August Bluetooth Wireless Stereo Headphones EP636 – Hands On Review

You’ve probably never heard of August International but they’re a multinational electronics brand who specialise in entertainment hardware. From freeview boxes to digital radios to bluetooth beanie hats, they make a lot of really interesting products but they’re an underdog compared to brands with big marketing budgets, so I was really excited to try out and review a pair of August EP636 bluetooth headphones*.

The packaging for the August E636 is really deceptively understated. A simply designed box with necessary details and a picture of the product are all that the graphic designer has produced. Inside the headphones sit snugly in a plastic wrap and a vacuformed plastic surround and that’s about it. Aside from the micro usb cable (taped underneath the plastic) and the manual, there’s nothing else in the box. The packaging is no frills, functional and straight to the point. If you’re buying this for yourself it’s an ideal situation, it’s not a box that entices you to keep it in your empty box graveyard long after you’ve bought it. However if you’re buying the E636 bluetooth headphones as a gift, the packaging won’t impress.

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The August EP636 bluetooth headphones come in red, white, silver and black. I tried the red version which has a velvety matt metallic finish, they instantly looks more luxurious out of the box. They’re very solid feeling without feeling too weighty, in fact they only weigh 126g, the same weight as a sharing bag of chocolates that you’d get in the cinema.

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The earpads sit on the ear and the rectangular shape just cover my small ears but if your ears are bigger they’ll cover the ear canal just fine without leaving any gaps. There’s a generous amount of cushioning on the earpads but the fit is quite tight so it can start to hurt after a few hours if you’re wearing glasses or you’re delicate. For most people it’s perfectly comfortable. Being on ear it doesn’t block out every sound and it does mean that you can still hear other people on your commute, however the sound can be go fairly loud so it doesn’t stop you from hearing your music.
The head band is extendable and clicks into place and is very secure, it doesn’t accidentally loosen and the underside of the band has a black rubberised feel and again, feels very secure with no chance of slipping. The build quality feels like a luxury product, it’s solid, smooth and tactile.

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The device was really easy to pair via bluetooth. I tried it with a number of tablets and phones and it was simple and straight forward. The controls are located on the right earpiece and are intuitive. There’s the on/off/pairing/play/pause/answer/end/reject/transfer/redial button, volume up and down and there’s forward and rewind.
The center button also accepts phone calls and the headphones double as a hands free headset. The call quality is good, calls sounds slightly more muffled compared to using a handset but overall it’s a good quality and if my mother can hear me without making me repeat everything I say several times, then the microphone must be effective.

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The integrated battery is rechargeable via a micro usb cable, the port is discreetly hidden under the controls on the right ear and the battery lasts for 12.5 hours of active working time, in standby it holds its power for 480 hours! Just in case you forget to turn it off. It also charges really quickly, a full charge takes just 2.5 hours. There’s no option to go wired if you run out of battery but I found the battery lasted for so long I didn’t have the need to do so.
The connectivity range is apparently 10m. In my studio flat I didn’t once loose connectivity, even if my phone was in a handbag/in a coat/lost the connection stayed strong.

The frequency response range is 80Hz – 20KHz, which means it favours bassier tones. They sounded great watching a sci-fi or an action movie but average when listening to scandipop, which suits me fine. For the price, the sound quality is surprisingly good, and compared to similar products from larger brands, the August EP636 come in at a fraction of the price.

The only downsides are that the EP636’s are not foldable so they’re a bit bulky when you’re out and about. There’s no audio input if you’re “caught short” and there’s no protective case for when you’re not using them. If these are sticking points then the next model up, the August EP650, has all these features and comes in at £34.95. The August EP636 headphones are currently on sale at a £22.45.

All in all, its very comfortable, the build quality is solid, looks great, sounds great, is easy to use and is a bargain of a price.

*pr sample

Editor of Cult Hub and also an Actress. Join Genevieve on Twitter or take a look at her website or imdb page.

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