Soundpeats Sonic TWS

General Information

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Manufacturer Blurb:

Sensitivity: 94±3dB
Resistance: 16Ω
Frequency Response Range: 20-20000Hz
Codecs: SBC, APTX, APTX-adaptive
Active Noise-Cancellation: No
Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 5.2
Bluetooth Prole: HSP, HFP, A2DP, AVRCP
Bluetooth Chipset: Qualcomm QCC3040
Maximum Working Range: 33feet/10m
Playing Time: About 15 Hours (volume at 60% on SBC)
Earbuds Charging Time: About 1.5 hours
Case Charging Time: 1.5 Hours
Charging Case Recharge Earbuds: 2 times
Earbud Power Capacity: 70mah
Charging Case Power Capacity: 400mah
Earbud Dimension: (L*W*H): 0.72*0.8*1.07in/18.3*20.5*27.2mm
Charging Case Dimension: (L*W*H): 61*38.95*34.71mm


Price: Approx $50-55

Latest reviews

Amazing budget buds that sadly don't fit me well at all
Pros: Rich sound signature, impressive sound stage, great call quality, crazy battery life, aptx-adaptive, easy single earbud use, great controls
Cons: Goes back into pairing when connection is lost, flashing lights when connection is lost, fit is OK but not good for exercise, too loose and bulky
How I review:

Sound Quality


Subjective and objective assessments. I listen to a few key tracks, some FLAC, some bad quality mp3's, streaming services, audio books and tracks I know have been so badly produced they will probably clip the top or the bottom end. Usually I listen to one album in particular on FLAC as a reference class, and also Andre Rieu's Bolero, which again I also know inside out and has sufficient orchestral content for me to discern separation and sound stage.

I then test a few key variables such as FR and Spectral Flatness using an acoustic mic setup and a few different programs on my PC running Windows 10, which are not perfect but the results give me something to reference against. I may elaborate further with additional checks which are pointed out where applicable. I usually also check what's going on with the codecs using Bluetooth Tweaker.

I test on a Poco X3, Apple Iphone 8 and Windows. Mostly I'm reviewing bluetooth headphones so no need for any complexities. If there is an app, I'll test firstly how intuitive it is, and secondly review the EQ settings. If none are available, I'll use Wavelet and customise the EQ to try and get my signature sound, and also test how they perform with certain presets.

I do this just for confirmation of what I'm hearing. I'm not Scarbir, I'm not The Sound Guys. I have a demanding day job, study, and have three kids, so no long essays in these reviews.

I test using:

Stock tips
Spinfit Silicones
Tronsmart Apollo Bold tips (which seem to fit me perfectly)

INAIRS foam tips (where appropriate)
ikko i-planet foam tips (where appropriate)

Microphone Quality

I conduct a few different tests, as follows:

Indoor, static, silence
Indoor, static, ambient noise 40-60 dB-A
Indoor, static, high frequency ambient noise
Indoor, static, low frequency ambient noise

All of the above but moving
All of the above moving away from the receiver

Outdoor, static, ambient noise 40-80db
Outdoor, moving, ambient noise 40-80db
Outdoor, under a nearby railway bridge where lorries pass through
Outdoor, in the wind and rain when possible

On Zoom or Microsoft Teams
On IOS (Iphone 8)
On Android (POCO X3)
On Windows 10

All are recorded for 1-3 minutes for future comparisons. I look for voice clarity, voice clarity among noise and glitches, suppression, naturalness and consistency.

Where possible, I ask my kids to also test to see what sounds the CvC or MEMS compression method is really trying to stifle, and whether it succeeds

ANC (where applicable)

As per the call quality tests, I usually test the ANC at the same time, looking for low and high frequency performance. I simulate white noise, use a fan, then take them down to a railway bridge. PNI is also attributed and scored where applicable. Ambient mode is also tested, and particularly important for earbuds designed for exercise.

I suffer from vertigo, jawache and migraines when the ANC is really strong, so I will highlight this where applicable. To date no earbuds have induced this from the ANC alone and the last headphones to do so were the Sony WH-1000XM3.

Comfort

I use earbuds in four activities - calls, exercise, commute and relaxing. All three are taken into consideration to try to find the use-case, as finding the perfect earbud is, lets face it, probably never going to happen.

For fitness I am looking for the ability to stay in the ear, for commuter / home office use they would need good all-day comfort, and for relaxing they ideally need to pass the pillow test and stay in overnight, and at the very least provide comfort for prolonged use.

Connectivity

I find most perform almost identically, but do the usual walk test, especially around congested 2,4ghz wifi areas, putting as many barriers as I can in the way to . I leave a router on 40MHz just in case it messes with it, why the hell not?! When possible I would take them out and see how they perform in the pocket.

Other Features

Wireless charging, long battery life, a feature rich app, intuitive controls, good codec support, dual-mode and multiple latency modes are amongst the attributes that get the high scores.

Model: Soundpeats Sonic

Price: £39.99 (Currently £33.99 with voucher)

Vendor: Amazon UK

Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bluetooth-...ywords=soundpeats+sonic&qid=1606732985&sr=8-3

Manufacturer Blurb:
  • Sensitivity: 94±3dB
  • Resistance: 16Ω
  • Frequency Response Range: 20-20000Hz
  • Codecs: SBC, APTX, APTX-adaptive
  • Active Noise-Cancellation: No
  • Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 5.2
  • Bluetooth Prole: HSP, HFP, A2DP, AVRCP
  • Bluetooth Chipset: Qualcomm QCC3040
  • Maximum Working Range: 33feet/10m
  • Playing Time: About 15 Hours (volume at 60% on SBC)
  • Earbuds Charging Time: About 1.5 hours
  • Case Charging Time: 1.5 Hours
  • Charging Case Recharge Earbuds: 2 times
  • Earbud Power Capacity: 70mah
  • Charging Case Power Capacity: 400mah
  • Earbud Dimension: (L*W*H): 0.72*0.8*1.07in/18.3*20.5*27.2mm
  • Charging Case Dimension: (L*W*H): 61*38.95*34.71mm
Includes:

1 x pair wireless earbuds
1 x battery charging case
1 x cloth carry case
3 x pair silicon ear tips
1 x Type-C USB charging cables
1 x User manual, quick guide, warranty card

Real Life Experience

The Unboxing - 7/10


Soundpeats have definitely upped their game. The old budget packaging is gone - the new finish is glossy, the new Soundpeats logo is prominent, and it clearly shows the key features - aptx-adaptive, 35 hours playtime and the use of the QCC3040 chip.

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The unboxing is not on the level of Edifier or Tronsmart yet, but it's decent. The soft shell still remains - it's on the level of Taotronics now, rather than Mpow or Boltune.

Inside, they've added the nice feature of QR codes to extend the warranty to 21 months, and the case is presented minimally and in compact packaging.

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Inside is a small rectangular box with the USB-C cable and spare tips.

The Case - 7/10

The case is becoming seemingly more and more important as earbuds have evolved. I find myself moving the case around in my palms and scrutinizing stuff like the hinge strength and portability in far more detail than previously. I think it comes down to trying to find faults as earbuds have improved dramatically in the last 12 months.

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The finish is a very nice brush metallic effect with a gold lip around the edge, with the Soundpeats logo on top.

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The case is powered by USB-C (no QI) and the adjacent indicator light tells you when the case is charging and when it is finished

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The case also has a lighting scheme on the inside, with 100-50% charge designated with a green light, 50-10% in amber, and below 10% red. The light is in the middle of the two buds directly below.

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Whilst charging, the lights flash slowly in red when below 20%, amber when below 70%, green when charging up to 100%, at which point the green light turns solid. This is a nice feature that Soundpeats have had for a while.

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The case is nice overall, and the magnets are strong, but the hinge is very flimsy and I can't imagine particularly durable. It does however give the already mammoth battery life a boost - a further two charges takes the playtime to 45 hours in total (3 x 15 hours). Sadly it lacks the wireless charging functionality of many of its peers, and does not support quick charge.

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The case measures just shy of 6cm wide - one of the thinner cases I've tested, around 3.5cm high (slightly taller than the FIIL T1 series) and just under 4cm depth (one of the girthier cases around). This still makes them delightfully portable.

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The Ergonomics - 5/10

The Soundpeats Sonic look great - the finish of the buds matches the case. They also feature a lighting scheme whereby the buds glow red when not connected (well, more an orange colour), flash until connected, and then when connected, stay lit in white until media starts playing.

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This is the first problem. I found the room to resemble Blackpool illuminations during then night when I woke up testing them out on audible. Due to audible's sleep timer kicking in, the buds stopped playing media and stayed lit up. So absolutely do not consider these for falling asleep with.

Whilst there is no danger of them falling out, by laying the responsibility of keeping them in with the tips themselves, they are almost unbearably thuddy for exercise, and before long start to droop. This is such a shame.

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They also wear quite awkwardly. The supplied tips are good quality - which makes a change, and they have to be, as the top heavy buds try to rest in your ear canal.

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The isolation is excellent, but because of their chunky design and lack of wing tips, they don't stay in place well at all. They've made an effort by contouring the buds heavier at the bottom, but whilst I'm sure this helps some, it doesn't really work for me. It makes them far less comfortable than the Alien Secret pictured below it above, and the angle isn't as intuitive as the Tronsmart Apollo Bold, which rests in my ears much sturdier.

The shape is unfortunately the deal breaker for me, because otherwise they are fantastic earbuds for the money.

On a positive note, they are IPX5, and so can be used for exercise.

Audio Quality - 9/10 (for the price paid), 8/10 (raw score)

The excellent sound quality just adds salt to the wounds. If you like v or w-shaped earbuds, the Sonic are great - in a different league to the majority of budget buds.

Bass is very heavy, but supremely clear. That said, if you like bassy music it will become exhausting after a while.

Treble is crisp, female vocals are crystal clear with only a little sibilance. Heaven Help by Lenny Kravitz sounded better than I think it has with any other buds I've tested - very intimate with a nice, balanced soundstage that eeks out what it can from in ear wireless buds - vocals come to the front quite clearly, almost as well with John Legend as they do with Mara Carlyle. Instrument separation is effortlessly good.

Even on 60% volume, they can become fatiguing. The bass and top end are both, whilst well represented, not easy to take for prolonged listening.

Call Quality - Indoors - 8/10, Outdoors - 7/10

Very impressive for in ears. Calls to my mum to talk her through how to use password managers on vodafone UK were noted as being very clear.

I recorded a call on my poco X3 from my iphone and it was very good - very clear indoors and only a few struggles outdoors. It does a very decent job of reducing background noise but overcompresses a little outdoors when you get traffic coming past, making it difficult to discern your voice - whilst it can mostly be made out, it sounds like you're talking into a pillow a little. That said, it's still better than most.

On Zoom I found it sounded even more distant and a touch robotic, but still better than most. It's up there with the Tronsmart Apollo Bold in the market leading mic for in ear buds.

Connectivity, Controls and Other Features - 8/10

Connectivity is absolutely rock solid. I couldn't manage to get it to disconnect in my flat, making it the only earbuds to ever achieve this feat.

Controls are good - intuitive and accurate. They feature a tactile button - single tap for pause/play and answering calls, double tap left for volume down, right for volume up, triple tap left for game mode, right for voice assistant. Holding down the buttons when a call comes through rejects and skips tracks. All of these worked first time.

If you hold the button down for longer it even allows switching between calls. I did not test this. The only problem with the controls is the tactile button increases the pressure into your ear- the buttons are much firmer than the Whizzer E3 or Tronsmart Onyx Free.

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!

There is no app - which is, whilst not a deal breaker, requires you having an eq'ing app to tone down the bass if you so require.

The earbuds feature aptx-adaptive, and the BT5.2 Qualcomm QCC3040 chip. Whilst I didn't notice any obvious difference in sound quality, the excellent range, impressive latency (183 Ms on PC, and much lower on both IOS and Android) and long battery life reflect the enhanced chipset. For gaming these come into their own.

Voice prompts are a little loud, but clear.

Battery Life - 9.5/10

15 hours from the buds themselves, a further two charges from the case. Amazing.

Final Comments

It is with a heavy heart that I send the Soundpeats back, because they are unfathomably good for the low price. The sound quality is next level stuff, up there with FIIL as best in class for budget TWS and punching well above their weight for both audio, sound stage, latency and mic quality. Battery life is incredible, and passive noise isolation is also excellent.

Sadly the light up buttons and poor fit mean they are no good for me, but for others, as long as you can tolerate these nuances, don't hesitate to buy.

Price Weighted Score: 85%

Raw Score: 77%
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