Walter Shillington writes about products he knows firsthand. His articles focus on healthcare, electronics, watches, and household items.
I love science fiction and, luckily for me, Netflix and Amazon Prime provide dozens of television serials designed to keep me thoroughly entertained.
Unfortunately, not everyone in the household is blessed with good taste. This means I am often banished to the computer room while my roommates' slouch in front of the big screen television, staring blank-eyed at silly comedies.
The constant blare of competing soundtracks forced a compromise. The television’s volume would be kept at a reasonable level provided I purchased a headset to wear while watching the shows being played over my computer.
I poured over a long list of headphones and earbuds, eventually ordering three different devices. I realize my actions might be considered an example of compulsive-obsessive behavior, but earbuds do provide good fodder for reviews and articles.
The ACIL H2 earbuds are incredibly light, weighing in at 17 grams (0.64 ounces). This device’s earpieces are composed of shiny black plastic, joined together by a length of rubber coated wire.
An oblong-shaped controller dangles below the right earpiece. It contains a microphone, three pushbuttons, and a LED which indicates Bluetooth connectivity. A cover on the controller’s edge, once prodded aside, reveals the mini USB charging connection.
The center push button turns the unit on or off and initiates pairing. The other buttons are used to control the volume of the device or, in some cases, for song selection.
To provide even distribution of weight, the device’s rechargeable lithium battery is suspended from the left earpiece.
ACIL’s H2, while designed for use with Bluetooth 4.1, is compatible with earlier versions and will work with Bluetooth 5.0. This device is rated IPX7.
Accessories include a user guide, four sets of rubber ear domes, and a charging cable.
- Brand: ACIL
- Model: H2
- Type: Earbud
- Country of origin: China
- Weight: 17 grams (0.64 ounces)
- Color: Black
- Battery: Lithium rechargeable
- Battery life: 12 hours
- Charging time: Less than two hours
- Speakers: 13mm titanium diaphragm dynamic driver and Knowles balanced-armature driver
- Microphone: Yes
- Connection: Bluetooth 4.1 (AVRCP/A2DP)
- Noise suppression: Passive
- Accessories: User guide, rubber ear domes, and charging cable.
- Water resistance: IPX7 – can survive immersion in up to one meter of water for 30 minutes
ACIL is trademarked by Fengfan (Beijing) Technology Co. Ltd. This company also owns FIIL, DRIIFTER, CANVIIS and THE ART OF AUDIO.
Like many private companies, available information on Fengfan (Beijing) Technology is limited.
ACIL’s earbuds are Bluetooth 4.1 capable, compatible with earlier versions, and will work with Bluetooth 5.0. This device paired to both the computer and my MP3 player quickly and without complications. Due to the inclusion of a microphone, the headset can also be used with a smartphone.
While listening to music transmitted from my computer, the earbuds worked perfectly until I entered my kitchen. Then the reception faltered. This degradation was caused by the pair of outside walls that separated these devices.
When I paired the headset to my MP3 player, the reception was slightly better. In this case, the MP3 player was lying on my desk. Because the desk is situated alongside a window, the signal to the kitchen was obstructed by only one outside wall.
Both the ACIL H2’s earpieces, its controller, and battery housing are equipped with rubber strain relief connectors which help protect delicate wire connections. I found the strain relief associated with the earpieces to be extremely well designed.
These earbuds are rated IPX7 which means they can survive immersion in up to one meter of water for 30 minutes.
I wore these earbuds while playing games, listening to music, and watching Netflix. The device can also be paired with a Bluetooth capable smartphone.
When I first wore these earbuds the pounding rain, dog barks, and other background noises associated with the television program caused me to glance out the window involuntarily. Although my older headset, with its far larger speaker drivers, did provide more impressive bass, it could not compete with the ACIL H2’s crisp and clear audio.
I usually have a difficult time with earpieces. They seldom fit correctly and are either painful to wear or tend to slip out at the most inconvenient of times. This offering from ACIL did not prove to be the exception. Once, while I was washing dishes, one of the earpieces fell from my ear and dived into the sink. While this accident verified the device’s IXP7 rating, it certainly proved embarrassing.
During a three-day test period, with volume level set to 75%, this headset performed effectively for 12.5 hours before announcing a low battery warning. Although an otherwise similar Bluetooth 5.0 equipped set of earbuds will provide better battery life, 12.5 hours is quite acceptable.
I emailed ACIL support with a question. Their earbuds, according to advertising, are rated IXP7. However, the specifications on the device’s box noted that the earbuds were actually IXP5 capable. ACIL was quick to email me back; apologizing for the confusion and confirming the IXP7 rating. This suggests their support team responds speedily and courteously.
After my tests were complete, I decided to replace the ACIL H2’s ear tips with a pair from another set of earbuds. While this resulted in a better fit, I discovered that the volume level of the left earpiece had dropped considerably.
Upon examination, I realized that I had transferred a trace of earwax from the old tip onto the speaker cover of the earpiece. I used a Q-tip and alcohol to clean it off. My efforts failed because the Q-tip could not reach the speaker cone beneath the cover.
This was my fault; I’ll take the blame. But I don’t like to throw money away. I chatted with a woman from Amazon support, describing my problem accurately and hoping she would be sympathetic to my plight.
We tried a bit of useful but straightforward fault-finding without resolving the problem. Then she offered to either refund my money or exchange the item. Since I like the ACIL earbuds, I chose the second option. Before I got around to sending the defective set back, Amazon had already dispatched the new device. Amazon support is exceptional.
Although I would prefer ACIL had equipped their earbuds with the latest version of Bluetooth, this should not be considered a deal-breaker. Battery life is still excellent, and the lesser range of Bluetooth 4.1 will not prove disadvantageous for most users. Sound reproduction is the most crucial factor when evaluating a set of earbuds, and the ACIL does this better than most of its competition. If you are searching for crisp, clear, and life-like audio, the ACIL H2 is worthy of serious consideration.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: Do you have a set of replacement ear tips that I can purchase?
Answer: Standard ear tips are compatible with a wide variety of earbuds. They are generally quite inexpensive and can be purchased at stores such as aliExpress, eBay, and Amazon.
© 2019 Walter Shillington
DAVID K GUIDRY on June 28, 2019:
Be it known I purchased a ACIL H2 Wireless In-Ear Headphone. It arrived late plus after opening the box (said was to be a new item never opened). The package was opened before I received it. There was no instruction Manuel or extra ear tips as indicated in all advertisement. I sent the company an email explaining my issues. Also, the ACIL H2 was in reality the old model ACIL H1. The seller was very quick answering me. He stated that they were none in stock! and refunded my money and told me not to worry about feeling bad that he was glad to do it and I didn't have anything else to do.