Anker Soundcore Spirit X2

“The Spirit X2 ship on the promise of stable battery life, nice weatherproofing, and booming bass.”

Stable battery life

Glorious climate safety

Massive bass

Nice worth

Unappealing aesthetic

Awkwardly positioned controls

On paper, the Anker Soundcore Spirit X2 sound too good to be true. They’re offered as earphones that incorporate impeccable options at a remarkably low worth. In most comparable circumstances, there’s normally a critical unmentioned disadvantage someplace alongside the road.

There are just a few quirks with the $80 Spirit X2 earphones, although they’re removed from critical. Except for these minor flaws, the Spirit X2 stay as much as the hype.

Out of the field

The packaging of the Spirit X2 opens binder-style to disclose earphones encased in a transparent plastic cowl alongside their charging case. (I don’t know if this was intentional or not, however after eradicating the earphones and case from their plastic tray, the remaining cutouts for the product are a useless ringer for the face of an indignant clown.)

Nick Woodard/Digital Developments

Beneath the disturbing clown tray is a USB-C charging cable, a wholesome quantity of additional eartips and earfins, and what can solely be characterised as an extreme quantity of documentation. I’m all for an organization ensuring I’ve every little thing I must function a tool, however this looks as if an excessive amount of even by these requirements.

You simply want the fast begin information to get going and might successfully set the remainder of the paperwork apart. Step 6 within the pamphlet instructs you to put the earphones of their charging case, then open the case with out eradicating the telephones. They’ll enter pairing mode, permitting you to search out them within the Bluetooth settings in your cell machine and make the connection. That connection, by the way in which, is bolstered by Bluetooth 5 know-how that carried out precisely the way in which I’ve come to count on it to, with seamless connection and an distinctive vary.

Design

Essentially the most polarizing a part of the Spirit X2’s design will undoubtedly be the massive earhooks that swing up and cradle the backs of your ears. In a world the place pint-sized true wi-fi earbuds have taken the market by storm, the bigger footprint of those earphones will seemingly grant them the moniker of the ugly duckling of the bunch.

Nick Woodard/Digital Developments

And I’ve to agree with that sentiment: They form of are. From a pure aesthetic standpoint, I assumed these earphones had been unappealing, a minimum of in comparison with a smaller sport-focused pair of earbuds just like the Urbanista Athens. Points with seems to be apart, I did assume the Spirit X2 had been very comfy to put on, which is arguably extra vital. The hooks had been cosy round my ears, however not constricting. The earfins and eartips match firmly within the ear however didn’t add unneeded stress. The Spirit X2 threaded the needle between consolation and performance properly, making it potential to get by way of a sequence of intense exercises and cardio classes with out having to regulate them.

The Spirit X2 threaded the needle between consolation and performance properly.

The buttons on the earphones had been practical, however in the end not enjoyable to take care of. You’ll be able to change tracks, enhance or lower quantity, reply and decline cellphone calls, and activate your most well-liked voice assistant by urgent one of many two buttons on both earphone in a corresponding method, and it’ll do what you ask of it so long as you get it proper. It’s rather a lot to get accustomed to, although, and it doesn’t assist that the controls are awkwardly positioned close to the highest of the earhooks. I usually discovered myself reaching for my cellphone to regulate the earphones, which isn’t sometimes what you’ll wish to do throughout a gymnasium exercise or future.

Options

If I’m being fully trustworthy, you can simply cease studying after this part of the assessment and have every little thing you must resolve on shopping for these earphones. As a result of if you will get on board with the earhook design, the options provided by the Spirit X2 for a mere $80 make them a worthy buy.

Nick Woodard/Digital Developments

Battery life, which Anker says sits at 9 hours per cost and 36 hours complete with the included case, helps make the Spirit X2 fairly the discount. Even when these stats may not be fully correct – I got here in round eight.5 hours on my first few expenses, although I used to be listening at larger volumes more often than not – they’re nonetheless higher than many, far dearer earbuds. The Apple AirPods and Google Pixel Buds 2 don’t method these numbers, and the Jabra Elite Energetic 75t is available in at 7.5 hours on a single cost and simply 28 hours of complete battery. Throw in a quick-charge function that provides you two hours of playback for 10 minutes within the case, and the Spirit X2 are simply funds battery champs.

An IP68 weather-resistance ranking provides the Spirit X2 safety in opposition to rain and full submersion in as much as two meters of water for not more than 30 minutes. Despite the fact that Soundcore says these earphones aren’t designed for swimming, showering, or publicity to pool or ocean water, that is nonetheless a rock-solid ranking for a product this inexpensive. The Urbanista Athens do have an IP67 ranking, however they’re $50 dearer.

At underneath $100, I don’t know if a pair of true wi-fi sport earphones with higher options exists.

Soundcore additionally touts its “SweatGuard Know-how,” which is a “submarine construction and hydrophobic nanocoating” that helps defend in opposition to sweat. I believe it could take an extended interval of testing to actually choose how effectively the Spirit X2 fare versus the consequences of sweat in comparison with a conventional true wi-fi competitor, however extra safety in opposition to sweat is actually not a nasty factor, particularly at this worth level.

Audio high quality

Anker has put lots of effort into advertising the low-end capabilities of the Spirit X2. The corporate has included a know-how referred to as “BassTurbo” which it says is impressed by tech present in high-end audio system. Primarily, the tech “positions an acoustic chamber behind the (12mm) driver” so as to add low-end resonance. Merely put, it looks as if rather a lot for $80 earphones to be succesful, so naturally, I went proper to bass-heavy tracks once I started listening with the Spirit X2.

Nick Woodard/Digital Developments

Holy cow.

I really feel regret for doubting the Spirit X2 advertising crew, although my reservations had been legitimate given how usually options are overstated. It’s refreshing to search out circumstances the place that isn’t the case, and the Spirit X2 ship.

From pounding bass in tracks like Infantile Gambino’s 3005, to the deep notes present in Lil Nas X’s Panini, the Spirit X2 delivered much better than I beforehand thought sub-$100 earbuds had been able to. By utilizing the twin EQ on the Spirit X2 and enabling “BassUp” mode, these earphones actually rocked when listening to bass-heavy music. I’m not lifting the form of weight I used to (thanks pandemic), but when I used to be again in a gymnasium, I might need this sort of low finish in my ears as I used to be pumping myself up for a bench press.

These earphones actually rocked when listening to bass-heavy music.

The Spirit X2 don’t deal with the remainder of the frequency vary practically as effectively, however I might say they’re undoubtedly satisfactory for most folk buying on this worth vary. The Jabra Elite Energetic 75t or the Sony WF-SP800N will definitely sound higher general, however for a far higher price. When additionally factoring within the Spirit X2’s aptX assist and a dual-microphone method that makes for enough name high quality, these earphones actually are a steal.

Our take

The Anker Soundcore Spirit X2 don’t include essentially the most palatable design or the best controls. However they promised distinctive battery life, full waterproofing, and large bass in an $80 package deal — and astonishingly, they delivered.

Are there higher options?

At underneath $100, I don’t know if a pair of true wi-fi sport earphones with higher options exists. For $130, the Urbanista Athens come extraordinarily shut within the options division, supply stable sound, and have a extra nice design as normal true wi-fi buds. If worth doesn’t scare you, the $200 Sony WF-SP800N have higher battery life and embody energetic noise cancellation.

How lengthy will they final?

The Spirit X2 have an 18-month guarantee and extra waterproof safety than most individuals know what to do with. In the event you’re not deep-sea diving with them, they need to final effectively into the longer term.

Must you purchase them?

Sure. Don’t let the earhooks and the oddly positioned controls scare you: The Spirit X2 are among the best values in true wi-fi listening proper now and must be on the prime of the listing for anybody who can look previous just a few quirks.

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