The Anker SoundBuds Curve are sports-oriented headphones with long battery life and a well-balanced sound. They're comfortable, with a stable ear-hook design for exercising and working out. They're compact enough to fit into your pockets, and they're decently well-built, although the audio cable is a bit thin. Unfortunately, they don't block that much noise, meaning that they may not be the best headphones for loud, noisy environments, and their sound may be a bit too bass-heavy for some.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve are decently versatile headphones well-suited for sports, thanks to their stable, compact, and wireless design. They have long battery life and decent build quality. However, they don't feel as durable as some wireless in-ears that we've tested. They have a moderately well-balanced sound with a bit too much bass for fans of neutral sound, and they don't block a lot of noise for in-ears, so they may not be the best headphones for loud, noisy commutes. On the upside, they're easy to carry on you at all times and should be good enough for most uses.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve are decent for neutral listening. They have a fairly balanced sound with an almost flat mid-range and a good treble, so they don't sound as sharp as some of the other in-ears we've tested. Unfortunately, they pack a bit too much bass, which overpowers the instruments and vocals in the mid-range, but fans of extra bass may find it pleasing. They also have small closed earbuds that cannot create an adequate soundstage. It means they won't be the best headphones for more neutral listeners but should sound good enough for most, especially if you like a little bass.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve are decent for commuting and traveling. They're compact, comfortable, and easy to carry around on your person. Also, their low leakage performance can somewhat compensate for their poor noise isolation by playing your music at higher volumes. However, they don't block much noise and shouldn't be your first choice for loud, noisy commutes.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve are great for sports. They have a stable ear-hook design and come with a couple of stability fins and multiple tip sizes to help you find a secure and comfortable fit. They're very breathable, easy-to-use, and portable enough to have on your person at all times. However, the buds will slip out of your ears occasionally during more strenuous exercise depending on the quality of the fit and seal you can achieve with the provided tips.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve are okay for office use. They'll let some office chatter seep into your audio due to their poor isolation. However, they don't leak much and won't be audible to anyone around you. This means you can also mask some of the ambient noise by playing your music at higher volumes.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve aren't suitable for wireless gaming. They have a mediocre-at-best microphone and a bit too much latency. They also have no companion app, meaning that they won't be as customizable as many gaming headsets, and their Bluetooth connection is not compatible with consoles.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve aren't suitable for wired gaming.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve have a surprisingly decent-looking, sporty aesthetic. They have thick and flexible ear-hooks, and the matte finish makes the earbuds feel a bit more premium than the similarly designed SoundPeats Q9A Wireless. The inline remote and the cable, however, feel a bit cheap. They also do not come in as many color schemes as the JBL Endurance Sprint to match your tastes and preference but, their understated look will work for most.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve are comfortable. The tips don't enter as deeply into the ear canal as most in-ears, which removes a bit of the soreness and pain some listeners experience during long listening sessions. Unfortunately, the rubber tips sometimes slide in the ear canal, which can be slightly distracting and uncomfortable for some. On the upside, they come with six tip options to help you find the right fit, so it shouldn't be much of an issue.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless have a simple three-button layout with no additional features. It's an easy-to-use and efficient control scheme that provides all the essential functions; call/music, track skipping, and volume controls. However, the buttons are a bit small, and even if they're easy to find on the in-line remote by touch, bigger buttons with a bit more feedback would have been preferred.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve are very breathable headphones. Like most in-ears, they don't cover the outer ear, which remains relatively cool when exercising and working out. They cover a bit more surface area than typical in-ears due to their ear-hook, earbud-like design, but it's a negligible difference and won't make you sweat like on-ears or over-ears do.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless are easy to carry around on your person. They're compact, lightweight and you can fold them to fit into a pocket, bag, or purse. They're slightly larger than in-ears like the AUKEY Latitude Wireless or Jaybird Tarah Wireless but are still very portable and come with a decent case.
These headphones come with a good hard case to protect them from minor impacts, scratches, and falls. The case shell is not as hard as some of the other cases we've tested, but on the upside, it's compact and can fit into a pocket.
Update 06/25/2019: We revised the Build Quality score. The score and text have been adjusted.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve have a decent build quality. They have thin audio cables and the earbuds and ear-hooks are fairly dense and relatively sturdy, making them better built than some cheaper sports-oriented like the Mee audio X6 Plus Wireless. They feel better built and more premium than the similarly designed SoundPeats Q9A Wireless, but the audio cable is thinner.
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. They also have a couple of stability fins included in the box that helps with the fit, which makes it even more stable. However, the earbuds will slip out of your ear canal from time to time. They won't fall, but the change in the seal when they move around slightly changes the audio, which may be an issue for some. If you prefer a truly wireless design, check out the SoundPeats TrueFree.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve's frequency response consistency is fantastic. If the user can achieve a proper fit and an air-tight seal using the assortment of tips that come with the headphones, they should get consistent bass and treble delivery every time they use the headphones.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve have okay bass accuracy. Their LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is excellent. Low-bass, responsible for the thump and rumble in bass-heavy genres like EDM, hip-hop, and film scores, is overemphasized by more than 5dB. This results in quite a bit of thump and rumble, which fans of bass may like. Mid-bass and high-bass are also hyped, but only by 3dB. Overall, the bass is thumpy and heavy without sounding too muddy and cluttered.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve have an excellent mid-range performance. The overall response is even and flat but recessed by about 2dB. This nudges the vocals and lead instruments towards the back of the mix by giving bass and treble a bit more emphasis.
These headphones have amazing treble accuracy. Low-treble is even and within 0.75dB of our target. Mid-treble is also well-balanced but a little uneven between 8Khz and 10KHz. This could make some sibilants (S and T sounds) slightly lacking and some others too sharp. Overall, their treble response is well-balanced, which is important for good reproduction of vocals, leads, and cymbals.
These headphones' imaging performance is excellent. The weighted group delay is at 0.2, which is very low. The GD graph also shows that the entire group delay response is below the audibility threshold. This ensures a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-matched, which is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects (instruments, voices, footsteps) in the stereo image.
Their passive soundstage performance 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 fully bypasses the pinna and doesn't interact with it. Also, because these headphones have a closed-back enclosure, their soundstage won't be perceived to be as open as that of open-back earbuds.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve have a mediocre isolation performance. In the bass range, where the rumble of bus and airplane engines sit, they achieve about 3dB of isolation, which is barely noticeable. In the mid-range, important for cutting out speech, they isolate by more than 16dB, which is good. In the treble range, occupied by sharp S and T sounds, they isolate by about 27dB, which is decent.
The leakage performance is great. Like most other closed-back in-ears, these headphones don't leak much in the bass and mid-ranges. A significant portion of their leakage is in the treble range and between 3KHz and 6KHz, which is quite a narrow range. The overall level of the leakage is not loud either, peaking at around 57dB SPL at 1 foot away, which is about the same as the noise floor of most offices.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve's microphone has a sub-par recording quality. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 369Hz means speech recorded/transmitted with it will sound noticeably thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 2.5KHz is poor and results in speech that's muffled and lacking in detail. It also negatively affects the understandability of speech.
The in-line mic is mediocre at noise-handling. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 13dB, indicating they're best suited for quiet environments and will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise in moderate and loud situations.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve have a continuous battery life of 13 hours and only take about 1.5 hours on average for a full charge. This makes them a decent option for casual and heavy users, but unfortunately, they don't have many power-saving features to extend their battery life. They will stay paired to your device until the battery runs out or they're out of range, so if you forget to switch them off, the battery will continue to drain, which isn't ideal.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve don't have multi-device pairing or NFC support. On the upside, their hold-to-pair procedure is not difficult to use and not as frustrating as some Bluetooth headphones due to the decent feedback of the buttons on the in-line remote.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve have quite a bit of latency with PCs and iOS devices, which isn't ideal for watching movies and a lot of video content. However, their latency with PCs is lower when using the aptX codec, and they don't have too much latency when connected to Android devices. Also, some devices seem to compensate differently for latency, so your experience may vary.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve have no wired option. If you want in-ears with a wired design and a universal in-line remote, check out the 1More Triple Driver.
These in-ear buds don't have a dock. If you want headphones that are versatile and have a dock, try the SteelSeries Arctis 7. However, they aren't as compact or easy to carry around on your person.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve are decently well-rounded in-ears for sports. They have a stable ear-hook design with additional stability fins and a decently well-balanced sound that packs a lot of bass. They're lightweight, portable, and decently well-built. Unfortunately, although they are stable, the earbud tips may sometimes slip out of your ears, and the audio cable is thin and doesn't feel very durable.
For other options, see also our recommendations for the best budget wireless headphones.
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).
The Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless are a much better headset than the Anker SoundBuds Sport Wireless. The Curve have an ear-hook design that's a bit more stable for the gym and working out. The Curve also have a much better sound quality, a longer battery life, and a more comfortable fit that does not enter the ear canal as deeply as the Sport. On the other hand, the more in-ear fit of the Sport makes them a bit more suitable for noisy environments. The Sport are also a bit more compact than the Curve since they do not have ear hooks.
The AUKEY Latitude Wireless are better mixed-usage headphones than the Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless. The AUKEY have great isolation performance, are a good option for commuting, have an excellent wireless range, and can connect to two devices simultaneously. On the other hand, the Anker are noticeably more comfortable and are more stable for sports due to their ear-hook design. Athletes might prefer the Anker, as they also have overemphasized bass.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless and the Anker Soundcore Spirit X Wireless are practically the same headphones, with very slight differences. The Spirit X are slightly better due to their higher sweat and water resistance, and their in-line remote offers better tactile feedback. You also get a cinch for easier cable management. If you have a Bluetooth 5.0 source, you might get better wireless range and connection stability with the Spirit X. On the other hand, the Curve have lower latency, support the aptX codec, and are even more affordable. These two headphones are great budget options, but if you don’t really care for the additional sweat resistance, the Curve will satisfy most users.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless are better and a cheaper alternative for typical sports headphones, but if you really want to hear everything around you while training, the AfterShokz Trekz Air Bone Conduction might be a better choice. The AfterShokz have a better build quality with thicker cables and rubberized coating. On the other hand, the Anker are more portable, come with a good hard case, and have a longer battery life.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless are way better headphones than the 1More Piston Fit. The Anker are more comfortable, better-built, have great audio reproduction, and shouldn’t have any stereo image issues. The 1More are wired, so they don’t have latency issues like the Anker, have a better in-line microphone, and you won’t have to worry about battery life. This shouldn’t outweigh the better sound and comfort of the Anker. Even if the Anker are a bit more expensive, they provide a better value to performance overall.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve and SoundPeats TrueFree/True Wireless perform similarly for mixed usage, but overall, the Anker have better sound quality and are more comfortable, making them better headphones. However, the SoundPeats create a better seal inside the ear and isolate more background noise, which means they might be better for bus and subway rides. These two budget headphones have a great price-to-performance ratio. The Anker might be better for sports, thanks to the ear-hook design and better sound quality, while the SoundPeats are better for commuting and traveling.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless are slightly better headphones overall when compared to the JBL Endurance Sprint. The Anker offer better value for your money with a decently well-balanced sound and a better, more comfortable in-ear fit than the JBL. The Anker also have a longer battery life and a slightly more stable fit, since the in-ear seal of the earbuds is not affected as much as the JBL's when the headphones move around. The Anker also have a better, more precise control scheme than that of the JBL. However, the JBL have a better design, a more high-end look and feel, and block more noise for busy commutes. The JBL also have a few unique features like the magnetic ear hooks, which some may prefer over that of the Anker. They also have a slightly better-balanced sound than the Anker, although they do not get as loud.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve are much better sports headphones than the Sony WI-SP500 Wireless. The Anker offer a much better value for your money, thanks to their better sound quality, more comfortable and stable fit, and their long battery life. On the other hand, the Sony have NFC pairing and a slightly better wireless range. The Anker are the better choice for sports and most use cases, especially in the budget range.