Preferred headphones store
Reviewed on Sep 26, 2016

SoundPeats Q9A Wireless HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
6.5
Mixed Usage
6.4
Critical Listening
6.6
Commute/Travel
7.6
Sports/Fitness
6.6
Office
5.4
TV
5.2
Gaming
Type : In-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

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.

Test Results
Design 7.3
Sound 6.3
Isolation 7.1
Microphone 5.9
Active Features 4.9
Connectivity 3.5
Pros
  • Stable and portable design.
  • Comfortable fit.
  • Very low leakage.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Exceedingly bass-heavy sound.
  1. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  2. Update 10/2/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
  3. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

Check Price

7.3

Design

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.

Style

The Q9A have a sporty aesthetic with thick flexible ear hooks and a wireless design. They do not feel as premium as the Anker Soundcore Spirit X. The earbuds 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.

7.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.05 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0 lbs

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.

6.7 Controls
Ease of use : Mediocre
Feedback : Mediocre
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : No

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.

8.8 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 1.2 C
8.2 Portability
L : 2.25 "
W : 3.63 "
H : 1.13 "
Volume : 9.23 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

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.

7.0 Case
Type : Soft case
L : 3.4 "
W : 3.4 "
H : 1.8 "
Volume : 21.5 Cu. Inches

Comes with a decent soft case that will protect the headphones against minor damage, scratches, and falls. However, it's still a soft case, and it will bend and compress under enough force.

6.5 Build Quality

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.

8.0 Stability

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.

Cable
Detachable : No
Length : N/A
Connection : N/A
Top
Headshots 1
Headshots 2
6.3

Sound

The SoundPeats Q9A are a below-average sounding pair of closed-back in-ear headphones. The have an average but extended bass, a good mid-range and an average treble. Additionally, their bass tends to sound boomy and muddy, their mid-range is slightly recessed, and their treble lacks a bit of detail. Also, they perform consistently across multiple users, but don't have an open and spacious soundstage.

6.9 Bass
Std. Err.
:
4.53 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
:
3.61 dB
Mid-Bass
:
4.22 dB
High-Bass
:
6.57 dB
7.7 Mid
Std. Err.
:
3.08 dB
Low-Mid
:
3.51 dB
Mid-Mid
:
-2.23 dB
High-Mid
:
-0.23 dB
6.7 Treble
Std. Err.
:
4.56 dB
Low-Treble
:
-3.32 dB
Mid-Treble
:
-2.27 dB
High-Treble
:
-11.22 dB
9.7 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.06 dB
8.6 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.1
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
1.44
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
1.47
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
2.31
1.4 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
N/A
PRTF Distance
:
N/A
Openness
:
4.1
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
0.5
Correlated Crosstalk
:
0.01 dB
8.0 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
0.904
Weighted THD @ 100
:
1.009
7.1

Isolation

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.

5.9 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-14.03 dB
Bass
:
-1.9 dB
Mid
:
-11.59 dB
Treble
:
-29.43 dB
Self-Noise
:
15.73 dB

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.

9.5 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
24.07 dB

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.

5.9

Microphone

Integrated
:
Yes
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
N/A
5.8 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
289.23 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
3.5 dB
HFE
:
2313.87 Hz
Weighted THD
:
3.491
Gain
:
44.09 dB
5.9 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
10.26 dB
4.9

Active Features

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. 

5.5 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
:
5.3 hrs
Charge Time
:
1.6 hrs
Power Saving Feature
:
No
Audio while charging
:
No
Passive Playback
:
No

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.

0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

No compatible app.

3.5

Connectivity

6.0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
4.1
Multi-Device Pairing
:
No
NFC Pairing
:
No
0 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
N/A
Analog Audio
:
N/A
USB Audio
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A
7.0 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
29 ft
Line of Sight Range
:
60 ft

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.

5.1 Latency
Default Latency
:
145 ms
aptX Latency
:
112 ms
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

In the box

  • SoundPeats Q9A Headphones
  • Earbud tips (x3 sizes)
  • USB charging cable
  • Carrying case
  • Manual

6.5 Mixed Usage

The Q9A are decently versatile headphones that are best used for sports thanks to their stable, compact and wireless design. Unfortunately, their mediocre-at-best sound quality and poor noise isolation, means they won't be ideal for critical listeners or to use in loud, noisy environments.

6.4 Critical Listening

Subpar for critical listening. The small closed ear buds cannot create an adequate soundstage. That combined with their exceedingly bass-heavy audio reproduction makes them sound too dark and unbalanced for most listeners.

6.6 Commute/Travel

Decent for commuting. They're easy-to-carry around and the low leakage can compensate for the poor noise isolation by playing your audio at higher volumes. However, they don't block much noise and shouldn't be your first choice for loud, noisy commutes.

7.6 Sports/Fitness

Good for sports. The stable ear-hook design and compact, portable size makes them suitable to use while running or exercising. They're also wireless and a bit more comfortable than some other in-ear headphones.

6.6 Office

Above-average for office use. They will let a bit of the 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.

5.4 TV

Average for home theater use. They're comfortable but have fairly high latency which won't be ideal for watching movies.

Recommended Articles

LOG IN

JOIN RTINGS.com

Be part of the most informed community and take advantage of our advanced tools to find the best product for your needs.
Join our mailing list:
Become an insider

Unlimited access to full product reviews, test measurements and scores

test table UI

Product prices across the site on reviews, tables and tools

product prices UI

Additional votes for our
next reviews

Additional votes UI

Early Access
to our reviews and test measurements

Early Access UI

Create Discussion