In this review we will analyze the new AQL Kyma Bluetooth headphones, which boast, among other things, ANC technology at an affordable price
Here we are back with a new review of an AQL product: an Italian brand that we learned about on our pages. After the review of the Escape earphones that had surprised us all in all, this time we are faced with a pair of Bluetooth headphones.
The main peculiarity of these AQL Kyma is undoubtedly the “Active Noise Cancellation“: A technology that, especially when implemented in medium-low range products, could prove to be a cons. Whether these headphones surprised us or not, however, you will find out just by reading!
Presentation – AQL Kyma Review
As per Cellularline tradition, the packaging of this Kyma is of fine workmanship. With an image of the headphones on the front and the description of the headphones on the back, the right side has a window from which we can see them. Once the seals have been removed, we will have to press from the left side to push out the plastic casing that contains both the headphones and the various accessories.
In addition to the Kyma, in the packaging we also find the classic instruction booklet, a USB-C cable for charging, a cable with 3.5 jack connector it’s a soft faux leather headphone holder. A fairly rich package and, despite the absence of a hard travel case, we appreciated the addition of these accessories.
The headphones are immediately folded on themselves. On the top, the pavilions have indeed hinges that allow them to be reclined on top of each other (regardless of whether right or left first), in addition to rotate them 90 °. This is to ensure that they are comfortable even if placed on the neck, in order to avoid the “collar” effect. These Kyma are made almost exclusively of plastic with a matte black finish. Which makes them look a little fragile.
On the external pavilions we have the AQL logo engraved with a glossy finish, while i oval shaped cushions are covered in eco-leather and padded with sponge. The left pavilion has only the input for charging on the bottom (in addition to the status LED), while the right is equipped with an input for the Jack, power button, i volume keys, l’ANC activation switch, in addition to microphone and the second status LED. The headband is covered in the same eco-leather as the earpads, with a light padding underneath and the wording “Audio Quality Lab” engraved on the upper part.
Just under the headband there is a trolley that allows you to adjust the headphones. This mechanism is made of metal and plastic, and allows us to adjust them from a minimum of 5mm, up to a maximum of 30mm. These AQL Kyma achieve a weight of 267 grams, while they enjoy a height of about 21cm, 16cm wide and 8cm deep. The situation changes once folded up, dove boast a height of only 14.5cm, for a width of 15,5cm it’s a depth always of 8cm.
Headphones – AQL Kyma Review
Now let’s talk about the wearability of these AQL Kyma. Although the pavilions are not very large (we are talking about a width of 8cm), we immediately realized that these headphones are comfortable. We could define the type of wearability with the term “al limite dell’over-ear”Since our ear has been incorporated into the headphones but, in all likelihood, those who enjoy a larger auricle will feel a slight pressure on the cartilage. Pressure that caused us a slight long-term discomfort from glasses.
The downside falls on the kind of material used for the bearings that, especially with the advent of high temperatures, tends to make you sweat, forcing us to take a break from time to time. The weight, on the other hand, is managed very well and ensures that they remain firmly in our heads, without being afraid that they may slip off and fall.
Also good 400 mAh battery which offers a playback time of approximately 12 hours with active noise cancellation, while around 19 if we decide to deactivate it. When the headphones are empty, in just 15 minutes of charging we will get 4 hours of play time, while to fully charge them we will need about 2 hours. Testing them on call we found no problems e the microphone included in the headphones is all in all good. The latter provides clear audio while capturing enough background noise.
AQL Kyma can be used both through the Bluetooth 5.0 connection, both through a cavo AUX like the one in the package. On the wireless connectivity side these headphones performed great. L’pairing is indeed always happened quickly, devoid of weird disconnections. There coverage is really good, allowing you to stay connected up to 10 meters away from the device. Even with the Jack cable no problem and the only drawback is (obviously) not being able to use the gestures. By the way, we see the set of commands that can be activated by the various buttons:
- Press and hold the ON / OFF button for 3 seconds: turn on / off the headphones.
- Press the ON / OFF button lightly: put the multimedia content in Play / Pause. In the same way it will be possible answer to a call or end it.
- Press and hold the ON / OFF button for 2 seconds: reject a call.
- Press the minus key (-) for turn down the volume e plus (+) to turn it up.
- Press and hold the minus key (-) to play the previous track, O plus (+) for the next one.
- Double pressing the ON / OFF button: call back the last number.
- Move the switch of the ANC to activate the function or deactivate it.
Sound Quality – AQL Kyma Review
Equipped with two driver da 40mm for each pavilion, these headphones offer a really nice sound. Although the frequencies that stand out most are the mids, they absolutely do not mind the highs and at least the lows. Right on the packaging we find the words “Pump Bass”And, although they do not shake our home, we found them good and above all balanced. The audio is therefore, in general, clean and weighted.
Let’s talk now about the active noise cancellation: an aspect that surprised us on the one hand, while on the other it made us turn up our noses. A little scared and a little doubtful, especially due to our tests with products of a similar price range ruined due to a mild ANC, we activated the Kyma switch. Assuming that a good part of the work is done by the bearing which attenuates ambient noise enough, this ANC is remarkable (in quality / price ratio). Not only is the background rustle really subtle, but the background chaos is noticeably subdued. The technology can also be activated with the headphones switched off. Therefore convenient if you want to use for example in the metro, as in the center, to reduce the surrounding chaos.
So what is the reason that made us turn up our noses? Once we activate the ANC while we have music on our headphones, we will see how the sound becomes slightly muffled, losing part of that balance that we appreciated so much. This can be a small thing since if we activate the noise cancellation it will mean that we will find ourselves in situations that are not very homely, where sound quality is not the priority. However it is our duty to point this out against.
Who do we recommend these headphones to?
AQL has decided to place these Kyma in an accessible but equally dangerous market segment. Dangerous especially for the features promised by these headphones. We have indeed much appreciated the audio quality offered, clean even at high volume, but also the ANC technology: surprising for headphones from a recommended price of € 79.95. However, there are some drawbacks such as the slight distortion of sound with active cancellation or gods not really premium materials.
The versatility of the Kyma is one of their strong points. Being able to fold them up, use them wirelessly rather than with an AUX cable connected is really convenient. We would therefore like to recommend this model to users who for specific needs (for example work) often find themselves operating outside their office or home. Those users who do not want to spend an exorbitant amount, but need a pair of headphones suitable for different types of uses!
Excellent value for money
Points in favor
- Clean and balanced audio quality but …
- Built-in microphone
- Immediate and precise connection
- ANC technology does its job
- Versatile and portable
- … slightly distorted sound with ANC active
- Materials used are not of the highest quality
- In the long run they could cause discomfort for eyeglass wearers