With its budget price tag, does the Soundpeats Free2 Classic deliver on audio quality?
I begin by admitting I’m not too familiar with the Soundpeats brand.
I recall seeing online advertisements for their wireless earbuds. Most if not all of these adverts display prices that are comfortably in the budget range too, I think.
Well, quick research online reveals that I did not remember wrongly, although there’s much more else to know. A popular name as far as cost-effectiveness is concerned, Soundpeats has won quite a few accreditations since the Chinese brand’s formation in 2010.
In 2021, it won two VGP Awards in Japan. One Gold Award and a “Special Prize for Cost-effectiveness.” Some brand reviews further highlight how the company has sold millions in the Japanese and US markets. I think the unspoken message here is: The brand is undoubtedly a leading player in the cost-conscious market segment.
Which brings me to the direction I’m undertaking for this review. Currently priced at an incredible USD 19.99 online (full price USD 29.90), check that out, just how well do Soundpeats’ Free2 Classic Wireless Earbuds fare?
At that price range, the earbuds expectedly do not come with advanced audio features like noise-cancelling and spatial transformation. But as far as basic sound and voice qualities are concerned, do these easy-on-the-wallet earbuds deliver?
Are they as celebrated? “Cost-effective?” Read on to find out!
This review was written using a sponsored set. All opinions are mine.
Soundpeats Free2 Classic Specifications
As per all my audio gear reviews, let’s begin by taking a look at the Free2 Classic’s key specifications and features.
- Driver: 6mm bio-compound diaphragm
- Bluetooth Version: 5.1
- Bluetooth Profile: HFP, A2DP, AVRCP
- Supported Bluetooth Codec: SBC
- Wireless Range: 33 feet
- Single Earbud Weight: 4.97g
- Charging Case Weight (with earbuds): 37.5g
- Playback time: 8 hours for one full charge; 30 hours in total with case
- Earbuds Charging Time: 1.5 hours
- Charging Case Charging Time: 2 hours
- Touch controlled
- Stylish laser-engraved leather texture for the charging case
- IPX5 Rating
- Dust-proof metal mesh mics for voice clarity
- One year warranty
On Soundpeats’ product page, the Free2 Classic is described as fashionable and perfect for daily use. In their words, an “all-day companion.”
Looking at the specs, I’d say these wireless earbuds were indeed designed for those purposes. They are lightweight and equipped with long battery life. The faux leather texture for the charging case, while perhaps not for everyone’s taste, affords the Free2 Classic a touch of style too.
On published specs and features alone, these earbuds look well equipped for the modern market.
My review set took slightly short of a week to arrive from China. On this, I frankly thought delivery would require longer, given the current worldwide shipping situation.
Design and Appearance
The rather cyberpunkish model on the box sleeve gives you a good idea of the design direction Soundpeats is going for with these wireless earbuds. (With most of their products, for their matter)
The gist of it, the look is decisively futuristic and loud. Soundpeats’ logo features prominently in silver on the touch control surface. Being on the larger side, the sharp contrast of colours immediately draws attention too.
The “leather” charging case might be a bit of a hit-and-miss with some folks, though. The texture does look like leather, no questions about that, but it is ultimately still plastic. There’s no softness to the surface at all.
To be clear, I like the charging case as it is. If intended for regular use, a hard surface feels more practical to me. That it visually looks stylish is good enough.
Bluetooth Connectivity and Comfort of Wear
Thanks to Bluetooth 5.1, the Free2 Classic connected effortlessly with my phone and laptop, and desktop. It was always a simple matter of removing them from the charging case and selecting the name on my connecting gadget.
Connectivity strength was also uniformly stable. As for range, it looks to be slightly more than the 33 feet / 10 metres stated in the specs list. I didn’t measure with a tape, of course, but I was able to move over 20 steps away in an open hall before the connection dropped. I think this range will satisfy most users.
Coming to comfort of wear, the Free2 Classic might look larger but they actually sit pretty in the ears.
This comfort is the result of the ergonomic shape and minimal weight. The design additionally does an admirable job of sealing i.e. blocking environmental sounds. I could barely hear a friend talking once the music is on.
All in all, I don’t have any dissatisfaction as far as connectivity and comfort are concerned. The best part is also that despite the great job at sealing, these wireless earbuds don’t generate much heat. I could watch the whole of Spiderhead with them without experiencing discomfort.
Let me first list down a summary of the touch controls:
- Single tap on left earbud: Reduce volume
- Single tap on right earbud: Increase volume
- Two taps on either earbud: Play/Pause/Answer call/End call
- Three taps on either earbud: Voice assistant
- Touch and hold left earbud for 1.5 secs: Previous track/Reject call
- Touch and hold right earbud for 1.5 secs: Next track/Reject call
- Touch and hold either earbud for 2 secs: Switch between calls
- Touch and hold either earbud for 6 secs: Enter manual pairing mode
I’ve mentioned several times in my other earphone reviews that I’m really, really not into touch controls. I just can’t get the hang of a “proper” double or triple tap.
The same, unsurprisingly, happened with the Free2 Classic. Although to be fair, the large touch area, prominently ringed in silver by the logo, made the controls slightly easier to manage.
Using single taps instead of multiple ones to adjust volume was a plus to me, though. In fact, a huge plus. Might not be the case for other users but volume is the one thing I fiddle with most when listening to music on my phone. I tend to do all my track switching and call responses on the phone itself.
That I don’t have to struggle to achieve the right tapping speed, just to enjoy a slight volume boost/reduction, is heavenly. Inane as it is to say.
Soundpeats Free2 Classic Sound Review
Let me start this section with a declaration. It’s tough for me to find major complaints about the sound quality of the Soundpeats Free2 Classic.
If I were to bring the budget price tag into consideration, I’d even feel guilty about picking on anything.
In a nutshell, the sound signature is crisp and alive with punchy basses. Mid-lows exhibit character while highs are generally well-managed and delivered; I only encountered tinny edges with the most aggressive instruments. Vocal clarity, likewise, is remarkable, with the capturing of instrument dynamics and nuances respectable.
Soundstage, on the other hand, is deep but noticeably on the narrower side. The latter could result in weaker accompaniments being cloaked but this only happens with very busy tracks. In most cases, placement is distinct with vocals clearly standing out, or should I say, at the front. Applied to movies and shows, and talk, this means there’s no muddying of dialogue.
To repeat, it’s hard not to be impressed by the overall sound quality, doubly so when the price tag is taken into consideration. I wouldn’t say the Free 2 Classic exhibits outstanding magic with any particular range or area, but neither is there any blaring shortcoming with any.
Or perhaps I should put it this way. These Soundpeats earbuds are easy on the wallet but certainly not, at all, cheap on sound quality. Had I not visited Soundpeats’ online store beforehand, I’d value the model at twice its retail price.
Review Conclusion: A Trendy & Affordable Daily Companion
I usually end my earphone reviews with a section on what I feel the model is great for. This time round, I think I’ll comment on Soundpeats’ promotion literature. That of the Free2 Classic being an “ultimate all-day companion.” One that’s suitable for “fashionmongers” too.
On the latter, I wouldn’t say the appearance is a winner for everyone. Most likely, the black/silver appearance would find better reception with the sporty, outgoing crowd. Or those looking for a louder, futuristic look.
Sound quality, in contrast, is hard to fault, especially when considering the retail price. While one can’t say the quality is exemplary in every yardstick, if you’re looking for a pair of lightweight wireless earphones for casual use, the Free2 Classic will more than suffice. Actually, I think even audiophiles would be impressed.
Lastly, and I’ve yet to touch on this, latency performance scores well. I ran through most of my older open-world games and I didn’t encounter any issues. If you intend to use these earbuds for casual gaming, I believe you wouldn’t be disappointed.
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