The market for True Wireless Headsets is now starting to calm down. At first, only high-end models were available at great cost followed by loads of cheap and nasty clones with poor sound, complicated pairing routines and poor linking but now decent quality but reasonably priced devices are starting to appear.
I have been looking for a pair of back up true wireless earbuds for use in situations where I may lose my expensive Jabra Elite Sport set. I will use the Jabra’s as a reference point in this review, which may seem unfair but this set is good enough to stand the comparison.
This new headset from SoundPEATS arrived in a small but stylishly designed product box. Inside were the earpieces themselves, charging case, a short USB to micro-USB charging cable, three sets of buds (one set of each prefitted), and a User Guide. The User Guide is well written and nicely illustrated although a bit small for my ageing eyes. I enclose a copy of the User Guide on my unboxing video.
Unlike with some other budget true wireless headsets, this one comes with a robust charging case very similar to that with the high-end Jabra’s which charges the earbuds automatically when inserted. The case has an internal battery which is itself charged using the supplied USB cable and it is the internal battery which charges the earbud batteries. The case will be able to fully charge the earbuds about three times with each charge taking about one hour. There are a set of LED’s on the case and LED’s on each bud to show battery status.
Pairing the earbuds was easy enough although more of a performance than with Jabra’s.
1 Remove both earbuds from the charging case and press the single button on each bud until the red/blue LED#s flash. Initiate pairing mode by double pressing the buttons and the LED’s will flash red/white until connected.
2. Turn off one earbud by pressing and holding the button. On the other press and hold the button until the LED flashes red/white. On your phone go to the Bluetooth setup page and look for ‘Q29’ and connect to it in the usual way.
3. Press the button on the second bud until it powers on and the LED flashes white. Hold it close to the first until the two are connected. Once connected the white LED will flash slowly.
This is more easily performed than explained and is made easier by the use of voice prompts during the pairing process.
The two buds can work independently of each other as mono buds and setting them up to do so is another procedure explained at length in the User Guide.
Audio quality was good and better by far than I was expecting. There is plenty of bass, more than I was expecting by far with mid and upper tones clear and well defined with none of the muddiness often found with budget headsets. I found the tone to be somewhat harsher and less refined than from the Jabra’s but more than good enough for general use.
The headset has a microphone and can be used to receive and make calls and when testing I found the conversation was clear and audible both ends. Calls can be muted/rejected and music can be paused by pressing the Multifunction button. TRacks can be advanced forward by double pressing the earbud button. Siri or Google Assistant can be invoked by long pressing the button in standby mode
I struggled a bit with fitting the earbuds and did not find them as good a fit as the Jabra’s and although they felt secure enough The button on each earbud is large and easy to find but needs a positive click to operate which is a little uncomfortable and feels cheaper than the soft touch Jabra button. Battery life is good and at least equal to the Jabra’s and I have obtained several hours music playing time following a charge. The charging case is robust and well made and holds the buds at least as well as the Jabra’s although the case looks and feels cheaper and lacks the auto On/Off feature which is one of the best features of the expensive rival.
At just £41.99 this headset is a fraction of the price my more expensive set but gives it a run for its money as regards sound quality and features. It falls down a bit on functionality and convenience of use and of course, none of the Jabra sports features is present (not that I ever use them). This is by no means the least expensive TW headset available but as the market cools down a new generation of well-specified good sounding devices such as this is emerging.
Good audio quality
Good battery life
Single bud operation option
Phone Assistant access
No auto On/Off
No full track control
No volume controls
Fiddly initial setup