Anker has released a brand new pair of earbuds, and they are of the neckbud variety. A style that has become very popular over the past few years (some would argue, due to LG's Tone lineup). This is Anker's first pair of neckbuds, and they are priced at under $50. Which leads a lot of people to wonder whether they are worth the price, and if they can compete with the likes of LG Tone which are about 2-3 times the price. We've spent about a week using the headphones both in and out of the gym, and have some thoughts on the good, the bad and the ugly of these headphones.
The SoundBuds Lite, as expected, are very easy to pair. That's been the case with all of Anker's headphones in the past, pairing it with Bluetooth devices like smartphones have been easy as can be. The SoundBuds Lite do come with a few different ear tips as well as wings to help keep them in your ears. Although, I found with neckbuds, including the SoundBuds Lite, that you don't really need the eartips, like you would with a pair of Jaybird X3 headphones. So that's a good thing. Anker offers a few different eartips so that users can use the ones that fit their ears the best, seeing as not everyone has the same size ear.
When it comes to audio, the SoundBuds Lite aren't the best. While the audio is loud and clear, the bass isn't as deep as we'd like, but the mids and highs do come in crystal clear, which is great to see. Unfortunately, there's no application or way to adjust the equalizer on these headphones, so you're stuck with the tuning that Anker did. Which for most people, likely won't be an issue. But if you listen to a lot of bass-heavy music, it could be a problem. Anker has included a few buttons on the SoundBuds Lite for play/pause and then volume controls. These are also able to skip and go back in your playlist with a long-press, as is usually the case with headphones.
Now the one complaint we have about the SoundBuds Lite is the length of the cable from the neckband to the earbud. It's a bit long, and actually hangs in your face, which is a bit annoying when you are out running, or even just lifting weights. Since these are neckbud headphones, they are mostly going to be used in the gym, so that can be a problem. Now they might not be too long for everyone, but they were for us. We'd like the ability for the cord to retract a bit, like some of LG's neckbud headphones, that way we don't have to worry about them getting tangled, or being too long and hanging in our face. Otherwise, these are a great pair of headphones from Anker.
The Anker SoundBuds Lite are quoted as lasting around 10 hours on continuous playback, and during our testing we found that to be mostly true. We were able to get through a week at the gym, which is around 10 hours, before it needed to be recharged. Which is pretty good, and about the industry standard for a pair of headphones in this style. So no real surprises here. It would be nice for it to last a bit longer, but it's hard to complain about 10 hours of battery life on a pair of lightweight headphones like these.
Anker is selling the SoundBuds Lite on Amazon right now, and they are available for just $32.99, which is a fantastic price for anyone looking for a pair of headphones for the gym. Even if they aren't the most high-end headphones, these are a pair that you can lose and not pull your hair out for losing a pair of headphones.