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In the box
Anker SoundBuds Sport
The Anker SoundBuds Sport are good headphones for running and working and provide enough isolation to be a decent option for commuting. They're portable and will easily fit into your pocket and their build quality is decent for their price range. Unfortunately, they have a poor sound quality, which could be a deal breaker for some.
See our recommendations for the best Headphones for Commuting.
- Good passive noise isolation.
- Stable fit.
- Minimal leakage.
- Poor, uneven audio reproduction.
- In-ear fit is uncomfortable for some.
Update 9/28/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.
The Anker SoundBuds Sport are decent-looking sports headphones that offer an incredibly stable fit. They're wireless and don't slip out of your ears even while running and jumping, which makes them ideal to use in a gym. However, the in-ear fit could get uncomfortable for some and their audio control scheme is cramped and slightly frustrating to use.
The Anker SoundBuds have a typical in-ear fit that may not be comfortable for everyone. They offer a variety of tips to improve comfort and a better fit, but if the in-ear design causes you discomfort, then these headphones will most likely do the same.
The button layout and functionality are average at best. These headphones offer call/music, track-skipping, and volume controls but the corresponding buttons have dual functionality and are cramped on the earbuds. They also feel a little flat and don't have good tactile feedback, which is disappointing.
- 100% Avg.Temp.Difference
The Anker SoundBuds Sport are very breathable headphones. They do not cover the ears, so they won't make you sweat more than usual. The stability wings cause a slightly higher temperature difference since they have more points of contact with the notch of your ear than typical in-ear designs but it's not a very noticeable difference and shouldn't change much to your work out routine.
These headphones are incredibly portable. The in-ear buds are not much larger than typical in-ear buds for a wireless design. They also fold up into a very compact format. They can be easily stored and carried in a pocket, purse or bag.
The build quality is decent. The earbuds are sufficiently dense and lightweight to not get damaged by a couple falls. The linking audio cable is also rubberized. They're well-built in-ear headphones, but the exposed audio cable could get damaged through regular wear and tear, and could be a little thicker. Also, the earbuds will crack under moderate-to-heavy physical stress because of their mostly plastic build.
The Anker SoundBuds Sport are designed to be used during sports and physical activity. They successfully maintain their position even while running or jumping and are ideal for use at the gym. They also offer a few stability tips that help improve their in-ear fit, and the wireless design ensures that they will rarely get hooked on something and be pulled out of your ears.
The Anker SoundBuds Sport are a sub-par sounding pair of closed-back in-ear headphones. They have a sub-par, overpowering and muddy bass, an average yet cluttered mid-range, but a good treble. Overall, their sound profile is overly bass-heavy, boomy and cluttered, which makes vocals sound too thick and muddy. Also, like almost all closed-back headphones, they lack an open and spacious soundstage.
The bass of the Anker SoundBuds Sport is sub-par. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 44Hz, and low-bass is underemphasized by almost 11dB. This indicates a lack of thump and rumble in the reproduction. Conversely, mid-bass, responsible for body and punch, and high-bass, responsible for warmth, are over our neutral target by 5dB and 9dB respectively. This results in a bass that lacks thump, but is excessively heavy and muddy sounding.
The Anker SoundBuds Sport have an average mid-range response. Low-mid shows about 7dB of overemphasis, which is actually the continuation of the high-bass bump. This significantly thickens the vocals and gives a cluttered quality to the overall mix. However, mid-mid and high-mid, occupied by the upper harmonics of vocals and lead instruments, are flat and well-balanced.
The Anker SoundBuds Sport have a very good treble performance. The overall response is even and decently balanced. But, low-treble shows more than 2.5dB of underemphasis, which has a subtle negative effect on the detail and articulation of vocals and lead instruments. The narrow 5dB around 8KHz, could make these headphones a tad sharp on sibilances (S and T sounds), which will be especially noticeable on vocals and cymbals.
The frequency response consistency is excellent. If the user is able to achieve a proper fit and an air-tight seal using the assortment of tips that come with the headphones, then they should be able to get consistent bass and treble delivery every time they use the headphones. However, if a proper seal is not achieve with these in-ears, then the user will experience a drop in bass. It should be noted that this headphone wasn't measured five times, in order to reduce the wear and tear on our dummy head.
The imaging performance is excellent. The weighted group delay is at 0.58, which is average. The GD graph also shows a dramatic rise in group delay around 25Hz, but since the Anker doesn't produce much bass in the region, this won't be very audible. 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, voice, footsteps), in the stereo image.
The soundstage is poor. 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. 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 like the Apple AirPods, Google Pixel Buds, or the Bose SoundSport Free.
The Anker SoundBuds Sport have a good harmonic distortion performance. In the bass range, they show little THD, even under heavy loads. However, the right driver consistently shows more THD than the left driver. This indicates poor driver-matching and manufacturing tolerance, but most likely won't have audible effects. However, the peaks in THD at 1KHz and 4KHz may add a bit of harshness to the sound of those frequencies.
The Anker SoundBuds Sport isolate listeners surprisingly well. They do not have any active cancellation yet they block a lot of ambient noise with the seal of their in-ear fit. They fare well in loud environments and can handle the level of ambient noise of a regular commute or a gym. They also barely leak any sound and won't disturb the people around you even at high volumes.
The Anker SoundBuds Sport have a very good isolation. In the bass range, where the rumble of airplane and bus engines sits, they isolate by about 8dB, which is average. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they achieved more than 20dB of isolation, which is very good. In the treble range, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts, they reduce outside noise by more than 47dB, which is excellent.
The leakage performance of the SoundBuds Sport is great. The significant portion of the leakage is concentrated in a narrow range around 2KHz, resulting in a leakage that sound sharp and thin. The overall level of the leakage is very quiet too. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away, averages at 29dB and peaks at 40dB SPL. This is noticeably lower than the noise floor of most offices.
The Anker SoundBuds Sport have a sub-par integrated microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound noticeably thin and muffled. In noisy situations, it will struggle to fully separate speech from background noise even in moderately loud environments, like a busy street.
The microphone has a mediocre recording quality. LFE (low-frequency extension) of 501Hz indicates a recorded/transmitted speech that sounds noticeably thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) is at 3.2KHz resulting in a speech that sounds muffled and lacks detail. The response between the LFE and HFE points is also rather uneven.
- 100% SpNR
The noise handling of the integrated microphone is sub-par. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of about 10dB. This suggests that the Anker SoundBuds Sport are best suited for use in quiet environments, as they will struggle to fully separate speech from ambient noise even in moderately loud places.
The Anker SoundBuds Sports have a poor battery life but and no power saving features but they charge relatively quickly. They only last about 3.5 hours on a single charge, which is nowhere near the 13 hours of the SoundBuds Curve. They also lack a good app which makes them less customizable than some of the other wireless in-ears we've tested like the Jaybird Freedom.
The Anker SoundBuds Sport have a below average battery life. They only have last about 3 hours when playing audio continuously. However, on the upside, they charge pretty fast and can also continue streaming audio when plugged into to a power outlet which could be practical if you're at your desk at the office. Unfortunately, the short battery life and lack of power saving features makes the overall battery performance subpar.
These headphones have no compatible app.
- 10% Bluetooth
- 32% Wired
- 10% Base/Dock
- 22% Wireless Range
- 25% Latency
The Anker SoundBuds Sport are Bluetooth-only headphones with no audio cable or base/dock. They have an average-at-best wireless range but do not support simultaneous multi-device pairing or NFC. On the upside, they have relatively low latency for a Bluetooth headset and even support aptX but still won't be the ideal headphones for gaming or watching movies.
- 79% Multi-Device Pairing
- 20% NFC
- 0% PS4 Compatible
- 0% Xbox One Compatible
These headphones do not have multi-device pairing or NFC support. On the upside, their hold-to-pair procedure is not difficult to use.
- 13% Analog
- 9% USB
- 26% PS4 Compatible
- 26% Xbox One Compatible
- 26% PC Compatible
The Anker SoundBuds Sport have no wired option. If you want a decent sounding, wired design with a universal in-line remote, then check out the 1More Triple Driver In-Ear.
- 4% Optical Input
- 22% Line In
- 4% Line Out
- 22% USB Input
- 4% RCA Input
- 9% PS4 Compatible
- 9% Xbox One Compatible
- 9% PC Compatible
- 2% Power Supply
- 13% Dock Charging
These wireless in-ears do not have a dock. If you want a headphone that's versatile and has a dock, try the SteelSeries Arctis 7. However, it won't be as compact and easy-to-carry around on your person.
The Anker SoundBuds Sport have a mediocre-at-best wireless range. They won't be ideal if you have a big house or work in a large office with a lot of walls as their range is barely stable beyond 25ft. This is probably due to the very small size of the ear buds limiting the space available for a more powerful Bluetooth receiver.
The Anker SoundBuds Sport have lower latency than most typical Bluetooth headphones especially when connected to an aptX device but it won't be suitable for gaming and movies.
In the box
- Anker SoundBuds Sport Headphones
- Earbud tips (x2 sizes)
- Stability tips (x2 sizes)
- USB charging cable
- Carrying pouch
Compared to other Headphones
The Anker SoundBuds Sport are average in-ear headphones that deliver a stable wireless fit that's great for sports. They don't easily fall out of the ears and maintain their position during physical activities. Their in-ear fit also blocks a surprising level of ambient noise, which makes them well-suited for the noise of an office, a gym or a regular commute. Unfortunately, the in-ear fit can get uncomfortable, their control scheme is cramped, and their sound quality is poor and uneven, which may be a dealbreaker for some listeners, especially when compared to similarly priced models below.
The Anker SoundBuds Curve are a more versatile and better sounding sports headphone than the SoundBuds Sport. They have a stable and sweatproof ear-hook design with a more comfortable in-ear fit than the SoundBuds Sport. They also have a decently well-balanced sound that packs a good amount of bass while sounding balanced enough to work with most tracks and music genres. They're not quite as portable as the Sport due to the ear-hooks but they are better designed, especially for their price range. The SoundBuds Curve are the better headset overall and should be your first choice even if they are slightly pricier than the Curve.
The Senso ActivBuds S-250 are below-average wireless in-ears that sound worse than the Anker SoundBuds Sport. They deliver a stable wireless fit with ear hooks that make them stable enough for sports but do not provide as much isolation as the Anker to use in loud noisy conditions. The Anker Sport are slightly better overall but have a much shorter battery life. If you need a headphone that you are not just going to use at the gym, then the longer battery life of the Senso could make them a more viable alternative. However, since both headphones have a pretty poor sound quality, get the slightly more expensive SoundBuds Curve as they're a better choice than both headphones.
The SoundPeats Q9A are affordable sports headphones with a better sound quality than the SoundBuds Sport but less isolation for commuting. They struggle a bit more to isolate in noisy conditions but they have a better battery life a more comfortable fit and a decently balanced sound. The SoundPeats are slightly more expensive than the Ankers but perform better for most use cases, which makes them the better choice overall.
The Jaybird Freedom are great sports headphones with a customizable sound and a good wireless range. They sound better than the Anker Sport and you can EQ their sound thanks to the great Jaybird MySound app. They're a lot more versatile, better-built, and feel more high-end than the Ankers. However, they're also a bit more expensive. If you have the budget, get the Jaybird Freedom; they are better overall for most use cases and have a long combined battery life. Unfortunately, their charging procedure with bulky charging clip will not be for everyone and can be a bit limiting, especially if you forget the clip at home or lose it since you won't be able to charge the headphones.