AYL Bluetooth 4.1 Headphones (QY8)

It was unfortunate that my last pair of Jaybird Freedom Sprint headphones decided to stop holding a charge the other day… and since I’m still waiting on the delivery of my Kanoa truly wireless earbuds to arrive, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a new pair. But I definitely needed something, as I rely on headphones to power my workouts and to drown out office noise so I can get work done. I hate wires, so I definitely wanted another set of Bluetooth headphones.

Introducing the AYL Bluetooth 4.1 Headphones! AYL stands for Accessorize Your Life, apparently. I picked up these headphones from Amazon for only $30. My expectations were pretty low, coming from the infinitely more expensive Jaybird headphones I was leaving behind. To my surprise, these headphones have actually been remarkably impressive!

Battery Life
The AYL Bluetooth 4.1 Headphones¬†specs claim a 4 hour battery life, but I feel like I get a little bit more than that, maybe ~5 hours. While not stellar, it’s great considering how cheap these headphones are. If you really must have 8+ hours of battery life, then I think you’re stuck paying $100+ for a more premium headset.

Sound Quality
I’m not much of an audiophile, so it doesn’t take much to impress me. With that said, I do get annoyed by hissing, hums, and other weird anomalies. Thankfully, none of that exists with the AYL! The sound quality is, in my opinion, just as good as the Jaybird’s.

With these ultra small headsets, they have to cram everything into just two little buds. That means battery, sound drivers, electronics, and controls. It’s impressive that they can pack all that into such a small and lightweight device. The AYL Bluetooth 4.1 Headphones do a good job here, the headphones are light and come with several sizes of ear tips and anchors. You may need to experiment a bit to find the right fit for you, but take the time to do it, and I’m sure you’ll be pleased.

Now, one bad complaint I have is that the rubber-like material of the wire that connects the two earbuds gets sticky against a sweaty neck! This causes the earbuds to pull and become dislodged, especially while I’m working out. But, to be fair, I had this exact same problem with the Jaybird’s as well. The AYL offers a small clip to change the length of the wire, but it hasn’t really helped me in this regard. I found the only solution here is to wear the headphones with the wire hanging down in front of me. This actually works pretty well, and I’ve started to wear them this way full time.

I wear the headphones, on and off, for well over 8+ hours per day during the week. They go with me through a 45 minute workout, and then they are on for 3-4 hours prior to lunch. At lunch, I throw them on the charger. Once I’m back in work mode, I put them back on for another 3-4 hours. My ears don’t feel fatigued after all of this, so kudos to AYL here!


Pairing and Bluetooth Implementation
Pairing was easy, and I haven’t found any flaws in the Bluetooth implementation. They’ve paired with my Samsung Galaxy S6, my desktop computer, and my laptop computer without any problems. They will show up as “QY8” when in discovery mode.

The controls are pretty straight forward, and they follow many typical Bluetooth conventions. There is the main button on the right earbud, along with a volume rocker. The main button controls power with a long press, and probably does more with a short press. I bet it answers calls and stuff, but honestly I never use it for that. To force the AYL to enter pairing mode, from the off state, press and hold the power button and keep holding it even after it turns on.

AYL has implemented a mixture of tones and voice prompts to help you know what is going on. The voice prompts don’t matter much to me, but could be beneficial as it conveys more information to the user and you don’t have to remember what various beeps and tones mean.

While it has a mic, I have never used it. Sorry, I can’t speak much to this. With that said, I have read at least one opinion that was unhappy with the mic. Just throwing that out there.


What a great device for $30! Seriously, if you don’t have the budget for the premium brands and you can live with everything I stated above (which I think most people can) you really can’t go wrong with the AYL Bluetooth 4.1 Headphones. These will get me through the next couple of months while I wait for my Kanoa truly wireless ear buds to arrive. Go on over to Amazon and grab yourself a pair now!


ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW Review

As a computer geek, I’m constantly looking at the latest computer technology and thinking about what I want for my next upgrade. I’ve always been a huge fan of desktop computers, even thinking that a laptop could never compete with a desktop. Laptops marketed as “desktop replacements” were HUGE and HEAVY. This practically defeats the purpose of getting a laptop in the first place! But it is now 2016 and the landscape has changed. While it’s still true that you can probably build a more powerful desktop at a cheaper cost than any competing laptop, the real question today is, how much power do you need? High-end laptops that are portable and relatively light exist now, and pack more than enough power for most users.

I consider myself a power user, and so I do need some beefy specs. I use my computer to do software development, video editing, media file conversion, and casual gaming. These are all demanding tasks. While looking through what was currently available, I discovered the ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW! This is a great laptop at a very economical price considering everything that is inside, and that it scores very well comparatively against the 2015 Macbook Pro and Dell XPS 15 laptops. Check out my review of this beast of a computer and let me know what you think down in the comments below!

To quickly summarize: the ZenBook Pro UX501VW comes equipped with a 6th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, a blazing fast 512 GB PCIe x4 SSD, and more! All for under $1500, which I think is an incredible value. Going head-to-head with the MacBook Pro ($1800+) and the Dell XPS 15 ($1750+), it provides incredible value for the technology inside.

Well? What do you guys think? Is the ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW a good deal, or have you found something else that seems better?