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Comparing August Headphones: Which is Best for You?

Audio technology is something you want to get right. There’s not much that ruins a workout, relaxing moment at home or determination to work than a pair of headphones cutting out or failing to deliver the drop just right.

Reliability is as important as sound-quality or battery life, and then there’s auxiliary features like Noise Cancellation to consider. Let’s look at August International’s line-up of headphones and identify what it is that makes a pair of headphones best for you.

All figures for battery recharge time in this list are to be taken as maximum recharge times, and we have seen these charge faster than the times listed here with certain cables and more / less discharged.

August EP640 Retro-Style Headphones

Best Headset for Style

Starting with a blast from the past, these over-ear headphones are designed with a funky retro style and eye-popping colours. For some of you, that’s enough of a reason right there!

Underneath the striking exterior is a surprisingly modern suite of features

Connectivity

The wireless connection is Bluetooth 4.1 which, while by no means the most modern, provides a stable and reliable connection with enough transfer speed for authentic audio. Consider that your audio bitrate itself won’t be CD-quality, so the Bluetooth version won’t bottleneck you at all.

If you are using high-bitrate HD stereo audio then perhaps consider a higher version of Bluetooth, but outside of the true techies Bluetooth 4.X versions are more than acceptable.

Audio Fidelity

Getting the audio to the headset is one step, but playing it back is another. The EP640 use 40mm driver units (Incredibly common for Bluetooth headphones like these) to give a modest and complete musical recreation. Speaker units like this allow for highs and lows to come across well, while remaining a little more compact than larger units.

Battery Life

The charge time can be up to 4 hours depending on the level of discharge, which is on the higher side. However, 15 hours of playback is also pretty good. The outspoken look and 15-hour battery encourage these to be used as a showy pair for commuting and weekends rather than as a full-time work-day headset.

Auxiliary Features

The EP640, despite the retro-style looks, has modern NFC and microphone integration. NFC one-tap connection is great for instantly switching from travel to home use, or setting up on a quick bus ride / train trip for maximum uptime. The integrated mic is fine for calls, but has no added noise reduction so wouldn’t be perfect for a work / meeting environment.

August EP650 Best-Selling Over-Ear Headphones

Best Headset for Music Quality

The EP650 are by far UK Manufacturer August’s best-selling headphones, and in some ways it’s easy to see why. But what do they really do differently, and are they truly best?

Connectivity

A slight upgrade to the EP640, the EP650 use a Bluetooth 4.2 chipset enabling faster data transfer and, crucially, more data for bass. Once again, the wireless transmission of 4.2 is more than capable of preserving streamed or online audio, with only high-quality raw audio files needing compression to travel wirelessly.

If you’re listening through Spotify, YouTube or even radio then your Bluetooth won’t be bottlenecking the quality.

Audio Fidelity

The over-ear padding is more extreme on the EP650 and that doesn’t just make them incredibly comfortable. The padding helps create an immersive experience which the updated 4.2 chip really takes advantage of. With bass-enhanced playback and higher audio range there have genuinely been parts of songs I have only heard using the EP650’s. It is quite literally like listening to a different song.

Battery Life

Topping off at around the same as EP640 at 15 hours of battery might seem disappointing, but that same playback time is offering a lot more depth for the energy spent. Not to mention, the recharge is only 2 hours (or less) compared to the EP640’s 4 hours.

Auxiliary Features

The integrated microphone and NFC make a comeback, but with a new friend. The new aptX LL advanced Bluetooth codec makes Bluetooth 4.2 even faster, with under 40ms of latency (Just like modern Bluetooth 5.0!). This modernises the entire experience and allows the powerful speakers to do their job brilliantly.

August EP735 Noise Cancelling Airplane Headphones

Best Headset for Travel

Manufactured with travel in mind, the EP735’s benefit from some added compatibility and enhanced noise reduction.

Connectivity

Bluetooth 4.1 makes a return, this time with aptX. This balances the lower version while ensuring the headphones are fit for travel.

If you’re listening through Spotify, YouTube or even radio then your Bluetooth won’t be bottlenecking the quality.

Audio Fidelity

The EP735 Bluetooth headphones use the older 40mm driver units and so lose a tiny but of depth and range compared to the EP650’s. This is mostly to facilitate the extra noise cancellation functions without absolutely ruining the battery life by having both. The quality bridges the gap between the EP640 and EP650, with the slightly lower power speakers actually still sounding great because of the noise reduction.

Battery Life

This pair of headphones have the most dynamic battery life on the list. Due to ANC (Active Noise Cancelling) having a dedicated On / Off button, the headphones can last up to 18 hours or only 10 depending on ANC usage. The recharge time is faster than the EP640 and a little slower than the EP650, at 3 hours maximum.

Auxiliary Features

While lacking NFC, the headphones do carry the aptX codec. The big draw here, however, is the Active Noise Cancelling. ANC actively measures and counters exterior noise partly through the thickly padded earpads but also via microphone technology. The headset will counter droning noises like fans, airplane engines and traffic. To bolster that hint even more, the headphones come with an Airplane Headphone Adapter!

August EP400 Bone Conduction Headphones

Best Headset for Sports and Running

Throwing a curveball at the “over-ear” gang we’ve got going so far is the EP400. The EP400 headphones aren’t over-ear, but simply rest on the sides of your head and provide private audio via bone conduction.

Connectivity

For the first time today, we see a Bluetooth 5.0 device! Bluetooth 5.0 is by default double the speed of previous versions (Provided those versions didn’t have aptX enhancements). The latency is also innately 40ms or lower.

Audio Fidelity

Utilising that extra Bluetooth quality and speed are the unique bone conduction speakers. Rather than outputting the audio like normal speakers, they trigger the vibrations of the music directly through to your oscillatory bones via your skull and cheekbones. The quality itself is, however, debateable. While the direct nature of the transmission certainly means you hear every aspect of the song, the sound can sometimes be echo-y if the contacts are not placed just right. This is a solvable problem through re-adjusting the contacts, but is a step not needed with traditional headphones.

Battery Life

The EP400’s are tiny and light, but also feature-heavy. This means the battery life ends up reaching 10-12 hours rather than into the high teens. They do recharge in under 2 hours, however, minimising downtime that way.

Auxiliary Features

The bone conduction method itself lowers audio bleed and headset weight, so they’re perfect for sport. Also, the unit is an MP3 player. It straight up has an SD card built inside which can hold 32GB of music for offline playback, which is one less worry when working out or on a long run.

August EP636 On-Ear Headphones

Best Headset for On-The-Go Calls

Finally, we have the EP636 which take a different approach yet again to the tech. While they do use traditional speaker units, they are designed for on-ear use rather than having over-ear pads.

Connectivity

The EP636 use Bluetooth 4.1 (As usual) but with the addition of EDR. EDR for Bluetooth means “Enhanced Data Rate”, and increases the capacity of data the connection can facilitate at any given time. This stops higher-quality audio from being restricted by the Bluetooth speed, so is great for MP3 playback or local files.

Audio Fidelity

The EP636 sports the usual 40mm driver units, but due to the on-ear design they are a little more distant and subdued. The quality is the same, but there is more interference between the source and your ears. The benefits are of course lighter weight, slipping them on / off faster and having awareness of colleagues, traffic, members of the public and important noises in your environment.

Battery Life

Creating a happy medium between our lowest entry (EP400, 10 hours) and highest (EP650, 15 hours) the EP636 is able to play for 12-13 hours. You might be wondering where the extra power is going, stopping them from reaching the high teens. Well, it’s all in the mic!

Auxiliary Features

The EP636 pours a lot of engineering time in to the microphone. The headset is made to be slipped on and off, and facilitate meetings or calls in any situation. So, the microphone has extra enhancement from DSP noise and echo reduction. Your voice will be picked up by the microphone and used to balance out background noises. Essentially, people you call or meetings you join will only hear you, and not the wind or traffic or office work nearby.

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