Anker’s Soundcore Spirit X2s are basically Apple’s Powerbeat Pros with better bass and for a fraction of the cost, but there are a few catches. The Soundcore Spirit X2 are true wireless earbuds with an around-the-ear design ideal for the gym, but fit for every-day use. There’s IP68 water resistance, 9-hour playback, quick-charge, charging case with USB-C charging, noise-reducing microphones, and a ton of fit options.
The design has a familiar look and feel, but it’s still really nice. The buds each have a silicon ear tip, stabilizing ear wings, and a flexible rubber ear hook that wraps around your whole ear. Amazingly there’s 5 different sized ear tips and 3 ear wings, so anyone should find a good fit. They’re easy to wear, effortless to put on once you get the motion down, and very comfortable. The only thing that has nudged them out of place is when I lay back, but this can probably be solved by using a smaller ear-tip. They’re very light but the weight is not as evenly distributed as Apple’s. You’ll never feel like they’re going to pop out of your ear and fly into a sewer — our favorite feature of this design.
The charging case is bigger than your standard true wireless buds but still sleeker than PowerBeats. It’s similarly sized to a bar of soap. It will fit in your pocket but you won’t forget it’s there. The buds have a very impressive 9-hour battery, which is way above average. The case bumps the battery life up to a whopping 36 hours. I use them every day and only charge every couple of weeks. There’s a 10-minute quick charge feature that gets you two hours, so battery is no issue.
Apple’s Powerbeats are best-in-class for usability. Anker is good but not great in this department. The buds have all the button controls you’d want built-in, but they’re just not that intuitive or easy to use. You can’t press any button with one finger. You need to squeeze with two fingers, and you may jostle them out of place. There are two buttons on each bud. Each has a play button that can also access your phone’s voice assistant and turn on the bass-boost. The right earbud has a volume button that doubles as a track forward button, while the left earbud has volume down and previous track. The voice assistant button was buggy for us when activating Siri. The buttons are the biggest kicker for us. There’s no autoplay/pause feature, but they do at least pair really quickly when you take them out of the case.
The built-in microphones with noise reduction are actually pretty good. Other than a bit of occasional choppiness our callers sounded natural and clear. They’re easy for taking calls because they pop-in to your ears without issue and are so light you can forget they’re there. Apple sets the bar for headphone microphone quality and Powerbeats wins in that category. The Soundcore microphones pick up and isolate voice very well, and they’re plenty loud. The quality is a little granular and less natural sounding than using your phone’s mic. They’re still better than average and sufficient for most calls.
On to audio quality — they sound amazing. Fantastic bass with depth and great warmth. And that’s without bass-boost turned on. They’re really well balanced and enjoyable to listen to. This is where we think most people will actually prefer the Spirit X2s over Powerbeats, which are light on the bass. Powerbeats May have a clearer and crisper audio reproduction, but Spirit X2s have a lot more life and oomph to them. Unfortunately, both headphones are missing tuning options and an app to tweak the equalizer. You can at least bump the bass with a press-and-hold of the play button.
Pricing in under $100, you’ve got a strong recommendation from us on these Soundcore Spirit X2s. Most headphones don’t stay nicely in our ears, especially at the gym, so to have zero wires and a pair of buds that sound great, feel great, and never dies, gets us excited – especially when they are this affordable. The only thing they’re missing is an app and easier-to-use buttons. The battery is incredible, there’s a ton of fit options, and they’re relatively portable. Soundcore Spirit X2 only cost $79.99 at time of writing and are available in black.