I was interested in this blueteooth earbuds for a long time. I finally brought them when they are on Amazon’s daily deal for $20. The bottom line: If you are looking for a pair of bluetooth headphones for workout or sports, it is worth it !
The built quality is good. The cable is nice. I tested one from MPow and they were much worst. The plastic feels ok. The buttons are very mechanical feeling with little damping. The earbuds are very lightweight and they do stay in my ear once I get them pushed in properly. The sound quality is fair. It is a bit boosted in the base and the highs are muddled. Hard to compare this to my Klipsch X11i for literally 10 times the price.
Finally it comes with a nice soft pouch with a spring loaded top that works really well.
Anker does very nice USB charging devices. Looks like their product design department took many ideas from other headphone manufacturers and implemented them, poorly:
There are magnets in the headphones so that you can clip them close around your neck when you are not using them (like the Jabra Rox), but they are weak, and they do not turn the headphone off.
It comes with a optional cable clip to shorten the cable for the back of your neck, but it clips the cable with a single fold (see photo). A tri-fold design works much better. A single fold just makes the cable stick up in the back of your neck.
All the controls are on the earbuds themselves. They are on the long side of the body, so when you try to insert the earbuds into your ear, you end up pressing the buttons. This is problematic especially for the power button on the right.
The bluetooth range is fair as long as it has line of sight. Once I go behind a wall 15 feet away, the connection starts to drop.
The bluetooth connection does not support multipoint. It will only connect to the last connected devices. Most newer headphones will automatically switch between two latest connections (like the Jabra stealth).
The ear gel tips are very fragile. They are super thin. I tried to remove them for the photos and ended up leaving them on as I am afraid that I will tear them. Again compare them in the photo with the Klipsch. The size of the port is quite large — I am not sure I can swap them out for comply or other ear gels.
The software gives out audio notes to indicate that it is powering on (low-high tone), powering off (high-low tone). This reminds me of older generation of other bluetooth headphones that I had.
Finally, the mic quality is poor. I used my iPhone voice memo to record from different headphones. My Jabra Stealth headset sounds perfectly fine, and that is the one that I use normally for taking calls. The SoundBuds volume is low, and crackly. The mic is a single pin hold on the right earbud, which faces almost directly into my face at the ear level. As such seems like it is having a tough time picking up my voice.
Real Life Test
I took the earbuds out for a 11 miles bike ride. The cable free experience is great. I had my iPhone 5s in a sling behind me, and there were no bluetooth connection problem. The earbuds stay in my ear almost all of the time. My ear did not get too sweaty from wearing it, and having music along the ride is definitely great.
In conclusion — for the money it is a great pair of earbuds for use in the gym or outdoor. The non multi-point and the microphone quality problem mean that I cannot use it in the office for music and phone/conference calls. I hope they upgrade their bluetooth software soon. V2 will probably be a great product, as Anker seems to improve their products all the time.