Shure AONIC FREE Earbuds Review

Shure AONIC FREE

Shure recently introduce its latest mid-range truly wireless earbuds the Shure AONIC FREE. The Precision-engineered with the details in mind, the Shure AONIC FREE True Wireless Sound Isolating™ Earphones feature big sound in a small package. A sleek, true wireless design provides a comfortable, ergonomic fit with easily accessible button controls for seamless listening. The perfect companion for wherever the day takes you.

Pros
  • Exceptional isolation
  • Good sound
  • Excellent app
  • SBC, AAC, and aptX
  • Pretty comfortable
  • Environment Mode works well
Cons
  • Case and buds are a bit bulky
  • Not the most stylish

Also read- JLAB Play Pro Gaming Wireless Over-Ear Headset Review


Price and availability

The Shure AONIC FREE earbud come with a two colour variant such as Graphite and Crimson chrome. It is price $199 USD. You can purchase this earbud from the company’s official website: shure.com.

Who should get the Shure AONIC FREE?

  • Those who want better isolation for there earphones.
  • who looking to take advantage of improved aptX codec support can use the ShurePlus PLAY app to switch between important codecs.

Also read- Jabra EVOLVE2 75 Headphone Review


Box Content

Shure AONIC FREE
  • AONIC FREE True Wireless Sound Isolating Earphones
  • Charging case
  • Micro-USB-C Charging Cable
  • Comply Foam Sleeves (S, M, L)

Also read- Jabra Elite 7 Pro Earbud Review


What is the design of the Shure AONIC FREE?

Shure AONIC FREE

The shape and size of the Shure AONIC FREE earbud is almost similar to the Bose QuietComfort. The large pill shape earbud made with a mainly of graphite metallic plastic with lighter grey logos on the outside, and black plastic on the inside, the AONIC Free has a pretty steady look. It also offers fabulous Crimson chrome colour option for more fun. Each bud has a single tactile button on the top edge for all your commands.

Moreover, the headphone come with a three sets of compliant foam ear tips that do an amazing amount of heavy lifting. Memory foam tips perform bulk isolation and stabilization to lock those large buds. The diameter of the nozzle is about 3mm, you should look for other third party options. The top size of the big ear is about 14mm, the middle is about 12mm, and the small one is 10mm. I recommend screwing AONIC free buds into your ear canals, instead of just pushing them in. This gentle approach ensures a solid seal, and it protects your ears-we put things in it every day but remember, the ears are fragile.

Furthermore, the headphone come with an IPX4 water and sweat resistance. Means, you can go to swimming or running or in rain with AONIC FREE earbud. Ergonomically, earphones may not be the best for exercise, but they will last as long as you keep them out of the pool. Shure also covers sweating damage under a two-year warranty.

How good is the charging case of the Shure AONIC FREE?

The Shur AONIC free charging case is bigger, but still smaller than the AONIC 215 Gen 2 battery case. The matte black case is short and wide with an LED at the front to indicate battery status. At the bottom is a USB-C connector, and yes, it sends by cable. Due to the rounded corners, the case can sometimes tip over if you try to raise it. If connected to USB-C it will only be on its side.

The lid opens and closes with a good amount of protection (using a magnet) and there is no play in the hinge. Because the buds are almost symmetrical, I don’t always find the placement appropriate when in a hurry. Overall, the case works well, but its size is more suitable for a jacket pocket than a jeans pocket.

Also read- PORTRONICS Muffs M1 Headphone Review


How do you control the Shure AONIC Free?

The touch controls are most easy and reliable. volume control is one tap and then a tap and hold. It’s like pressing the volume button on your phone. Adding the initial first tap prevents you from accidentally cranking the volume. The right ear is volume up and the left turns it down. It’s simple and genius. The only caveat is that you cannot change this setting like the other controls.

Otherwise, you can program up to three functions per earbud for music and three more per bud for phone calls. These consist of one to three clicks of the button.

FunctionFeatures
Single Press Play/Pause (or Answer/End for Phone Calls) 
Double PressEnvironment Mode, On or Off 
Triple PressSummon Digital Assistant 
(Left Earphone) Single Press, then Hold Volume Down 
(Right Earphone) Single Press, then Hold Volume Up 
Triple Press (Either Earphone During Phone Call) Mute/Unmute Call Audio Mics 

Should you download ShurePlus PLAY app?

The ShurePlus PLAY Mobile Listening App is a high-resolution music player with advanced EQ controls. Play uncompressed audio files with your iOS or Android mobile device using the music tab. Use built-in Shure EQ presets to customize the sound, or create your own EQ presets in the settings tab. Unlock environment mode and ANC features by connecting to Shure wireless and True Wireless products in the device tab.

Features

  • Import and play multiple, high-resolution and standard file types
  • Customize presets with the parametric graphic EQ
  • Adjust your volume with the full-screen fader
  • Create playlists and organize your music library by playlist, artist, album title, song title, genre, or composer
  • Quickly dial in your sound with EQ preset modes for a variety of listening situations.
  • Environment mode allows you to accentuate the ambient noise around you. This is especially useful when you want to listen to music or are on a phone call, yet you still want to be aware of the sounds around you.
  • PausePlus accentuates the ambient noise around you when you pause your music. When you resume your music, you also revert to any previous settings.
  • You can customize the buttons for your earphones to control the features in the way that you want. You can control the button responses for: Music, Phone call and volume.
  • You can select between voices, tones, and mute for the audio feedback that plays when events like power on/off, Bluetooth connection, etc. occur. After you have selected what type of prompt you want and the volume, you can further specify individual prompts for muting.

Also read- PORTRONICS Harmonics Twins 11 Earbuds Review


How does the Shure AONIC Free sound?

In terms of sound quality, the Shure AONIC FREE earbud come with a Clear, studio-quality audio with deep bass. Engineered from decades of experience developing products for music legends and performers of all kinds. The Shure AONIC looks great for a pair of free consumer earphones and its default frequency response largely follows the curve of our home. AONIC Free reproduces bass and low-midrange notes louder than our turn suggests, but it won’t generate many complaints.

Boost the volume a bit from 80-400Hz, but no more than 5dB. Interestingly, aside from the 10dB spike at 5kHz, the problem frequencies seem quieter than expected. This is especially apparent on graphs above 7 kHz, where there is a regular dip. Experimentally, higher harmonics would appear quieter or completely obscured by lower frequencies. To be honest, the fundamentals of the music are at a lower frequency than the roll-off, so it’s not a big deal. If you want more treble detail, choose the Trouble Boost EQ preset or do it yourself in the PLAY app.

Does the Shure AONIC Free have good isolation?

The AONIC FREE earbud feature Sound Isolating technology. Which naturally blocks out noise and eliminates distractions. Enjoy the most immersive listening experience no matter where you are – on the train, in the gym, at the airport, or at home. Plus, Environment Mode allows you to hear the outside world. Activate with the push of a button on the earphone, or use the PausePlus feature in the app to automatically turn on Environment Mode when you pause your music from your earphones.

Moreover, active noise cancellation (ANC) works better for those lower frequencies, but with a cogent in-ear seal using those Comply ear tips, you can expect excellent performance out of just foam. You don’t get any ANC with the AONIC Free, but you probably don’t need it either. In addition, if you need to pipe in some of your surroundings, given the isolating nature of the AONIC Free fit, turn on the Environment Mode.

Can you use the Shure AONIC Free for phone calls?

Yes, you can use AONIC Free for phone calls. it features a clear, stereo calls with exceptional audio through beamforming microphones for video conferencing and phone calls. Mic placement is optimized for enhanced call clarity. But you may want to use the environment mode to hear a little more of the conversation around you during the call. AONIC Free does not have a built-in sidetone function, so it can be uncomfortable to hear the sound of the muffler during a call.

AONIC Free uses one headset microphone system at a time. It optimizes the sound depending on which side has the best audio and uses a digital signal processor (DSP) to improve quality. With competent microphones, AONIC transmits free sounds quite accurately, although occasional brothers do come, it is not overwhelming. Noise rejection rates are fine, but your friend will still hear some ambient noise.

Also read- Technics EAH-A800 Headphone Review


What Bluetooth codecs does the Shure AONIC Free support?

The headphone comes with a Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connectivity. Thus, you can connect your headphone with other devices like smartphone, PCs, TVs AND iOS. Moreover, the AONIC Free is support for aptX, AAC, and SBC audio codec. it should default to the superior aptX codec, which has a higher resolution and reduced latency for video synchronizing. Folks with iPhones eke the most audio quality from the AAC codec option.

Additionally, this connection works faithfully, never dropping signal over 10 meters through walls and doors. It’s very stable, and it subsequently pairs quickly once you’ve done the initial setup with a device.

Also read- Cleer ALLY PLUS II Noise Cancellation Earbuds Review


How long does the Shure AONIC Free battery last?

Shure AONIC FREE

AONIC Free battery lasts 5 hours, 31 minutes. Your results will vary based on the volume of your music, as well as a few other variables. In any case, this result is decent and the charging case provides two additional charges for about 16 hours, 30 minutes of cumulative listening. If the battery runs out, you can reattach the buttons for 15 minutes to get an hour of power.

Also read- Cleer ALPHA ANC Headphone Review


Conclusion

After the review, I suggest the headphone has unparalleled isolation performance and pretty good out-of-the-box sound, the Shure AONIC Free is a very good initial foray into conventional, hookless true wireless earbuds for the veteran audio manufacturer. It doesn’t exactly have a groundbreaking look, but its functionality eases any second guessing. Battery life is okay, and the case could be a little smaller, but it’s decent and sturdy. Usually, at this price point (a hair under $200 USD) I might point out that cheaper buds have ANC, which the AONIC Free does not possess. However, the isolation on the AONIC Free is so good that you may not find yourself wishing for ANC.

What should you get instead of the Shure AONIC Free?

Jabra Elite 7 Pro is good option to buy instead of the AONIC Free. It come with an Action noise cancellation, Hear through, in-ear pressure relief, AAC/SBC audio codec, Multi sensor voice with 4 microphone, wind noise reductions, Voice assistant, Mono mode, up to 30 hours total music, sleep mode, Bluetooth 5.2, Bluetooth Multipoint connectivity, IP57 Ratings, and more.

Also, Grado GT 220 is best to buy with a $259 price tag. It come with a total 36 hours of battery life, wireless charging, simple touch controls, quick voice assistance, Mics & voice control, IPX4 water proofing, touch volume, multiple tips and more.

Also read- Cambridge Melomania 1+ earbuds Review

Comparison between the shure aonic free vs sony wf-1000xm4 vs AirPods Pro?

Featuresshure aonic freeSony wf-1000xm4AirPods Pro
Type True wirelessTrue wirelessTrue wireless
Driver UnitSingle Dynamic Driver6 mmCustom high-excursion Apple driver
Batter Life7 hours + 2 additional chargesMax. 8 hrs (NC On) / Max. 12 hrs (NC Off)Up to 4.5 hours of listening time with a single charge
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 5.2Bluetooth 5.0
Colour OptionsRed and GraphiteBlack and SilverWhite
ANC YesYesYes
Environment ModeYesNoNo
IPX4 water resistance NoYesYes
Audio FormatNoSBC, AAC, LDACNo
Touch controlsYes YesYes
Ambient noiseNoYesNo
Quick attention modeNo YesNo
USBType-C cableType-C cableType-C cable
Microphones Dual Beamforming microphones Two noise-sensing microphonesDual beam-forming microphones
Special featureNoDSEE Extreme™ (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine)Vent system for pressure equalisation, Spatial audio, Dual optical sensors,H1 headphone chip and more
Fast pairNoYesYes
Transparency modeNoNoYes

FAQ

What is “PausePlus”? 

This feature turns on Environment Mode when you pause music (Single Press) from the button on your earphone. When you resume music by performing another press, the Environment Mode is automatically disabled and the music resumes. You can activate this feature from the ShurePlus PLAY app. 

What drivers and audio technologies are used in the AONIC free? How does it differ from the existing Shure earphone line? 

The AONIC FREE uses a premium dynamic driver with excellent audio specs – low harmonic distortion, smooth extension, and a natural, balanced frequency response. But comparing drivers to existing models only tells a fraction of the story when it comes to the audio design of the AONIC FREE. While the choice of driver establishes a critical foundation, the mechanical enclosure and tuning of the audio path are all equally important to delivering the ultimate sound signature. On top of all that, the AONIC FREE sports a configurable EQ (set to Flat by default), which users can customize to match their preferred frequency response and save as a preset directly to the earphone. 

What is Sound Isolating™ technology? 

Shure’s Sound Isolating technology naturally blocks up to 37dB of unwanted outside noise. Unlike Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), Sound Isolation is a passive solution. This means that it does not require battery power and does not introduce any additional audio artifacts which can sometimes result from ANC processing. To bypass Sound Isolation, simply press twice on either earphone to activate Environment Mode. This will turn on the ambient mics when you need to be aware of your surroundings. For an even quicker bypass, select PausePlus from the PLAY app; this will pause your music and activate Environment Mode with a single press.  

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Kalaben Patel
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