PADACS Aksent Earphones Review
Even though PADACS, a self-proclaimed “iAccessories” company, may not specialize in audio they do get a lot right with the Aksent earphones – yes, down to the name. Nonetheless, it is fit for more specific styles of music and audio preference. Will these be the perfect complement to your mobile-listening experience in the sub-$50 price range? For some; let’s take a closer look.
PADACS gets points for a stylish design (and branding). The gunmetal look and tapered-cylindrical shape provides just enough flair for the earphones to look distinctive. Foam earbuds provided are comfortable and many do seem to prefer the foam over more traditional rubber. If we did have one complaint with the earbuds, it is that there could have been one or two more sizes included in between the small, medium, and large options that do come in the package however the importance to consumers boils down to individual ear size.
Since this is an accessory from an Apple-centric company, it would be assumed that the volume controls would be tied to the device but that is the not the case. Instead, volume can be independently lowered on the headphones without affecting the device’s volume setting. Not a deal breaker in the slightest since a playback control is offered here. A more-than-adequate mic makes the offering a headset also.
Of course, sound is where any earphones matter most. In the $50 range, Aksent does not disappoint. Sound seemed to be most-optimized in the low-end, with a booming but still fairly precise bass. Particularly distinct instrument separation and a wide soundscape are not highlights, but still just about on-par with many of its direct competitors. Warmth is good but at the same time is again fitting in its market space.
Where Aksent excels is in how the low-end is satisfying but does not overpower as many cheaper headphones that attempt to provide a quality low-end tend to do. Listeners mainly looking for earbuds that will playback bass-heavy music will find a quality solution with Aksent. (My music taste sways more towards rock and pop.) For an audiophile like myself, Aksent does not particularly impress until taking its price into consideration. Once it is compared to fair competitors, it is apparent that Aksent is in fact a good value and can certainly impress for $50, especially since a mic is built-in. However outside of the audiophile world, users may find this a step-up from typical offerings from trendy (but not quality) brands such as Skullcandy.
Note: Testing was accomplished on an iPhone 4 with various types of music through the (excellent) MOG music subscription app streaming high-quality 320kbp/s MP3s.