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Excellent battery life – MBReviews

Either the TWS earbuds market finally slowed down or the manufacturers simply wanted to expand their suite of devices because I have seen a increased number of ANC headphones being released on the market from multiple brands that didn’t care for this segment before.

I have seen the TOZO HT2, there’s the Haylou S35 and now we got the SOUNDPEATS Space to compete for the title of the best budget-friendly ANC headphones on the market. Strangely enough, the three aforementioned pairs of headphones aren’t that different, all sporting 40mm drivers, all relying on ANC and ENC for a silencing the world when listening to music or when calling someone.

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SOUNDPEATS Space ANC Headphones.

But the SOUNDPEATS Space do promise a very long battery life, 123 hours to be precise which is a long time if accurate and they also seem to push the Hi-Res certification in front of us. But is that truly the case?

They did mention that it’s with the use of the ‘inner cable’, so no chance of the better codecs on the market (SBC and AAC are supported) and it does mean that if you want a better audio quality, just use a cable. We do know that Bluetooth is not yet a good enough medium to compete with a cabled connection, so it does make sense. But let’s just put these headphones to the test and see how well they perform.

The Build Quality and Design

To keep the price tag as low as possible, some corners do need to be cut and it’s usually at the expense of comfort and control. We’ve seen that with the TOZO HT2, but is that the case for the SOUNDPEATS Space as well? They did a better job that the vast majority of similarly-price headphones on the market.

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Holding the SOUNDPEATS Space headphones.

The earpads aren’t too tight, the sliders move smoothly and the ear cushions are fairly soft (could have been better). So there are no pressure points at the sides, but what about the headband. There are no plastic pieces to poke you in the head and I suppose the soft side is, well, soft enough. But the manufacturer could have added a bit more foam since I could feel some mild pressure at the top of my head. I have praised the slider for its smooth movement, but just like on the TOZO HT2, it’s not entirely made of metal, just the outer side.

And pretty much everything else is plastic, following the footsteps of the Sony WH-1000MX3. Then again, if any piece was to break in the future, it should be easy to 3D print a spare. Is it possible to change the cushions if they wear off? I could detach the earpads, but the foam section is glued to the plastic piece, so the options are a bit limited when it comes to replacing them. I noticed that SoundPeats went with a dual-microphone system per earcup.

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SOUNDPEATS Space microphone.

One is positioned at the top, hidden by the hinge and one at the bottom underneath a faux metallic cover – I assume that both are used for the active noise canceling. There are some additional small canal, but they’re not for extra microphones, but for the two LEDs. The controls consist of physical buttons (no tapping on a capacitive area) and the SounsPeats Space has them spread between the two earcups. On the left side, there’s the Power button which will also work as the Play/Pause button after a short click.

In case you get a call, press it once to answer and hold it for a short bit to reject the call. Next to the Power button, there’s the Volume switch which will also function as the Next or Previous track if you long press the + or – buttons. On the right earcup, SOUNDPEATS has added the ANC button, so the function can be enabled with a single press. If you press it again, it will cycle between the ANC, the Passthrough and the Normal modes.

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The controls on the SOUNDPEATS Space headphones.

Also on this side, there is the USB-C connector and I suppose I should also mention the 3.5mm jack on the left earcup (there is a cable in the package, but it’s not very long).

Internal Hardware and Connectivity

The SOUNDPEATS Space are equipped with the JL7018F6 Bluetooth chipset from Jieli, a brand that I haven’t heard until now, but which seems to be popular among the budget-friendly headphones and earbuds. And yes, we are also dealing with 40mm dynamic drivers. As for the Bluetooth version, it’s 5.3 which has a range of about 30 feet taking into account normal interference (such as walls in your home).

In terms of codecs, as I said in the intro, it’s just SBC and AAC, so far from Hi-Res via Bluetooth, but SOUNDPEATS does insist that we can get a phenomenal audio quality using a cable. Lastly, I do need to mention the support for Bluetooth Multipoint and the connection can be done with a couple of devices.

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Inside the SOUNDPEATS Space.

The Bluetooth Multipoint

I have used multipoint with other headphones and earbuds, and it was a very straight-forward process to pair them. But SOUNDPEATS decided to leave this feature disabled by default and ask the user to first install and app, enable it from there and then move on to the pairing. I don’t think that they had to ‘convince’ the user to get the app this way since it’s actually useful due to its has configurable EQ. In any case, the next steps are the generic ones: pair the SOUNDPEATS Space to the first device, then turn the Bluetooth off, then pair the headphones to the second device. Afterwards, re-enable Bluetooth on the first device, so the headphones are paired to both at the same time.

The Sound Quality

Before listening to some songs, I decided to first check out how the drivers perform from a more technical aspect. So, I listened to some sounds moving through different frequencies and ideally, there should be no buzzing. The tone was fairly clean, but there was some mild buzzing at the very low frequencies.

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A better look at the SOUNDPEATS Space.

Then, I checked if the drivers are properly balanced and the tone was indeed always felt in the middle, with no deviations. Afterwards, I played a few binaural songs (with a focus on mids) and the volume was set to about 65%. I could hear floor creaks and there is a fair amount of detail that can be heard while the ANC was off. The soundstage is fairly wide, although far from something like the OneOdio Monitor 80. The iamging seems to be excellent though and even when a lot of instruments and voices played at the same time, it didn’t become a muddy mess. Everything remained differentiated.

With ANC on, there is more focus on the voices, so perhaps we’re seeing a mids boost. Also, the soundstage gets noticeably more narrow, the music becoming slightly more intimate. Moving on to the list of songs, I first listened to Faded by Zhu, a low-bass focused song. And, of course, I used Amazon Music for the better quality of files that they provide (the navigation still sucks big time). With ANC off, the low bass is full and dominating the scene. The voice is not recessed at all, so it’s a very good reproduction. With ANC off, it’s a different story.

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Using Amazon Music for the higher sound fidelity.

Imagine the stage getting warped around you, but with the bass losing its potency quite a bit. It’s still there, but that boomy effect is gone. The next song is ‘Morph the cat’ by Donald Fagen and it’s a mid-bass-rich song with a sprinkle of jazz. With ANC off, it’s a good reproduction, with a fair amount of detail, the instruments are well differentiated with no bleed or unwanted overlap happening. With ANC on, I noticed that the trumpets had a different texture and yes, some of the detail was gone from the song, but there was also kind of an artificial focus on what the headphones deemed the most important. I also wanted to see how well the SOUNDPEATS Space handle MR Jack by System of a Down since it’s a song that can easily sound muddy.

With ANC off, I was actually taken by surprise since I didn’t expect for it to sound this good considering the price tag of the headphones. There is np muddiness, everything remained well differentiated at all times, the bass was full and powerful, all the good stuff. With ANC on, things get a bit more busy and, as before, some detail is lost, while the sound stage shrinks a bit. Afterwards, I moved to a mid-bass-focused song from Foy Vance called She Burns. The bass is very much noticeable with ANC off (but a bit anemic with ANC on), there’s lots of detail and the voice is a tiny bit forward, but I doesn’t dominate the entire song, although it’s very close to doing so. With ANC on, again, some detail is lost, but it’s not a bad reproduction.

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Source: SOUNDPEATS official website.

I also listened to Breathin by Ariana Grande and with ANC off, the female voice is also forwarded, a bit more than the male voice. And even with ANC on, it’s an OK reproduction, but it’s not impressive. The voice dominates the scene and the instruments seem a bit unclear in the background. Lastly, I listened to Sweet Child o Mine by Guns n Roses and I could immediately tell that the treble was definitely boosted. So yeah, I suggest you go into the app tune it a bit down unless you want to get headaches from AXL’s voice. What about the cabled connection performance? It’s very similar to the ANC off, with a bit more detail. Would I call it Hi-Res, I am not sure, but the sound reproduction is good nevertheless for the price.

The ANC Performance of the SOUNDPEATS Space

I have praised the TOZO HT2 for their ability to cancel the exterior noises in a very significant manner, so I was curious whether the SOUNDPEATS Space managed to also pull it off. And yes, it’s a very similar performance, although I would argue that on the TOZO headphones, it was a bit better.

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SOUNDPEATS Space ANC – source: SOUNDPEATS official website.

Not by much because again, a very large spectrum of noises simply vanished and the passive sealing works wonders. Also, in a plane, it should work well enough, very close to the flagships of the previous two-three years ago. And that’s coming from a budget-friendly pair of headphones which is impressive.

The App

I have previously mentioned the SOUNDPEATS app and that you can use it for more than just enabling the Bluetooth multipoint feature. I have used it before with the SOUNDPEATS Air4 Pro and the GoFree2, so be aware that there is some data collection going on.

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SOUNDPEATS Space – the App.

The app will automatically detect the pair of headphones that connected to the smartphone and I was surprised to see that there was a firmware upgrade already available, which is a very good sign for support. On the main page, you can see the amount of battery that’s left and you can also Reset the headphones. On the bottom left, you can access the Customized window where you can adjust the volume, enable the Adaptive EQ which relies on the mics to adjust the ANC and you can also choose between various available Presets.

But what we’re interested the most is the Custom EQ, where we can adjust the sound signature. Even lower, I saw that there is a way to switch between ANC on, off and Transparency, as well as enable the Game Mode and the Dual Device Connection (multipoint).

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SOUNDPEATS Space – the APP – more.

The Call Quality

I like how there is more focus now towards the call quality than before when building headphones, so how did the SOUNDPEATS Space perform? I could hear the caller clearly and the ANC did a very good job at isolating the outside noise. But my voice sounded a bit echo-y. Still clear even if there was some noise around me, but not perfectly clear. If I was near a highway, the sound would just get worse, so I would just use the phone at that point.

The Battery Life

The manufacturer claims that we could get 123 hours on a single charge as long as the ANC is off and up to 61 hours with the ANC on. I had the SOUNDPEATS Space for a while now and I have used them quite a bit, but mostly with ANC off since they sounded better that way. And they held up for more than a week, so again, impressive.

The Conclusion

I really like this new-found interest in the budget-friendly headphones market and we got so many great options to choose from. The SOUNDPEATS Space do compete very nicely in this space and they can hold their ground against the likes of TOZO HT2. The ANC is good, the sound quality better than expected and they’re very comfortable to wear. Additionally, we get a very good battery life, so what more to expect?

SOUNDPEATS Space

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Pros

  • The battery life is exceptional
  • Good sound quality
  • The ANC is able to cut out a lot of noise
  • Bluetooth Multipoint

Cons

  • The options for the earpads replacement are limited
  • The call quality could have been better

Author

Silence Dogood

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