The Soundpeats Air 3 come at a good price and with one eye-catching promise in particular—low latency video game Bluetooth earbuds that will give your games lag-free wireless audio without breaking the bank. How did they do? My feelings after two weeks of testing them can be summed up with the sentence: finally, I have Bluetooth earbuds that work flawlessly with my Switch.
UNBREAKING THE SOUND BARRIER– LAG-FREE GAMING AT A LOW PRICE
USER EXPERIENCE—GAMING AND MOBILE
If these buds are in your budget—and they are priced well—then you have access to a Bluetooth audio experience with very few drawbacks and plenty of upsides.
As this is a gaming website, let’s begin with the juiciest of details: the Soundpeats Air 3s have a dedicated game mode. Three taps of the left bud—part of a huge array of touch controls, which also includes ever-useful and sometimes-absent volume controls—and you’re in. Tested on the Switch, the earbuds give no visible lag whatsoever. They are perfect. Some of the most expensive earbuds from the biggest companies on the market can’t boast that. The result: for me, the last two weeks with these comfy little buds laying back on the sofa or in a hammock playing Live A Live (you can read the review on here) have been an overall blissful experience. Live A Live’s incredible music was relayed through the buds as a soundscape with crisply defined individual instruments and sound effects. The result was maximised immersion and just that little extra appreciation of a wonderful game.
Similarly, the earbuds make listening to music or podcasts on my phone a huge pleasure. My analytical review mind searched for nitpicks in the voices of podcast presenters. But all I found in my audio mind’s eye was a perfect reproduction of a sealed sound booth and professional standard microphone equipment. Similarly, the buds deliver music with detail and range. With clear bass and warm mid-tones that provide yet another immersive experience to add to the list. These buds tick a lot of boxes.
Battery life is around five hours, with the case able to recharge the buds up to a total of seventeen and a half hours. With normal use, I never needed to charge the buds. Through tests, I can confirm this healthy timescale is accurate. Realistically, therefore, they have more than enough power for most of us out there.
DESIGN, CONNECTIVITY & COMFORT
No compromises here, these are well-designed, smart-looking earbuds that come in a nice, compact, and slim case. There have been no instances of wonky connectivity, nor any random-warped slowdown from a struggling connection. It just hasn’t happened. The sense these earbuds give is that they are reliable and overall quality production.
They are half-in earbuds, so they rest in the ear opening rather than snug into a more secure, and sealing fit. I ran and they didn’t fall out, and their positioning remained consistent—but obviously. This design isn’t aimed at users who want earbuds for rigorous exercise. Sweaty ears could conceivably lead to one of the buds falling out. It’s possible, but not something that will happen during normal use around town or at home.
There is maybe one small issue: being half-in earbuds, they are susceptible to noise seeping from outside. Another pair of fully in-ear noise-cancelling buds I tested managed to eliminate this, but it’s not a dealbreaker. Next to a busy road, for example, I found it comfortable and effective to raise the volume a little and that was all. I never had to go too far, and never to a point where I made them too loud.
CALLS, MICROPHONES AND LAPTOPS
The mic works well with Whatsapp and phone calls—the sound quality wasn’t much different to the onboard microphone on my mobile. In contrast, the laptop experience on Zoom. Probably because of some mess of drivers, or something in Zoom itself, is poor. The microphone in this case is murky.
Beyond that, the experience with films is perfect—just set the buds to game mode—and YouTube, is also great—just set the buds off game mode. A technical explanation for the reason for the differences here is more than welcome. A comment with the answer below wins my utmost respect. The bottom line is that using the buds to listen to lag-less audio from your laptop works just as well as with game consoles.
There is an app that most people won’t have much call to use beyond making sure all the drivers are up to date or checking the battery levels on the earbuds. Also, the buds feature complete touch controls and a nice and easy system via the case for wiping the connection list clean and starting a fresh Bluetooth connection. Other buds don’t do this so easily, so it’s worth a mention.
Soundpeats have been in this game for over a decade—since 2010—and here they provide excellent quality. Near fully-functioned earbuds (the microphone on the laptop is their only issue) at excellent value. They are a match made in heaven for the likes of the Nintendo Switch, along with other gaming devices and mobiles. I’m a big fan, and they receive the Thumb Culture Platinum Award.
Disclaimer: A product was received in order to write this review.