These new $40 Soundpeats earbuds sound shockingly good – CNET

These new $40 Soundpeats earbuds sound shockingly good – CNET

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David Carnoy/CNET

I’m always on the lookout for inexpensive earbuds that deliver good value and the new Soundpeats Mini Pro fit the bill, particularly at their limited-time sale price of $40 or $20 off their list price of $60 when you clip the on-page coupon.

The Soundpeats Mini Pro have a few things going for them. For starters, they’re relatively compact and fit my ears comfortably and securely (I got a tight seal with the largest included ear tips). They also sound surprisingly good, with clear, nice-detailed sound and punchy bass. They sound as good or better than buds I’ve used in the $100-$150 price range. Also, since they’re powered by a Qualcomm Bluetooth chip (it’s Bluetooth 5.2), they have support for Qualcomm’s aptX audio codec, which can offer slightly better sound on aptX-enabled devices such as some Android phones. 

Read more: Best cheap earbuds under $100 for 2022

These are active noise-canceling earbuds, and while it muffles background noise to a degree, the noise canceling isn’t as effective as what you get with Apple’s AirPods Pro or top noise-canceling buds from Sony and Bose. There’s also a “pass-through” transparency mode that lets ambient sound in. It’s not quite as natural-sounding as the AirPods Pro’s transparency mode but it does work just fine — as do the touch controls.

These are IPX5 splash-proof — they can take a sustained spray of water — and battery life is rated at up to seven hours with noise canceling off and five hours with it on.

Voice-calling performance was only average. In quieter environments they work pretty well, but outdoors in the streets of New York, callers said they heard a lot of background noise and they didn’t do well with wind noise. The Soundpeats T3 ($36) are better for voice calling but these Mini Pro buds sound significantly better.

Hopefully, Soundpeats will be able to someday make a set of buds that combines the excellent sound of the Mini Pro with the excellent voice-calling performance of the T3 for around the same price. But for now, if you can live with the so-so voice-calling and are just looking for a set of very good sounding but cheap buds, the Mini Pro are well worth considering. 

Note that at one point as I was testing the buds, the left bud stopped pairing with the right bud. I discovered that to reset the buds you have to put the buds in the case and then tap and hold on each bud simultaneously for around 10 seconds while they’re in the case. They paired up again without a problem once I reset them and paired them back to my phone. (I tried them with an iPhone 13 Pro and Pixel 4 XL.)

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