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Anker Soundcore Spirit X2 evaluate: an astonishing worth

Anker Soundcore Spirit X2

“The Spirit X2 delivers on the promise of solid battery life, excellent weather resistance and booming bass.”

Solid battery life

Excellent weather protection

Big bass

Great value for money

Unattractive aesthetics

Awkwardly positioned controls

On paper, the Anker Soundcore Spirit X2 sounds too good to be true. They are offered as headphones with impeccable features at a remarkably low price. In most similar cases, there is usually some serious unmentioned disadvantage somewhere on the line.

There are a few quirks with the $ 80 Spirit X2 headphones, but they’re far from serious. Apart from these small flaws, the Spirit X2 lives up to the hype.

Out of the box

The packaging of the Spirit X2 opens in Binder-style and shows headphones, which are housed in a transparent plastic case next to the charging case. (I don’t know if this was intentional or not, but after taking the headphones and case out of the plastic shell, the remaining cutouts for the product are a dead alarm clock for an angry clown’s face.)

Anker Soundcore Spirit X2 headphonesNick Woodard / Digital Trends

Beneath the annoying clown compartment is a USB-C charging cable, a wholesome amount of extra earplugs and ear fins, and something that can only be characterized as an excessive amount of documentation. I’m all for a company to make sure I have everything I need to operate a device, but even by these standards it seems like too much.

All you need is the quick start guide to get started and you can effectively set the rest of the documents aside. Step 6 in the booklet instructs you to put the headphones in the charging case and then open the case without removing the phones. They’ll be put into pairing mode so you can find them in your mobile device’s bluetooth settings and connect. This connection is supported by Bluetooth 5 technology by the way, which works exactly as I expected, with seamless connectivity and an exceptional range.

design

The most polarizing part of the Spirit X2 design will no doubt be the large ear hooks that swing upward and rock the back of your ears. In a world where true pint-sized wireless earbuds have taken the market by storm, the bulkier footprint these headphones take is likely to give them the nickname of the group’s ugly duckling.

Anker Soundcore Spirit X2 headphonesNick Woodard / Digital Trends

And I have to agree with that feeling: somehow it’s you. From a purely aesthetic point of view, I found these headphones unattractive, at least when compared to a smaller pair of sporty earphones like the Urbanista Athens. Other than looks, I found the Spirit X2 very comfortable to wear, which is arguably more important. The hooks were tight around my ears but not restrictive. The ear fins and ear plugs fit snugly into the ear, but do not exert unnecessary pressure. The Spirit X2 has threaded the needle between comfort and function well, enabling a range of intense workouts and cardio sessions without having to adjust them.

The Spirit X2 has threaded the needle well between comfort and function.

The buttons on the headphones were functional, but ultimately not fun. You can change tracks, increase or decrease the volume, answer and reject calls and activate your preferred voice assistant by pressing one of the two buttons on one of the headphones accordingly. As long as you so desire, whatever you ask him to do will be done, get it right. However, it takes a lot of getting used to and it doesn’t help that the controls are clumsily attached to the top of the earhooks. I often picked up my phone to control the headphones. This is usually not what you want to do during a gym workout or for the long term.

properties

If I am being completely honest after this section of the review you can easily stop reading and you will have all you need to know about purchasing these headphones. Because if you can get on board with the earhook design, the Spirit X2’s features are a worthwhile buy for just $ 80.

Anker Soundcore Spirit X2 headphonesNick Woodard / Digital Trends

The battery life, which according to Anker is nine hours per charge and a total of 36 hours with the supplied case, makes the Spirit X2 a bargain. While these statistics may not be entirely accurate – I came in about 8.5 hours on my first few charges, even though I was listening at a higher volume most of the time – they are still better than many, far more expensive, earbuds. The Apple AirPods and Google Pixel Buds 2 are nowhere near those numbers, and the Jabra Elite Active 75t comes in 7.5 hours on a single charge and just 28 hours of total battery. Thanks to the quick charge function, with which you can play for 10 minutes for two hours, the Spirit X2 are an absolute budget battery champion.

The weather resistance IP68 protects the Spirit X2 from rain and complete immersion in up to two meters of water for a maximum of 30 minutes. Although Soundcore says these headphones are not suitable for swimming, showering, or exposure to pool or ocean water, it is still a solid rating for such an affordable product. The Urbanista Athens have IP67 protection, but are 50 US dollars more expensive.

At less than $ 100, I don’t know if real wireless sports headphones with better features exist.

Soundcore also advertises its “SweatGuard technology”, a “submarine structure and hydrophobic nano-coating” that helps ward off perspiration. I think it would take a longer period of testing to really assess how well the Spirit X2 compares to the effects of sweat compared to a traditional true wireless competitor, but adding extra protection against sweat is certainly not a bad thing, especially for this price.

Audio quality

Anker went to great lengths to market the low-end features of the Spirit X2. The company has integrated a technology called “BassTurbo”, which is inspired by the technology of high-end loudspeakers. Essentially, the technician positions “an acoustic chamber behind the (12mm) driver” to add low-end resonance. Put simply, it seems like a lot for $ 80 headphones, so of course I went straight to bass heavy tracks when I started listening to the Spirit X2.

Anker Soundcore Spirit X2 headphonesNick Woodard / Digital Trends

Holy cow.

I have regrets for doubting the Spirit X2’s marketing team, even though my reservations about the frequency with which features are overrated held valid. It’s refreshing to find cases where it doesn’t and the Spirit X2 delivers.

From the throbbing bass in tracks like Childish Gambino’s 3005 to the low notes in Lil Nas X’s Panini, the Spirit X2 delivered far better results than I’d previously thought for under $ 100 earphones. By using the dual EQ on the Spirit X2 and activating the “BassUp” mode, these headphones really rocked when listening to bass-heavy music. I no longer lift the weight I used to be (thanks to pandemic) but if I were at a gym again I would want that kind of low end in my ears when pumping up for a bench press.

These headphones really rocked when listening to bass heavy music.

The Spirit X2 doesn’t handle the rest of the frequency range nearly as well, but I’d say it’s definitely passable for most people shopping in this price range. The Jabra Elite Active 75t or the Sony WF-SP800N will certainly sound better overall, but at a much higher cost. If you also take into account the Spirit X2’s aptX support and a dual microphone approach that ensures adequate call quality, these headphones are really a bargain.

Our opinion

The Anker Soundcore Spirit X2 doesn’t have the tastiest design or the simplest controls. But they did promise exceptional battery life, full water resistance, and big bass in a $ 80 package – and, amazingly, they delivered.

Are there any better alternatives?

At less than $ 100, I don’t know if real wireless sports headphones with better features exist. For $ 130, the Urbanista Athens comes very close in the equipment department, offers solid sound and a more pleasant design than real funk buds. If the price doesn’t scare you, the Sony WF-SP800N has better battery life and active noise cancellation for $ 200.

How long will they last?

The Spirit X2 is backed by an 18 month warranty and more waterproof protection than most people know what to do. If you don’t deep-sea diving with them, they should endure well into the future.

Should you buy it?

Yes. Don’t let the earhooks and oddly placed controls put you off: The Spirit X2 is currently one of the best ratings for true wireless hearing and should be at the top of the list for anyone who can leave a few quirks behind.

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