There is a new name in the budget-friendly wireless earbuds market, and it is coming strong with many models, the brand is Monster and today we will review its newest product, the Airmars XKT16, with its cool and unprecedented design style and comfortable earphones, this one is distinguished from the others. It packs Bluetooth 5.3 and a large 300 mah for long bigger autonomy, it also provides many features such as music and gaming modes, and active noise canceling. Is this earphone a good fit for you? That’s what we will be finding out in this review.
Monster XKT16 Features
- Multifunctional Touch control, Easy to use
- Bluetooth Chipset V5.3
- Low latency Game mode & music mode
- Ergonomic & innovative design
- Up to 20h Long playtime
- Active noise canceling
- Quite HD calling
- Voice Assistance
Design And Build Quality Of Monster XKT16
Monster is known for its box designs and this time is no different, the Airmars XKT16 features a distinctive charging case that gives vibes of old electronics, it comes in three color options: green, white, and beige which is versatility in choice that many budget earphones lack and it is nice to have. The charging case is medium-sized with a comfortable grip, made out of ABS plastic which helps reduce its cost while keeping it sturdy and resistant to hazards, the patterns on the case are cool but they fade away very easily which makes it look old quickly, but you can expect it to last long thanks to the good built quality.
On top it has a lid with a handle to help open and close the case more easily while protecting the earbuds inside from scratches, falling and from dust, and any dirt, on the sides, we find cool longitudinal LEDs that indicate the charging state of the case, and for portability, you can attach a strap to its side in the appropriate hole and carry with you more easily. And it is always a plus to have the USB C port located underneath the case, to charge your device and get going fast.
The XKT16 earbuds have the same style as the Apple AirPods 3rd generation, but they have a taller stem and they are overall bulkier, the main material used in the earphones is ABS plastic with a glossy finish that gives them an elegant shiny look, and the head of the earphones has an ergonomic style and fits well to the ear which prevents from falling off and that allows for enhanced mobility and movement like practicing sports.
The nozzle of the XKT16 is relatively large, and that’s good and helps it fit better inside the ear, but may wear your ears out if used for long hours, the multifunction touch area is located near the foot of the stem, and at the very bottom, we find pins that help them stick properly inside the case and charge while the LEDs near the top indicate the state of the earphone, whether it is charging or connected to a device.
The XKT16 appears to be waterproof in the advertisement, which is a fantastic additional feature that helps you utilize your earbuds in more versatile ways, with waterproofing, you can wear the earphones in the rain and even do workouts while enjoying your favorite music without worrying about them getting damaged by water droplets, with that being said, it is still strongly advised against to submerge them or put them in direct contact with water, i.e, rinsing them, that would certainly destroy them and render them unfunctional, especially since they’re of the low budget tier.
Touch Controls and Functionality
The Multifunctional touch control area is located at the foot of the stem of the earphones, just like the Lenovo LP80, it works well and allows you to execute many music playback, volume, and call controls, without the need to ever pull your smartphone out of your pocket, and although it is fine for the most part, its placement and design lack the ease of use and precision, first, you’ll need two fingers to execute commands one to fix the earphones and one to touch the touch area, second, this touch area style takes some getting used to since it is not widely used, most companies go for a wide touch control area located near the top so it can be used with only one finger and to improve precision.
The Controls of the XKT16 are as follows:
- Play and pause: double click on either earpiece
- Play the next track: Triple-click on the right earpiece
- Play the previous track: triple click on the left earpiece
- Increase volume: ono tap on the right earpiece
- Decrease volume: one tap on the left earpiece
- Switch between music mode and game mode: press and hold the right earpiece for 3s
- Answer call: double tap on either earpiece
- Reject call: press and hold on either earpiece
Monster XKT16 – Connectivity & Pairing
Much like many other earphones, the XKT16 provides good connectivity with any Bluetooth-enabled device from smartphones and tablets to laptops running on any modern platform like Android, Windows, or MAC, the integrated Bluetooth 5.3 technology provides great stability and makes the pairing process easier than ever, but it also improves battery life and helps reach higher autonomy.
When it comes to audio technologies, these earphones support both AAC and SBC codecs, the first one provides higher audio quality but consumes more battery than normal, the latter codec type is very power efficient but provides lower sound quality, it is recommended to activate AAC on iPhones since they’re best fit for it, otherwise, it is better to use SBC since its audio quality is good while allowing a longer battery life. The BT5.3 provides the XKT16 with a 10-meter range limit with no obstacles, this improves mobility and is useful for real-life situations such as at home or the gym, once you go beyond the 10 meters limit, the sound may cut or the connectivity will drop completely so make sure to stay within the range.
Pairing the earphones with your device is fairly easy, you will only have to follow the steps below:
- Turn on Bluetooth on your device and pull the earphones out of the case
- Find the device on the list of available devices under the name of Monster XKT16
- Connect and allow pairing.
Thanks to the automatic connection of Bluetooth 5.3, you will only have to perform this process once, after that, you will only need to perform the first step and the two devices will connect automatically, which makes the user experience very intuitive and hassle-free.
Monster XKT16 – Audio Quality
The sound quality of the Airmars XKT16 earbuds is equipped with a 13mm dynamic speaker and a big dynamic circle, it aims to deliver a HiFi sound quality experience & covers a wide range of frequencies from 20Hz to 20,000Hz, providing a comprehensive audio spectrum. The sound quality falls into the acceptable range for most activities like listening to music, podcasts, and playing games although the sound output may not be very loud, not bassy like we usually find on earbuds of a similar price range, thanks to the music mode and gaming mode, users will be able to tailor the audio settings to their preferences and specific activities.
Regarding the noise isolation feature of the XKT16, the manufacturer claims its effectiveness, but in reality, it is rather weak and may go unnoticed during usage. This could be disappointing for users who prioritize effective noise isolation in their earbuds but at this price, we should lower our expectations and hope that the implementation of high-end features gets better with the next generations.
Incorporating Bluetooth 5.3 technology in the XKT16 contributes to enhanced sound quality by ensuring a stable and efficient wireless connection and results in a more reliable and seamless audio experience during wireless playback. If you’re looking for earbuds with even better sound quality at a similar or lower price point, you might consider exploring alternatives such as the Lenovo GM2 Pro and Lenovo XT88. These options could potentially provide improved sound performance and additional features that cater to specific audio preferences.
Active Noise canceling on the Airmars XKT16
This highly sophisticated feature we usually only find on higher-end earphones is now made available at a low price thanks to this model, ANC technology improves the listening experience and helps you focus, by eliminating all external noise and creating an echo chamber-like environment where you can only hear the audio from the earphones and nothing more, this feature is a huge plus for getting more work done or studying with better focus, by improving focus and tuning out all excessive noise.
It is worth noting, that although this device is equipped with the ANC technology, it doesn’t mean that the implementation is as good as on the high-end earphones, there may be some imperfections in the mode and it may not be able to block all external noise, which is expected at this price point, we hope that companies start implementing these necessary features with the required quality in budget earphones.
Microphone Quality & Bluetooth Calling
The Monster XKT16 earbuds offer HD voice calls that deliver satisfactory quality in calm environments, such as closed rooms. However, when tested under everyday conditions, the call quality significantly decreases. The sound becomes robotic, and the microphones tend to capture a substantial amount of external noise, which can interrupt communication and make it unintelligible. It is important to note that this decrease in call quality is a common issue faced by many budget earbuds, as well as some higher-priced models. Achieving optimal microphone performance can be challenging, but the XKT16 provides an acceptable option considering its price range, the trick is to hold one earpiece close to your mouth and use the second for listening, that way you’ll get clearer communication, and while the call quality may not be perfect in various real-world scenarios, these earbuds offer a reasonable solution for basic communication needs. Users can still engage in conversations, albeit with some compromises due to the limitations of the microphones.
XKT16 Battery Life and Usage
The battery life of the Monster XKT16 earbuds is good thanks to the 40mAh batteries in each earbud. These batteries can play music continuously for 4-5 hours without any issues which gives great autonomy for media playing and passing phone calls. The charging case has a capacity of 300mAh, and although it is not the biggest out there, it can still recharge the earbuds up to 4 times in one charge, combined with the earphone’s ability to charge in only 1.5 hours inside their charging case, will spare you the trouble of worrying about your earphones running out of juice for at least a full week.
Overall, the earphone has a good battery life, so you can rely on them for your daily audio needs. They provide respectable autonomy so you can take them with you anywhere and use them when you needed without worrying about the battery dying, and even so, they charge quickly which is all you need in TWS earphones.
In the end, I think that the Monster XKT16 is a great bang for the buck, they provide great value for their cheap price, and for most purposes, they won’t disappoint, and although they don’t provide the best sound quality out there, they still combine many features and present nicely in a compact device, the connectivity is good and hassle-free, the battery is large and reliable and the design is new, for anyone who prioritizes sound quality, there are many other TWS Earphone options, but other than that, the XKT16 is going to be a solid choice for many.
Monster XKT16 Price And Where To Buy
The Monster Airmars XKT16 is available for purchase on Aliexpress at a discount, grab it, and don’t miss out on this great deal.
What’s in the Box?
- 2 x Bluetooth Earphones
- 1 x Charging Case
- 1 x USB Cable
- 1 x User Manual
Monster XKT16 Specifications
|20Hz – 20kHz
|-42dB ± 3dB
|320Ω ± 15%
|Battery Capacity (Earbuds)
|Battery Capacity (Case)
|Playback Time (Single Charge)
|Total Playback Time (with Case)
|Up to 20 hours
|Active noise cancellation
|Voice Assistant Support
|iOS and Android devices