True Wireless with the Midas Touch? AU-Stream Hybrid True Wireless Put to the Test


Just a few years ago, the true wireless headphone market was something of a novelty; at its onset there were less than a handful of models that even performed reliably. Flash forward to 2020, and the consumer has a wealth of options to choose from, many that are feature-rich and with Bluetooth performance you could expect from traditional wireless headphones.

Ausounds is a relative newcomer to the game, but the company’s personnel boast alum from headphone heavy hitters such as Beats, Harman, Audeze, and KEF. The company’s stated goal is to provide tools for musicians, and it designs its headphones to provide musicians with headphones they’ll want to reference their music on. How do the AU-Stream Hybrid Noise-Canceling True Wireless live up to this? Let’s find out!


Unboxing and Setup

Out of the box, the AU-Stream Hybrid offer “Rapid Wireless Charging” via a USB-C connection, which is a good thing, because the earbuds themselves are packed outside of the charging case and do not ship charged and ready to go as some other models in this class do. However, a quick 10 minutes later, and they’re ready to go.

The earbuds are simplicity itself and offer perhaps the easiest Bluetooth pairing of any device I’ve ever used in my life; I popped them out of the case for the first time, and they automatically entered pairing mode. No holding down buttons for 20 seconds and waiting for LEDs to flash red; they’re just ready to go as soon as you are. Additionally, they re-pair with my iPhone noticeably quicker than my Bose® pair, indicating the design quality.

Charging Case with 16.4 Additional Hours

Fit and Feel

Ausounds gives you three pairs of ear tips to help you get the all-important fit right, which can make or break any in-ear headphone’s performance. There’s nothing particularly unique about the provided ear tips, but the medium size worked perfectly for me.

The AU-Stream Hybrids are incredibly comfortable; in fact, in the last few years of going for pair after pair for my own private use, they may well have the most comfortable fit I’ve seen. They are lightweight, and sleekly fit into your ear canal and sit flush with the outside of your ear (no Lt. Uhura aesthetics with these).

The buds are controlled through simple touch controls: a touch to start and pause playback; three taps to bring up your smart assistant; etc. All of these function are essentially as advertised, but like every other model that uses this control method, I find the tapping required to use them uncomfortable as it pushes the ear bud deeper into my ear, while it doesn’t bother others at all. Having the control readily available is nice, but my personal preference remains to reach for my phone.

U-Stream Hybrid Earbuds

Sound Performance

Down to the all-important sonics. The AU-Stream Hybrid are powered by 9mm titanium drivers, which give the buds a warm and generally pleasing overall frequency response. A gentle dip in the upper-mid response gives room for lows, low-mids especially, and the all-important 2-4 kHz region room to breathe. The bass is admirably present for in-ear buds, but is not the star of the show here, as you may find in models from Beats or Monster.

The gentle favoring of the low mids and mids might not appeal to anyone rooted in jazz standards or classical, but clearly has high appeal to most modern production styles. For EDM, hip hop, and R&B, the bass is present but not exaggerated, and guitar-driven material shines through, as well.

Between the comfort of the fit and the balanced high end of the playback, I was easily making the round trip to the gym, through the workout, and back home without any sense of ear fatigue (which one has to attribute to forethought on a design geared toward musicians). Comparatively, I find the playback on my Bose® to feel a little more hyped in the highs, which can be appealing, but does hasten ear fatigue for me (YMMV).

9mm AU-Titanium Driver

A Quiet World

Admittedly, I remain skeptical over the concept of noise cancellation on in-ear models. It’s been my consistent experience that if you’re looking to buy headphones for noise cancellation, you will find better performance in over-ear models.

My experience with the AU-Hybrid Stream, however, shows both that the technology is coming around in this smaller form factor and that I actually appreciated the difference it made; with other models, I found myself turning off the noise cancellation to preserve battery life.

On busy Manhattan streets, the ANC (active noise cancellation) did not do too much to drown out the sound of traffic and general street noise, but I found it quite helpful in my apartment setting at reducing typical sounds of a somewhat noisy apartment building. Alone, not enough to make me want to buy them just for this feature, but significant enough that I kept it on during all use.

Ausounds AU-Stream Hybrid Noise-Canceling True Wireless In-Ear Headphones

The Takeaway

The AU-Hybrid Stream are a pretty good indication of how much better true wireless earbuds have become in a relatively short time. The real sell of any true wireless system should be that they just work, performing as we expect wired counterparts to do, where we don’t have to sacrifice performance and sound quality for the convenience. These do that in spades.

The frequency response might not appeal to someone looking for classical or jazz playback, but it will be right at home for most modern production styles without bringing the bass content into overbearing status. The noise cancellation is adequate, and a nice bonus, but someone with more stringent noise canceling needs may want to look at an over-ear model.

Are you a fan of true wireless headphones? What do you think of the new AU-Hybrid Stream? Do they sound right for you? Share your thoughts with us in the Comments section, below.