One of the pieces of tech that everyone needs when they are working out, is a pair of headphones. Especially if you're stuck doing 30 minutes of cardio, headphones can make the time pass so much faster. But not all headphones are built for working out, as not all of them can handle the sweat. But these new headphones from Anker surely can. These are the SoundBuds NB10, and we've been using them for the better part of two weeks now, both in the gym and out of the gym. So let's dive into our full review.
The two most important features for a pair of headphones that you are going to wear at the gym are comfort, and audio quality. Anker has nailed both of those with the SoundBuds NB10. These come with three sets of ear tips, in varying sizes. Which is important, as not everyone's ears are the same size. So you are able to choose the size that is the most comfortable and use those. These earbuds sit in your ears quite nicely. In fact, sometimes when I was wearing them, I forgot that I even had them on. They are lightweight and comfortable, hard to complain about that. Now the way these are set up, the cable actually goes over your ear instead of under. Not a big deal, for many, as it keeps the cable out of the way of doing things, like working out.
When it comes to audio quality, Anker did a great job as well. They included oversized 12mm drivers in each side, which will really give you plenty of sound in your ears. The SoundBuds NB10's do go up pretty loud, and most times I had it around the halfway point. As that was plenty loud enough. What was also interesting was the fact that, even at the maximum volume, the earbuds did not distort the sound at all. Definitely a good thing there. Speaking of the sound, outside of being nice and loud, the lows were nice and deep with the mids and highs being crystal clear. Don't get me wrong, some high fidelity audio would have been nice here, but having the oversized 12mm drivers in each side definitely made for a fantastic experience with these earbuds. Especially considering these are under $50.
While audio quality and comfort are definitely important, so is battery life. Other wireless earbuds like the SoundBuds NB10 are typically sporting around 10 hours or more of battery life. However, the SoundBuds NB10 are closer to about 6 hours. This is actually to be expected since these sport oversized drivers, and are still fairly small earbuds. This means that there is less room for battery, and the battery that is in there won't last as long as others with smaller drivers - in layman's terms, those that don't produce as much sound. It's still plenty to get through a few workouts before needing to recharge them, however. I was able to get through about 3-4 workouts before needing to take them out and recharge them. Speaking of which, they recharge using a micro USB cable. And can recharge fairly quickly - of course that is also expected considering the battery is still fairly small, in comparison to a smartphone or a tablet.
The SoundBuds NB10 do feature noise cancellation, allowing you to wear them and not be bothered by the noises going on around you. During our time with these headphones, the noise cancellation did work as it was intended too. Additionally there is a microphone included, so you are able to take phone calls with these Bluetooth earbuds on, and with the noise cancellation, the person on the other end will get crystal clear sound from you while on the phone. Speaking of Bluetooth, the range on these are about 33-feet. Which is a bit on the low side for Bluetooth range, but that should still be plenty. It means you can leave your phone in your pocket or at your desk and still use the SoundBuds NB10's, you just won't be able to leave your phone at home while you go out for a run with them on.
There are three buttons on the right earbud. The center is for turning on or off the earbuds as well as playing and pausing music. The others are for adjusting the volume and switching between songs. Pretty standard controls for earbuds these days. These are located on the upper part of the earbud, making it easy to touch while they are in your ears. The lower side of that earbud is where you will find the micro USB port. There is a flap that goes over it, which is likely here to make these earbuds waterproof - they are rated IPX5. Making it easy to charge these earbuds. And as we already mentioned, they do charge pretty quickly and do last around 6 hours or so.
While the Anker SoundBuds NB10 don't offer the same audio quality as what you'd get out of the Jaybirds X2, or the Bose SoundSport or even the Beats Audio PowerBeats 3 headphones, they are much cheaper, but still give you some fantastic audio. The battery life isn't perfect, but it will definitely get you through a few workouts, or a few runs before needing to be recharged. Which is still just fine, to be honest. They are comfortable earbuds, that are sweat resistant and work well. It's really tough to say anything bad about these earbuds. They do what they are advertised to do and at a rather low price as well. Speaking of price, these are normally priced at $39.99 over on Amazon. However the price does tend to fluctuate as it does usually on Amazon. And for a fraction of the price of many other Bluetooth earbuds that are made for active people with active lifestyles, the Anker SoundBuds NB10 do really work very well.
You can pick up the Anker SoundBuds NB10 exclusively on Amazon. At the time of writing this, they are only available in Black, but may be available in other colors (like white) in the near future.