Review: SoundPeats A2 Bluetooth headphones
Surprisingly comfortable and affordable.
To me, over-ear headphones are usually a tough sell. Operating in the urban jungle of New York City, in-ears are the way to go. For starters, NYC in the summer is sticky as hell. Just getting around – whether walking or taking the subway – is an exercise in extreme soupiness. In-ears are also better for working out and the only option for helmeted biking (the preferred kind). Hot cans on the ears are generally a no-go. So, when fearless leader Kevin asked me to review the SoundPeats A2 over-ears Bluetooth headphones, I was a little skeptical, but one does not simply say “no” to Kevin.
After charging these bad boys, I paired them (standard process, no need to waste words here) I slapped ‘em on my head and commenced putting them through their paces. And I have to say: not bad at all. First of all, they’re very comfortable. As someone with a big ol’ fuckin’ head (and big ears to match), a lot of full-on headphones are either immediately or eventually uncomfortable. Not so with the A2s, which sat snugly on my noggin for extended periods without causing discomfort. I suspect that the statistically-rare person with a head even larger than mine would have a similar experience, as I only extended the arms about halfway down to find my comfort zone.
As far as sound, once again, I’ll say “not bad,” but that’s probably giving the A2s less credit than they deserve. Audio quality is solid, and in my trials with different types of music, I would say fairly faithful to recording quality, with perhaps a little juicing on the bassier end of the frequency spectrum. That end can be further juiced by a handy “Bass Boost” button, which, while not exactly my normal preference, does offer an enjoyable enhancement to certain types of bass-heavy music.
Sound isolation is above-average (due in part to the well-padded ear cups and snug but not-too-tight fit), ideal for listening to, for example, podcasts where the hosts’ vocal tones are a little softer (say, Your Kickstarter Sucks), especially in a noisy environment like the subway.
To round out the substantive part of the review, a few random notes:
- The A2s support both Bluetooth and 3.5mm connection, which is pretty cool if you run down the headphones’ onboard battery (something which I did not do in ~3 days of pretty consistent use).
- The box also contains a micro-cloth bag for travel and storage, which is nice, but the headphones themselves don’t fold or anything, so the bags’ use is pretty limited to me.
- They don’t hang particularly comfortably on the neck, as the cans are too big (lol) and the arms too short to arrange unobtrusively. Not the biggest deal, but worth noting.
- I called Kevin to test out the headphones’ abilities as a headset. While he sounded good in my ears, he did note that, on his end, I sounded “like shit.” A later call to my girlfriend resulted in her telling me I sounded “fine.” So, it’s possible that the onboard mic on the A2s is fine, and Kevin was just being mean, or maybe it’s lacking. Thought you should know.
Here’s the bottom line, though. As a serious journalist, tech maven, audiophile, thought leader, and nudist, I went into this review without looking up the A2’s MSRP – I didn’t want any value judgments clouding my reporting. I guessed, after my testing, that they’d probably run for about $100. And holy shit was I wrong. They sell these babies for $35. That alone means you should buy them if you’re in the market for headphones. Seriously. Unless you’re listening to lossless FLACs (which I do not do, because I’m normal), the SoundPeats A2s are your best bet for the money, bar none.
A sample unit was provided to KnowTechie for the purpose of this review.
For more tech reviews, make sure to check out:
- Review: ALLAS True Wireless earbuds from TRNDlabs
- Review: Even H3 wireless headphones with EarPrint technology
- The Rock wants to, ummm, rock your workout with the Project Rock headphones