In a world of Apple AirPods, the desire to upgrade your wireless headphones increases year on year, more so when makers like Apple cut out the 3.5mm headphone jack from their iPhone and iPad devices.
Thanks to advancements in Bluetooth technology, we now have an increase in low power, long range wireless headphones to choose from, all at various price ranges. Now in their 2nd generation, Apple’s wireless AirPod headphones are great, but to audiophiles out there they are not perfect, they also do not match certain ear types, resulting in simply falling out when exercising. But to the general public, they sound great and they have been carefully designed to fit a majority of ear shapes. The downside? They cost the Earth when you compare them to their more simpler wired brothers.
Today, the prices are falling on many capable Bluetooth headphones, some imitate Apple’s own AirPods – avoid these at all costs – yet there are more acceptable wireless headphones out there that also fall into the budget buying category. One of these headphones are the Anker SoundBuds Slim wireless workout headphones.
The SoundBuds Slim remind me of the Beats X wireless headphones that I also owned before swapping to Apple’s AirPods, but these retail much cheaper, at a mere $21.99 from Amazon. You might think that these earbuds being so cheap means that they sound awful, do not last long, loose their connection and come with limited features and accessories. Well, these in-ear earbuds compete in all of these areas, and retailing for $21.99, the SoundBuds Slim are an absolute steel for anyone seeking wireless earbuds on a budget.
Bundled with the headphones themselves are a pack of 4 pairs of in-ear tips of various sizes and 3 pairs of in-ear hooks of various sizes. Mix and machine any of these should give you the comfort and outside sound isolation you desire. A perfect fit will result in deep bass, and if you use a in-ear tip that’s too big or too small it will feel uncomfortable or the sound will not sound as good as they can be with a better fit.
10 hours of audio time is promised by Anker, and although i’ve yet to run out of my first charge whilst writing this review, I still have a fair few hours to go, words that can’t be easily said for the AirPods. Charging it done by simply connecting the bundled micro-USB cable into the port located on the in-line volume control that’s located on the neck lead that connecting both of the earbuds.
Although I do like the AirPods and their
Music audio playback sounds great in the SoundBud Slims. You have to consider the price when listening to these in-earbuds. For a tiny fraction of the cost of Apple’s AirPods, they are a pretty compelling purchase. I didn’t experience any dropouts and thanks to Bluetooth 5.0 the connection to my iPhone is quick. Bluetooth range is also better than the AirPods, with the Slims being able to penetrate through two solid concrete walls where the AirPods could not manage to break through and lost their connect.
The SoundBud Slims are really great. But if I were to nitpick, I found the tips and hooks didn’t quite give me the kind of perfect comfort as I had with my Beats X in-ear wireless headphones. I found that I had to twist them to create that seal between me and the outside world, whilst smaller tips were just a little too small to create a perfect soundstage. The earbuds themselves felt a little too build and a little heavy in the ear, where I could not imagin using for long periods without some discomfort.
I also found that streaming video from my 2018 MacBook Pro to the Slims had out of sync audio to what was on screen. Playing video on my iPhone was ok though, so be cautious if you want to use these with your MacBook and video, otherwise, audio from the MacBook had no problem.
If you’re working out, these are great for active use, and should you lose them down the gym, the cost to replace them will not be as heavy as more expensive wireless earbuds. If the Apple AirPods are simply out of reach, and you’re on a budget, the SoundBud Slims are certainly worth checking out.