Wireless headphones have become a daily necessity for most of us. Whether for work calls, motivation at the gym, or just to make a daily commute a little less miserable, the right headphones can vastly improve our day to day lives.
Advertised as wireless open-ear headphones, the SoundPeats RunFree Headphones are available for around £25.00 – £30.00. Let’s take a look at what your money buys you.
Design and Control
To start with, let me just say that the SoundPeats RunFree Headphones are simplistic, yet surprisingly comfortable. Made from food-grade silicone, the open-ear design connects wirelessly to your favourite devices via Bluetooth. While the nickel-titanium memory alloy neckband holds the headphones in place through the most rigorous of workout routines. Having the neckband means if you need to take them off your ear and rest them on your neck, you can. And you can be sure they’re not going anywhere – good design!
Chargeable with a USB-A to USB-C cable, a full charge will take 1.5 hours and last for 14 hours of play time. That’s a fair charge to usage ratio, considering the price. I’ll add that the charger cable is included with the purchase, but the plug is not. However it’s pretty reasonable to assume most buyers will already have a plug lying around, so this is more than acceptable.
Wireless connection is done via Bluetooth – version 5.3 – making the headphones compatible with most devices. Released back in July 2021, Bluetooth 5.3 remains a stable build and I experienced no instability at all. It’s also very easy to set them up, simply put them in pairing mode by holding the power button for 3 seconds.
Sound and Performance
For me personally, headphones need to be adaptable and comfortable. I use mine while working in the office, commuting on the trains and more recently, for working out in the gym. I also have a wide taste in music, with my playlists ranging from metal to country. So for me, the perfect headphones must; not leak sound, have good noise cancellation, be comfortable and – obviously – produce clear, quality sound. Let’s break down the SoundPeats performance for each of these areas.
Noise Cancellation & Sound Leaking
Being an open ear design, it’s unfair to expect much in the ways of noise cancelling or anti sound leak. To be brutally honest, when at full volume the SoundPeats RunFree Headphones are basically playing to you and everyone else in close proximity. They provide very little in the way of sound leakage protection. The same has to be said in terms of noise cancellation, as most sounds are able to reach your ears.
Comfort is where the SoundPeats RunFree Headphones really shine. Open ear headphones are generally comfier for longer than in ear alternatives, and the soft silicone materials of the SoundPeats really excel in this area. I used the headphones while working and had them on for a good 5 or 6 hours, and while I did start to feel them after a while… they were far comfier than my ear buds in the long run.
“Dual-mic call noise reduction, make a clearer phone call during exercise”
Surprisingly the SoundPeats RunFree Headphones have a built in microphone – that’s actually rather good. After reading the above state, I decide to put it to the test and made a few calls while running on the treadmill, and I have to admit I was surprised by the quality of the sound. These headphones have no issues with picking up your voice while you’re moving around. Considering the microphone is literally in the earphone (and therefore a good distance away from your mouth) don’t expect the quality to match your modern iPhone or Samsung… But for what it is, you really can’t fault it.
Last but certainly not least – sound quality. After using the SoundPeats at home, at the gym and while commuting, I can tell you that their overall sound quality is pretty good. They perform perfectly well when listening to pop music, podcasts and making calls. However they can lack bass and can also sound a little bit tinny when at full volume. So if you’re into your Skrillex, or bass-based music (see what I did there?) then these might not be for you.
In conclusion the SoundPeats RunFree Headphones are a decent budget headphone, they have just enough going for them to make them worth while. While it’s true they’re never going to compete with your £50+ brands, they handle themselves pretty well in the £20-£40 market. The long battery life, comfortable design and good performance at mid-volume make them a great headphone for the average everyday commuter or gym-goer.
I award the SoundPeats RunFree Headphones a Thumb Culture Silver Award.
Disclaimer: A product sample was received in order to write this review.