As soon as Apple announced their AirPods it was inevitable that other companies would produce their own equivalents. And, sure enough, SoundPEATS have done just that with their Q29 earbuds.
Just like the AirPods, these work independently of each other and come in a case which also charged them, when not in use. However, there are as many differences between the two products are there are similarities.
From the kick-off, though, SoundPEATS has certainly ‘stepped up’ when it comes to the packaging, which is a lot better than usual. However, I still think there is some aping of Apple here as the white box is very reminiscent of one of their own products. A thick, 2-piece sliding box reveals the contents to you, all laid out and visible. Unfortunately the tab which allows you to pull out the interior box from mine was missing, making separating them quite a tricky task. However, once open, the earbuds, in their storage box, are encased in a foam surround. Next to that is a black cardboard section holding the spare (and different sized) eartips – all of which are displayed and, inserted into that, a box containing a short micro-USB cable for charging purposes. The instruction leaflet is hidden away at the bottom of the box.
I normally mention this last but, whilst I’m on the subject, it’s worth mentioning now – apart from the foam insert the packaging is very responsible, with use of cardboard everywhere. There are no ties, bags or anything – even the USB cable is unsecured, as it’s tucked inside a box.
The storage box is made of plastic but is very smooth in the hand and feels sturdy. The top part, which hinges open, is semi-transparent, allowing you to see the Earbuds and any status lights they may be showing (more on that later). Otherwise, everything is black. On the back of the box is a micro USB connector and a status LED. When the earbuds aren’t in use, the box will charge them, as it contains its own 220mAh battery – that allows the earbuds to be charged fully 3 times and it then only takes an hour to recharge the battery back to full capacity again.
Opening the storage box, the earbuds sit in a nice, rubberised interior. The earbuds themselves are a combination of shiny black plastic and rubberised sections. The only controls are the single button at the end which, depending on how it’s pressed, performs different functions – anything from calling up Siri (or equivalent) to switching the Earbud on. Each bud has a charging connector and a microphone.
To wear the earbuds you insert them so that the company name is horizontal and then screw them downwards to that the microphone is directed at your mouth. This puts them in a diagonal position. Unlike Apple AirPods, where all the weight hangs vertically, I was sceptical as to how well these would remain in place due to their size and angle – however, out and about, I had no problems with them moving and they remained even in place during a gentle jog.
You’re possibly wondering at this point how, as these are two separate earphones, pair these to your device. Well, the left one pairs to the right one and then the right one pairs with your device. In fact, they even allow you to pair them separately, creating two mono earbuds that can be shared. This is a great option.
In use, these sound good and, as mentioned previously, stay nicely in place. One further feature, that doesn’t appear to be documented anywhere, is that if you hold your hand up to one of them, the audio cuts out. I mention this now as I’ve had a few instances where the audio has briefly cut out when I’ve moved my head around and I don’t know if it was due to this. I also find the balance a bit odd, often favouring one side over another, but that may be down to my hearing and the positioning of the earbuds in my ears. In all cases they connected reliably.
Available from Amazon.co.uk, at time of review, for £42.99.
Disclosure of gift - I received this product at a discounted price in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
SoundPEATS Q29 Wireless Earbuds
An impressive looking set of earphones, with a very stylish charging facility, which are well made and sound good. Some minor audio drop-outs and balance issues (which, as I say, may be my own fault) were the only issues I experienced.
For the money, these are a worthy competitor to the Apple AirPods.