We have the Soundpeats H1 with us today, and if you love bassy earbuds, you’ll want to take a look at these.
Okay, so let’s talk design. The case is entirely made of plastic, and it’s actually not very pleasant to the touch. Even opening the lid doesn’t feel that great. There’s a small creak whenever you’re opening the lid and it goes past a certain point, and it kind of bothers me a bit, but for the price, I guess I can’t be too picky.
There’s a USB-C port on the rear along with a light for charging status, which is nice, but what’s really nice is that there’s wireless charging. Excellent addition.
Inside, you get the earbuds along with a four-bar LED indicator on the inside of the case. This actually blinks when you’re charging the case with the lid open, which is a nice touch. The four bars indicate battery levels for the case, and yeah, pretty simple all around.
The earbuds are quite big though, which means that if your ears are on the smaller side, you could experience wearing fatigue. That being said, the bulk does result in pretty good passive noise isolation, which is definitely necessary since there’s no ANC on these. In the box, you also get a pair of Comply foam tips, which will help even more with noise isolation and better fit. The earbuds themselves, though, don’t sit securely in the ear at all. Adjusting my spectacles, eating with them in and all will just end up with the earbuds wriggling loose over time.
The bulk can be attributed to the fact that these are a hybrid dual driver pair of earbuds, which means you get a dynamic driver that handles the lows and a balanced armature driver that handles the mids and highs. We’ll talk more about sound quality later, but dang, that dynamic driver definitely packs a punch.
Moving on, there’s a companion app for the Soundpeats, and it’s pretty okay. You get individual battery levels for the earbuds, an easy reset button on the main page, as well as a control panel at the bottom left. You can adjust the volume from here, adjust a seven-bar custom EQ, and two options that seem to do nothing. There’s noise reduction section here, which makes no sense since these earbuds don’t have ANC. The light effect switch doesn’t seem to do anything either, since whenever I turn it off, then exit and re-enter this screen, it’s turned on again.
As for touch controls, a tap on the left earbud lowers the volume while a tap on the right raises it. A double tap on the left controls play/pause while a triple tap toggles Game mode, which is supposed to have reduced latency. A double tap on the right is also play/pause while a triple tap pulls up the voice assistant. The touch controls are finicky and they’re not as responsive as I’d like. You do have to tap a very specific area, or it just doesn’t register.
Additionally, for the earbuds, you have a few presets, but there doesn’t seem to be a normal preset that’s not equalised, unless that’s what Classical is. Anyway, something that’s a bit more interesting is the Adaptive EQ feature. You do a listening test and the app auto calibrates the EQ for you, but my EQ was a bit weird. Great in the fact that it bumped up the treble, but there was a pretty big dip in the 8Khz range. I’ll talk about this a bit more during the sound quality segment, but I did notice a pretty major problem with this.
Moving on, these run on Bluetooth 5.2, which is great, and I never actually had any major connectivity issues with these. There’s SBC, AAC and aptX Adaptive, so yeah, plus point for Android users.
Soundpeats claims 10 hours in the earbuds with three extra charges in the case for a total of 40 hours, which is way above average. I’ll take their 10 hours with just a pinch of salt, I did get around 8-ish hours broken up over the course of a day, but yeah, still very good.
There’s an IPX5 water resistance rating, although seriously, these already start to slip out of my ear during normal activity, I can’t imagine if I throw sweat and exercise into the mix.
Microphones are pretty average. There’s supposed to be CVC 8.0 noise reduction but yeah, they're not great.
We now come to sound quality, and that’s really where the problem is for me. These are hella bassy, which can be a good thing and a bad thing. Personally, it gets a bit too overwhelming for me, but for people who love bass, it’s perfectly fine.
My major issue here is that this unit in particular introduces a sort of white noise, artifacting sort of sound in the upper mids. Listening to Billie Eilish’s bad guy in particular, exposes this problem. It affects the vocals quite clearly in that song, and it pretty much is unlistenable for me. This problem doesn’t affect singers lower or higher though, like Shawn Mendes or Ariana Grande, although it does affect the instruments in their songs. I’m not sure if this is a result of the adaptive EQ, but turning it off does help reduce that white noise so...
Moving on though, the midrange is relatively well-balanced and you do get a good amount of clarity thanks to that BA driver. The treble is also decent, although it’s a little darker and not quite as sparkly as I would like.
Soundstage is also slightly above average, especially once I turned off the Adaptive EQ. Thinking about it, it seems like the Adaptive EQ was more trouble than help in my case, but yeah.
For US$120, it’s okay. But with these brands, you usually find them on a discount. Right now, these are going for just US$80, which is, well, much more worth it. I’d be a bit hardpressed to recommend it at $120, but for $80, I’d say they’re a very decent option for birthday gifts and the likes.