Aural

SoundPeats True Wireless Earbuds

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Inexpensive alternative to Apple Airpods

I have been using SoundPEATS True Wireless Earbuds ($33) for about six months. These allow me to ride (transit), ride (bike), run, walk, and sit while listening to transmitted sound from my phone.

Critically, there is nothing to get caught or tangled. My prior headphones were wireless, but were connected to each other by a light flat cable. The cable would get tangled in backpacks or pockets and would also catch on my collar and even hair (pulling at the parts in my ears so they would fall out). These stay in better than earphones with wires because nothing every tugs at them.

They came with various interchangeable, uh, ear-nipples, to get the right fit. I have shaken my head like a wet dog and they have been fine. I did not expect that. They are an unobtrusive black. You can see I’m wearing them, but they are not flashy.

The stereo sound seems good to me (I’m not an audiophile, but if you’d consider $32 earbuds, you probably aren’t either). I have not noticed lag while watching streaming services or anything like that. They also work individually. You lose the stereo sound, but you are more aware of your surroundings. So, for biking or running, that’s useful.

When not in use, they are stored in a quite small box that holds them securely with magnets. Taking them out of the box turns them on. Putting them in the box turns them off. There is also one button on each of them that can be used to turn them on or off and for limited other functions. The box recharges them from an internal battery. They say they run for about 2.5 hours per charge and that the box holds about 9 to 10 charges. Generally, I haven’t run them down on a single use. The box itself is plugged into a USB charger thing about once a week.

Pairing was simple, just followed the directions. I ran into one problem where each ear thing would pair separately, but not with each other. A little Google research resolved that. Trick was to reset them in the box, then they behaved. They have a microphone. The sound quality for folks on the other end is okay if there is no background noise. I use the mic for Duolingo exercises and it seems okay indoors, but outdoors or on the subway, not so much.

At $32, these are less than a quarter of the price of Apple’s airpods, which were cost prohibitive for me. Frankly, I appreciated not wearing something that was so obviously a brand name shape. And for something as small as these, I wasn’t willing to risk a big chunk of change for fear of losing them. I haven’t lost them, though. The box storage works well and they do okay in my pants pockets for short stints out of the ears.

-- Tom Ballantine 09/25/19