Wireless in-ear headphones that are also sweat-resistant are becoming pretty popular these days. As more and more people are looking for a great pair of headphones to take to the gym, and no one wants to worry about wires, it makes sense why they are becoming so popular. And right now, Anker has a great pair of headphones available in the SoundBuds Slim. They are a fraction of the price of the Jaybird X3, and the Bose SoundSport Wireless, but are they as good? Well let's find out.
The Jaybird X3's have been my go-to pair of headphones for the gym for quite some time now, and before that I was using the Jaybird X2's. So when I saw that the Anker SoundBuds Slim were available for under $30 (sometimes they are as low as $20), it seemed like they were too good to be true. But they aren't. Starting with the build quality here, they are actually pretty nicely built. The actual headphones feel like they are using metal, but it's likely plastic that feels like metal since plastic is lighter weight than metal it makes these lighter and better for the gym. These do come with earfins, making it easy to keep them in your ears. There are three different sizes of the earfins and then four different sized ear tips, so you can find the pair that fits your ears the best. This is important because not everyone's ears are the same size.
One of the cooler features on these headphones is the fact that there is a magnet that can keep the two buds together. This is great for storing in your gym bag and not getting them all tangled up. It's one of those subtle but very useful features. There is an inline remote here, which is where the battery lives. There is a micro USB port on the side, which does have a flap on it so that it doesn't get water or sweat into it. There are three buttons here, a play/pause and then volume controls. They are pretty easy to press, and don't take much effort at all.
Pairing the SoundBuds Slim with your smartphone or tablet is actually pretty easy. You just need to long-press the play/pause button to turn them on, and then head to the Bluetooth settings on your smartphone, and that's it. It will automatically enter pairing mode, which is a nice feature as well. Battery life is another important area when it comes to headphones these days, and this is one of the areas where Anker falls short, compared to the big name headphones out there that have bigger price tags. Anker quotes around 7 hours of continuous charge, and throughout our time of using these headphones, we got about that amount of time in before needing to recharge. That's just short of the 8-10 hours that Jaybird, Bose and Beats all quote in their wireless headphones.
Sound quality is actually decent here. The lows were nice and bassy, the mids were rather plain and the highs were pretty crisp and clear. They do also get plenty loud without distorting the sound, which is also a good thing. Now these definitely won't compete with the Bose SoundSport Wireless, or really any other high-end pair of headphones in the audio department, but for those that just want a decent pair of headphones that sound good, there's a lot to like here.
Now the big question, whether you should buy these headphones or not. You should. Unless you're an audiophile, or like the way another pair of headphones looks, there's no reason to pay around $150 for a pair of wireless earbuds, when the Anker SoundBuds Slim exist and cost under $30 ($25.99 at the time of writing this review). Sure they have a couple of drawbacks, but 7 hours of battery life is still pretty impressive for a pair of earbuds, especially a pair this small and lightweight. You can pick up the Anker SoundBuds Slim exclusively at Amazon using the link below.