If 2018 was the year that Bluetooth really took the scene by force (at least for me), 2019 has been the year of TWS (True Wireless Stereo). We’re suddenly neck-deep in them. All the familiar brands are doing it. A lot of the new brands are doing it. Which brings us to today’s review. I’m checking out the Astrotec S80 TWS earphones. The S80 has Bluetooth 5.0 and a beryllium dynamic driver. How do they perform? Let’s find out.
This sample was provided for the purpose of an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.
Astrotec S80 TWS Review
Ease of use
Lightweight and comfortable
Stable Bluetooth connectivity
L and R markings difficult to see
No aptX (only AAC and SBC)
Package and Accessories
The Astrotec S80 earphones come in a tasteful package with a generous amount of accessories. Here is what you’ll find in the box:
Astrotec S80 TWS earphones
Grey fabric clamshell zipper case
USB Type-C charging cable
5 pairs of silicone eartips
1 pair of foam eartips
Design and Functionality
The S80 earphones have a fairly simple physical design, similar to what we see with other TWS earphones. The shells are made of plastic and are very lightweight. The S80 earphones come equipped with capacitive buttons for touch controls. You can adjust volume, skip or rewind tracks, turn on AI assistant, start/stop playback, as well as operate phone call controls all just by touching the side of the earphones.
Pairing is very simple too. As soon as you take the earpieces from the charging case they connect to each other and enter pairing mode automatically. Then you can easily connect them to your phone in a normal manner. Additionally, the earphones can be used in mono mode, meaning you can use a single earpiece if desired. This is as simple as leaving one earbud in the charging case.
There is a rubber ring around the middle of the earbuds which not only makes the fit more secure but also helps protect them from moisture. The S80 earbuds have an IPX5 rating, meaning they’re water-resistant so you don’t need to worry about rain or sweat.
As for the charging case, it has a similar grey fabric on the bottom part and a plastic lid with a chrome finish. The USB Type-C charging port is located on the side and the case can be fully charged in about 1.5 hours. The battery on the actual earphones lasts for 5 hours and they can be fully recharged in the case 4-5 times, meaning you can get a total of around 25 hours playback time.
Comfort and Noise Isolation
I found the earbuds to be very comfortable. The shells are smooth and the fit feels secure in my ears. I’ve taken them out running and had no problems at all. Noise isolation is pretty good too, good for cutting down noise at the gym or when commuting.
In terms of sound quality, the Astrotec S80 is one of the better TWS earphones that I have tried. The beryllium dynamic driver delivers some solid bass with good extension in the lower end and the treble, along with smooth, rich mids. S80 has a mild V-shaped sound signature that is warm yet detailed and is perfect for active use.
If you’re out and about you want a low end with some punch and the S80 delivers. It’s neither too heavy or too light and falls into the sweet zone in terms of quantity. It’s a warm but controlled bass with minimal bleed and good detail. Bass notes have plenty of weight to drive the music and make it emotive and fun without going over the top. It’s a bass that works well with just about any music genre, even if it does sound quite thick at times.
The midrange is smooth but detailed, with a slightly upfront presentation. Vocals are silky and emotional with both male and female voices getting equal favour. The midrange detail is surprisingly good too, especially considering their full-bodied and smooth nature. Guitars sound a little soft and midrange notes in general sound a bit thick but it’s a tuning that’s well suited for use on the move. It’s a presentation that leans more towards emotional than accurate and one that is fun and inviting.
The S80’s treble has enough energy to keep things lively but it stays relatively smooth. More emphasis is put on the lower treble, while the upper treble is more laidback, This makes the overall tonality warmer which will please the treble-sensitive as it eludes becoming uncomfortably bright. It’s not the most detailed treble but at the same time, it doesn’t sound muted or dark. However, it does result in slightly less clarity in the midrange.
Soundstage is generally not a strong point for true wireless earphones and it’s no different with the S80. The stage dimensions are fairly moderate but there’s still sufficient width and depth to avoid feeling congested.
Coming in at $89, the Astrotec S80 earphones offer good, solid value for a truly wireless solution. They’re well built, have substantial battery life and the full touch controls make them very easy to use. Although the budget TWS space is filling up fast, you can’t go wrong with these and at this stage of the game, they’re still slightly ahead of the competition.