More and more devices are being launched without our beloved 3.5mm headphone jack, and that is causing some frustration for those who want to consume media on their favorite phones. Thanks to the power of USB Type-C, some OEM’s are still including a 3.5mm to USB Type-C dongle, but those can get lost very quickly which can end up being a big pain.
There is another option, which may not be as popular, and that’s to join the Bluetooth revolution and invest in some Bluetooth headphones. The market has been dominated by the likes of JayBird, Bose, and Beats, but there are more viable (and cheaper) options on the market.
Today, we’re going to take a look at the suite of Anker SoundBuds Bluetooth headphones, which includes an option for just about everyone.
Anker SoundBuds Slim
Starting with the SoundBuds Slim, this set is for those want to keep a low (or dare I say, SLIM) profile with their headphones. The first thing that you’ll notice when you take them out of the box is that the earpieces are magnetic, and is something that I fell in love with when I picked up my BeatsX headphones.
Before diving too far, in the packaging, you get the SoundBuds Slim, microUSB cable for charging, and a few different ear buds and ear hooks to accommodate those with different ear canal sizes. There’s also a little quick start guide, but you can throw that off to the side as getting everything set up is pretty straightforward.
As with the other options listed here, the headphones will already be charged a bit, but you’ll want to plug them in to get them up to 100%. There’s an LED indicator on the controls which lets you know how much juice is in the chamber.
When it comes to battery life, Anker rates the SoundBuds Slim to provide up to 7 hours of playback on a single charge, and I was able to get very close to that. Some days, I listened non-stop and got between 5 and 6 hours, but the battery was a bit better if I stepped away from them and came back to them later for another extended session.
Pairing the SoundBuds Slim is also extremely easy, as you’ll only need to press and hold the “Play/Pause” button on the controls until the Blue LED begins flickering. Once the light starts flickering, you can go to the Bluetooth Settings on your favorite device and get things paired up.
If you’re looking at these to accompany you on a workout, we have good news. Anker claims that they feature an IPX4 water-resistant shell and an “internal nano-coating”. This provides a “double layer of water protection”, which is great if you get caught in the rain, or want to sweat it out in the gym.
Finally, we come to the important part — the sound quality. I wouldn’t say these can replace your cans that you use on a daily basis, but if you travel at all, the SoundBuds Slim are a welcome addition. I’m a fan of a lot of bass (see BeatsX), and while these don’t make my eardrums rattle, they still do an adequate job of giving me the extra oomph that I want.
I’ve mentioned the BeatsX as my go-to set of Bluetooth headphones, but those were priced at over $100, and that doesn’t fit into everyone’s budget. Thankfully, the Anker SoundBuds Slim are priced at just $25 and come in Black, Blue, or Red. If you’re interested, you can hit the button below to learn more!
Anker SoundBuds Tag
Next up we have Anker SoundBuds Tag. These are a bit chunkier than the SoundBuds Slim, but have some hidden secrets to provide you some excellent sound quality while you’re on the go or at home.
As with the SoundBuds Slim, the SoundBuds Tag also includes an array of ear tips and “AirWings” to help make sure that the earpieces stay secure while you’re on the go. There is also an inline controller which allows you to answer calls, and control your media with a press of the button.
What sets the SoundBuds Tag apart from the others is the inclusion of Qualcomm aptX Bluetooth lossless technology. As explained by Qualcomm, aptX Bluetooth reduces the size of audio files “so they can be squeezed through the wireless pipeline without affecting the sound quality”. This is great news for those audiophiles who are concerned about losing sound quality while using Bluetooth headphones.
Speaking of sound quality, I must say that out of the three options listed today, the SoundBuds Tag is my favorite of the bunch. These were either paired to my LG G6 or my MacBook Pro and provided much more clear sounds compared to the SoundBuds Slim, but are a bit awkward to pair, and are a bit heavier.
When it comes to the SoundBuds Tag, these also feature magnets in the earpieces, but the cool thing here is that they automatically pair to the last device connected. This makes it perfect for pulling them out of your bag and getting your music with out messing around with settings.
In addition to automatically pairing with your last-used device, the magnets in the earpieces serve another purpose. When you pull the earbuds apart, your SoundBuds Tag automatically turn on, while attaching them automatically turns them off. This has cause a bit of a problem when I’m fumbling around in my bag and accidentally disconnect them, but is still a great feature.
When it comes to pricing, you may expect these to be priced alongside the BeatsX, but that’s not Anker’s style. Instead, the Anker SoundBuds Tag is priced at just $32.99, and come in either Black or White. If you want to pick these up for yourself, hit the button below, and let us know what you think!
Anker SoundBuds Sport
The final option for those looking for a set of Bluetooth headphones is geared towards the gym rats out there. The Anker SoundBuds Sport is one of the best options for those who want to a set of headphones that keeps going as long as they do.
Anker rates the battery for the SoundBuds Sport at 8 hours and I was able to reach that mark, if not pass it, a couple of times throughout my testing. While these don’t offer the aptX Bluetooth technology as the SoundBuds Tag, there is still CNC active noise cancellation built-in. This will help you make sure that you stay focused on the task at hand and not be interrupted.
The differences don’t stop there, however, as there are not in-line controls on the SoundBuds Sport. Instead, all of your controls can be found on the side of the earpieces themselves. On the left earbud is your play/pause button, while the right earbud houses the volume control for the SoundBuds Sport.
I must admit, this was a bit frustrating at times, but it wasn’t enough to drive me away from continuing to enjoy these headphones. What did frustrate me was the call-quality of the SoundBuds Sport. The person on the other end of the call always complained that I wasn’t speaking up, leaving me to almost have to yell for them to hear me — a problem not experienced with the other SoundBuds products.
Now, I’m not the most active person in the world, but when I was warming up for some basketball, the SoundBuds Sport stayed in place for me, after I switched up the ear tips. Before then, one earpiece would fall out, only for the other to fall out after being put back in.
Regardless, the SoundBuds Sport is definitely worth a look if you’re looking for some budget-minded work out Bluetooth headphones. Priced at just under $30, you don’t have much to lose when giving the SoundBuds Sport a shot.
If you’re looking to pick these up, they are available in Black, Green, and Blue color options and you can get them as soon as tomorrow thanks to Prime Shipping. Hit the button below to learn more and let us know what you think about the SoundBuds Sport!
The great thing about the world we live in is that technology is always evolving, making it possible for smaller accessory-makers to provide budget options. What’s even better is when these accessories hit the mark and save you more than a few bucks in the process.
Anker’s SoundBuds lineup does this and so much more, and I can’t say enough great things about these awesome headphones. Let us know what you think about these Anker headphones and if you’ll be looking to pick up a pair for yourself!