Let’s get this out of the way at the beginning of the review. I’m not an audiophile by any means and this review is just a reflection of my personal experience over the last half-month with these wireless earphones.
A good point to start this review at, would be why I bought wireless earphones to begin with. Well, a few months back (late september if I’m not mistaken) I bought the Xiaomi Mi A2. Now, if you know a thing or two about this little sucker, is that it doesn’t come with a headphone jack. There’s a dongle in the box but that’s not really convenient for two reasons:
- You can’t charge your phone and use the earphones at the same time. This doesn’t sound like a big deal when you’re buying a phone but I realised it was a huge deal for me once I had the phone. If an audio message is sent to you and you’re charging your phone, you have to unplug the damn thing and then connect the dongle and then remove that and put the charger back when you’re done. Just writing that is frustrating, but having to do this multiple times is frustating-er…
- You may damage your charging port. In my first few days with the phone, my earphones got stuck to a handle and yanked at my phone and when I removed the dongle the port felt weird. Like it was out of place. The thing still charges perfectly fine but another incident like this might mean something else.
It was after the second incident that I decided that I had to transition to wireless earphones but I wasn’t going to buy any crappy pair I stumbled onto for a few reasons. If I was going wireless, I needed something with decent sound, good battery life and decent range and finally a something less than $50. I told you, I’m no audiophile…
One other thing that pissed me off about wired earphones is how often they died. This is especially true of the cheaper ones, which is what most of us usually buy.
So I did some semi-serious research and ended up deciding that my best bet was the Anker SoundBuds Slim. I got them for a decent $25.99, which meant they satisfy my need for something inexpensive. So how has my experience been with these? Well, so far so good.
What comes in the box?
The Anker SoundBuds Slim package is better than you would expect considering the money you spend for these. In the box, there’s a carry case and the quality is not half bad either. You also get wingtips in 3 sizes to ensure the best fit in ear. There’s also a pretty short charging cable to charge the earphones in a prescribed charge time of 1 and a half hours. Oh, and 3 extra pairs of eartips for that perfect fit once again.
Fit & Comfort
The fit and comfort is pretty great for me. They don’t fall out of my ears, probably because of the wingtips I changed out of the box. I didn’t change the standard eartips because I’m a bit too impatient for all that, so there could be an even better fit waiting for me once I do. Right now though, the SoundBuds are pretty comfortable to me.
The design isn’t anything special. They are just a pair of earphones and I got mine in black which makes that design even blander. The one thing I like about these is that they aren’t truly wireless. The truly wireless design whilst futuristic and all seems like it makes for a lot of awkward moments, when you either a) drop them or b) have to interact with other people, so I’m glad that’s out of the way.
The battery life on the Anker SoundBuds Slim 2 has been adequate for me. unfortunately, I can’t compare them to anything else since this is my first foray into the world of wireless earphones. They last around 5-6 hours, and a lot of it is dependant on how loud you play them.
If you’re an advocate of full-blast all the time then you’ll have to be fine with lower battery life and probably becoming deaf one day but I’m not so I haven’t felt hard-done by the battery life.
As I mentioned earlier, these charge pretty quickly. The manufacturer claims 1.5 hours for a full charge but I haven’t needed to time the charging time as it doesn’t feel slow.
One thing I’ve loved about these is the convenience they offer. I can go to take a drink whilst connected to my laptop and they continue playing. The range is pretty good as well which means I can comfortably switch rooms without having to pause what I’m playing or carry my phone. Fiddling with cables gets irritating as cables catch onto objects and make your life a nightmare thus the biggest benefit I’ve experienced thus far is the convenience.
I’ve saved sound for last because as I said at the beginning of this review, my ears are not too particular about sounds. With that said I don’t care for bass but I occassionally need volume (kombi trips).
The earbuds do a great job of isolating outside noise which is a pretty great thing in my book. They also get painfully loud so if you’re volume freak there’s something for you hear.
They sound pretty good as well but unfortunately, I can’t tell you much about highs and lows. The best I can do when describing the sound is; when I listen to albums I hear new instruments that I didn’t pick up before on older earphones. I know that’s not much but anything else would be a lie.
If you’re looking for a wireless pair of earphones under $30 you won’t go wrong with Anker SoundBuds Slim. I can’t call them the best in that range because I haven’t tested anything else, but personally I’ve had a blast with them.