Newest addition to the Aonic family promises studio-quality sound in a budget-friendly package.
By Scott Wilkinson
After almost 100 years in business, Shure is one of the world’s best-known brands for studio and live-performance microphones and in-ear headphones. Today, the company is adding another member to its Aonic line of sound-isolating IEHs: the Aonic Free. Unlike the other True Wireless Aonic models, the Aonic Free does not have earhooks, but the company says its earpieces will remain securely in place thanks to careful design and included Comply foam eartips in three different sizes.
Those eartips should deliver superb sound isolation, being rated to block up to 37dB of ambient sound. If necessary, you can engage an Environmental Mode to activate exterior microphones with the touch of a button, so you can hear your surroundings. In addition, the strategically placed mics work in conjunction with beamforming DSP to support crystal-clear phone calls with noise-suppression technology that blocks environmental sound while your voice is heard clearly.
As far as sound quality goes, the Aonic Free is engineered from decades of experience designing professional in-ear monitors. A combination of a premium amplifier and a single dynamic driver was tuned and tested as a complete system to achieve a frequency response from 21Hz to 17.5kHz.
Like all True Wireless IEHs, the Aonic Free uses Bluetooth to connect to the source device. It implements Bluetooth 5 and supports multiple codecs, including aptX, AAC, and SBC.
Personalization is becoming ever more important in headphones these days, and the Aonic Free offers a multi-band EQ in the ShurePlus Play app for iOS and Android. The app also lets you adjust the level of the Environment Mode, and it provides a full-featured music player that supports high-resolution audio files. In addition, you can customize tone and voice prompts for things like power on/off, connection confirmation, and low battery as well as the function of the single button on each earpiece.
Speaking of the battery, Shure says the earpieces can play for seven hours at a stretch, and the included carrying case can charge them up twice more before it needs to be plugged in. A fast-charge feature provides one hour of playback after only 15 minutes in the case.
The Shure Aonic Free offers superb sound quality and isolation with long battery life, clear phone calls, and extensive customizability for $199. For more info, you can visit Shure’s website.
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