Is it possible to have an affordable audiophile grade true wireless earphone? If you had asked me a week ago, I may have rejected the idea. However, this week I got a chance to spend some time with the Astrotec S80 true wireless earphones. At $89, how good can it sound? And who is it right for? Let’s take a closer look with this Astrotec S80 True Wireless Review.
Astrotec S80 True Wireless Review
In the Box
-S80 True Wireless Earphones
-Micro USB charging cable
-Zipping carrying case
-Charging carrying case
Look and Feel
The Astrotec S80 true wireless earphones have a simple, clean look. With an oval shape, they have a small/medium size. Made of plastic, they are lightweight with a glossy black finish on the outside detailed with a silver outline. The other side has a smooth matte black finish.
Comfort and Fit
The Astrotec S80 true wireless earphones have such a minimalist design, that they rely solely on the fit of the eartip in the ear canal for security in the ear. As a result, they fit best for folks who have an easy time fitting most earphones. For those with particularly small or large or weirdly shaped ear canals, you might have a more difficult time finding a secure fit with these.
The wireless connection of the Astrotec S80 true wireless earbuds is solid, pairing via Bluetooth 5.0. It has a range of around 30 feet, and a battery life of about 5 hours, with an extra 20 hours with the charging case for a total of 25 hours.
In addition to their portability, the Astrotec S80 is waterproof with an IPX5 rating. And for added convenience, it has touch controls to control playback on the outside of the driver housings.
The low frequencies of the Astrotec S80 are punchy. While they have a boost around what sounded like 60 Hz providing even extra punch, the overall level of the low end was solid, yet not too emphasized. It was a happy, energetic low end, but not so much so that it felt overpowering.
For example, when I was listening to the song I’m Callin’ by Tennis, the kick drum felt punchy and full. However, it retained separation from the bass guitar and was able to provide foundational support to the rest of the mix.
The middle frequency shape of the Astrotec S80 has a smiley-face curve. With a boost in the low-mids around what sounded like 200 Hz, a wide cut between what sounded like 700 Hz and 1 kHz, and another boost at around 5 kHz, the S80 favors articulation and low-mid thickness. Bass guitars, synths, the left hand of pianos and low horns and strings sit a bit forward in the mix. Likewise, instruments with high-mid info like vocals, acoustic guitar strums, drum attacks, and horn stabs sit forward.
For example, when I was listening to the song Thanks for Nothing by Middle Brother, the bass guitar feels louder in the mix and carries a good amount of weight. It doesn’t feel overbearing, but just feels strong and concrete. Additionally, the acoustic guitar strums, have a good sense of attack along with the light snare and high-hat pattern. Additionally, Taylor Goldsmith’s voice sits forward in the mix with emphasis on his face, with the chest feeling much lower in the mix.
The high frequencies of the Astrotec S80 have articulation and detail. A boost in the lower treble around 6 kHz brings forward consonants and attacks of drums, piano hammers, and percussion. However, this boost is followed by a cut around what sounded like 7 kHz. As a result, while the highs have articulation, they are able to avoid harshness, and keep a sense of easiness. Additionally, a boost at what sounded like 12 kHz brought a sense of dimensionality and greater naturalness to the highs, despite its specific shape.
For example, when I was listening to the song 1919 by Terri Lynne Carrington, the hammers of the piano sat forward in the mix. The cymbals and drum brushes had bits of emphasis as well, although sounded slightly less full than usual. However, the cymbals had a good sense of separation and lift over the brushes and helped add height into the mix.
The soundstage of the Astrotec S80 has a good sense of separation in the width. The high-mid emphasis brings instruments with high-mid energy forward in space. And while it doesn’t have a sense of depth to write home about, this intimacy works well for bringing vocals to the front and center. Lastly, the feeling of height has good differentiation, but doesn’t have much sense of extension.
For example, when I was listening to the song Good Life by Sammy Rae, the wide guitars had good separation from slightly panned strings and then from the centered vocal. Additionally, the kick and bass guitar had good separation in the sense of height from the guitars and horns above them, and then from the vocals and cymbals above them. However, neither direction felt particularly extended. Lastly, all the instruments felt somewhat close in space. There wasn’t a super detailed feeling of depth, but the reverbs and roominess of the horns came through a little bit which helped place them backward a little bit.
Overall, the Astrotec S80 has a simple design and a great sound quality for the price. For the audiophiles on a budget looking for a true wireless, these are going to be a great option.