Anker SoundBuds Slim+ Review – Should You Get (or Skip)?
Are the cheap, waterproof earbuds worth your money or should you skip them?
Anker SoundBuds Slim+ are an excellent pair of waterproof wireless earbuds on a budget. They’re made to last, are comfortable and have an enjoyable audio quality.
The biggest selling point is their price. They cost under $30 which is cheap for Bluetooth earbuds. For this price, you get a lot of technology and features.
In case you’re looking for cheap Bluetooth in-ear headphones suitable for sports, read the whole review.
- IPX-5 rated (waterproof)
- Cheap, high value for money
- Stable fit during movement
- 7-hour battery life
- Reliable Bluetooth
- aptX codec support
- Microphone & remote control
- Enjoyable sound with V-shaped signature
- Sound quality not for audiophiles
- Can’t compare to high-end headphones
Anker SoundBuds Slim+ earbuds made the list in:
Frequency response: 20 – 20,000 Hz
Impedance: 16 ohm
Weight: 0.56oz (16 g)
Cable length: 23.5 (0.6m)
Range: 33ft (20 m)
Microphone & Controls: Yes
Water-protection: Yes (IPX5)
Bluetooth: Version 4.1
Battery life: 7h
Charging port: USB 2.0
What’s in the box?
- Anker SoundBuds Slim+ earbuds
- 5 pairs of silicone ear tips (XS, S, M, L, XL)
- 3 pairs of rubber wings (S, M, L)
- Cord management clip
- Cord shirt clip
- Micro-USB charging cable
- A semi-hard case with metal carabineer hook
Comfort & Fit
Small and lightweight in-ear headphones are usually comfortable as long as they have an ergonomic design.
The Anker SoundBuds Slim+ headphones are just what you’d expect. They’re very light and ergonomic making them stick to ears like glue. The extra soft rubber wings help too.
Moreover, the rubber and silicone ear tips are soft to the skin and aren’t irritating. This is important for sports-oriented earphones as you don’t want to deal with upset skin during your activity.
The fit is comfy and stable, perfect for any sports activity.
Furthermore, the Anker SoundBuds Slim+ come with five different sizes of silicone ear tips and three different sizes of ear wings.
When in ears they fell soft, don’t move, and never fall out. Overall, the comfort is above average, and you will use them in your sports activity with joy.
Also, distinguishing between the left and right earpiece is simple thanks to the design and the wings. They fit only one way. Nonetheless, you can find the side markings on the casing to make sure you are right.
You also get the option of adjusting the length of the side cords. There are many options to make Anker SoundBuds Slim+ suit your needs.
Anker SoundBuds Slim+ have decent passive noise isolation. Provided with five silicone earbuds, you are going to have no problem making an air-tight fit for maximum privacy.
It means outside noise won’t be a problem, even in louder environments.
To clarify, they are not active noise canceling. You can read about the difference here.
What is different in Slim+ compared to the old Slim version?
Now you must be asking yourself what the “+” stands for?
Is it worth the higher price? There are a couple of things. The magnets in the newer Slim+ are stronger to hold around the neck better. Also, the cable is a bit longer, but the most significant difference is the added aptX support.
aptX is a codec that supports high-quality sound through a wireless Bluetooth connection.
Overall, the Bluetooth connection is stable and doesn’t cut out. The range is average at around 33ft (10m). Likewise, the signal is stable and doesn’t die out or disconnect even behind a wall.
The battery lifetime is 7 hours, and it charges in 90 minutes. It’s solid battery performance especially considering the low price.
7 hours will last you many workouts and even a long hike or cycling trip if that’s your thing.
In the manual, it is advised to fully charge the battery every 45 days to maintain strong battery capacity. The charger is the standard Micro-USB cable that’s easy to use and cheap to replace if you lose it.
It’s a stable battery that is comparable to higher-end models—that cost many times the price.
They’re built to last with the sports in mind. Because they are wireless, there is less strain on the cable.
Headphones are protected against water and sweat. Rated at IPX5, you can wash these headphones with a wet cloth but dipping them underwater is not advised. They could probably survive the unlucky dip in the water but cannot survive there for long.
The IPX5 rating makes them completely sweatproof and even waterproof in certain situations—under tap water.
One more thing you can do when you are not using them, put them in a carrying case to ensure longer life.
In the end, Anker SoundBuds Slim+ are a durable pair of earbuds and should serve you a fair amount of time.
They only come in black color and have magnets on both sides. The magnets stick together so you can hang them around your neck.
On the cord, there is a rubber-protected microphone with remote that has three buttons and a micro-USB port for charging.
The buttons are “+, – and play.” They are multi-functional, and you can use them to pick up/decline a phone call, select song or adjust volume.
Between “play” button and “-“ button there is a light that gives you different info: flashing red light means low battery, steady red means charging, steady blue means charged, blinking blue means incoming call or connecting to the device.
You get the headphones in a nice cardboard box. Five pairs of silicone ear tips in different sizes (extra small, small, medium, large and extra-large).
You also get three pairs of rubber wings in three sizes (small, medium, large). To control the wires, you can help yourself with the cord management clip.
However, that’s not all; you also get a semi-hard case with an attached metal carabineer hook. That’s quite a lot of accessories for the given price.
When it comes to audio quality, the SoundBuds Slim+ satisfy as well. You can’t expect sonic fidelity and compare them to high-end headphones, but for the budget category, they sound pleasing.
Bass is powerful when needed but not emphasized too much. Mids and treble are present and clear, the treble is especially pronounced. Though, they will distort when too much is asked of them. Sibilance is a bit of an issue at higher volumes. Thankfully high volume is unhealthy and uncomfortable for long so you probably won’t be listening to them at max loudness all the time.
With all said, they have a somewhat V-shaped sound signature. They sound nice for all music genres as long as you don’t expect an audiophile experience.
The SoundBuds are cheap wireless earbuds after all, and you can’t compare them to audiophile in-ear headphones. It wouldn’t be fair.
All in all, Anker SoundBuds Slim+ are waterproof wireless headphones with excellent build quality and an even better price. An attractive option for a price-conscious buyer.