Can the SoundPeats Q30 provide a great all round experience for the ultra low price of just £22?
In the box
Its a solid start as the Q30 come with a lot of accessories, in fact more than I’ve seen from more expensive options. With the Q30 you get
- A set of XS,S,XM,M,L eartips
- A set of S,M,L ear hooks
- USB charging cable
- Three cable management clips
- 1 shirt clip
- A carry pouch
Usually at this price point you’d get some eartips, the documents, the cable and if you’re lucky a pouch. But here you’re very well looked after in the accessory department.
Design and Build
The styling and build don’t let them down either. They’re all Black, really clean and unfussy in their approach. If you like something a little more colourful then they aren’t for you, but if like me, you like a minimal approach, these deliver.
The housing is made from a durable metal and coated with what SoundPeats are calling a Nano coating and that is pretty much the full explanation the site provides. But in reality it looks and feels great. It could possibly mark, but during my testing they have stayed looking like new.
At the front of the housing you’ll find the earhooks, these sit on a curved portion of the housing and have been designed to fit the shape. So if you were to lose the hooks, then you may find it difficult to find third party ones.
Round the back of the housing is the SoundPeats logo and that is pretty much it, its subtle and colour neutral so it doesn’t stand out too much. It does however hide a small magnet which can be used to clip the earphones together when not in use.
Onto the cable now and the strain relief at the top leaves something to be desired. Its sat in the housing rather than being apart of it. This creates a weak point and it could break over time and use. So you may want to be careful when using them.
The actual cable is a bit of a let down too, its thin and doesn’t feel all too durable. Of course at this price compromises have to be made and it looks like the cable is one of them. So again caution is advised.
The remote on the cable is a redeeming feature for the build though, its solid even though made from plastic. There is no flex or creeks that you usually find at the price. On here you will find the volume control, main MFB (multi functional button) and a LED notification light. The buttons feel great and give off a nice tactile response. Its honestly better than I was expecting given the low cost of these.
The middle MFB acts as a play/pause, answer/reject calls and also your power/pairing button. The two volume controls also allow you to skip tracks and with them being Bluetooth earphones they are fully universal and should work with all mobile devices.
Round the opposite side of the remote is some branding and that is pretty much it. The side however houses the USB port for charging. This is hidden away by a protective cover and it helps the Q30 get an IPX4 rating. So be sure to fully close it if you’re planning on using them in the rain.
As a whole the design is simple but nice and for the most part they are well made, with only the cable letting them down.
If you’ve read my past reviews you’ll be aware that earphones and me don’t always get along, but I’m happy to report that these are really comfortable. The angled nozzles help them sit in my ears really well and they just sit really nicely. I understand that these types of nozzles don’t suit all, so make sure that they do suit you, otherwise they could cause discomfort.
The tips are pretty good too, they’re quite soft, smooth a pretty flexible. They aren’t the best I’ve ever used but they are pretty good considering how many you get and again I know I’ve said this a few times, but for the price too. Plus with four different sizes to choose from, one is almost guaranteed to fit.
The hooks are also really nice too, they’re made from a soft silicone and feel great. They sit in my ears really nicely and cause minimal discomfort. Keep in mind my ears are quite sensitive and they caused my barely any trouble at all. They have a subtle curvature to them and they seem to fit really well. Also like the tips there are a few sizes to choose from, so you can experiment to find the right ones for you.
I can wear these for around 3 and a half to four hours before needing an extended break, so comfort is a big plus for these.
Pairing these is a bit odd actually, usually you either get a voice prompt or light notification to let you know when they are in pairing mode. This is normally a Red and Blue light that flashes alternatively. Here you get a single Blue light that is hard to tell if they are in fact in pairing mode. I’ve found that you have to press the MFB for around five seconds and then release. You then turn Bluetooth on and search for the Q30, if all has gone well then you device should find them and you can pair. If not then you have to turn off the Q30 and try again.
Also repairing was an issues too, normally Bluetooth earbuds auto connect as soon as you turn them on, if your Bluetooth is on that is. But these will not auto pair. So I’ve had to manually find them and press them. Being a reviewer it was troublesome as I have a fair few devices on my list, but for the average consumer it shouldn’t be as bad. Still they should auto connect. I don’t know if I’m the only one with this issue, so it could be isolated.
Using them daily is nice, they have the magnet which is great for wearing them round your neck when not in use. The remote is easy to use thanks to the well spaced buttons that are well defined and easy to distinguish for from each other.
Charging them is easy too, the last set I reviewed had some issues, but these have no such problem. The cover opens and closes easily and it doesn’t get in the way of the USB cable. So its a hassle free experience.
Battery longevity is another great point for the Q30. They have a quoted time lasting of up to 8 hours. During my testing I managed to achieve 7 hours 15 minutes at 65% volume. So its not quite the full 8 hours but that is still highly impressive.
Charging time took 1 hour 45 minutes, which isn’t too bad. That was from my Anker powerport 5. But as always battery life and charge time van vary depending on how loud you have them and what you are charging them with.
Noise isolation and Leak
This again is another strong point. I think how these have been designed and with the tips and hooks providing a barrier they do a great job of blocking out external noises. If you’ve read past reviews you know I always test them on public transport and well they impress. Of course I take price into consideration and these coped better than some more expensive offerings. Again its all down to a few things. The seal the tips makes, the volume of your music and of course your surroundings.
But if you have the right eartips that are comfortable and fit well then that is one step to better isolation, then add the shape of the hooks which seem to block off a big section too and then finally the volume of your music. I tested them at around 65% volume and they honestly do a great job. Yes some noise did still creep in but like mentioned they fair better than the X1 which are more expensive and they also do better than the Q29, Treblab and to be honest most other affordable earphones I’ve tested.
Leak is solid too, because the seal they create is good, they barely leak any at all. Now again keep in mid that we are all different so your experience will probably be different to mine and of course there are a few other factors to take into account too. But as a whole I am impressed.
So far the Q30 have impressed, but can they deliver here? Well, yes and no.
They get loud so if you like your music, well loud then they do deliver. There is a tiny bit of distortion when pushed to around 85%, this of course worsens if you push it even further but if keep them under that, then you’re all good.
Bass is good, the drop is pretty deep and plenty potent. Its not the cleanest or clearest but its solid. It doesn’t often overpower anything and its fairly well handled. Most of the time. The mid punch is nice and in bass heavy genres like DnB, Rap etc are fairly well represented. Its not the best bass I’ve heard at the price but it is better than that provided by the X1.
Mids are usually a huge downer for cheap Bluetooth earbuds but here they aren’t. Yes some detail is glossed over, but I’m surprised by how much there is on offer. Instrument separation is admirable, soundstage is a little closed in but the mids are clear and what you can hear the quality is good. Its not overpowered easily and it doesn’t overpower either. Its decently well balanced not being too overly bright nor too cool. If I were to say it would be edging on the brighter side, but not too bright.
Vocals are good too, they are nicely detailed, tonal quality is good and they don’t scream or shout at you. They do lack a little power for me, but that is just my preference. The clarity is nice and there is no brittleness to it. By that I mean its not thin sounding and its quite full.
Overall its better than I ever could have expected.
As a whole and all round these are easily the best Bluetooth earphones I’ve ever tried that cost under £25 and the fact you can buy for £22 is amazing. I mean they are well designed, well made for the most part, are comfortable, have great battery life, have little to no compromises in daily use and sound great. Yes the cable and pairing issues do hamper the overall experience slightly, but as a full package these are well worth buying if you want some really impressive Bluetooth earphones that won’t break the bank.
Get some here: www.amazon.co.uk/soundpeats-q30