SoundPEATS H1 Bluetooth 5.2 QCC3040 Knowles BA Driver TWS

red71rum

100+ Head-Fier
SoundPeats H1 Hybrid True Wireless Earbuds
Pros: - Adaptive Apt X
- Wireless Charging
- True Wireless Mirroring Technology
- 10 Hours of Play Time per Charge (40 hours with charging case X3 charges)
- IPX5 Waterproofing
- Passive Noise Cancellation with cVc (clear voice capture) 8.0
Cons: - No active noise cancellation
- Earbuds are rather large
- No app to change EQ
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I remember reading about the SoundPeats H1 and the Kickstarter for them. I was intrigued at the time but did not take part in the Kickstarter (I have run into problems with other Kickstarters in the past). I saw that the H1 was now being offered and I reached out to SoudPeats to see if the would send me them to review.

Accessories -

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The H1 come with the usb C charging case, usb C charging cable, 3 sets of small, medium, and large tips. A pair of Comply Truegrip tips is also provided.

Features -

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The H1 have some impressive features such as Apt X Adaptive, I0 hours of play time in between charges and a total of 40 hours from the case. The H1 also have dual hybrid drivers, a Knowles Balanced Armature Driver and a 8.6mm Dynamic Driver. The SoundPeats also feature Bluetooth 5.2, Smart A.I. assistance, IPX5 waterproofing, and a wireless usb C charging case.

Design -

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I like the way the H1 look with their silver and black accents. They seem to be made of tough plastic and do not show fingerprints which is nice. Some people might find them a little large and they do take a bit getting used to. The H1 really fit well in your inner-ear, thereby using passive noise cancellation to block out sound. They block out sound as well as some ANC enable earbuds, but I would have liked the ability to block out even more with ANC. Utilizing the included Comply tips, depending on the person, can actually even help them fit even better, thereby blocking even more sound.

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Here is an extra closeup of my ear, it looks gross, but you can see how well the fit.

The SoundPeats H1 have angled nozzles and have a nice see through plastic that makes them look pretty cool when you view them up close.

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Controls -

The touch controls are quite responsive, although some might find it hard at first to figure out the controls, with the number of taps and so on. For example, touch one time for volume on the right bud, 2x to play\pause, one time on the left bud to lower volume etc. Here is a snippet of the manual so you can see what the controls are -

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Using the controls becomes second nature after a couple times and you will find them very easy to use. I did not run into any problems with the controls, they always worked when I used them at the office, at the gym, or on the go.

Battery life and Connectivity -

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Compared to the competition, the H1 offer 10 hours of play time and are about half the price of the Jabra 85T for example. The 60mAh battery in the H1 did not disappoint during my testing, lasting 10 hours on a single charge. With the case, you get 40 hours. The H1 utilize Bluetooth 5.2, and this greatly helps connectivity. I left my phone and walked over 40ft in both indoors and outside. I did not experience any drop outs. I also took my LG phone out of my Defender case and tried both front and back pockets, no dropouts were experienced. The signal was solid the whole time.

Sound and Game Mode -

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One of the features I was looking forward to was Apt X Adaptive, although I could only test out Apt X HD as my LG G8 ThinQ did not support Adaptive. I think it really worked along with the dual hybrid drivers to provide my music with clearer audio.. I found that the H1 had a fairly wide soundstage, great instrumentation separation with decent bass, good mid-range, and sparkling highs. I listened to all kinds of music as I always have my phone set to random with my digital music files, (Wave,Flac, 320 mp3, but no streaming). I listened to latter day Gary Numan - Love Hurt Bleed, Soen, John Wesley, Def Leppard, Allfather, Filter, Jazz, Classical, and so on. The earbuds were able to handle all the music I through at it, nothing sounded harsh.

I am not a mobile gamer (Xbox Series X for me), but I did try them with some games my son had and they worked great. I also tried them with Netflix and did not notice any problems.

Call Quality -

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I made many calls with these, some in adverse conditions where there was lots of wind. The person on the other end of the call sounded great, even my 80 year old mother had no complaints. I took and made many calls with these over the course of my review and they performed admirably. I cannot really complain about anything here, they just worked.

Final thoughts -

After using these for the review, they are now my go to earbud. At $79, the SoundPeats H1 are a very nice addition to my bluetooth earbud arsenal. I do think that the size of the earbud casing could be made smaller so they might fit some people better and some might be put off that they might look large when worn. Also I think adding active noise canceling and maybe providing an app to equalize the earbuds the way you want my be a nice addition in the future.

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regancipher

100+ Head-Fier
Setting a very high bar for TWS releases
Pros: Superb sound quality, Relatively flat albeit boosted sound signature, Warm yet spacious soundstage, Low Latency, Nice Comfortable Fit, Great Ergonomics and Good PNI, Long Battery Life, Wireless Charging, BT 5.2 Connectivity, AptX-Adaptive codec supported, App Support now added
Cons: Mids can get a little congested in really complex tracks, calls could be better (very minor quibbles here), No ANC (not an issue for me, but may be for some), low water resistance rating
How I review: (See Previous Reviews)
Instagram: regancipher
YouTube: regancipher

Model: SoundPEATS H1 Premium
Price: MSRP $90
Vendor Website: SoundPEATS
Review Reference: RC041

Manufacturer Specification:
  • Brand: SoundPEATS
  • Model: H1 Premium
  • Driver: 8.6mm Dynamic Driver & Knowles BA
  • Chipset: Qualcomm QCC3040
  • Impedence: 16 Ohm
  • Mic: 4, cVc 8.0
  • ANC: No
  • Volume Control: Yes
  • Codecs: AptX-adaptive, AptX, AAC, SBC
  • Earbud Weight: 6.18g
  • Earbud Dimensions: 24-26mm wide, neck approx. 13mm, 20mm height
  • Case Weight: 41g
  • Gross Weight: 53g
  • Case Dimensions: 70mm (width) x 41mm (depth) x 30mm (height)
  • Case Charge Capacity: 500mAh
  • Full Charge Time: 90 minutes
  • Quick Charge: No
  • Wireless Charging: Yes
  • Input: 5V 1A
  • Single Use Playtime: Up to 10 hours
  • Playtime with Charge Case: Up to 40 hours
  • App Support: Not currently
  • Bluetooth Range: 10m advertised
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth® 5.2
  • Bluetooth Protocols: BLE/ HSP/ HFP/ A2DP/ AVRCP
  • Water Resistance: IPX5
  • Firmware Tested: 0.2.9
Includes:

1 x Pair Wireless Earbuds
1 x USB Type-C & Qi Charge Case
1 x USB Type-C Charge Cable
3 x Pair Silicone Tips
1 x Pair Comply Foam Tips
1 x User manual, warranty card

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Real Life Experience

Welcome to the Regancipher review of the eagerly-anticipated SoundPEATS H1. This is my fourth SoundPEATS review, and it is pleasing to see them improving incrementally, gradually moving up to higher specifications (and higher price tags). Originally a Kickstarter product, this is now available through the usual procurement channels, and retails at the relatively high price of around £69.99, taking them outside the budget sub $50 category for the first time. This is their first attempt at hybrid multi-driver bud, and having been so disappointed with QCY's T10, and to a degree, KZ's SA08, I was cautiously optimistic that SoundPEATS would deliver where the others failed. And they did.

The thing that sets SoundPEATS apart from other vendors, and makes them one of my favourite budget earbud vendors, is that they are completely transparent over their components. Whether they use Realtek, Qualcomm or Airoha chips in their buds, they are totally open about it, and as a reviewer this really helps, because whilst I have, and do, dismantle buds to check the way that certain things have been implemented (such as the power management, mems mics, etc) and I really don't like having to do it with every set of earbuds, because they then become unusable.

The Unboxing - 7/10

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Despite this being SoundPEATS' flagship product, the unboxing is identical to all of their other recent releases, which isn't a bad thing, but it certainly isn't in the league of the Tronsmart Apollo Bold, for example. Perhaps this is something SoundPEATS need to have in mind if they are going to cross the Rubicon and release truly ground-breaking products like the H1 again - whilst I have no issue with corners being cut on the bit of cardboard it comes in, sometimes people will judge a book by its cover, so that could be an area to look to embellish if they are going to establish as a truly global brand.

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It is evident that SoundPEATS have marketed the product as a sports earbud, which is surprising as they are only IPX5 moisture resistant. That said, IPX5 is more than suitable for a bit of sweat and even light rain, so don't be too concerned from that aspect.

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The other side reminds us that the buds are their first attempt at hybrid drivers, but the branding isn't really 'in your face' like some brands - a more understated approach is taken.

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Once inside you get the usual user guide and warranty card, but you also get a set of COMPLY TRUEGRIP foam tips. I like foam tips, but the supplied silicone tips are also decent quality, so you have some decisions to make when it comes to fit and function. With the foam, you get slightly better isolation - estimated up to 28dB, which is not far off ANC levels, and I'm sure it will change the sound profile slightly, so will add to the review once I've tested that element out.

The manual comes with instructions in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese and gives a very clear indication on how to use the buds, including the control scheme, which is very nicely detailed with easy-to-understand graphics as well as a text box. You also get a USB-C charge cable, not that I need any more of those!

The Case - 8/10

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The case is reminiscent of the one SoundPEATS used for the Sonic, albeit slightly wider, with a nice gun metal-style finish on top. The bottom section is a more generic-looking semi-matte black, with the SoundPEATS brand name screen printed on the top, giving them a true two-tone look. At 7x4x3cm, it still has a relatively low footprint and decent portability, but you wouldn't want them in your trouser pocket in skinny jeans.

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The case weighs in at around 41g, and 53g with the buds inside. As you can see above, they have moved away from the red/amber/green lighting scheme used on the Sonic to a more accurate 'four quarters', which aligns well with their total battery life - approx. 40 hours (4 full charges).

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The buds slot in the top, and there's a medium strength magnet pulling the buds in, and a slightly flimsy hinge securing the case when shut. I love the 'friction-style' hinge on the BOYA BY-AP4 and SoundPEATS other recent release, the T2, which has a satisfying 'stop' that prevents it from accidentally shutting, but this is a minor quibble and not worth losing any sleep over! The front is very similar to the Sonic case, and whilst there is a small lip to assist with opening it, it can't feasibly be prised open with one hand, well, not easily anyway, due to the width of the case.

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At the back, there's a USB-C charge socket. There is also a light next to it, which turns red when you plonk it on a Qi wireless charger - yep, the case supports wireless charging. There is no indication 'quick charge' is supported - a full charge takes just 90 minutes though, which is still very impressive considering the total playtime.

The Ergonomics - 9/10

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The fit on the H1 is more like the True Engine 3SE than the Sonic or T2, thankfully, with a curvature that ensures excellent passive noise isolation, and the buds don't feel too invasive whilst still remaining secure during exercise - something the Sonic really struggled with, and is a feature of buds like the FIIL T1XS, Jabra Elite 75t and Alien Secret QCC010.

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From the side, the buds clearly shape around your concha quite nicely, and the light at the bottom underneath the logo thankfully only displays when no media is playing. I like to think of this as an 'it's OK to shout at me' prompt to anyone approaching!

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When we take a closer look at the design compared with some of its peers, we see that whilst they are relatively wide (27mm) when you factor in the neck, they do not feel as invasive as the Jabra, Alien Secret QCC010 or FIIL T1XS, but lacks the truly custom fit of the SKS. Nevertheless, this makes for a nice balance that ensures they are comfortable for prolonged use and is more universally acceptable than something like the SKS, which fit my right ear perfectly, but aren't quite so comfy on my left.


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From the back, you get a welcome view of the BA, and see the wide bore of the tip.

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A well-finished mesh protects the driver, unlike the Jabra. Nevertheless, they should still be cleaned on a regular basis to ensure they don't get clogged up.

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You get the feeling of a very premium product when you start to analyse it under closer scrutiny. This is far more impressive than the T2, for example, which feels a little generic. No such issues here. The teardrop style shape really works, and and the SoundPEATS logo is not too overt, disappearing in certain lights, and the outer ambient mic is the only evident addition to the surface area.

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The tips are good quality, with a thicker inner ring protecting your ear from the driver surround, which is important, because earbuds can feel a little uncomfortable if you have shallow ear canals.

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Weighing in at 6.18g, they are by no means light, but weight displacement has been handled well - they don't feel at all heavy.

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SoundPEATS have done a really good job here balancing build quality, aesthetics, practicality and comfort - their best in-ear fit and finish by some distance.

Audio Quality - 9/10 (for the price paid), 9/10 (raw score)

I tested the sound against other BA earbuds, and was not disappointed. Whilst not quite my go-to sound signature in every music style, it is pretty damn close, and will definitely receive widespread acclaim as it does not fall short in any category, regardless of genre.

Whilst the soundstage is nice and wide, providing plenty of clarity and space, unless you like that consumer friendly, punchy edge to your music, I think you'll be hard pressed not to want to notch the subbass even a little, which can be a shade fatiguing, and the top end, which can, with certain tracks, feel like SoundPEATS are just plain bragging about the capabilities of the balanced armature moving coil. It's an unfamiliar sound signature, certainly in Bluetooth TWS, that's both dynamic and flat, and thanks to those hybrid drivers, you can EQ and still get a fantastic sound. There is little to no bleed in the high mids, and only the lower midrange frequencies get a shade congested without a ten band EQ, which you'll need Wavelet for as there is no SoundPEATS app... But then if you're a regular to my reviews, you know I would be using it anyway.

Listening to 'Rose Rouge' by St Germain, a really nice clear instrument separation is immediately obvious, although the wide sound stage does not flourish until you start to hear the brass instruments dance around the vocals. The sax sounded a little too shrilly, so I had to notch the treble a tad, but this is a very minor complaint, and on the volume I settled on - 68% - the notch was not essential and down to personal preference.

The mids are elevated on 'Retrospect' by Kokiri, a simplistic house track that sounds so much better through decent buds - I'm used to this sounding a bit tinny, but no issues here. Bass is fast and punchy. More challenging dance tracks like 'Mama' by Jonas Blue, a toughie for most TWS, is handled well, with only minor low-mid congestion. Only the SA08 separated better on this track.

Now here's the caveat - not only does the treble occasionally require taming, so does the bass. 'Joy' by Kokiri and 'Mama' by Jonas Blue show how the lower frequencies can, with certain tips, ripple through your ears to the point of discomfort. They can be mitigated with EQ, and still sound great, but seem to lose a little tonality when you do. Tip rolling can also help slightly.

'Rich Kids Blues' by Lyyke Li is extremely well organised and her vocals still shine through. Baritone vocal tracks sound rich - I tried a few John Legend tracks and they sounded magnificent - warm, yet retaining a brightness that prevents it from ever sounding dull.

I don't remember which track it was but something came on on Spotify, and even that sounded nice. I think it was 'Watermelon Sugar' by Harry Styles...a track I would never play, but damn it sounded good!

I've really dug deep here to find issues - for $60 this really is gold standard stuff. The KZ SA08 and SKS are the only other buds that come close to the sound quality in budget or even mid-budget TWS. I've not tested any of the recent premium releases, but the H1 (and the SKS for that matter) outperform the Jabra 75t, Huawei Freebuds Pro, Airpods Pro and other, older premium buds by some distance in audio delivery.

Call Quality - Indoors - 6/10, Outdoors - 5/10

The earbuds feature a 4-mic array with a mic at the top for ambient noise, and a voice mic at the bottom of the teardrop. This form factor usually struggles compared with stem-based buds, for obvious reasons - the call mic is further from your mouth, and squeezing in some kind of AI voice sensor is, well, a little while off being both cost-effective and perform better than a decent USB mic.

There have only been a few notable exceptions in mic development in TWS- Taotronics used the Elevoc Voc+ module in a couple of their SoundLiberty releases, and Samsung and Huawei used bone conducting modules and accelerometers in their Buds Live and FreeBuds Pro. In both instances, call quality definitely improved, but modules are just one part of it - far more has to be taken into consideration, usually compromising on other features. Elevoc seem to be doing just that with their imminent release, which I'm really looking forward to, but these are isolated examples- usually mic implementations are, if you'll pardon the expression, different shades of crap!

Soundpeats have shown several times on their in-ear releases that call quality is bottom of their list of priorities - and the H1 is no exception. Calls are good enough indoors. You can sound a little distant at times - to be expected given the form factor - so it's necessary to speak a little louder than stem-based buds, but your voice is reasonably natural and doesn't sound too over-compressed, and that is pretty much all you can ask for really given the above constraints.

Like most other earbuds of this form factor, outdoors they struggle with wind. Whilst kids voices come through quite clearly, sometimes ahead of your own, a blast of traffic virtually wipes out your voice. That said, the cVc8.0 noise reduction is characteristically fairly good at distinguishing sounds around your own voice frequency, so low rumbling sounds are negated rather well. The problem is everything is so muffled it's just too difficult to hear you, demonstrated here in my outdoor call test of 28 different tws models in fairly challenging conditions:



On Zoom and Teams, I found they sometimes scrambled the sound a bit. This is almost certainly down to my Bluetooth adapter - it is has happened with every QCC3040 set I've tested so far - very strange, but as I said, likely a feature of my adapter, not the buds themselves, since it has happened too many times now.

Connectivity, Controls and Other Features - 8/10

Connectivity is good. You get a 'Power On' message when you initiate them, like with all SoundPEATS buds, then a 'connected' sound when they connect to your device, along with a chime. AptX-adaptive is the default codec on Android.

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Controls are good - intuitive and accurate. Unlike the Sonic, these are touch control, and they operate without too many false positives. They've changed the control scheme around this time, with single tap for volume (left decrease, right increase), double tap for play/pause and answering or hanging up calls.

As detailed above, you are also able to switch between calls, activate voice assistant and initiate game mode. Single mode is activated easily by simply taking one bud out. They do not auto pause, which will please many, as it seems it's a feature I am in the select few to appreciate. And like the Sonic, it is really seamless, although sometimes it can lag if you go back to twin - a feature of all QCC3040 buds I've tested so far.

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Latency is about as good as it gets - I measured just over 170Ms with game mode on, and just over 200Ms with standard aptX-adaptive. This is very close to lip sync and ideal for gamers. NOTE - while the material claims the latency is 40-60Ms, remember you need to add in the source too.

Voice prompts are more muted than the Sonic, which is good, because they were deafening! There is no quick charge, but they do support QI wireless charging, and a red light comes on at the back to let you know. There is no app - well, there is, but it was pulled before release. Never a bad thing. If you really need to EQ, Wavelet is fine on android.

Despite no ANC or quick charge, and no multipoint, the H1 are feature-rich where you need them most, and when you consider they've been an active product for over 6 months now, it's even more impressive. Plus, with the Tanchjim tips you may as well have ANC - the difference is very marginal between the PNI provided by this combination and the lower-end ANC buds.

App Support

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In January 2022, SoundPEATS have rolled out app support for the H1 and Air3, and whilst the app is still somewhat embryonic, it does give the option to upgrade the firmware, deactivate LED's, initiate gaming mode and either use the custom 6-band equaliser or choose from a number of presets. You can find more detail in my review of the Air3.

Interestingly, as well as the custom equaliser, SoundPEATS included 'Adaptive EQ'. This, like with other vendors, plays through a series of frequencies, testing your hearing, and applies the EQ it deems best fits your hearing. Whilst it works, it gives the warning it is an 'experimental feature', and like Anker and other brands, I didn't find it improved my listening on the Air3 or the H1 immeasurably - on the H1 the difference was far clearer with the mids culled, but the bass was still far too prominent. Even so, a nice feature at the mid to lower price tier budget. There is sadly no button mapping available, and the noise reduction section has no effect.

The app also requires sign up to SoundPEATS' cloud server - not my favourite process by any means, but that's the price you pay with many of these TWS apps.


Battery Life - 9/10

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Whilst not reaching the heights of the market-leading Sonic, you get around 40 hours worth of battery in total, with over 6 hours quite realistic from a single charge at a decent volume. I got approx. 36 hours at around 70% volume, so this is not misleading. My tester showed 5.01v, 0.24-0.38A, 1.29-1.9w at full input power.

Recommended Tips

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For the H1, the Tanchjim T-APB 300B Medium work well for me. Despite being slightly taller than most tips I use at 9mm high, the 12mm width is sufficient to provide a comfortable but secure seal, when exercising or casually listening.

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You may find this fit too invasive, and I have toyed with the extremely flat tips that come with the Elevoc Clear. This enables a pretty much perfect fit, but at the expense of weaker noise isolation.

If you prefer foam or hybrid tips, the Misodiko Mix460 work well.

Final Comments

SoundPEATS have got pretty close to the perfect earbuds here. My previous top-scoring buds, the FIIL T1 Pro, have a nice small case, ANC and wing tips, perform better on outdoor calls, and have quick charge, but the H1 sound far far better than the FIIL, with clearer trebles, better instrument separation and soundstage, and better overall looks. They also feel more comfortable for prolonged use, even more so with the Elevoc tips.

The one minor issue here for SoundPEATS is that they were essentially a 'kickstarter' or indiegogo product (I don't remember which) for the first 7 months of their life. 7 months is a long time in the TWS world. They've aged well considering, lacking no features other than ANC that would be comparable today, but the competitive edge a proper release would have given them in November has been lost a little. It's kinda like the chicken and the egg I guess, but it gives me hope that SoundPEATS can continue their excellent run of releases going forward. Adding app support is a belated but welcome addition, and hopefully this will not be the false start that accompanied the app's initial launch in 2021.

Honestly, having the SKS and H1 to review in one week has been thoroughly enjoyable. It feels like TWS are genuinely reaching that next level. And whilst I mention the lack of ANC, this really should not put you off. The passive isolation is still very good, and for the money you get a truly superb set of buds that support all music styles - ANC becomes kinda irrelevant in the scheme of things when you're getting all the other good stuff that the H1 bring.

The H1 have taken the top spot as the number one earbuds under $100. Well done SoundPEATS!

Ideal if:
  • You like a detailed but dynamic sound signature
  • You like a snug fit and good passive isolation
  • Bang-for-buck is important
  • Music is your top priority
Not so suitable for:
  • Those that need market-leading active noise cancellation
  • Those on a budget
  • Those that use the mic a lot
  • Those who don't like messing with the EQ and want an extremely neutral sound out of the box
Price Weighted Score: 93%
Raw Score: 90%

SoundPEATS Review Inventory:


H2
T3
Mini
Air3
TrueAir2+
TrueAir 2
H1
T2
Sonic

About SoundPEATS:

SoundPEATS seem to have become an overnight sensation, wiping up a large portion of budget TWS earbud market share with a business model that has served them (and Anker before them) exceptionally well - good distribution channels (via Amazon), good support, a catchy name and product that performs well at a very competitive price point. In reality, they have been around a long time - whilst Shenzhen SoundSOUL IT Co LTD is a different trading name to Ginto E-Commerce, they share the same business address (including room number) as them - you may know their brand name better as Dudios. With Dudios not sounding quite so cool as Soundpeats, maybe the brand transition has been instrumental in their success, but having been around since 2010 and patents in Bluetooth tech stretching back to 2015, they are not the plucky upstarts that some may think - they know their stuff, have a great network of contacts, and now a very solid brand in Europe, and deservedly so.

The thing that sets SoundPEATS apart from other vendors, and makes them my favourite budget earbud vendor, is that they are completely transparent over their components. Whether they use Realtek, Qualcomm or Airoha chips in their buds, they are totally open about it, and as a reviewer this really helps, because whilst I have, and do, dismantle buds to check the way that certain things have been implemented (such as the power management, mems mics, etc) and I really don't like having to do it with every set of earbuds, because they then become unusable.
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regancipher
regancipher
@BlazdiqFoods I added a screenshot showing the aptx-Adaptive support. The QCC3040 has supported the codec in every set I've tested so far. The QCC3046 Tronsmart use in the Apollo Air only differs in that it has support for roll-off flash memory.
mirzarazwan07
mirzarazwan07
Perfect Review 🤍👌
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