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Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Jan 10, 2020 at 10:21 am
Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 Picture
7.2
Mixed Usage
7.0
Neutral Sound
7.6
Commute/Travel
8.2
Sports/Fitness
6.9
Office
5.4
Wireless Gaming
5.3
Wired Gaming
6.7
Phone Calls
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 are Bluetooth wireless in-ear headphones that are an upgraded version of the well-rounded Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless. They're essentially the same headphones, but with significantly longer battery life, a slightly better in-line remote, and IPX7 rating for water resistance (though we don't currently test for this). Their slightly bass-heavy sound profile should be suitable for most genres, and they're quite comfortable for in-ear headphones. Overall, they're a versatile pair of wireless in-ears that offer a great price-to-performance ratio.

Our Verdict

7.2 Mixed Usage

The Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 are decently well-rounded headphones. Their sound profile is versatile enough for most genres, and they're a good choice for taking to the gym thanks to their stable fit and IPX7 rating, though we don't currently test this. They have an outstanding 18.4 hour battery life, and they do a good job at helping block out ambient chatter as well, making them a decent option for using in the office.

7.0 Neutral Sound

The Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 are decent neutral sound headphones. While their sound profile isn't the most balanced, they don't have too many noticeable peaks and dips and should be suitable for most genres of music, though they are fairly bass-heavy.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
7.6 Commute/Travel

The Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 are a good choice for commuting or travel. While they don't isolate background noise as well as headphones with active noise cancelling (ANC), they are very portable, have an excellent battery life, and should be fairly comfortable for most people.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
8.2 Sports/Fitness

The Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 are great headphones for sports. They feel quite stable in the ear, especially with the optional stability fins installed, and should stay in even during more strenuous workouts. They also breath very well thanks to their in-ear design, and are quite comfortable for longer workout sessions. Their bass-heavy sound profile will help keep you pumped up at the gym, and they're rated IPX7 for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
6.9 Office

The Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 are decent for use in the office. While their in-ear fit may not be the most comfortable for everyone for extended use, they're more comfortable than a lot of similar options. Their 18.4 hour battery will easily last a couple of full workdays, and they do a fairly good job at passively blocking out background chatter to help keep you concentrated in the office.

See our Office recommendations
5.4 Wireless Gaming

The Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 aren't recommended for wireless gaming. These wireless headphone are Bluetooth-only and won't be compatible with PS4 or Xbox One. While they'll connect to Bluetooth-enabled PCs, they aren't recommended for gaming due to their high latency.

See our Wireless Gaming recommendations
5.3 Wired Gaming

The Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 are wireless-only headphones that cannot be used wired.

6.7 Phone Calls

The Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 are an okay option for phone calls. Like most Bluetooth headphones, their microphone sound quite thin and flat, and does a very poor job at separating your voice from background noise.

  • 7.2 Mixed Usage
  • 7.0 Neutral Sound
  • 7.6 Commute/Travel
  • 8.2 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.9 Office
  • 5.4 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.3 Wired Gaming
  • 6.7 Phone Calls
Pros
  • Good price-to-performance ratio.
  • Outstanding battery life.
  • Comfortable and stable design.
Cons
  • Thin cable.
  • No dedicated companion app.
  1. Update 2/14/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.

Check Price

SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 look nearly identical to the previous version, the Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless. These ear-hook headphones have a sporty aesthetic that looks a bit more premium than their price-point would suggest. The only visible difference from the previous version is the inline remote which is smaller but has larger buttons and feels slightly less cheap.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.05 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

The Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 are quite comfortable for in-ear headphones. Like the previous version, they don't enter the ear canal as deep as most other in-ear options, meaning they likely will stay comfortable even for longer listening sessions. They also include five different tip sizes and three sizes of stability fins, to help you find the best possible fit.

6.8
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls No

The Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 adopt the same inline remote as the Anker SoundCore Spirit X Wireless, which is slightly smaller but with bigger buttons than the Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless. It's fairly easy-to-use and allows you to skip tracks, pause/play or answer calls, and adjust volume.

9.2
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 0.8 C

The Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 breath extremely well. Like most in-ears, they don't sit on or around the outer ear which remains cool while exercising or working out. While their ear-hook does cover a bit more surface area than typical in-ears, the difference should be negligible, and you shouldn't sweat more like you would with on-ear or over-ear headphones.

9.1
Design
Portability
L 2.3 "
W 1.6 "
H 1 "
Volume 3.7 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

The Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 are extremely small, portable, and lightweight. Due to their ear-hook design, they are slightly larger than typical in-ears, but you should still be able to easily toss them in a pocket, bag, or purse.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 3.6 "
W 3.6 "
H 1 "
Volume 20.7 Cu. Inches

These headphones come with a hard case that feels fairly nice and should help protect them from small drops, scratches, and light water contact. While it's not quite as hard as some other hard cases we've tested, it's quite compact and should be able to fit into most pockets.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 feel decently well-built and now have the same IPX7 rating for water resistance as the Soundcore Spirit X, though we don't currently test for this. While the ear-hooks and earbuds themselves are made of dense plastic and feel quite sturdy, unfortunately, their cable is quite thin.

8.0
Design
Stability

The Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 feel quite stable in the ear thanks to their ear-hook design, making them a great option for sports. There are 3 sizes of stability fins included in the box, which should help them stay in your ears even during more intense workout sessions. Unfortunately, the earbuds may slip out of your ear canal from time to time, and while they won't fall right out of your ear, the change in the seal may alter the sound. If you prefer a truly wireless design within the same price range then check out the SoundPeats TrueFree, or the Mpow Flame Pro which feature a similar ear-hook design.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 Headphones
  • Earbud tips (x5)
  • Stability fins (x3)
  • Micro USB charging cable
  • Hard carrying case
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
4.64 db
Treble Amount
-1.28 db

The sound profile of the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 is fairly bass-heavy, with a recessed mid-range, but decently well-balanced treble. Overall, as long as you achieve a good seal with the provided tips, these headphones should provide a bit of extra thump which will likely please fans of bass-heavy genres like EDM or hip-hop, though they should be well-balanced enough for most genres.

9.8
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.05 dB

The frequency response consistency of the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 is outstanding. If you're able to achieve a proper fit and seal using the various assorted tip options, you should be able to get consistent bass and treble every time you use the headphones.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
6.7
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.57 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
5.72 dB
Mid-Bass
5.44 dB
High-Bass
3.44 dB

The bass accuracy of the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 is good. While the bass is slightly overemphasized, it's fairly flat throughout the entire range. Overall, their bass should be thumpy and punchy without sounding too muddy or boomy.

8.0
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.61 dB
Low-Mid
-1.62 dB
Mid-Mid
-3.79 dB
High-Mid
0.0 dB

The mid accuracy of the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 is good. While both low-mid and mid-mid are slightly recessed, which will push lead instruments to the back of the mix slightly, they even out a bit more in high-mid, which should help vocals from sounding too thin and distant.

8.3
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.24 dB
Low-Treble
0.21 dB
Mid-Treble
0.58 dB
High-Treble
-9.14 dB

The treble accuracy of the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 is very good. Low-treble is almost perfectly well-balanced, which will help instruments sound detailed and present. While mid-treble is slightly overemphasized, it likely won't be too noticeable, but may cause some sounds to appear slightly piercing or sharp. There is a large recess starting in the high mid-treble range which may cause some higher frequency sounds like cymbals or vocals to sound slightly dull and lifeless.

7.2
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.9 db
Dips
1.22 db

The peaks and dips performance of these headphones is decent. While both the bass and mid ranges are decently flat, there are some peaks and dips in the treble range, though these peaks were more prevalent in our left driver and the right driver didn't always match it. Overall it shouldn't be too noticeable, though the peaks in mid-treble may make cymbals and some vocals sound bright. The large dip starting in the high mid-treble range may also cause some sounds to come across dull and lifeless.

8.6
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.21
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.4
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.25
Weighted Phase Mismatch
4.89

While our unit did have a slight mismatch between the L/R drivers, this likely won't be noticeable in everyday use. Driver mismatch is also specific to individual units, and yours may perform differently. The GD graph also shows that the entire group delay response is below the audibility threshold, which should result in a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction.

1.0
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
3.1
Acoustic Space Excitation
1.2

Like all in-ear headphones, the soundstage of these headphones is bad. This is because creating an out-of-head and speaker-like soundstage is largely dependent on activating the resonances of the pinna (outer ear). The design of in-ears and earbuds is in such a way that fully bypasses the pinna and doesn't interact with it.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App
7.9
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.207
WHD @ 100
0.106

The weighted harmonic distortion of these headphones is very good. All frequencies fall within good limits, which should result in a clear and pure audio reproduction, even under heavy loads.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
Unknown
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 4.2
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
In-line
Isolation
6.9
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-19.64 dB
Bass
-5.06 dB
Mid
-15.64 dB
Treble
-39.05 dB

The Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 don't have ANC, but do an alright job at passively isolating background noise. While they don't do much to block out the low rumbles of bus or plane engines, they do a fairly good job at blocking out background speech. Like most in-ears, they'll also do a great job at helping to block out high frequency sounds, like AC units.

8.9
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
27.58 dB

These headphones have remarkable leakage performance. Assuming you get a good seal with the included tips, they'll leak very little audio and shouldn't bother those around you.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-Line
Yes
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
7.2
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
359.19 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
3.0 dB
HFE
7240.77 Hz
Weighted THD
0.438
Gain
2.6 dB

The microphone on the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 has decent recording quality. Like most Bluetooth headphones, your voice will sound noticeably thin, though it should still be quite intelligible and bright.

6.0
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
10.68 dB

The microphone of the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 is only mediocre at noise-handling. If you're in even a relatively noisy environment, it'll likely be difficult for the person on the other end of the line to hear you.

Active Features
6.9
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
18.4 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
18.4 hrs
Charge Time
1.3 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port micro-USB

The battery performance of these headphones is decent. While their 18.4-hour battery life isn't as long as most over-ear headphones, it's a big upgrade over the previous model and is among the longest we've ever tested for Bluetooth in-ear headphones. They also charge slightly quicker than the previous model, which is great.

0
Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

These headphones do not have a dedicated companion app.

Connectivity
6.5
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
103 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
206 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
184 ms
Android Latency
187 ms

The Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 are Bluetooth-only headphones. They don't support any low latency codecs and aren't recommended for watching videos or gaming due to their high latency, though some apps may compensate for this.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A

These headphones are Bluetooth-only.

0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

These headphones are Bluetooth-only and cannot be used wired. They charge via micro USB, and a 1.5ft cable is included.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
No
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones can only be used via Bluetooth on PCs and aren't compatible with the PS4. Due to their high latency, they aren't recommended for gaming.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No

These Bluetooth-only headphones aren't compatible with the Xbox One.

0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

These headphones don't have a base or dock.

Compared to other headphones

Comparison picture

The Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 are fairly well-rounded Bluetooth in-ears that offer a good price-to-performance ratio and are a great option for sports. They are almost identical to the previous model, the Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless, but offer a much longer battery life, a better in-line remote, and better water-proofing, though we don't test for this. See also our recommendations for the best budget wireless headphones, the best wireless earbuds, and the best noise cancelling earbuds and in-ears.

Anker SoundCore Spirit X Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 Headphones are marginally better headphones than the Anker SoundCore Spirit X Wireless. The SoundBuds look and feel almost identical and have very similar sound profiles, but the Curve have a much longer battery life and their treble range is slightly more accurate.

Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 Headphones are a slightly improved version of the Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless. The SoundBuds are almost the same headphones but with a much longer battery life, a lightly better in-line remote, and IPX7 rating for water resistance (though we don't currently test for this). 

Mpow Flame Pro Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 Headphones are slightly better sports headphones than the Mpow Flame Pro Truly Wireless. The Anker have a better-balanced sound profile, isolate sound much better, have a slightly better microphone, and last longer off a single charge. On the other hand, the Mpow are truly wireless so they don't have a wire connecting the two earbuds. They also have a longer overall battery life, thanks to their charging case with three additional charges.

AUKEY Latitude Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The AUKEY Latitude Wireless and the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 Headphones are very similar Bluetooth in-ears. The Anker are more comfortable, feel more stable, and their 18.4-hour battery life is more than double the AUKEY. On the other hand, the AUKEY have a more balanced and less bass-heavy sound profile and do a better job at passively blocking out background noises.

Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless are similar performing headphones to the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 Headphones. The Beats have a similar ear-hook design and are truly wireless, whereas the Anker have a wire connecting the left and right drivers. The Beats have a slightly more accurate sound profile, while the Anker are a bit more bass-heavy. While the Beats have a total battery life of almost 23 hours, this requires taking a break to charge them in their case once. The Anker, on the other hand, get over 18 hours from a single charge.

Beats Powerbeats 4 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 Headphones are slightly better-performing headphones than the Beats Powerbeats 4 Wireless. While they're both similarly comfortable and stable, the Anker have a more bass-heavy sound than the Beats which some may prefer and are better at noise isolation. However, the Anker have a slightly less durable build, and their continuous battery life is just a touch less than the Beats, but they also charge slightly faster. 

+ Show more

Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 Price

SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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