“Not another set of independently wireless/Bluetooth ear buds?” I hear you cry. Yes, yes we’re looking at another pair. How else are we to understand how the products compare without looking at a cross-section of the market? Exactly, so we are. The Soundpeats Q29 are similar to many of the units we’ve looked at recently, such as the KitSound Comets and the Jabees BTwins, and have some similar features. How do they fare? Let’s take a closer look in our full review.
I want to just start by touching on the packaging. Soundpeats got this spot on. A small box, just big enough to hold the unit and the accessories included, and nothing more. In 2017, companies should be looking to cut down on the materials they use, if not for general cost savings that can be passed on to consumers, but how about the wider impact on the environment when using non-biodegradable materials.
Right, with that over, the box contents are standard:
- 1 x Q29 Dual Mini V4.1 Bluetooth Headset Wireless Earphone
- 1 x Charging Case
- 1 x USB Charging Cable
- 3 x Pairs of Ear Tips (S/M/L)
- 1 x User manual
Performance & Use – Soundpeats Q29
I come in to these sorts of reviews a little sceptical based on my previous review periods with similar products. The idea of having small portable products such as these which have good audio, and great connectivity is one that I’m sure everyone expects, however sadly in the products I’ve reviewed, one of those three have let the product down. It was with this in mind that I approached the Soundpeats Q29 ear buds gingerly.
They are understated in design. The plastic coating, both glossy and see through on the top to show through the Soundpeats logo, keep the unit both lightweight and inoffensive aesthetically to most I’d wager. There’s no ear hook here which for anybody, like me, that has a weird inner ear layout (apparently) might be of worry, but I’ll put that one to bed immediately. Unlike every other unit like this I’d reviewed, the Soundpeats Q29 ear buds not only fit comfortably for a long session of audio, but they also didn’t wobble, or fall out. That’s unheard of for me. A big thumbs up!
Each ear bud is equipped with a 45mAh battery which is good for a claimed 2-3 hours of “talk time”. I don’t and didn’t intend to talk on these at all, so I used that as the metric to gauge media playback and it lasted around the 2 hours 40 minute mark in a couple of sittings which is in line with their suggestion. I’d have liked them to last nearer the 4 hour mark, but they didn’t overstate their battery capacity so I’ll give them a pass here.
The great news is that despite the nonsense suggestion of the included charging cradle being “unique”, it can deliver 240mAh of additional battery which can obviously charge the units a couple of times as well. This is the best implementation of a charging cradle on a device like this I have seen thus far. Not only is the cradle diminutive in stature, but the ear buds fit in nice and snugly and there’s a visible LED notification light when they are in charge which, importantly (and perhaps would be better served by holding the “unique” call out) can be seen even with the protective lid closed thanks to the frosted plastic lid design. Excellent! Charging of the ear buds in the cradle can take around 45-60 minutes depending on how much juice is in them when you drop them in, but that’s acceptable to me. The cradle is also charged by microUSB so there’ll be no shortage of locations for you to top up, including your laptop or PC.
Another area of note is that each ear bud is nominated as left or right, something that a lot of premium ear buds seem to stop doing. Don’t! Include call outs as to which channel is which bud to save me from finding out, so again, kudos Soundpeats.
Now we’re into the nitty-gritty really aren’t we? How does the audio sound on the Soundpeats Q29 ear buds? Here’s the slightly let down. They are clean and crisp but very flat. There’s very little low end here and without having any exposure to other tiny truly wireless ear buds I would be included to give them a pass here, but I’ve experienced similarly sized devices give good low-end. Classical or acoustic tracks benefit most from this sound stage, whereas by contrast Hip-Hop, Drum & Bass, or any Dub is going to suffer. You can try pushing these ear buds deeper in to your ear canal but it’s not going to give you much more (I tried!) and it’s not recommended! The clarity as I eluded to to begin with, is fine, it just lacks some weight and depth to it.
Due to the size of these and the fact they aren’t over the ear units don’t expect a huge amount of isolation from the outside world, but on the plus side there certainly isn’t a huge amount of bleed from the units either so don’t worry about your neighbour complaining about your Justin Bieber marathon on your commute. You’re secret will remain safe!
If you’re read my other wireless ear buds reviews you’ll know I seem to have a monopoly on poor connectivity to this particular type of device. Nothing here to replicate that however. The Soundpeats provided flawless connectivity, not only in gym workouts, or long review sessions, but also whilst my phone sat on a ledge and I took to the lawn to tackle some gardening. These are one of the very few devices that have lived up to the 10 metre Bluetooth connectivity claim as well as maintaining connectivity to each other. why others can’t achieve this I don’t know but Soundpeats managed it.
As mentioned earlier, you can make calls with these units but I’d stay away from doing so. The quality isn’t the best, but it’s adequate for a quick chat. Controlling those calls is the single multi-function button on the device. Answering a call is a simple tap away, which will also pause playback when listening to media, whilst a double press will skip forward the track. Tapping and holding also turns the units on and off. There’s no volume control, but the controls that are here are intuitive enough.
Conclusion – Soundpeats Q29
I’m torn with these ear buds. The size, the style, the accessories and the price tag of £45.99 all have my thumbs steadily turning up, whilst the depth of the audio available from the ear buds has my thumb never really becoming fully vertical.
The Soundpeats Q29 deliver in connectivity too which is a huge 1 up in my book and tips the scales for me. Out of all the independently wireless ear buds I’ve reviewed these are really the only ones I’d fully recommend. There’s a caveat however. If you’re an audiophile, look elsewhere as the lack of depth and punch from the minuscule drives will put you off quickly, but for general consumers, I can’t see them being too fussed if they’re seeking a budget set of these style of bud.
My thumb raises, wavering slightly, and hoping the next set of ear buds I review that are truly wireless deliver just a smidgen more bass.