Anker Soundcore Spirit Dot 2
“The Spirit Dot 2 have the successful mixture of fine sound and affordability.”
Nice passive noise discount
Stable low finish
Common options general
Restricted contact controls
Certainly one of my largest, and maybe solely, complaints concerning the Anker Soundcore Spirit X2 was their earhook design. It’s not that looping these hooks over your ears is an uncomfortable expertise, as a result of they do match properly. It’s that, when in comparison with conventional true wi-fi earbuds, the earhook fashion is a far much less interesting choice.
The $80 Anker Soundcore Spirit Dot 2 is the corporate’s reply to of us who need the worth of the Spirit X2 in a extra compact bundle. The options will not be fairly the identical, however the Dot 2 possess the favored earbud design for a similar worth because the Spirit X2.
Is that sufficient? Time to search out out.
Out of the field
There’s nothing significantly noteworthy concerning the packaging of the Spirit Dot 2 or the equipment inside, apart from the truth that the field they arrive in resembles the Spirit X2’s intently sufficient that I needed to double verify and ensure I used to be grabbing the correct buds. That, in fact, must be chalked as much as Anker’s constant coloration scheme.
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Except for the buds and their charging case, the Spirit Dot 2’s bundle contains 4 additional pairs of eartips, two pairs of “Airwings” (or earfins), a USB-C cable, and the usual documentation. For what it’s price, I caught with the eartips and earfins that the Spirit Dot 2 arrived with. However your mileage, and ears, could range, so it’s good of Anker to supply a number of completely different choices at this worth.
The Spirit Dot 2 hook up with your cell gadget in the identical means you’ve come to count on most true wi-fi earbuds to – pulling them out of their charging case enacts their computerized pairing characteristic, and all that’s left to do is use them in your telephone’s settings and join. Apart from the Bluetooth 5 tech supported by these buds, Anker says the Spirit Dot 2 have twin transmitters that make it doable to attach every earbud individually to your telephone. The corporate says this could present as much as 30 p.c decrease latency, and whereas I can’t show that statistic particularly, I can say that I didn’t come throughout any notable latency points when watching YouTube or TikTok clips on my telephone.
I wouldn’t name the Spirit Dot 2 the smallest buds I’ve ever lodged into my ears — off the highest of my head, that honor may go to the 1More Colorbuds — however they definitely are small, and considerably much less hefty than a pair just like the Edifier TWS NB. It’s a obscure approach to rank the scale of those buds, however with out entry to weight specs, it’s the perfect I can provide.
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Most likely essentially the most comparable buds to the Spirit Dot 2 design-wise are the Google Pixel Buds 2. They each make use of comparable ergonomic shapes with earfins meant to securely place them in your ear. The Spirit Dot 2 are considerably bulkier and put extra strain on my ears because of this. However the safe, snug seal created by the Spirit Dot 2 intently mirrors my expertise with the Google Pixel Buds 2, with the costlier Google product getting an edge in consolation when listening for longer durations of time.
Whereas Anker recommends these buds for varied makes use of like figuring out, sports activities, or touring, I wasn’t capable of take the Spirit Dot 2 on a run to check their advantage as a result of poor air high quality in my space on the time of this assessment. I did, nonetheless, sneak in a couple of walks and a handful of at-home exercises with them, and so they held up properly throughout these actions.
The Spirit Dot 2 haven’t any buttons, as an alternative choosing contact controls completely. This works, however in a restricted capability. You may play, pause, and skip tracks, reply and finish telephone calls, and activate your voice assistant via a collection of touches and presses — and all these controls work as marketed. However there’s no quantity management included into the Spirit Dot 2, with Anker directing you to the “linked gadget” for adjusting quantity within the buds’ handbook. That is perhaps high-quality whereas using the practice throughout a commute (pre-2020, in fact), however once I’m out for a jog, the very last thing I wish to do is unzip my fanny pack, pull out my telephone, and switch the quantity up. For my tastes, the Spirit Dot 2’s controls are a command wanting being absolutely purposeful, and that’s a problem even at this worth.
The charging case, by the way in which, is a reasonably sized vessel with Anker’s brand embedded throughout a lid that slides out to disclose the buds. I initially hadn’t deliberate on mentioning it, because it appeared largely unspectacular. However after it survived a spherical of chewing from one curious pet, I felt compelled to vouch for the sheer sturdiness of the case.
I alluded to the discrepancy in options between the Spirit X2 and the Spirit Dot 2 earlier, and I’m right here to let you know that these variations are very actual certainly. Once more, the Spirit Dot 2 provides the popular design, however they’ve a tough time stacking up general to their earhook counterparts.
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The Spirit X2 sit at 9 hours of battery life per cost and 36 hours of playback in complete when factoring within the charging case. The Spirit Dot 2, by comparability, provide simply 5.5 hours of playtime per cost and 16 hours in complete. That’s higher than the Google Pixel Buds 2, and since I gave the equally priced 1More Colorbuds and their six hours of battery a go, I’ll begrudgingly do the identical with the Spirit Dot 2. However with buds just like the $40 SoundPeats Truengine SE or the $30 JLab Go Air providing six and 5 hours of playback, respectively, the bar at this worth is about to alter.
The IP68 weather-resistance of the Spirit X2 offers the earhook buds safety towards full submersion in as much as 2 meters of water for not more than 30 minutes. With the Spirit Dot 2, an IPX7 ranking permits them to be submerged as much as a meter deep, which is healthier than most different funds buds that we’ve reviewed at Digital Tendencies. That stated, the Spirit X2 have full mud safety, one thing the Spirit Dot 2 lack.
Each the Spirit X2 and Spirit Dot 2 have Anker’s “SweatGuard Know-how,” which is basically a coating on the buds that’s supposed so as to add extra protection towards sweat. As soon as once more, I don’t assume I’ve examined these buds lengthy sufficient to say how properly that characteristic works, however I do assume it’s necessary to say because it’s clear that Anker is a minimum of making the additional effort to make its merchandise sweat-friendly.
Audio high quality
By way of the sound high quality of the Spirit Dot 2, I discovered myself considering that there’s loads to love right here, but in addition ample room for enchancment.
Nick Woodard/Digital Tendencies
The Spirit Dot 2 have smaller drivers than the Spirit X2, 8mm versus 12mm, respectively. Nevertheless, each pairs have Anker’s BassUp know-how, which Anker says makes use of an algorithm to investigate and amplify bass. Whereas they didn’t fairly produce the “wow” issue that I skilled with the Spirit X2, the Spirit Dot 2 are definitely succesful earbuds in relation to the low finish. My private exercise playlist has every little thing from Huge Sean and Eminem’s No Favors to Granger Smith’s Backroad Music, and although I assumed the Spirit Dot 2 overinflated the low finish of the latter, these buds have usually strong bass that may please most bass-loving fitness center junkies.
With a agency basis of bass to face on, the Spirit Dot 2 have respectable readability for his or her value, even when the remainder of a monitor generally will get overshadowed by low notes. I believe I want the sound signature of the 1More Colorbuds — which lean far much less on the low finish for a extra balanced, nice sound – however I don’t assume most people can have a lot to complain about by way of audio high quality with the Spirit Dot 2. Nevertheless, the Spirit X2 include aptX help, whereas the identically priced Dot 2 lack it. They help AAC and SBC codecs, however skipping aptX leaves the Dot 2 with a puzzling void.
Probably essentially the most underrated side of the Spirit Dot 2’s sound is the passive noise discount that the seal in your ear offers. It does a outstanding job blocking out your environment – my air air purifier blasting on ‘turbo” about six toes away turned basically inaudible – and serves as a bedrock for making clear calls with the earbuds’ pair of built-in microphones. Anker appears to have a agency grasp on nice isolation, because the Liberty 2 Professional even have an excellent seal. Certain, lively noise cancellation is nice when executed properly. However for $80, it’s exhausting to complain about how a lot sound these buds passively maintain out of your ears.
These ought to have value $60, or a minimum of something decrease than $80. Notably lagging in options in comparison with the identically priced Spirit X2, Anker’s pricing of those buds is puzzling. Although they do sound good and are available at an inexpensive worth, which can show to be a successful mixture for a lot of, it may be exhausting to wholly suggest them towards the competitors (together with Anker’s personal line).
Are there higher alternate options?
The $100 1More Colorbuds sound higher, although aren’t fairly as geared up for figuring out. The identically priced $80 Anker Soundcore Spirit X2 have higher options general and comparable sound high quality. however their earhook design could also be much less fascinating to some individuals. For half the worth, the $40 SoundPeats Truengine SE provide an intriguing mixture of consolation and sound high quality, however lack bonus options like wi-fi (or fast) charging.
How lengthy will they final?
The Spirit Dot 2 include an 18-month restricted guarantee, they really feel sturdy, and so they have strong safety towards water. In different phrases, they’re well-suited to final for the foreseeable future.
Must you purchase them?
In the event you’re OK with forgoing options to reap the benefits of the in-ear fashion of the Anker Soundcore Spirit Dot 2, then they’re an excellent choice. But when earhooks aren’t a dealbreaker, the Spirit X2 are higher just about throughout the board.