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Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Pro vs Bose SoundSport Free II: Which is Better

You may have heard of Anker, an electronics manufacturer that has made it big in the US with affordable and solid products in many categories – especially battery packs and various types of chargers. 

Today’s product we have Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Pro, a relatively expensive set of true wireless plugs in the Anker world, with active noise reduction and what Soundcore calls “PureNote” technology for better sound. The price is still not higher than around a thousand kroner, even though not many stores carry the product.

Air 2 Pro should not be confused with Air 2, which does not have active noise reduction, or Liberty 2 Pro, a more sound-focused set of dual drivers.

The story of Bose’s Sleepbuds has been motley, to say the least. First, some reacted to Bose using public funding to launch the sleeping plugs in the first instance in 2018. Then Bose had to withdraw the entire product after several customers experienced battery problems. They even apologized to the customers.

Now version two is here. The battery has been replaced, and according to Bose, should be far more reliable than before. The Bluetooth antenna has been upgraded; Bose claims to have changed the external material to prevent the plugs from “rubbing” against the pillow at night. The ability to mask noise has become even better. Thanks to a new speaker inside, better passive attenuation, and a more extensive arsenal of masking sounds.

SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Bose SoundSport Free II
Comfortable to wearNice case with powerful magnets
Good battery lifeMostly comfortable to wear
Stable connectionSmart LEDs that tell the status
Value for your moneyWeaker battery life
Not waterproofQuite expensive

Specification

SoundCore Liberty Air 2 ProBose SoundSport Free II
$CHECK PRICECHECK PRICE
BrandAnkerBose
ReleasedJanuary 2021October 2020
ModelSoundcore Liberty Air 2 ProBose SoundSport Free II
Weight2.4 ounces0.317 ounces
Dimension4.61 x 2.4 x 6.73 inches0.98 x 1.1 x 0.5 in inches
TypeIn-EarIn-Ear
ColorsBlack, Blue, White, PinkOnyx Black, Titanium White, Sapphire Blue, Crystal Pink
Driver11mm Dynamic
ANCYesNo
Foldable DesignNoNo
MicrophoneYes
Music ControlsYesYes
SpeakersYesYes
Impedance16
Frequency Response20Hz-20,000Hz
Bluetooth5.05.0
Water ResistanceNoIPX4
CodecSBC, AACSBC, AAC
Battery Type55mAh Lithium Polymer
Battery LifeUp to 26 hrUp to 26 hr
Connector TypeUSB-C, Qi wireless charging USB-C, Qi wireless charging

Design

In terms of design, the Liberty Air 2 Pro is not a little reminiscent of Libratone’s Track Air +, but we will not be offended if you would instead draw the comparison with Apple’s AirPods thanks to the long stick down to the mouth. We think the matte white color may be a bit more dressy than Apple’s high-gloss white, and it will probably also be significantly more resistant to grease marks and scratches.

The case is a kind of gray-melted plastic, with a glossy Soundcore logo in the middle. The lid is opened by pushing it up with your thumb and can easily be opened with one hand – although we may have to make a slight reservation about how it will feel when you inevitably get dust and dirt into the sliding mechanism.

Soundcore is also quite generous when it comes to how many rubber tips they attach to the package. Here you get nine sizes from XXXS to XL, so if you do not have extraordinary ears, you should be able to find a size that fits. 

The case is slightly larger than, for example, Apple’s AirPods Pro case and completely bordering on what we would call pocket-friendly – of course, a bit depending on what kind of pocket you should have it in. Three small diodes in the front tell about battery status, and a button on the back is used to pair the plugs. Charging is done “naturally” with USB-C – possibly wireless since there is a Qi coil inside here. Not quite common in this price range.

These do not sit as well in my ears as Jaybird Vista 2 or Bose Sport Earbuds, both of which have wings to hold them in place. But also AirPods Pro and several other models without wings sit a notch better than Liberty Air 2 Pro – without that means that they do not sit well. They do not feel as locked in as some others do, for whatever reason.

The product’s actual design is essentially the same as before, with tiny plugs, soft wings that hold them in place in the ear, and a rather large and lavish case that the plugs are clicked into with magnets to charge.

The plugs are – as before – very comfortable to wear. If you have used Bose’s regular earplugs with wings, you have a good indication of how they are designed, only that these are even softer and even more comfortable. It comes with three sizes in the box – small, medium, and large, where the standard size medium worked fine.

In addition, the plugs are considerably smaller than regular earplugs for music and other things, which of course they must also be for it to be possible to sleep well with them – at least as long as you sleep in some other way than on your back.

The undersigned’s sleeping position is, for example, on the stomach, and even though the plugs are very compact, it can be challenging to find a position that means that they are not “in the way.” If you do not lie exactly right, you can quickly end up with the plugin the ear facing the pillow ending up in a kind of vacuum that makes you not hear the masking sound.

The case otherwise has, as mentioned, a fairly high premium feel, with Apple-like brushed aluminum, small LEDs that tell about battery and charging status, and a rubberized underside that gives friction to the surface. Bose has also added an extra contact point where the plugs are attached to the case (has gone from two to three), mainly to ensure they sit where they should during charging.

The magnets seem solid, and it is effortless to get the click plugs in place. You will also receive confirmation from the LED below that the plugs are fitted as desired.

Connectivity

The call quality is something Soundcore itself emphasizes, among other things in that a total of six microphones will bring you clearly and distinctly through to the other party. They essentially do that too. The microphones somewhat attenuate the surroundings, but fortunately, avoid silencing away you and the surroundings if there is some noise around you. The downside to this is that it can be difficult to understand if it is very noisy, such as walking along a busy road or blowing fresh. Overall, we experienced them as above average in this area.

The Soundcore app also has its fit test that tells you if you have a good enough seal against the ear canal, as we have seen more and more brands offer lately.

Bose itself claims that Sleepbuds II produces more sound at the lower frequencies that are beneficial for noise masking than the first generation did, and we are inclined to agree. At the same time: There are limits to what you can manage to “mask” away by putting another sound on top, so if your partner snores very loudly and sharply, you may still wake up. If you like sleeping with the window open and have a busy road nearby, this is great, and we also know that many people want to sleep with some sound. Then Sleepbuds II will be right up your alley.

A nice new feature is that the plugs now have a built-in alarm, so you can set a time for waking up. That said, a rather abrupt alarm right into the ear canal is not exactly a very comfortable way to start the day.

Audio Quality

The Liberty plugs do not sound bad at all. Still, for the undersigned, the hearing test gave an even fuller and more open sound image with a notch more impact at the bottom of the register. The elements are 11 millimeters, which are pretty significant elements for genuine wireless plugs to be.

The sound image is otherwise large, airy, and well-balanced, with a warm and pleasant sound. The treble is pretty, sharp, and well-resolved without being cutting and tiring. There is generally very little to complain about the Soundcore sound, especially considering the price of these. They have plenty of deep, pumping bass and are very engaging to listen to, without any parts of the soundscape taking over.

You have to go all the way to the absolute best true wireless plugs to find something marginally better than these, and they often cost three times as much. Then we think, for example, of the Sony WF-1000XM4 and Sennheiser Momentum TW 2. We are mainly talking about an even more refined and detailed treble reproduction and perhaps a slightly firmer bass.

The noise reduction is also reasonably good. They are almost at the AirPods Pro level in pure decibels, but the Soundcore plugs are a bit ashamed that they produce slightly more electronic noise than the Apple plugs do. It probably does not bother you much if you listen to something, but it can be noticeable if you sit with the plugs in your ears and want to enjoy the silence.

Here too, however, the Soundcore plugs perform better than what the price tag might suggest. You can also change the noise reduction mode in the app, with three choices: transport, indoor and outdoor. The different modes should prioritize slightly different noise frequencies, but in practice, you will probably find that the transport mode works fine no matter where you are.

The exception is if it blows a lot, where the outdoor mode has a more robust wind filtration than the others – at the expense of some of the noise reduction power. In such circumstances, it may still be worth switching.

The plugs have no button but can recognize touches at the top of the “pin” on each plug – where the Soundcore logo is located. Out of the box, you have the option of either double-tapping or holding down the “button,” and by default, it is set up as follows:

  • Double-tap: Play / pause (right) and next song (left)
  • Hold: Turn noise reduction on / off.

You can also choose to activate a single tap on each of the plugs, and here you can also get volume control. At the same time, the touch panel is so sensitive that it takes no more than a slight adjustment of the fit before you increase or decrease the sound, something we found so annoying that we turned it off again. Otherwise, you can select most of the functions for the other commands as well, which we always appreciate. In any case, the standard layout works perfectly well, and we have not experienced any problems with them not perceiving touches.

If you are not so familiar with Sleepbuds, then it is Bose’s completely wireless earplugs that will help you sleep. They do not play music, only different sounds / white noise that will cover other noise around you, such as snoring or traffic.

For the sake of order, Sleepbuds does not have noise cancellation but instead leans on passive noise reduction and thus masking sound in your ears. These sounds can be aircraft cabin noise, waves crashing against the beach, or the wind fluttering in leaves on the ground.

Bose’s argument is that noise masking is more effective against “uneven” sounds such as the partner’s snoring or the sound from a party upstairs, while active noise reduction – which Bose is best known for – works best when it comes to the type of even noise we experience on a plane or on the bus.

Bose divides the sounds you can choose from into three categories – noise masking, natural landscape, and “soothing,” of which the first two are different noise images that are not very different from each other. 

The different audio tracks are also stored on the plugs, and you have room for about ten other ways at any one time – if you want to add something new, something else must be added. Since Sleepbuds only has so-called Bluetooth LE, ie low-energy Bluetooth, you get a reasonably light transfer speed. If you want to add new sounds, it can in theory, take as much as 10-20 minutes, but we mainly experienced that it was done in a couple of minutes.

Battery

The battery life is stated at seven hours per charge, in addition to almost three more charges in the case, a total of 26 hours. It is probably without noise reduction activated, but our experience is that noise reduction does not cost much battery time, with somewhere between five and six hours with noise reduction activated. That’s pretty good. Often you have to compromise a bit on battery life on less expensive wireless plugs, but not here. A quarter of an hour with the cable connected should otherwise provide enough power in the case for three hours of listening – and the bonus is that the case also supports wireless charging.

Something you might want is waterproofing, but here there is no IP certification to report. It may be worth considering if you plan to use them a lot for exercise. You also do not get any support for the Aptx codec, but it almost seems to be on its way out with everything but the most expensive earplugs. That said, you also get decent sound with AAC, which is supported here, but it can potentially have something to do with the synchronization between audio and video on some phones.

A negative consequence of Bose’s rebuilding of Sleepbuds is that they have switched from very energy-tight silver-zinc batteries to slightly less energy-tight nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. It has reduced the playing time per charge from 16 to 10 hours. You do get three extra charges in the case, up from one in the previous generation, but battery life is perhaps my most powerful objection to Sleepbuds II.

Sleepbuds II does not quite live up to its promise. There seems to be a constant small energy drain, which makes the feeling that annoyingly often comes to powerless plugs. That said, 10 hours is still more than enough to keep you with sound in your ear through most nights of sleep.

Conclusion!

We would not have been surprised if Liberty Air 2 Pro had cost twice what they do. They deliver solid in most areas – with good sound, good noise reduction, good battery life, and high comfort. They do not sit as effortlessly as plugs with wings and some other models, but the fit is still perceived as good enough to use them in most contexts – perhaps except very energetic training.

In practice, Soundcore seems to have taken most of the features that have worked well with other brands, and the combination is perfect.

If you have thought about Apple’s AirPods Pro or Sony’s WF-1000XM4 but think they are a bit too expensive, this is a competent and much cheaper alternative. We can only hope that they appear in more stores eventually.

We had no major issues with first-generation Sleepbuds, but apparently, there were quite a few others who had. Enough that Bose pulled them back, went back to the drawing board, and came back with a new and upgraded model. The battery that caused the problems with the first version was replaced with a more reliable but less energy-efficient NiMH battery.

Unfortunately, it has cut the battery life somewhat, but otherwise, we feel Sleepbuds II does the one job they do in an excellent way. They are so small that they can sleep comfortably in most cases. The masking sounds are reasonably effective and so unobtrusive that even the undersigned, who usually prefer absolute silence when sleep, manage to fall asleep with them.

AUDIO

SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL vs Steelseries Apex 3: Which is Better Keyboard

SteelSeries is a brand that knows how to make powerful, affordable and simple devices. The SteelSeries Apex 3 keyboard is the perfect example of the know-how of the Danish brand, a keyboard, simple but effective at a more than affordable price.

The SteelSeries Apex 3 is an entry-level gaming keyboard that combines good build quality with an affordable price for a keyboard.  It belongs to the brand’s Glow Up range: “Superior quality products at an affordable price offering the cutting-edge innovation and high-end performance of SteelSeries”. What is it worth? 

Let’s compare the SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL vs Steelseries Apex 3 in our full review of the new SteelSeries keyboard.

Specification

SteelSeries Apex 3 TKLSteelSeries Apex 3
$CHECK PRICECHECK PRICE
BrandSteelSeriesSteelSeries
Released‎October 12, 2021January 15, 2020
Dimensions5.94 x 17.52 x 1.57 inches5.94 x 17.52 x 1.57 inches
SizeTenKeyLess (80%)Full-size (100%)
Weight1.41 lbs (0.640 kg)1.76 lbs (0.800 kg)
ColourBlackBlack
ConnectivityWiredWired
MechanicalNoNo
Keycap MaterialABSABS
Latency Wired 10.6 ms10.7 ms
BacklightingYesYes
Multimedia KeysDedicatedDedicated
BluetoothYesYes
Key Lifespan20 million keystrokes20 million keystrokes
NumpadNoYes
BatteryNo BatteriesNo Batteries
CompatibilitymacOS, WindowsmacOS, Windows
SoftwareSteelSeries GGSteelseries Engine

Design

In terms of design, this Apex 3 TKL is the same as the classic apex 3, without the numeric keypad hence its name TKL. The keyboard is simple, black without any particular frills. We only see three logos on the entire keyboard.

On the front of the keyboard, you will find the SteelSeries logo in grey on black, very discreet; we hardly notice it. Just above, you will have your keyboard as such, or the keys are square and come out with their backlight.

On the right of the keyboard, there are the directional switches on top of the Windows action switches, the play/pause button, and the sound adjustment dial, nothing special. Still, more than enough in itself, this is quite the purpose of this SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL keyboard.

The keyboard is made of ABS plastic, with a pleasant touch that leaves no fingerprints; on the other hand, it takes dust very quickly, so it will have to be cleaned often if you do not like a dirty keyboard like me. As usual at SteelSeries, the quality is good; being accustomed to their products is always a pleasure in terms of design and manufacture quality.

The backlight of this keyboard is very simple, quite effective even if it slightly lacks brightness through the keys; the distribution of light in the characters is quite uneven, but in itself nothing serious it remains pretty and practical without being in them too much.

On the underside of the keyboard, you will find five buffers, two of which are used to adjust the tilt of the keyboard, but also the passage of the keyboard cable that allows you to pass it in the centre, left or right.

The SteelSeries Apex 3 keyboard is built in a way that is inspired by high-end keyboards. Indeed, the device tastes like a polymer chassis of superior quality. Although “polymer” only means plastic, it doesn’t make a difference to use with the aluminum alloy found on the SteelSeries Apex 7, the high-end keyboard of the Apex series. The keyboard can be raised using two triggers positioned below the keyboard.

About the bottom, it is marked with a sheath that guides the cable either to the left, middle, or right of the keyboard to avoid having to endure that its cable drags where you do not want it. 

The keyboard, of course, offers two small winders to adjust the angle at which you want your keyboard to be more of an optimal keystroke. Five non-slip surfaces are placed on the back of the keyboard to ensure its stability.

On the other side, facing the user is a plate composed of 105 keys that sport the keyboard and form an AZERTY layout. An FN key hidden under a keycap of the SteelSeries logo allows activating more functions, such as disabling the Windows key in the game. But this function key also enables you to lower or increase the brightness and change the backlight animations.

At the top right are the logo of the brand and four LEDs that allow you to know if you have activated the Caps lock, scroll lock, num lock, or the lock of the Windows key in-game. Still on the part at the top right is positioned a wheel to adjust the volume. Present on a good part of the brand’s keyboards. It is handy when you get used to it. Next to this wheel is positioned a button with a horizontal bar. This is used to pause or move on to the next music.

The little plus of this keyboard is that it is certified by the IP32 standard, guaranteeing its increased resistance to damage caused by possible spills of liquids on the keyboard.

Comfort

SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL is not a mechanical keyboard, but the switches are comfortable and quieter than many gaming keyboards.

The typing feedback of the keyboard keys is excellent, the keyboard responds well, and the layout of the keys is well done, quite classic, but effective in itself. 

The SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL keyboard is mounted with Whisper-quiet Gaming switches with a durability of 20 million keystrokes which is not bad. Before seeing it at the end of its life, writing a lord of the rings trilogy will be necessary.

The SteelSeries Apex 3 is close to a high-end keyboard even in terms of comfort. The keyboard comes with magnetic plastic wrist rest in the box. The latter leaves the user with increased comfort since he has support to rest his wrists.

The switches of this keyboard are not mechanical as on more high-end keyboards, but membrane. These membrane switches are less pleasant but for all that is widely used in any case, whether typing or gaming. But, membranes have disadvantages; they allow water resistance and silent typing, which changes us from the noise that mechanical keyboards make.+

Because switches or switches are membranes- keycaps are also different from those found on a mechanical keyboard. A hole replaces the usual cross. It will, therefore, not be possible to buy third-party keycaps and install them on the keyboard. However, the latter are comfortable and legible and therefore have no reason to be interchanged.

Backlight

The keyboard is backlit in a relatively sober way. Thanks to the SteelSeries Engine software, everything is configured and allows a reasonably advanced configuration with three lighting designs with the colors you want.

  • Fixed
  • Colorshift
  • Multicolored breathing

The configuration of the colors can be done by sharing the eight parts defined on the keyboard in fixed parameters; it is quite well done.

Note that it is also possible to adjust the brightness directly from the keyboard using the F11 and F12 keys by pressing SteelSeries S key on the keyboard, which works as an FN key.

This is in itself quite limited, but it remains in line with the simplicity of the keyboard, no complex configuration, it is simple and effective and, in my opinion, perfectly functional and sufficient for this keyboard.

The backlight of this keyboard is spread over 10 vertical areas. Unlike the Apex 7, the Apex 3 does not have one diode per key, but 10 independently configurable zones. Indeed, mechanical switches with RGB LEDs cost much more and would drastically increase the price of the keyboard. This zone lighting is, however, not without usefulness: it illuminates between the keys. It does not just illuminate the top of keycaps as on most mechanical keyboards with RGB backlight.

However, the backlight of this keyboard remains powerful and largely satisfactory for the range in which it is located.

SteelSeries Engine Software

SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL– To configure your keyboard and all the brand’s peripherals, install the straightforward and well-designed SteelSeries Engine software. This will allow you to configure the different shortcuts of your choice.

You will be able to record Macro commands according to your needs directly from the keyboard shortcuts option once the keyboard is selected in the software.

In addition, you can adjust the language configuration of your keyboard from its settings in addition to shortcuts and backlight. They are effortless and have more than enough options for this keyboard; they make coffee perfectly for basic gaming and productivity.

SteelSeries Apex 3- The Engine 3 software allows you to configure the RGB backlight with a gallery of effects: fixed, ColorShift, Multicolor breathing, and off. The colors can be customized either zone by area by the color checkerboard located on the right of the window and by a color selector that leaves the user the choice of his favorite color. However, it should still be taken with tweezers because the colors indicated on the software are not the same as those displayed by the keyboard. 

The keyboard is compatible with PrismSync. This feature makes it possible to synchronize RGB lighting between the devices of the brand. It becomes possible to have the same effect between your motherboard, screen, headset, mat, mouse, and even your keyboard. In particular, the feature works on the Apex 3 and Rival 2 combo, the entry-level keyboard, and the mouse from SteelSeries. The two devices that are members of the Glow Up series thus enter the Steelseries ecosystem and adapt very well.

Conclusion

The SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL keyboard is good, basic sober, and quality to cover most of everyone’s needs without being too much.

The SteelSeries Apex 3 is a membrane RGB gaming keyboard. With a good build quality and excellent software, it is a good choice for gamers wanting to enter the Steelseries universe.

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AUDIO

Huawei FreeBuds Studio vs AKG K245: Headphone Comparison

Huawei FreeBuds Studio is a full-size wireless active noise-canceling headphones. The first model in this segment is from Huawei. Claimed: high-quality (intelligent) noise reduction, excellent sound, and good voice transmission—technological and stylish model. In the comparision, we’ll see if it can compete with the leaders in the ANC headphone segment. For the price – a competitor. Let’s see if it is justified. 

The AKG K245 are dynamic headphones, circumaural and open, with two moving coil drivers with 50-millimeter diaphragms. It is foldable but does not do without the headband system for a comfortable fit and automatic size adjustment, for which AKG continues to earn a lot of praise.

Pros and Cons

Huawei FreeBuds StudioAKG K245
High quality soundDetailed sound
Comfortable fitHigh wearing comfort
Solid battery lifeControlled bass
Decent ANCInhibited high mids / highs
No wired connection optionEarcups may be small for larger ears
Non-folding designSound stage restricted for open-back

Specification

Huawei FreeBuds Studio AKG K245
$CHECK PRICECHECK PRICE
ModelFreeBuds StudioK245
BrandHuaweiAKG
ReleasedJanuary 11, 2021Jul 16, 2019
Dimension194 x 152 x 81.5 mm220 x 109 x 234.95 mm
Weight 260 g295 g
Earpiece ConnectionWirelessWired
TypeOver-EarOver-Ear
FoldableNoYes
DetachableNoYes
Frequency Response4 Hz to 48 kHz15 Hz to 25 kHz
Sensitivity109 DB @ 1 kHz
ColoursGold, BlackBlack
Driver 40 mm50 mm
ANCNoNo
Impedance 32 Ohms32 Ohms
Controls YesNo
Audio ConnectorWireless3.5 mm
Cable Length1.2 m3 m
CodecsSBC,AAC
Battery Life24 hrs

Design

HUAWEI FreeBuds Studio looks not only beautiful but stylish and, most importantly, original. They will be recognizable. The body is made of plastic, supplemented with artificial leather, and only the hinges are made of metal. On the other hand, it lightens the weight of the headphones. Plastic is not cheap; it looks sophisticated and is very pleasant to the touch. And the build quality is also pleasing since there are no squeaks; the case is durable and does not lend itself to deformation when pressed. You can choose from two color options – black and gold. Both versions look decent. HUAWEI FreeBuds Studio Black – a more restrained version, classic. Gold is soft and sophisticated. The headband around the entire perimeter is softened with leatherette; since it is huge, the headphones look solid. The bowls themselves have a minimum of decor. These are just two-stage bowls, each with a logo on them.

The buttons are made in the same color as the entire body. The absence of other colors and intricate details makes the model even more attractive. The hinges also fit into the overall concept as they are made to match the body color. They turn easily. The ear cushions are super soft, making the HUAWEI FreeBuds Studio headphones comfortable. Material – artificial leather. 

The cups are hardly noticeable on the ears. As much as possible in principle. Thanks to the ability to adjust the position of the cups (the hinges can be pulled out by about 4 cm on each side), the headphones are suitable for people with different head sizes.

AKG K245 are closed-back headphones ideal for recording, mixing, and listening. AKG K245 is equipped with two powerful 50mm diaphragms, which provide clear sound with a special low-frequency response and wide stereo panorama.

A recognition feature of AKG studio headphones for years: the elastic, self-adjusting headband automatically adapts to the anatomy of the head. A manual fork extension is unnecessary. The slim, striking and contemporary and timeless design.

These headphones can play music at high volume on mobile players (smartphones) and USB audio interfaces due to the low impedance of 32 ohms. Soft, comfortable ear cushions ensure comfortable use and excellent sound insulation. All other AKG K245 components are made of metal, making them durable and reliable, and they can be folded.

The shape of these earbuds creates an ideal position for all types of heads, thanks to the automatic headband adjustment.

Comfort

Huawei FreeBuds Studio is a comfortable headphone. The ear cushions are soft, large, and deep: fit any ears; the downforce is comfortable: it doesn’t press anything, doesn’t rub; the lining of the headband is also soft: it does not bother at all. You can spend several hours wearing headphones without discomfort. 

Of course, it’s frustrating that the headphones don’t fold. You can only turn the bowls. It can be carried around the neck. But in a backpack or bag, they take up a lot of space, moreover, in a case. But on the head, they look neat and do not “chew” the owner.

The AKG K245 is very comfortable to wear. At first, at 284 grams (excluding cables), it is below the average for over-ear headphones. Heat build-up is not an issue with open headphones due to the design. The contact pressure is light to moderate.

The AKG-typical headband with self-adjustment distributes the pressure over a large area over my skull. So it can do without a thick layer of padding, and after a few minutes of listening to music, it has completely disappeared from my perception. Great.

There is just enough space in the interior of the ear pads for my medium-sized ears. They adapt well and are covered with comfortable synthetic leather. All in all, the best comfort is offered.

Audio

The frequency response is very good, from 4 to 48,000 Hz. But it is not entirely clear why such “latitude” is. After all, it is believed that a person hears from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, and that is not all. In addition, over a wireless connection, it is from 20 to 20,000 Hz that is transmitted as standard. But still, what about the sound? The sound is really good.

Headphones Huawei FreeBuds Studio is equipped with active noise canceling system. The noise reduction is good, but it falls short of the leaders (Sony and Bose). At the maximum level, both low-frequency sounds and part of the mid-frequency noise are well choked. At the same time, there is no particularly unpleasant pressure on the ears. There is background noise, though. But only in the “ultra” mode. There is little or no influence of noise reduction on sound quality.

The headphones sound convincing when listening to different genres of music. In general, the music reaches the ears in the form the creators wanted to convey it. Therefore, what genre the owner prefers does not matter – everything will sound bright, dynamic, and pleasant. Therefore, the HUAWEI FreeBuds Studio headphones are suitable for mixing different tracks and listening to rock after classics and pop.

The sound is detailed; the high frequencies are well developed, the bass is soft and elastic. The bass is not too punchy, so lovers of low frequencies will need to play with the settings. There is additional processing to the sound, but it is delicate and precise to feel natural. By quality HUAWEI FreeBuds Studio can be compared with the Sony WH-1000XM4; this model is inferior to the sensational headphones from Sony. The HUAWEI FreeBuds Studio headphones support the SBC, AAC, and L2HC codecs. The model’s review made it possible to find out since there is no such information.

The AKG K245 sounds pleasantly deeply padded, and the bass is accurate for the price range. The large, 50mm diameter drivers do a great job.

In the field of sibilants, the AKG K245 is extremely mild; sharpness is completely alien to it. On the one hand, this enables long studio sessions without symptoms of fatigue but also carries the risk of mixing up with excessive sibilants, prominent cymbals, etc.

The last foothills of the middle and the lower highs seem inhibited. Only the top, finely chiseled heights are visible again. Studio headphones declared as mix monitoring could be more balanced.

The spatial separation of individual instruments and sounds in the stereo panorama is not very differentiated. Compared to the now cheaper classics like the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO, the AKG K245 leaves springs. After all: the middle of the phantom is visible, something I miss with so many other mid-range studio headphones.

In terms of dynamics, the AKG K245 shows a very decent performance; transients are clearly defined. However, this is sometimes counteracted by the overall too powerful bass range.

Conclusion

HUAWEI FreeBuds Studio headphones have good sound and noise cancellation. They are suitable for listening to different music, and for watching video content and games too. Noise cancellation, thanks to 6 microphones, is very high quality. If you want to isolate yourself from the whole world to enjoy your favorite tracks, then HUAWEI FreeBuds Studio is the right choice. Add to this good battery life and ergonomics the presence of nice features – transparent sound, reaction to the removal of the headphones, and we get almost perfect headphones. 

The main problem of Bluetooth HUAWEI FreeBuds Studio is the unexpected price. It’s just that we are not used to Huawei headphones costing so much. But if you evaluate the model in terms of price and quality, it certainly deserves a high cost. 

The AKG K245 is a thoroughly successful headphone. The open, dynamic player plays tonally balanced, with minimally emphasized bass, considerate presences, and a slightly more cautious super high frequency. It does very well for the price range in terms of dynamics and plasticity/stage, even if these are not its proven parade disciplines.

It is particularly well suited for continuous listening to music – and that means the long day: Both the sound and the comfortable wearing properties make it a veritable marathon listener. If you also consider that it is very mobile thanks to its folding mechanism and does not leave any nasty scars in the wallet, it is worth a recommendation.

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AUDIO

Ugreen HiTune T2 vs Ugreen HiTune True: Wireless Earbuds Comparision

Anyone who hears Ugreen will primarily think of charging cables and power banks. But the Chinese manufacturer has also expanded into the true wireless sector for a while and is trying to make a name for itself there.

Ugreen Hitune and equipping its TWS with the high-resolution aptX codec. For a retail price of barely more than $30, that’s an announcement. We therefore put the Ugreen HiTune T2 with Ugreen HiTune True clarified whether it has what it takes to stand out from the crowd.

Pros and Cons

Ugreen HiTune T2Ugreen HiTune True
Surprisingly good microphonesHigh resolution aptX codec
Good wearing comfortDifferentiated, neutral sound
Full music controlLong battery life
Good price / performanceGood price / performance
No aptXNo volume control
No app connectionLow background noise

Specification

Ugreen HiTune T2Ugreen HiTune True
$CHECK PRICECHECK PRICE
ModelHiTune T2 HiTune True
BrandUgreen Ugreen
ReleasedMarch 29, 2021June 29, 2020
Dimension0.79 x 1.18 x 1.57 inches0.02 x 0.02 x 0.07 inches
TypeIn EarIn Ear
FoldableNoNo
Frequency Response20Hz-20,000 Hz
Audio CodecQualcomm aptX, AAC, SBC
ColorsWhite, Black, Blue, PinkBlack
Driver 14mm Drivers5.8 mm
ANCENC Noise CancelingQualcomm cVc 8.0
WaterproofIPX5IPX5
DetachableNoNo
ControlsYesNo
Bluetooth5.05.0
Bluetooth CodecsHSP, HFP, AVRCP, A2DPHSP, HFP, AVRCP, A2DP
Battery LifeUpto 20 hrsUpto 27 hrs
Charging time1.5 Hours 2 Hours
Charging PortUSB CUSB C

Design

Ugreen HiTune T2- You cannot compare the two models directly with each other and it is not a successor, you can already see that in the optics. While the Ugreen HiTune T2 has a rod design for hanging, the HiTune are classic in-ear TWS.

The pricing remains pleasant. For 45$ Ugreen continues to use large drivers, but saves aptX. Like almost all manufacturers, Ugreen mainly uses plastic for the housing. The HiTune T2 are no exception. Of course, Apple comes to mind at first glance, especially when the earbuds are completely white.

But on closer inspection, several differences emerge. The Ugreen HiTune T2 has a significantly more angular shape on the outside. The rod is thicker and the earpiece is also a bit larger. In addition, useful functions such as the proximity sensor that detects whether the headphones are hanging in the ear are missing .

There are two microphones , a status LED on the top, and the possibility to operate the earbuds via touch control. By the way, the primary microphone is, as usual with these models, on the underside of the stem between the charging contacts.

The charging station is also designed more classically. This also means that the station cannot be set up, only laying is possible. But that doesn’t matter in this case, because Ugreen has at least come up with good arguments against setting the HiTune T2.

Ugreen is comparatively broad in terms of color.The standard versions in black and white , the HiTune T2, are also available in pink and a dark blue.

Ugreen HiTune True- The headphones are small and handy. Including the charging cradle, the whole product weighs only 46 grams of the scale. With dimensions of 6.2 x 3.5 x 3.6 millimeters, the case disappears in every jacket pocket without attracting any attention. The case is made entirely of plastic and has a slightly roughened surface that is relatively well protected against scratches.

The shell can be opened via a folding mechanism. The earphones are held in place with a magnet, which effectively prevents them from accidentally falling out. All seals of approval and a few technical data were printed inconspicuously on the underside of the shell. There is a contemporary USB-C port for charging on the back of the charging cradle. It is very nice that Ugreen no longer uses the outdated micro-USB for the inexpensive TWS.

Comfort

Basically, with the design of the chopsticks, the wearing comfort is good. Nothing is pushed into the ear canal, and no material wants to spread in it. You hang the earbud in the outer ear. There are only a few exceptions to this negative circumstance. Fortunately, the Ugreen T2 is not one of them.

However, the earbuds are quite large at 4.3 x 1.6 x 1.9 centimeters (L x W x D). The stick also looks relatively thick. The T2 found a good grip in my ears but did not stay in the best possible position when readjusting, which was detrimental to the sound. You’re well-positioned when it comes to weight. Each earbud weighs 5.5 grams. They feel a little heavier, but that’s still fine.

Due to its shape, the station is, of course quite flexible. Pants or jacket pockets are equally possible. Without earbuds, the station only weighs 43.4 grams.

There is also officially water protection, namely IPX5, and I can justifiably say that a shortfall into the water cannot harm the headphones. This is what happened with shaving. The T2 put that away well and just kept on playing. Nevertheless, be careful around water, especially at the station, which, as is so often the case, has not received certification.

The headphones weigh 5 grams each and also have a black plastic housing. On the bottom, there are two charging pins and an L&R to mark the side. Most noticeable feature of headphones is the touch surface on the outside, on which the manufacturer has printed its logo. This points outwards when wearing the headphones and allows control by touch. In contrast to models with a physical button on the outside, you don’t have the problem here of pushing the headphones into the ear canal when using them. The headphones sit firmly in the ear canal and hold easily even when jogging.

Both the charging cradle and the headphones have a restrained design and are solidly processed. Ugreen relies on an inconspicuous appearance with the Hitune, which we welcome. In addition, the headphones and case are very compact, and the headphones are very comfortable to wear.

Audio Quality

Ugreen HiTune T2- As always the most challenging discipline, but also the most important. Ugreen sends the HiTune T2 into the race with a moderate repertoire of codecs. For you, that means there is no aptX. But at least AAC and, of course, SBC. As always, Bluetooth 5.0 is also included. You can score with the size of the driver. This amounts to 14.2 mm, so quite a buzz. Once again, the driver should have a titanium alloy, which can ensure good heights, but it doesn’t have to be. It all depends on the complete work, and I do not want to withhold the assessment of it from you.

The fit of the HiTune T2 and all of the hanging earbuds directly influences the sonic quality of what you hear. The most significant weak point is that the area between the ear and the headphones are not sealed correctly.

Therefore, the Ugreen HiTune T2 didn’t sound that great to me. I heard the music tinny and distant. Only when I had almost stuffed the HiTune T2 into my ear canal could the drivers develop their full potential, and they are good. But so many details and dynamics are lost between the loudspeaker and my eardrum that the earbuds only sound very flat without pressure.

But if you have the right ears for these earbuds, you can hear a lot of music. The bass is then vital, even if it is very imprecise and overlapping. The heights are great. The Titan driver may help to achieve a clear sound image again. Anyway, it fits. Mids also get away quite acceptable, even if there is a slight lack of precession here.

All in all, some details are missing, including when pushing into the ear canal. A little less bass, cleaner mids, and you have a pretty good earbud. The equalizer can adjust this a bit, but you can’t get the adjustment 100%.

Stereo is not a problem for the HiTune T2, but the spatial representation is also not remarkably accurate. The stereo division works well, but I can’t say whether the strings are much closer than the bass or further away.

That’s why Ugreen thought of gaming fans. Because they will be happy about the gaming mode, which lowers the latency to a low 60 ms, right? In my test, I hardly noticed a difference between the 60 ms and without gaming mode. On the other hand, the sound quality has passed into the abyss due to the gaming mode in earnest.

Ugreen HiTune True- As mentioned in the introduction, the high-resolution aptX codec is the distinguishing feature that sets the Ugreen Hitune apart from the competition. To use this codec, it must, of course, also be supported by the smartphone. In general, all reasonably up-to-date smartphones from Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, Oppo, Vivo, and so on offer such support. However, Apple and Huawei should be mentioned as manufacturers without aptX support. Anyone who owns a smartphone from this manufacturer will play music via the AAC codec. This is also not a bad choice (Apple’s Earpods run with AAC, for example), but it is simply a downgrade to aptX.

In terms of sound quality, the Ugreen Hitune can deliver an excellent overall picture. Highs and mids are balanced and do not distort even at the highest volume. There is a decent amount of bass and enough to get you going while exercising. Even very dark basses are still reproduced without overly superimposing the rest. The overall sound image is designed for the most precise reproduction possible. So it is more about headphones for audiophile listeners on a (very) small budget than headphones for the main-bass-pops group. A specific spatiality is created when listening to a beautiful backdrop in front of the inner eye.

Only good things can, of course, not be said about the sound of the Hitune. After all, there have to be compromised, especially with such cheap headphones. The sound is designed for the highs and mids rather than the bass and therefore only develops a driving force at high volume. On the other hand, when listening quietly, one sometimes has the impression that the sound lacks ground and does not harmonize entirely. There is also a slight background noise that is not noticeable when listening to music.

Connectivity

The USB Type-C port on the underside , so you don’t have to set up the station for charging. Furthermore, an induction coil is embedded in the station’s back, so you can also charge the station wirelessly using a standard Qi charging pad, so it has to be lying down. The third point concerns the lid. This has a hard snap- in point at maximum opening. This means that the station can also be laid down when it is open, without the lid closing on its own.

Only the button on the back doesn’t fit into the concept. If you press this, it shows the current charge status of the station on the front via a white LED. This is hidden under the plastic in Xiaomi fashion, so it is only visible when activated. However, the same message appears when you open or close the case, so the button on the back is somehow unnecessary.

Fortunately, the pairing worked straight away and without any problems. If you connect the headphones and the smartphone, you will hear the energetic English voice that tells you exactly that. The voice output is used in several places, such as when activating or deactivating the gaming mode.

After pairing, the earbuds are controlled via touch inputs. The touch field is at the top of the handle. In principle, the Ugreen logo marks the spot. With a bit of practice, the inputs are implemented quickly and precisely.

Press L / R once: pause / play

Press L twice: decrease volume

Press L three times: previous track

Press R twice: increase volume

Press R three times: next track

Press L / R for two seconds: Voice Assistant

Press L / R once for a call: accept / end

Press L / R for two seconds for a call: reject

Since there are no attachments for the Ugreen HiTune T2, there is no need to worry about the space inside. This is sufficient to remove and does not have to accommodate any extra plugs or attachments. Again owing to the design, the earbuds are placed in the charging station. But now I prefer lying earbuds. It’s easier to get to the charging contacts. Only by the way.

To connect the headphones to the smartphone or laptop, they simply have to be removed from the case. If there is no other device in the vicinity to which the headphones are already connected, switch to pairing mode, which is indicated by the left earbud flashing alternately blue / white while the right earbud is not lit. After successful pairing, the connection will be established automatically in the future when you take the headphones out of the case. It is also possible to connect just one headphone to the smartphone while the other is housed in the shell.

The headphones are operated entirely via the touch field on the outside. The concept was successful and there were no incorrect entries due to the large area. The following commands can be registered.

1 x tap left or right: Play / Pause 

2 x tapping left or right: next title 

3 x taps left or right: the previous title 

Tap for two seconds: switch on 

Six seconds of tapping: switch off 

Two seconds of tapping when switched on: Activate the voice assistant 

In addition, calls can be accepted with a single tap or rejected with a long tap. If your smartphone no longer recognizes the headphones, they can be reset to the factory settings by inserting them into the shell and simultaneously pressing the touch fields for 10 seconds. Overall, with a little practice, the operating concept is quickly internalized and works without any faults or faults. However, it is a bit of a shame that Hitune has not integrated the ability to change the volume on the headphones. No app can be used to import firmware updates or configure operations.

Battery Life

Ugreen HiTune T2- The earbuds are each equipped with a 40 mAh battery; the charging station even received 500 mAh. The two capacities are in slight contrast because 40 mAh are more in the lower midfield, while 500 mAh are already in the upper midfield.

With the 40 mAh, you can get there for 5 hours, according to Ugreen. Which, of course, is not the truth. Still, the earbuds do surprisingly well. At 70-80% volume, I got up to 4 hours of playing time—a gratifyingly high figure. At 100 %, however, you sag to 3 hours, while 50% only bring about 30 minutes more.

In purely mathematical terms, both earbuds in the station can be charged more than 6 times. Practically the usual 4 charges were in there and a little more. On the other hand, thanks to the Quick Charge technology, charging was pleasantly quick. 15 minutes is enough for about an hour of music.

As for the station, it is in the normal environment for a full charge at 1.5 hours. Anyone who overlooked it at the beginning will be pleased that the Ugreen HiTune T2 supports inductive charging. In this case, the charging time doubles to almost 3 hours.

Ugreen HiTune True- The individual earbuds have a capacity of 60mAh, and the case in turn 300mAh. Overall, this is enough for two full charges with a bit of remaining capacity. The left and right accompanying charging process LED lights on the case, which go out the process has been completed. The manufacturer is optimistic that the runtime of the headphones is 9 hours. In practice, however, you get closer to 5 hours at 70% volume. Still, this is a good result. The charging time for a full charge is 1.5 hours. Here, too, the manufacturer’s specification of 2 hours of music after 15 minutes of loading is a bit exaggerated. One hour is achieved after 15 minutes of charging.

Conclusion!

For people looking for casual headphones, the Ugreen HiTune T2 could be just the thing. Connoisseurs tend to go for the Omthing AirFree Buds, which in turn have other small weaknesses but are in the same price range and offer the better sound. If you don’t find what you are looking for here, you might want to look at our TWS best list.

Overall, the Ugreen Hitune can leave an excellent impression on our test. The TWS headphones are well made, have good battery life, and deliver a decent sound. If you only have a small budget and are looking for neutrally mixed headphones with a high-resolution codec, you can confidently access them. However, you shouldn’t spend more than 40 $ on the Ugreen Hitune because then the savings on the 1More Stylish are no longer worthwhile, which go one better in terms of sound quality.

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