The Anker SoundBuds Sport are decent in-ear headphones with a stable wireless design. They maintain their position during physical activities, like running, and are surprisingly good at blocking ambient noise. Unfortunately, they have poor sound quality, which could be a deal breaker for some.
- Good passive noise isolation.
- Stable fit.
- Minimal leakage.
- Poor, uneven audio reproduction.
- In-ear fit is uncomfortable for some.
The Anker SoundBuds decent-looking sports headphones that offer an incredibly stable fit. They're wireless and don't slip out of your ears even while running and jumping, which makes them ideal to use in a gym. However, the in-ear fit could get uncomfortable for some, and their audio control scheme is cramped and slightly frustrating to use.
The Anker SoundBuds have a typical in-ear fit that may not be comfortable for everyone. They offer a variety of tips to improve comfort and a better fit, but if the in-ear design causes you discomfort, then these headphones will most likely do the same.
Button layout and functionality are average at best. These headphones offer call/music, track-skipping, and volume controls but the corresponding buttons have dual functionality and are cramped on the earbuds. They also feel a little flat and don't have good tactile feedback, which is disappointing
The SoundBuds are designed to be used during sports and physical activity. They successfully maintain their position even while running or jumping and are ideal for use at the gym. They also offer a few stability tips that help improve their in-ear fit, and the wireless design ensures that they will rarely get hooked on something and be pulled out of your ears.
Build quality is decent. The earbuds are sufficiently dense and lightweight, to not get damaged by a couple falls. The linking audio cable is also rubberized. They're well-built in-ear headphones, but the exposed audio cable could get damaged through regular wear and tear, and could be a little thicker. Also, the earbuds will crack under moderate-to-heavy physical stress because of their mostly plastic build.
These headphones have a poor audio reproduction. They have too much emphasis on bass, which also extends into the mid-range and results in a boomy, muddy sound. This is more noticeable because instruments and vocals are slightly pushed back in the mix and lack a little clarity. Their closed-back in-ear design also gives these headphones a poor soundstage but on the upside, they don't have any noticeable distortion.
Poor performance. The overall bass response is quite overemphasized, except for low-bass where these headphones cut off. The result is a bass-heavy and boomy sound, which lacks the sub-bass thump.
Decent performance. The bump in low-mid, which is a continuation of the bass overemphasis, adds a boxy quality to the sound. The under-emphasis in high-mid pushes the vocals/leads to the back of the mix.
Average treble. The under-emphasis in low-treble (which continues into treble), negatively affects the clarity and presence of leads/vocals, adding to the bass-heavy sound of these in-ears. Also, these headphones may sound sibilant to those with hypertensive ears, due to the peaks around 8KHz.
Being in-ears, these headphones do not have any interaction with the outer ear, and therefore, their HRTF is 0. Also, these are one of the most closed headphones we have measured, which hurts its soundstage even more. On the plus side, the drivers of our test unit were very well-matched.
Very good results. The overall amount harmonic distortion is quite low. However, at higher SPLs, there is a rise in distortion, mostly affecting higher bass and lower mid regions. Another weak point of these headphones seems to be surrounding 1KHz, with harmonic distortion spikes of up to 3% of the input.
The Anker sound buds isolate listeners surprisingly well. They do not have any active cancellation yet they block a lot of ambient noise with the seal of their in-ear fit. They fair well in loud environments and can handle the level of ambient noise of a regular commute or a gym. They also barely leak any sound and won't disturb the people around you even at high volumes.
Good isolation, and considering that the isolation is provided passively, the results are quite impressive. In low-bass and bass, they consistently provide a minimum of 8dB of isolation which, is more than what a lot of active noise cancelling headphones are capable of. Although they lose their effectiveness between 120Hz and 350Hz, the amount of isolation they provide above 350Hz is the most we have measured so far.
Excellent leakage. These in-ears are one of the quietest headphones we have measured. There is virtually no sound leaking below 1KHz and above 5KHz, and the amount of leakage that does happen between 1KHz-5KHz is barely noticeable.
No active features.
The SoundBuds have a below-average wireless range. They won't be ideal if you have a big house or work in a large office with a lot of walls as their range is barely stable beyond 25ft. This is probably due to the very small size of the ear buds limiting the space available for a more powerful Bluetooth receiver. They're also not the easiest to pair and they don't offer NFC.
The SoundBuds Sport have a below average battery life. They only have last about 3 hours when playing audio continuously. However, on the upside, they charge pretty fast and can also continue streaming audio when plugged into to a power outlet which could be practical if you're at your desk at the office. Unfortunately, the short battery life and lack of power saving features makes the overall battery performance subpar.
No compatible app.
In the box
- Anker SoundBuds Sport Headphones
- Earbud tips (x2 sizes)
- Stability tips (x2 sizes)
- USB charging cable
- Carrying pouch