The SoundPeats Q9A are better built and have more convenient audio controls than the QY8 and QY9. They're wireless, stable and a bit more comfortable than typical in-ear models. Unfortunately, they don't block much noise, and their sound quality is sub-par, which could be a deal breaker for some.
- Stable and portable design.
- Comfortable fit.
- Very low leakage.
- Poor noise isolation.
- Exceedingly bass-heavy sound.
The Q9A are decent looking sports-oriented headphones. They have a sleek wireless, and understated design that's better than that of the QY9 and the QY8 for stability, comfort and button layout. They also have a moderately sturdy build that's compact and hassle-free to carry around on your person. Unfortunately, they have a low manufacturing tolerance making some of the units defective and less durable than others.
The Q9A have a sporty aesthetic with thick flexible ear hooks and a wireless design. The ear buds are not much larger than typical in-ears but have a different build and format than the QY8 and QY9 models of the same brand. They're stylish and resemble the much higher priced Powerbeats however, the finish and button placement is not as good.
The Q9A are above-average comfortable for an in-ear design. The tips do not fit into the ear canal as deeply as typical in-ear models. This removes a bit of the soreness and pain some listeners experience during long listening sessions. However, they're not ideal for everyone. Although stable, the rubber tips sometimes slide a bit in the ear canal, which can be slightly distracting and uncomfortable.
The Q9A have a better control scheme and button layout than the QY9 and QY8. They also deliver better tactile feedback, provide call/music, track skipping, and volume controls. However, the buttons are very small and cramped on the right ear bud which is a bit impractical for listeners with larger fingers.
These headphones have a stable ear-hook design that's great for sports. They won't easily fall off your ears even during intense workout sessions. Unfortunately, the ear bud tips are a bit slippery, so while the headphones won't fall off your ears, the ear buds may slide out of your ear canal when running, which is slightly frustrating.
The Q9A are easy to carry around in a pocket, bag, or purse. They only take a small amount of space, and they're lightweight, making them very portable headphones. They're slightly larger than basic and straightforward in-ear designs, but they will rarely be a hassle to carry on your person.
The build quality of these headphones is above-average. The Q9A have a flat and rubberized cable and sufficiently dense ear buds to handle few drops without damage. The ear-hooks are also thick and relatively sturdy making them better built than some cheaper sports-oriented headphones we've reviewed. However, the manufacturing tolerance is not the best. Some listeners have experienced weak cables that break relatively quickly. This does not occur on every unit, but should be taken into consideration when purchasing these headphones.
The Q9A have a below-average sound quality that sounds overly bass-heavy and dark. Their emphasis on bass overpowers instruments and vocals and extends into the mid-range, which adds boominess to an already bass-heavy sound. That combined with the poorly balanced high frequencies and limited soundstage makes them lack clarity and detail for critical listening and can be a deal breaker even for casual listeners.
Sub-par Bass Range performance. The response is mostly flat, but consistently over emphasized by more than 6dB. This makes the sound excessively punchy, and at the same time boomy and muddy.
Average Mid Range performance. Low-mid is rather over emphasized, giving a boxy quality to the Mid-range which is typical of most in-ears. The dip between 500Hz and 2KHz, pushes the vocals/leads to the back of the mix and shifts the tonal balance towards lower instruments.
Poor Treble Range performance. Low-treble is under emphasized by more than 6dB, negatively affecting the clarity and detail of vocals/leads. Treble and high-treble are also lacking and inconsistent.
Poor Soundstage. Due to the in-ear and closed-back design, these headphones do not interact with the pinna and do not merge the music with the environment either. Therefore, the Soundstage is small and located inside the listener's head. There was virtually no cross-talk detected in these headphones.
Good Imaging. There overall amount of phase error is low, and the phase shift present is mostly happening in the Mid-Range. This will be less audible than the more common shift in the Bass Range. These headphones also scored well in our driver-matching tests.
very good harmonic distortion performance. The overall amount of harmonic distortion is quiet low, both at 90dB and 100dB SPL. The lower distortion at 100dB SPL could be either due to the tightening of the headphones' diaphragm under heavier load, or due to the amount of noise present in our system.
The Q9A are only passively isolating headphones. Unfortunately, their in-ear fit does not go in as deeply, into the ear canal, as some of the other in-ear models, which lets ambient noise seep into your audio. They're not ideal in loud, noisy environments but their incredibly low leakage means you can blast your audio at loud enough volumes to mask a decent amount of noise without distracting anyone around you.
Poor isolation. Similar to the QY9. there is little to no isolation present in the Bass Range, and the isolation provided in the Mid Range is just above average. However, there is more than 30dB of isolation provided in the Treble Range which is good.
Excellent Leakage performance. The overall level of leakage is quite low, which is excepted of closed-back in-ear headphones. The significant portion of the leakage is quite narrow too, limited between 3KHz-7KHz.
The Q9A have a subpar battery life and no power saving features or a downloadable app to customize their sound. On the upside, they have a relatively fast wireless connection which should be good for audio streaming but might lag a little when watching movies or videos.
The Q9A have a below-average wireless range and only manage to deliver a stable connection under 30ft. This means they won't be the ideal headphones for heavily obstructed environments or large offices with a lot of walls. Their direct line of sight range is also not the best, and the hold to pair procedure can get a little tedious if you're often switching between Bluetooth devices.
The Q9A have a subpar battery life of only 5.3 hours. They don't take too long to charge when connected to a power outlet but won't be the ideal headphones to take on long road trips or particularly lengthy flights. They also don't have any battery saving features, like an auto-off timer, so they will quickly run out of power if you forget to disconnect them from your device.
No compatible app.
In the box
- SoundPeats Q9A Headphones
- Earbud tips (x3 sizes)
- USB charging cable
- Carrying case