are a bit subjective. It depends on how they are placed in the ears, on the size of the ears and on whether or not the design of the earphones can be annoying. However, the dimensions are very small and in truth in our test we did not have any pain or need to remove the headphones during playback. In addition, they hold steady in case of sudden movements or during training sessions.
AQL with True Wireless ESCAPE earphones promises deep and very powerful bass, which is true but with reserve. We explain ourselves better. The product sounds good but also considering the frequency response and Qualcomm aptX technology, not as we would expect. The sound is clean and crystalline but to make it immersive it is necessary to play a little with the positioning and above all since it is not possible to adjust the volume of the headphones it is mandatory to increase that of your smartphone. This forced us to increase it a little above the “red threshold” or beyond the blue “safe” line that signals the user that the volume is too high.
Said this, the overall quality is good. We tried the product with different musical genres including: Rock, Metal, Rap, Classical, Dance, electronic music and so on and all in all we were satisfied with it. Paradoxically the bass is less "pompous" than advertised by the manufacturer while the highs and mids are fairly balanced allowing you to hear almost every facet of the sound.
Performance on call
As for calls, the ESCAPE earphones are perfect. Whether you are at home or out and about, the interlocutor will be able to hear your voice distinctly and no background noise. Apparently the Enviroment Noise Canceling technology does its duty. Even the caller can easily hear who is on the other side of the handset.
ESCAPE are also equipped with touch controls. Specifically, during music playback it is possible, by pressing and holding the right earphone, to go to the next song, vice versa by pressing and holding the left one you go back to the previous song; to pause it is instead necessary to press the touch control twice (left or right). In a call, on the other hand, to accept a call just press the touch key twice (same thing to hang up) or reject it by holding the touch key down for about 2 seconds. Finally, to access the voice assistant, simply press the touch control on one of the two earphones three times.
In short, functions that we can find on various earphones with touch functionality and that we found comfortable and responsive on the ESCAPE. Attention, if you lie down on the side of the bed you risk (as happened to the writer) to inadvertently turn up the volume with the risk of hurting the eardrum..
The earphones True Wireless ESCAPE by AQL are priced at 69,95 €, in line with the market. The manufacturer has spared no expense to offer a gritty device capable of adapting both to those looking for earphones for the pure pleasure of listening to music and for those who need them for calls. They are comfortable and light, the touch controls work properly and the autonomy is really good. Too bad for the bass that are less performing than we would have expected but ultimately the audio quality is convincing. Let's be clear don't expect a device for audiophiles but for those who listen to music during business trips or for pleasure and for those who make a lot of calls they are fine.