The Anker SoundCore Spirit X are good sports headphones, versatile enough for most uses. They have an above-average build quality that feels a lot more high-end than their price would suggest. They also have a decent sound with a lot bass, a comfortable and stable in-ear fit for the gym, and a better control scheme than the similarly designed Anker Soundbuds Curve. Unfortunately, like the Curve, they won't be the best choice for loud, noisy environments, watching movies, or gaming.
The Anker SoundCore Spirit X are decent for mixed usage and are versatile enough for most uses except home theater and gaming since they're Bluetooth-only headphones with fairly high latency. On the upside, they're a great option for sports, thanks to their stable, compact, and wireless ear-hook design. They also have a long 12hr battery life and a decent build quality that feels more premium than their price range. However, they don't feel as durable as some of the more expensive wireless in-ears we've tested since they have thin cables. Their sound quality has too much bass for more critical listeners but should be good enough for most listeners.
The Anker SoundCore Spirit X are decent for neutral listening and have a slightly bass-heavy sound that'll overpower some instruments and vocals in the mid-range. However, the rest of their audio reproduction is fairly well balanced. Their mid-range is relatively flat, so instruments won't sound too forward or recessed, though they'll be a bit cluttered due to the emphasized bass range. They don't sound as sharp as other in-ears we've tested, and fans of bass will enjoy the added thump and rumble these headphones produce, especially while working out at the gym. Unfortunately, they have small closed earbuds that can't create a big, spacious soundstage. This 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 SoundCore Spirit X are decent headphones for commuting or traveling. They have mediocre isolation that isn't very good at reducing the rumble of a bus/train/plane engine but will reduce the chatter around you. They have a decent sound that's best suited for bass-heavy genres. They have excellent breathability, and there should be no issues wearing them for longer commutes.
The Anker SoundCore Spirit X are good headphones for sports and fitness use. They have an ear-hook design that's great for sports. Even during intense movements, they shouldn't fall off, but the seal isn't perfect; this means that the sound changes as they move, which isn't great for jogging. They're comfortable for longer workouts, and they breathe well. They're very compact headphones that are easy to carry around, but they're larger than true in-ears due to the ear-hooks. They produce a decent sound that's better suited for bass-heavy genres.
The Anker SoundCore Spirit X are decent headphones for office use. They have mediocre isolation but very good leakage performance. You can listen to your music at higher volumes without bothering your coworkers, and they have a comfortable in-ear fit and a long battery life that'll easily last a typical workday.
The Anker SoundCore Spirit X are sub-par headphones for gaming. They're comfortable, and you can wear them for long gaming sessions without getting too hot. They produce decent sound with exaggerated bass, which can be good for some games. You can only use them wirelessly, and they have too much latency. They have a mediocre in-line mic that works for gaming but won't provide the best vocals. You can't use them with any gaming consoles without a special adapter.
As the Anker SoundCore Spirit X are wireless headphones, they can't be used for wired gaming.
The Anker SoundCore Spirit X have a decent-looking, sporty aesthetic that looks and feels more premium than their price range would suggest. They have thick and flexible ear-hooks and a more polished earbud design than the Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless. They also have a better in-line remote. Unfortunately, they also have thin cables that don't seem as durable as more expensive wireless sports headphones like the Fitbit Flyer Wireless. It somewhat cheapens their design, and they also don't come in as many color schemes as most sport-oriented headphones. On the upside, their understated look will work for most.
The Anker SoundCore Spirit X, like the Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless, are comfortable for in-ear headphones. The tips don't enter the ear canal as deeply as most in-ears, making them more comfortable and removing some of the soreness and pain some listeners experience during long listening sessions with in-ear headphones. Unfortunately, since they don't enter the ear canal as deeply, they tend to slide out of your ears sometimes and may need to be adjusted somewhat often, which may get a bit annoying. It's not a big issue, but it's more common when doing physical activity. Overall, these headphones will be comfortable enough for most listeners.
The Anker SoundCore Spirit X have a slightly better control scheme than the Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless. The buttons are more responsive with clicky feedback, and they're better spaced out on the in-line remote. They also have a simple three-button setup 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.
The Anker SoundCore Spirit X, like the Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless, the Altec Lansing True Evo Truly Wireless, and most in-ear headphones, are very breathable. They have an ear-hook design that has more points of contact with your ear than typical in-ear models. However, the temperature difference is negligible and won't make you sweat more than usual during more intense physical exercises since they don't cover your outer ear like over-ear and on-ear designs.
The Anker SoundCore Spirit X are easy to carry around on your person and come with a good, compact case. Like most wireless in-ear headphones, they're portable, lightweight, and you can fold them to fit into your pocket, bag, or purse. They're slightly larger than straightforward, wired in-ear designs (since they have ear-hooks), but they're still very portable and come with a decent case.
These headphones come with a decent hard case to protect them from minor impacts, scratches, and falls. However, the case shell isn't as hard as some of the others we've tested. On the upside, it's compact and can fit into a pocket.
The Anker SoundCore Spirit X have the same build quality as the Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless. They have a slightly more polished earbud design and a better in-line remote but thin and non-replaceable cables. The earbuds and ear-hooks are dense and relatively sturdy, making them better built than most sports-oriented headphones in their price range like the SENSO ActivBuds S-250 Bluetooth Headphones or the MEE audio X6 Plus Wireless. They're also rated IPX7 for water resistance, although we don't test for this. For waterproof headphones with a thicker and shorter cable, take a look at the JBL Endurance Dive Wireless.
Unlike the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless, the Anker SoundCore Spirit X have a stable ear-hook design that's great for sports. They also have a couple of stability fins included in the box that help with the fit, making them even more stable. However, the earbuds slip out of your ear canal from time to time, especially during more intense activity. They won't fall from your ears, but the change in the seal when they move around alters their sound, which isn't ideal when running or working out.
The frequency response consistency is excellent. 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 them.
The bass is great, and their LFE (low-frequency extension) 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. It results in quite a bit of thump and rumble, which fans of bass may like. Mid-bass is also hyped. High-bass, responsible for warmth, is over our neutral target by less than 1dB, improving over the Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless. Overall, the bass is thumpy and heavy without sounding muddy and cluttered.
The Anker SoundCore Spirit X have an excellent mid-range performance. The overall response is even and flat but recessed by about 2dB. It nudges the vocals and lead instruments towards the back of the mix by giving bass and treble a bit more emphasis.
The treble performance is good; low-treble is even and within 0.65dB of our target. Mid-treble is also well-balanced but a little uneven between 8Khz and 10KHz. It could make some of the sibilance (S and T sounds) slightly lacking and some other sibilances a tad too sharp. Overall, their treble response is well-balanced, which is important for good reproduction of vocals, leads, and cymbals.
The imaging performance is excellent. The weighted group delay is very low. The GD graph also shows that the entire group delay response is below the audibility threshold, ensuring a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Also, the L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-matched, important for the accurate placement and localization of objects (instruments, voices, 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 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 (1st generation) Truly Wireless, Google Pixel Buds 2017 Wireless, or the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless.
The Anker SoundCore Spirit X have a mediocre isolation performance. In the bass range, where the rumble of bus and airplane engines sit, they achieve about 2dB of isolation, which is barely noticeable. In the mid-range, they isolate by more than 14dB, which is above-average. In the treble range, occupied by sharp S and T sounds, they isolate by about 24dB, which is also above-average. If you want sports-oriented wireless headphones that provide a bit more isolation, check out the Jaybird Freedom 2 Wireless 2017 or Jaybird Tarah Wireless.
The Anker SoundCore Spirit X's leakage performance is great. Like most other closed-back in-ears, they don't leak in the bass and mid-ranges. A significant portion of their leakage is in the treble range and between 4KHz and 7KHz, which is quite a narrow range. The overall level of the leakage isn't loud either. With music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at 34dB SPL and peaks at around 60dB SPL, just above the noise floor of an average office.
The microphone has a mediocre recording quality. The LFE (low-frequency extension) means speech recorded/transmitted with it will sound noticeably thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) is poor and results in speech that's muffled and lacking in detail. It also negatively affects the understandability of speech.
The Anker SoundCore Spirit X's in-line microphone is mediocre at noise handling. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 15dB, indicating they're best suited for quiet environments and will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise in moderate and loud situations.
They have decent battery performance. The battery lasts about 12 hours, which should easily last a typical workday. They recharge relatively quickly, but they have no power-saving feature, so the battery will continue to drain even when they're not in use. They don't support passive playback, and you can't use them while charging.
The Anker SoundCore Spirit X don't have any compatible companion app.
The Anker SoundCore Spirit X support Bluetooth 5.0, but they don't have NFC support, and you have to pair them manually. We didn't test Bluetooth 5.0's dual audio feature. They also have an interesting feature; when you start playing music immediately after pairing, the music fades in instead of immediately going to full volume. They have very high latency and are unsuitable for watching videos. The latency is slightly worse than the Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless. They also don't support the aptX codec.
You can only use these headphones wirelessly.
The Anker SoundCore Spirit X are decently versatile wireless sports headphones. They have a stable and sweatproof ear-hook design with additional stability fins. They also have a long 12hr battery life and an above-average sound quality that packs a lot of bass. They're lightweight, portable, and surprisingly well-designed for their budget price. Unfortunately, although they're stable, the earbud tips do tend to slip out of your ear canals from time to time, which can be a bit annoying. They also have relatively thin cables that don't look as durable as the rest of the design, and they aren't as customizable as other headphones.
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 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.
The Anker SoundCore Spirit X Wireless are slightly better sports headphones than the JBL Endurance Dive Wireless. The Anker are more comfortable, and their physical controls are easier to use than the touch-sensitive area of the JBL. The Anker fit nicely inside the ears, are very stable for sports, and their sound quality is also a bit more accurate. The Anker also have almost double the amount of battery life. The JBL’s fit isolates against a good amount of ambient noise, making them a better option for commuting. Their cable is also thicker and rubberized, which makes them more durable than the Anker. The JBL also have a noticeably better wireless range and have onboard storage for when you want to use them for swimming or working out without a phone.
The Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless are more versatile than the Anker SoundCore Spirit X Wireless. The truly wireless design of the Liberty Air gets rid of the cable and has a more portable design. Fans of bass may prefer the sound profile of the Spirit X, but the Liberty Air has better overall sound quality. The fit of the Liberty Air is also better for isolating ambient noise than the Spirit X. However, the Spirit X have a longer battery life, and their ear-hook design is very stable for sports. With the Spirit X, you also get a nice in-line remote with volume controls, and they are rated IPX7. While the Liberty Air is rated IPX5 for sweat and water resistance.
The Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless are better headphones than the Anker Soundcore Spirit X Wireless. The Jaybird are better-made, and you can also customize their sound to your liking thanks to their companion app. The Jaybird's amazing wireless range is also better, and you get better default sound quality, even before EQ’ing them. On the other hand, the Anker are very comfortable in-ears and come with plenty of fit options. They also come with a nice hard case and have good sound quality for their price point, which might offer better value for most users.
The Jaybird X2 Wireless are a better sports headphone and headset overall than the Anker Soundcore Spirit X Wireless. The Jaybird have a more isolating in-ear fit, that's better for noisy environments and commuting, and a slightly more portable design since they do not have ear-hooks like the Anker. The Anker, on the other hand, are a bit more stable thanks to those ear hooks and have a longer battery life with a more comfortable in-ear fit than the Jaybird.
For the cost, the Anker Soundcore Spirit X Wireless might be a better choice for most consumers than the Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless. The Beats are better headphones than the Anker since they have a slightly more neutral sound signature and feel more solid due to thicker cables. On the other hand, the Anker are more comfortable and come with a nice solid case. Unfortunately, the Anker don’t have the great wireless range of the Beats, but if you keep your phone on you during your workouts, this shouldn’t be an issue.
The Anker Soundcore Spirit X Wireless are better in-ear headphones overall when compared to the Anker SoundBuds Sport Wireless. The Spirit X have better sound quality, a more stable and durable design for sports, and they're a lot more sweatproof than the Sports. The Spirit X also have a better control scheme and a much longer battery life that lasts more than twice as long as the Sport. On the other hand, the Sport are a bit more portable and have a better noise-isolating in-ear fit, so they're more suitable for noisy environments and commuting.