The Anker SoundBuds Slim is probably the most affordable wireless earbuds you have ever seen that is actually high quality and provides a lot for its price.
I’ve picked up these earbuds about 2 months ago, right after I picked up my Google Pixel 2 XL. I was browsing amazon when I accidentally come across these. It kind of amazed me that there were thousands of actual and verified customer reviews on it, mostly positive – I couldn’t resist not checking it out myself for a price that low.
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The packaging is plain simple and there isn’t anything exciting – though it worth mentioning that even at this price range, it’s fairly decent. The package is divided into small sections and small packages. There’s one pack for the headphone itself, nicely packed inside a little case, another pack for the 3 different wing tips and another one for 5 different ear bud sizes and of course a clip.
I’m one of those people who have always hated rubber bud tips as they have always fell out of my ear, hence the reason why I’ve used the Apple EarPods for years – but since I don’t have a headphone jack and don’t want to spend over £150 pound on the new Airpod which would also lack of functionality with my non-Apple device, I decided to pick these up and give the rubber buds another chance.
I’m happy to let you know that these have never fell out of my ear and have always stayed in it – even when I tried to run with them. It will stay in your ear no matter what you do.
In terms of build quality, it’s plastic all around, but luckily it doesn’t have that cheap feeling to it.
When I first started using these earphones, I couldn’t always connect to it without any issues – and even when I tried to show it to my friends, it took 5 to 10 minutes just to set it up on a different device. Luckily that has only happened once, and since then, I was able to set it up on multiple devices without any issues whatsoever. Nowadays, once I turn on the earphones, it will automatically pair to my phone and be ready to use.
I think it’s worth noting that on Pixel devices, so to say on phones running Android Oreo, I’ve noticed that I can see the battery level of the headphones in the Bluetooth menu. That’s really convenient and it lets me keep track of when I’m about to run out of battery – pretty neat.
It’s also great that you get some audio controls with these earphones. There are 3 buttons on the right side of the cable that include a Play/Pause button in the middle and a back and forward buttons on the sides. When you are receiving a call, you can press the middle button to take a call, or hang up. Sadly, this cannot be used with Google Assistant to fire up a few commands when you’re on the go.
Also, the buds receive an advertised IPX4 rating, meaning that the earphones have a nano coating against small amount of water and of course sweat, for gym users out there. I’ve used it in a little bit of rain and it survived no problem – though I certainly wouldn’t recommend using these in a rainy day, unless you put your hoodie on or have something to protect it with.
In terms of audio quality, there is nothing amazing to be found here. If you’ve had some headphones in the past that were branded, so like Sony, Skullcandy or any other major brand known below the £50 pounds/dollar segment, you likely know what to expect. Decent quality but nothing sort of amazing, right?
Well, when I first tested these I had a very strange experience. These £16 earbuds sounds just like some £50 pound headphones I’ve tried in the past. It has a strong bass, smooth mids and clear highs, and the volume is also loud enough for most people. No matter what you play on it, it will be more than enjoyable – even for playing games and watching movies.
These earbuds are not advertised to have any noise cancelling features, but I found that the rubber buds fit so well in my ear that it actually blocks out most of the noise around me – making the overall audio experience more enjoyable.
These will definitely not blow you away if you’re used to higher-end headphones, but it’s a good backup one.
For people like myself, who just want to listen to podcasts and music on the go, I feel like these are a no brainer to pick up in terms of portability and sound quality. And this brings me to another essential feature -the battery performance.
The battery is advertised to last up to 7 hours on a single charge, and allow you to use it up to 33 feet, or roughly 10 meters away from your device. I’ve tested the range on my Pixel 2 XL and I was able to get a range of roughly 8 meters inside my house. You should probably keep the phone with you if you want to use these in a gym.
In terms of battery, I’ve got roughly 6 to 8 hours out of it. When I was listening to music at high volume, 6 hours of play time seems reasonable, while mixing it up with podcasts and music, I could get somewhere in the 7 hours plus zone.
For a normal day at work or commuting, you should not expect or come across any issues regarding the battery life.
These earphones also have a built-in microphone that is supposedly decent – according to reviews on Amazon. I’m not exactly sure how recent buyers came to that conclusion, or perhaps I might be doing something wrong, but the microphone is pretty bad.
If you are walking on a street or the weather is on the windy side, you will not want to use these to make a call as the person you’re attempting to talk to, will not hear you. What they will hear is noise, and I mean a lot of noise. It will be so noisy that the person on the other line will not be able to understand a single word you’re saying, and this is true for even smaller winds and traffic.
But I don’t just want to bash the microphone as it does actually work, when you’re in a quiet location that is preferably a quiet street or you don’t have any amount of wind blowing you away.
All-in-all, the Anker SoundBuds Slim is a great wireless earbud. It provides great audio experience to use on daily basis for commuting and to get away from the noisy world for a little. It’s water resistant and has great built-in audio controls. The microphone is usable in quiet conditions, but completely unusable on street and in public locations. The audio quality is clean and crisp – I’m sure even audiophiles can appreciate the quality at this price range, as it very much competes against headphones priced double, or even triple of these earbuds.
You should consider picking these up if you need some music on the go and don’t want to hassle with cables all time, also, it’s great for those who have missed the headphone jack on their devices. This can and will certainly be a good choice for you as it’s cheap and reliable.