If you want to ditch the wires and go completely wireless are the Q29 from SoundPeats a good option?
In the box
With the Q29 you get
- The charging dock
- A charging cable
- A set of S,M,L eartips
- The manual
Design and Build
These in my honest opinion are some of the nicer looking fully wireless earbuds on the market, especially under £50. I recently reviewed a set of Treblab fully wireless ones and these look much cleaner and more attractive.
The main body is split into two. Half is finished in a high gloss Black and the other side is a more semi-matte finish. The matte finish is also slightly textured to aid grip when in your ears, this is a nice touch and helps them stay in a little better.
On the inside there is a left and right indicator as well as some Gold plated connectors for charging.
On the outer side there is some subtle branding surrounded by a shiny dark Grey finish. I’m glad they’ve done this as it breaks up the predominately Black colour scheme.
Apart from the main multifunctional button (MFB), there is no other buttons in sight. This makes the Q29 very clean and minimal, but there is a trade off in functionality.
The last design feature is a dual mic setup on the side facing outwards. These is used for voice calls.
As for build they are made from a good grade plastic and feel solid. This is pretty surprising given how light they are. Even the MFB has a nice tactile feel and doesn’t feel cheap at all.
Onto the dock now and this is pretty compact and measures in at 68mm (L) x 32mm (H) x 27mm (D). So its small enough to fit in a jacket pocket and wouldn’t take up much room in your bag. Its finished in a semi-matte Black and made from plastic. The grade of plastic is decent and it should keep the earbuds safe during transport.
The lid is made from a translucent plastic and features the SoundPeats logo. Its made this way so that you can see the earbuds being charged inside.
Round the back of the dock is an LED indicator and a micro USB port for charging.
On the inside its got two cutouts for the earbuds to sit, there are a set of Gold plated pins for charging and the left right indicators.
As a whole the earrbuds are really minimal and easily some of the nicest under £50. They’re well made too. The dock is again nicely designed, compact and fairly well built. So far so good.
Is usually a sore spot for me with earbuds and these are somewhat of an exception. They are very lightweight coming in at just 5.3g each. So they aren’t going to be weighing your ears down and honestly I’m impressed by how light they are.
They also feature an angled nozzle, this just helps them fit in your ear canal a little better and they do sit quite nicely. The angle is set to 270° and that seems to be almost perfect. Now of course this will vary between users as we all have different ears, but for me they fit nice.
They’re also compact too, so they just seem to sit in your ears really nicely. I don’t have the largest in ears and they fit me just about. So if you have a slightly larger in ear, then you should be just fine and they should fit really nicely.
My only criticism of the comfort is the included tips. They’re a little too hard and the shape is not my preferred choice. I prefer a more tapered tip, whereas these are more donut shaped. Of course if you don’t like them you could always get some aftermarket ones.
There is a few ways to use these buds, you can have them in Mono mode, this mode allows just one of the buds to work. This then could be used to take calls or if you need more awareness of your surroundings. The mode I used them in was Stereo. Pairing them is really straight forward.
- The first step is to give them a full charge before pairing.
- Once charged you remove the buds from the dock and press the MFB on the sides. You’ll want to hold them for around 3 seconds. The LEDs should flash Red and White alternatively.
- If they do they will auto connect to each other. You can then connect them to your chosen device.
- Connecting them to your phone is simple, you turn off one of the buds. You do this by pressing the MFB and waiting for the Red LED to light up. This should take around 5 seconds.
- You then get one the buds and press and hold the MFB for 5 seconds, the LEDs should then flash Red and White. Then go into your device and turn on Bluetooth.
- Once in your Bluetooth settings look for “Q29” and select that. You then just wait and the rest is done automatically.
Repairing them is easy too. When you come to pairing them again, you press and hold both MF buttons at the same time. Then turn on Bluetooth and they should auto pair. If they don’t you may have to manually select the “Q29” option. This did happen a few times during testing, but its honestly not a big deal.
If you ever get stuck, the manual is pretty decent and easy to understand. Usually they are poorly translated and sometimes don’t make sense, but the one with these is pretty good.
The MFB acts as not only your pairing button, but to reject and answer calls, as well as play and pause. The only issue is there is no dedicated volume control and it has to be done via your device. Its a bit tough as adding buttons would ruin the clean design, but it would give extra functionality. So if you can deal with using your phone for volume control, then all is good. If not, then maybe look at a pair of Bluetooth earbuds with a controller.
If you like going for a jog, run or go to the gym, they actually stay in pretty well. They aren’t as secure as those that utilise ear hooks, but to say that they don’t have them, they stay put quite well. Its only when you really start shaking your head around so they start to come a little loose. But while jogging or running they should stay put. Well unless you really go to town and shake you head uncontrollably. But I’m sure you don’t do that.
I’ll now tell you about how the battery fared as these types of earphones aren’t really known for their strong battery longevity and these are pretty much right on trend. At 65% volume they lasted just 3 hours 55 minutes. You could increase that by lowering the volume, but you’d honestly not get that much more from them.
Charging time via the charging dock took just 40 minutes which I was quite impressed with. The spec sheet says it’ll do it in an hour, so to have them fully charged quicker is a bonus. Plus with the dock you can recharge them up to three times. This is about accurate, my testing allowed for three full charges and approximately a half. But again this will vary. This extra 220mAh capacity is great if you’re taking them out with you, but there is one small downside. The dock is the only way to charge these, so you’d be without music for that charging period. I get that it has to be this way, but having an alternate charging method would have been a great addition.
As for battery notifications you get a Red light light on the earbuds when they are charging, this goes out when they’re done. The dock has a small LED indicator too, this glows Red when charging and turns Blue when its done.
Isolation and Leak
Isolation is pretty good, as usual I test them on public transport and they do a good job. They manage to block out most noises and allow you to enjoy your music. Some louder noises may creep in and have a little bit of an affect, but for the most part they do well. Keep in mind that this was around 65% volume. If you have them louder then they will block out more noise. I wouldn’t advise this, but that would be up to you.
Leak is well handled and quite minimal, again tested at 65% the leak isn’t all that noticeable from a few feet away. If someone is sat right next to, then it becomes more apparent, so just make sure to keep that in mind. And of course the louder you have them, the more they leak. If you’re in a quiet place you could get away with reducing the volume to around 50% and it those sorts of situations, you should be all good.
The sound of fully wireless earbuds is usually not all that impressive, but these are genuinely good.
Bass: Is nice and deep, the drop is substantial and pretty full. Its never murky or muddy and it packs a decent punch. Detail isn’t massive and it is a little one dimensional, but for the type of earbuds that these are, its pretty good. Its never overwhelming and it doesn’t spoil the rest of the sound. It might not please the biggest bass heads out there, but its pretty good for a set of fully wireless earbuds.
Midrange: its decent, detail is okay, its not going to blow you away with amazing clarity or quality but it is decent. A strong mid isn’t really what these types of earphones are known for and these, I have to say don’t deliver the best midrange. Its on the warmer side though and quite enthusiastic, so for electronic genres, pop etc its actually okay. If you want more indepth listening then these aren’t for you. But what it does is make your music quite enjoyable.
Vocals: are actually a strong part of the sound, they’re quite natural and the tonal quality is good. They can be a touch overpowering at times, this can hamper the mids a touch, which can be a little frustrating. Again they’re on the warmer side, but not too warm to be brash. This again helps them sound a little more exciting.
Yes I’ve said the quality isn’t the best, but these were never meant to be. They are however made to make your music fun to listen to and they deliver. Like I said these are never going to please audiophiles, but for someone who just wants to zone out and enjoy their music, they’re good.
To wrap this up, should you get some of these. Well. They are nicely designed, well made, quite comfortable, easy to use, handle isolation well, don’t leak too much and sound good. The downsides are the battery life and lack of volume control.
For just under £42 they are probably the best fully wireless earbuds I’ve tested at the price. The positives really outweigh the negatives and although I still think this tech to mature fully, these do a pretty good for whats available right now.
Pick up a pair here via Amazon UK
SoundPEATS Portable Bluetooth Wireless Headphones Advanced Bluetooth 4.2 and Unique Charging Case