Approximate time to read: 3 minutes
SoundPEATS is a recently formed Chinese company, specialising in the design and manufacturer of audio products. And, like many Chinese technology companies, their products represent excellent value for money.
The earphones I have today are rather different from anything I’ve come across before. If you’re a sporty person then bulky headphones are probably a turn-off and you’ll probably find yourself gravitating to in-the-ear varieties. These are great but are rarely wireless – if they are they’ve very bulky and unlikely to stay in place as you move around. SOUNDPEATS has found a rather unique solution to this with the Q800 – earphones that connect, via wires, to a neckband, with the neckband then communicating wireless to your phone/MP3 player via Bluetooth. The neckband, bulbous at both ends sits so that these thicker ends sit around the front of your throat. On the end are the controls, each in the shape of the matching symbol so that you can identify them by touch alone. The Q800 also contains a microphone so can be used for hands-free calling as well.
As I said, the earphones connect to the neckband via some short wires, ensuring that no bulk is added to the earphones themselves. Ingeniously, when not in use, magnets hold the earphones to the end of the neck band. There are 3 buttons on each side of the neckbands – on the left is the forward, back and play/pause button. On the right is the volume up/down and a handset button – simply press this button when you have an incoming call to answer it, press again to “hang up”. When no call is in progress, on Android, this initiates an “OK Google” search which is very handy. The right hand side of the neckband also includes a sliding on/off switch and the USB connector for re-charging.
Pairing to them via Bluetooth is an easy affair, particularly as the headset defaults to “pairing mode” the first time you switch it on – a good idea! To also make things easier, the Q800 uses voice prompts to help out, which aids considerably.
How does it sound? Considering the budget price it’s actually not bad at all. There’s a good amount of bass, but not too much, and the overall quality it very pleasant. There’s some sound leakage and a bit of a background hiss, but that’s more down to the Bluetooth connection than the quality of the headset itself. I did find the earphones a little heavy, probably due to the metal inside of them to make them magnetically stick to the neckband, but not enough that they would keep falling out my ears as a result – use a good fitting set of ear tips and you shouldn’t have an issue at all.
There’s enough battery, once fully charged, for 8 hours of music playback or talk time and they can be left in standby for up to 240 hours. The Bluetooth works up to around 10 metres.
The Q800 comes in special “eco” packaging – a brown cardboard box, with a plastic blister inside (which isn’t very “eco”), and bags (again not very good) storing the micro-USB charger and a range of different sized rubber tips for the earphones. A small paper instruction leaflet finishes off the contents and although there is some evidence of errors in translation, it’s not as bad as many Chinese translated manuals often are.
The SoundPEATS Q800’s are an odd thing. They look weird and, to be honest, their looks are their biggest issue. The plastic used is a cheap looking glossy variety which really doesn’t make this look like a quality product but, once used, your mind is instantly changed. But those looks to one side and you have a fine sounding set of wireless earphones which are also amazingly priced.
These will particularly appeal to the sportsperson, particularly runners, and for that they’re truly ideal. Why spend more?
Disclosure of gift - I received this product at a discounted price in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.