1. Adam Matlock's Avatar
    Although the Anker brand has been mostly synonymous with mobile accessories and power packs, there are a couple of new reasons to visit their website – Portable Audio. If Earphones are what you’re looking for and you don’t want to fork out $100+ for Bose, Beats, or JBL, I’m here to reassure you that you won’t be left on the street corner for lack of options. Sure, notoriety goes a long way when you wear your earphones or headphones out in public, but everyone is different and so are their audio needs, which is where Anker comes in. I think the best way that I can describe Anker’s Bluetooth SoundBuds Sport, is by referring to them as the Swiss Army Knife of earphones. Why do I say this? Well… take a look at the picture below. I personally own a pair of Bose SoundSport earphones and they definitely didn’t come with near as many accessories or ways to make the experience more comfortable, or versatile.
    Anker SoundBuds Sport Bluetooth Earphones-20170905_093141.jpg

    What does it come with?
    - Two sets of ear molds (inner ear and outer ear)
    - Three soft rubber inner ear molds (S/M/L)
    - 3 sets of ear tips (S/M/L)
    - A carrying pouch
    - Charging Cable (no charger base)

    Anker SoundBuds Sport Bluetooth Earphones-20170905_093306.jpg

    Sound Quality: I am no certified audiophile, but I have been around the block a few times in my life. I have been an avid mobile and portable audio guy since my first Walkman when I was a kid, back when headphones all had orange or black fuzzy covers over them and nobody really talked about sound quality. Since the late 80’s/Early 90’s, technology has come a long way, and so have people’s expectations for the quality of products that they buy, and the value associated with them. As far as sound quality goes with the SoundBuds, don’t walk into it with the expectation that you’re going to be getting Bose quality sound. I don’t want to dissuade you from buying them, I just don’t want to set false expectations. The sound quality for the SoundBuds is more than adequate, especially at the price range. For a short price comparison, the Bose SoundSport earphones run about $150, whereas the Anker SoundBuds are available for $29.99 through Anker (TL;DR that’s a $120 difference). Building off of this, I think the SoundBuds are a great deal at $29.99. Here’s my breakdown of the individual areas:
    Anker SoundBuds Sport Bluetooth Earphones-20170905_093553.jpg

    - Low, Mid, and Highs, and Volume

    o Lows: Baseline lows are underrepresented in these earphones, but it can be enhanced through bass boosters and software mixers that allow you to adjust the levels. After some adjustments in my Napster equalizer (yes... I actually pay for Napster, lol) I was able to get adequate amounts of bass out of them, but it certainly wasn’t impressive.

    o Mids: Mids, especially vocals, were very good for the volume. Voices do come off a little nasally at times, which can be off-putting if you’re adjusting from high end earphones that produce natural vocals more effectively. These earphones are good at producing sound at the levels you want to hear while you’re doing outdoor and exercise related activities, which are vocals and highs. As other sounds are dulled out by gym speakers or the methodical thud of the treadmill, you won’t be perching your ears to try and hear the song lyrics.

    o Highs: Highs are overproduced, and really accentuated. I’m not sure whether this is artificially enhanced or designed by Anker, but if you have sensitive ears you will definitely want to adjust the mixer on your device to lower the highs a little bit, otherwise it can quickly wear on your ears. The overall sound is also a bit tinny, and feels forced. I know I’ve mentioned this already, but having a way to adjust the equalizer is really how you’re going to get the best sounding audio out of these earphones.

    o Volume: The volume was a little lower than I’d like. The overall spectrum of the sound is much more noticeable as the volume increases, and I feel like the power behind the drivers in these earphones is cut just short of ideal when it comes to max audio output. It’s never good to listen to your earphones with the volume cranked up to 100% for a very long period of time, but 100% in these earphones just felt a little lacking. however, I’ve also spent the last 16 years working around airplanes and firearms, so my hearing definitely isn’t an accurate sample of the overall population.
    Anker SoundBuds Sport Bluetooth Earphones-20170905_093446.jpg

    Functionality: The overall functionality of the earphones is solid. It’s simple, yet it works really well, which is another one of the reasons I really like them. Unlike my Bose earphones which required the user instructions once or twice to figure something out, Anker makes life easy. All you have to do to connect them is turn them on and connect via Bluetooth. The pairing process isn’t difficult. Turn the earphones on, open up your Bluetooth menu and as soon as you see them pop up, click on them to connect – that’s all you have to do! There aren't any extra buttons you have to press, no magic words, just click-it, and get ready to listen to some tunes. There are no saved profiles and the only way you can connect to a different device is to disconnect the currently connected device to free the earphones up so you can reconnect with a different device. If you turn the earphones off, when you turn them back on it will attempt to reconnect to the last device it was paired with. The rest of the mechanics of the earphones are pretty straightforward. The earphones have volume up/down buttons on the side of one earbud, and the power on/off button on the opposite earbud, as well as the charging port (which is USB 2.0). In addition to that, they are rocking Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility which boasts a listening range of 66ft, and rated at 8 hours of listening time.
    Anker SoundBuds Sport Bluetooth Earphones-20170905_093427.jpg

    Comfortability: This is where the Anker SoundBuds Sport really won some extra points with me. I don’t have the largest ears in the world so trying to use stock earphones that come with phones has been a tremendous no-go for me for years, dating all the way back to the earphones that came with my original Game Boy. They fall out, they don’t rest in my ear properly, they hurt, and generally they don’t sound that great. Opening up the Anker SoundBuds and seeing all of the different ear tips and apparatuses to help me wear them comfortably was a big plus! In addition to that, it is designed to suit many different fancies, offering the inner-ear moldings so you can support them inside the ear, and the hard plastic molding in case you want to wear them on the outside/over-the-ear – this is one of the reasons I call them the Swiss Army of Earphones.

    Conclusion: For $29.99 or less, these are pound-for-pound, a great set of earphones that won’t disappoint. The Anker SoundBuds Sport don’t take home any blue ribbons or gold medals in any particular area other than ease of use, but for pricing, versatility and overall performance, they are hard to beat. I know that earphones can be an expensive investment and it’s hard to make a decision, especially when you can’t try them out at the store. Seriously… how are you supposed to buy a $150 pair of earphones without ever getting to listen to them? How are you supposed to know which is better, or whether the $150 pair of earphones is really better than the $99 pair, or even the $30 pair… it’s daunting, and not cool. Having said all of that and placing it in context, a $29 investment on a versatile set of earphones is hardly a bad decision, and it’s certainly one that’s easier to make.

    If you’re interested in Anker’s SoundBuds Sport earphones, you can check them out over at https://forums.androidcentral.com/e?...token=BldtWzdC. They are currently priced at $29.99. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comments section below.
    09-08-2017 03:52 PM

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