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SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS Review

Last updated: 11 months ago
9 min read
SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS earbuds in case

SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS, in many ways, outperform the non-HS version and retake the “AirPods killers” title for only $50. But they suffer from subpar Bluetooth range and strange channel shifts using EQ.

In most cases, Hi-Res audio certification is a red flag, purely specs-driven marketing nonsense that doesn’t mean much in the real world.

So how can SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS, a hi-res version of already affordable earbuds, actually deliver better results? Well, SoundPEATS understood their assignment.

The HS model not only outperforms the non-HS in sound quality and call quality but also in battery life: lasting almost 2 hours longer per charge.

But, they aren’t perfect, as they suffer from below-average Bluetooth connection range. Are there any other flaws? Or are they a steal at $50? Let’s read the review.

We test and evaluate headphones using a standardized 9-point methodology. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

  • Clear sound with natural midrange (after EQ tweaks)
  • Good battery life for classic earphones, with 6 hours per charge
  • Good call quality, especially in quieter environments
  • Light & comfortable to wear during long listening sessions
  • Wide selection of features & an app at a budget price
  • Poor passive noise isolation & sound leakage
  • Below average Bluetooth indoor range of 35 feet (at best)
By HeadphonesAddict
User Ratings: 8
Our rating
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  • 5.0
  • 4.3
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  • 2.3
  • 4.5
  • 5.0
CONTENTS (show more)


    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS have similar tuning over the non-HS version but offer a greater EQ customization and, as it appears, better DSP that brings out overall clearer, higher quality sound.

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Learn how to understand sound comparisons.

    Typically, hi-res headphones (or updated versions of existing models, like the Air3 Deluxe HS) are a gimmick that doesn’t live up to expectations. Like Anker Soundcore Life Q35 compared to Life Q30, for example.

    However, SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS are, albeit small, a noticeable improvement over the original Air3 Deluxe. Both share almost identical tuning, but the sound quality is higher in the HS version.

    While seemingly using the same 14.2mm dynamic driver, the hi-res version packs a different DSP (chipset WQ7033M rather than Qualcomm QCC3040, also seen in the teardown) that squeezes more out of that driver.

    Furthermore, you now get a wider 10-band +/-6dB custom EQ instead of the 7-band +/-3dB one in the non-HS model, so you can make them sound far more neutral.

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS Frequency Response

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS vs non-HS measurement
    Despite seemingly small differences between the HS and non-HS model, the actual sound is noticeably different.

    Bass: Impressively controlled for classic earphones

    Low-frequency response is an enemy of open-back headphones and classic earphones (earbuds without ear tips), as it quickly loses power and can distort if you boost it.

    Surprisingly, SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS earbuds deliver a boost without causing distortion. That said, Apple AirPods 3 and the non-HS version have a louder bass if that’s what you seek.

    On the other hand, the bass in the HS is more controlled than the other two, rendering bass guitars with good precision.

    You can even expect some sub-bass rumble when listening to pop or hip-hop music, but only if you’re someplace quiet. During the commute, external noise will sadly mask it up.

    Midrange: Uneven but easily fixed with EQ

    The original and HS model have similar dips in the midrange at 800Hz and 4kHz. However, the latter is slightly deeper in Air3 Deluxe HS, which takes away energy from electric guitars.

    Consequently, songs like “Promise” from Voyager can sound completely off during a chorus riff.

    Fortunately, raising both regions in the app’s EQ balances out the midrange and makes it sound natural.

    Furthermore, the HS version feels airier, with vocals pushed further away. That makes the sound less intimate and more relaxing. There’s also no sibilance to speak of.

    Treble: Clear, with decent texture

    With Air3 Deluxe HS, the treble got clearer and airier. Boosting the 16kHz gives a better sense of clarity without adding harshness.

    Cymbal crashes have decent texture and sizzle, definitely better than most other earbuds at around $50. You don’t get the same realism as in premium earbuds, but nobody expects that.

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS Custom EQ & Presets Comparison – HeadphonesAddict

    As mentioned, the sounds are pushed further away, giving a wider soundstage than in the non-HS version. Overall, it’s decent in size so that the music doesn’t feel like it’s playing in your head.

    The imaging is also relatively accurate. However, you’ll need to opt for eartip earbuds for better accuracy.

    Overall, SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS beat the non-HS model in audio quality, making them the best new alternative to AirPods 3 and the best-sounding classic earphones on the market.

    We’re unsure how SoundPEATS made these improvements and added LDAC support without raising the price. Actually, the HS is currently cheaper than the non-HS version.

    Custom equalization

    Here are our custom EQ settings for SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS:


    During our review, the SoundPEATS app sometimes acted strange when tweaking the sound. When switching from “Classic” to “Custom” EQ, the channel balance shifted (one earbud was louder than the other).

    If that happens, go into custom EQ and re-tweak one of the frequency bands. It normalizes the channel balance. You can distinctly hear balance shifts in the EQ presets comparison above.

    Comfort & Fit

    Star Rating
    3.0 Good

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS are small and don’t cause any pressure in your ears, so you can wear them indefinitely. In contrast, they lack stability for anything more than walking.

    The design of the Air3 Deluxe HS is identical to the Air3 Deluxe, with the only difference being a golden touch-sensitive surface on the HS instead of a silver one.

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS vs non-HS
    The original buds (left) have a silver touch surface compared to golden one in the HS version (right).

    As a result, they share the same comfort and stability characteristics. Starting with comfort, earbuds are small and slightly oval with side-firing speakers.

    The shape nicely adapts to your ear and does so comfortably. They should remain comfy even if you have smaller earlobes.

    In comparison, Apple AirPods 3 are slightly larger and not universally suitable for kids’ ears.

    On the other hand, Apple’s TWS earbuds have a glossy finish and larger contact area, making them less slippery than Air3 Deluxe HS.

    The latter have a matte and rougher finish with a smaller contact area, so they tend to bounce and twist in your ears along with head movements.

    We can’t recommend them for intense workouts or running.

    Outdoor walking is the most extreme thing you can do with these buds before slipping and falling on the floor.

    That said, some people’s ears are more compatible with classic earphones than ours, so your mileage may vary.


    Star Rating
    3.0 Good

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS are rather plasticky earbuds with an IPX4 sweat-resistant rating and a charging case, which feels a bit better this time than the original.

    The entire package is made of plastic, which is expected at $50. Earbuds have a matte, rough finish that feels okay, although you can tell that the plastic isn’t the highest quality.

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS case comparison
    Glossy white case (left) from the non-HS version compared to matte black from the HS one (right).

    They’re lightweight earbuds (only 0.14 ounces or 4.06 grams per bud) and glued together from at least 4-5 parts. Not ideal, but it doesn’t seem they could break by falling on the floor.

    Furthermore, buds have an IPX4 rating, meaning they can survive light sprays of water like rain or sweat.

    Moving to the charging case, it now has a similar matte texture to the earbuds (compared to the glossy finish in the non-HS model). That makes it a fingerprint magnet but also more scratch resistant.

    Another change is the case’s hinge, which is now tighter. We prefer a looser yet more “finely tuned” hinge in the non-HS version, but that’s a personal preference.

    The charging case lacks any water protection, so keep it away from water or moisture.


    Star Rating
    4.0 Great
    • Real battery life: 6h 8min

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS surprisingly lasted 6 hours and 8 minutes during our test, which is longer than expected. You get another 15 hours of playtime in the charging case, which can’t charge wirelessly.

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS Battery Comparison

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS battery comparison

    SoundPEATS improved not only the sound but also the battery duration compared to the seemingly identical Air3 Deluxe.

    A different chipset might be to “blame”, offering a more optimized performance. Even though you would think receiving and decoding an LDAC signal requires more energy.

    Nonetheless, we let SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS play at 50% volume (LDAC enabled) and got:

    • 6 hours and 8 minutes before shutting off.

    That’s almost 2 hours more compared to the non-HS version and an hour more than what was advertised.

    Moving to the charging case, it officially offers another 15 hours of battery life and can charge from 0 to 100% in 1.5 hours.

    There’s no mention of fast charging support, nor does the case support Qi wireless charging.


    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS offer a companion app with custom EQ, Adaptive EQ, Game mode, and in-ear detection (auto-pause). On the flip side, no control customizer, but for only $50, that’s truly impressive.

    Features don’t change much compared to the original model, like in-ear detection (which you can turn off) and the inability to customize touch controls.

    Interestingly, the original model offers to disable one-tap gestures, whereas the HS model offers to disable touch controls entirely.

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS app
    All in-app settings you can customize on the left, and our custom EQ on the right.

    Here are some other differences we’ve noticed when comparing the two models.

    • Touch controls seem to be more sensitive in the HS version. We activate them almost every time we try readjusting the earbuds.
    • Custom EQ offers more frequency bands and a wider range of boosts, making it easier to correct the earbuds’ sound—more on that in the sound category above.

    Adaptive EQ

    Adaptive EQ also works differently in the HS version. You still have to listen to different frequency beeps and tap on the screen whether you hear them or not.

    Previously, the result only boosted the bass and treble. Now, the effect is more subtle. However, we still don’t recommend using it. The feature makes the sound quiet and dull, crushing the dynamic range.

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS adaptive EQ
    Adaptive EQ creates a curve based on your hearing and applies it to whatever you’re listening to.

    Microphone Quality

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS improve their call quality over the non-HS model, but they still struggle with loud background noise.

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS Microphone Test

    When making phone calls someplace quiet, the earbuds’ mic picks up your voice nicely and clearly. It’s decently full and a bit thin, but more than suitable for video calls with your colleagues or friends.

    When exposed to loud ambient noise, the call quality degrades noticeably. You become more muffled, with some distortion that sounds like an echo.

    Fortunately, the person on the other side can still understand your words. However, don’t be surprised if you need to repeat yourself occasionally.

    Noise Isolation

    Star Rating
    1.5 Poor

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS block so little ambient noise you barely notice. That makes them only suitable for indoor use or someplace quiet.

    Classic earphones’ greatest weakness is their poor passive noise isolation. With no ear tips to seal your ear canal, the outside noise easily passes through and interferes with your music.

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS buds comparison
    Side-firing speakers with no rubber ring or ear tips to provide better isolation.

    Raising the volume helps a bit, but by doing that, you hurt your hearing in the long run. Also, you let other people know about your playlist due to sound leakage.

    Consequently, Air3 Deluxe HS aren’t your best option for commuting. And since they also lack active noise cancellation, the engine noise quickly overpowers the music.

    Therefore, to get the most out of the earbuds, you must use them indoors (at home, library, student dorm) or anywhere quiet.

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS Passive isolation measurement
    Interestingly, earbuds’ isolation actually boosts the 1kHz-2kHz region, which makes speech slightly more audible.


    Star Rating
    3.5 Almost Great

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS have a pretty short indoor range of only 35 feet (at best). At least they support LDAC high-res audio codec and Game Mode for a low-latency signal.

    While most things about the SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS were better compared to the non-HS version, Bluetooth performance takes a different turn.

    In our indoor test:

    • Earbuds started stuttering at around 30 feet and stopped playing at 35 feet (or 10.6 meters).

    After returning to reacquire the signal, earbuds continue to stutter even at around 25 feet. Meaning that you should take your transmitting device with you when walking around the house.

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS on a blossom
    While the range is poor, we haven’t noticed any stutters when we keep the transmitting device in the vicinity.

    How to pair SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS?

    1. For first-time pairing, you open, close, and re-open the case, which wakes up the buds and initiates the pairing process (brand-new earbuds are already inside the charging case, without the plastic that would prevent them from charging, so you need to “wake them up”).
    2. To pair them to another device, place the earbuds into the case and hold the button in front of the case until you hear a crackling noise from the buds (or when the LED in front of the case starts flashing).

    What Bluetooth Codecs Do They Use?

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS use SBC, AAC, and LDAC Bluetooth codecs. You must enable LDAC codec inside Bluetooth settings on your Android device.

    AAC isn’t listed as a supported codec on the official page, but it shows up in developer settings on Android.

    Is There Any Audio Lag?

    The lag is nonexistent on YouTube or social media videos, or movies playing through a laptop. Even by default, the latency in games is passable and only problematic if you’re in competitive titles.

    Enabling gaming mode reduces the latency down to the supposed 80 milliseconds. Albeit still there, the delay improves noticeably after turning on the feature.

    Should You Get SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS?

    Star Rating
    5.0 Perfect

    From a value standpoint, SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS are a steal at $50. Especially compared to the non-HS version, which we already recommended at $60.

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS case vs non-HS
    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS are a better buy than the non-HS version, and even better than AirPods 3.

    If you want to listen to music as faithfully as possible and only tolerate classic earphone design (you find eartips too invasive), these are perfect.

    We don’t know any classic buds with better sound quality than these. Not even Apple AirPods 3.

    On the other hand, if you want better stability and multipoint support, you should look elsewhere.

    How do SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS compare to the competition?

    • Among classic earphones in all price ranges, they currently have the best sound quality.
    • They’re equally as comfortable as their competitors.
    • Battery life of over 6 hours puts them along with the best classic earphones.
    • They have a companion app, which many competitors lack, at $50.
    • Stability is on par with the competition but could be better.
    • Bluetooth indoor range of 30-35 feet is worse than the competition.

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS alternatives

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe mic holes

    A non-HS version has a more focused sound with a punchier bass response. Also, the Bluetooth range is slightly better at 40 feet compared to 30-35 feet.

    However, they’re identically comfy, stable, and durable. Both offer similar features inside companion apps, with these earbuds’ biggest flaw being battery life at merely 4 hours and 28 minutes per charge.

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe review

    Apple AirPods 3

    Apple AirPods 3 buds in case

    A dryer sound signature with thinner vocals but deeper, punchier bass. They’re equally comfy but the AirPods 3 offer better stability.

    Both have an IPX4 rating and around 6 hours of battery life, but Apple’s charging case can also charge wirelessly.

    AirPods 3 offer better integration with iOS device, multipoint, and Spatial Audio.

    Apple AirPods 3 review

    What’s in the Box?

    SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS accessories
    • SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS true wireless earbuds
    • Charging case
    • USB-C cable for charging
    • User guide


    Type: True wireless
    Connection: Bluetooth 5.2
    Back design: Closed-back
    Drivers: 14.2mm dynamic
    Frequency range: 20-40.000Hz
    Impedance: n/a
    Weight: 0.14 ounces (4.06 grams) per bud
    Mic & Controls: Yes
    Water resistance: IPX4
    Battery life: 6h + 15h in case
    Charging time: 1.5h – USB-C
    Active noise cancelling: No
    Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC
    Wireless range: 35 feet (10.6 meters)
    Microphone: AI ENC MEMS mics
    1. So are HS just the best sounding open buds regardless a price?


      1. Yes, the SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS are, in our opinion, among the best sounding non-in-ear earphones right now.


    2. Was in the market for the best “open-style” headphones, as I don’t like that stuffed feeling from the sealed variant.

      Got 3 models-
      *1 Edifier W220T (41)
      *2 Soundpeats Air3 HS highRes Deluxe (38)
      *3 Nothing Ear Stick (60)

      priced from a Danish perspective with incl. shipping and 25VAT/EU varied from 38 to 60 bucks.(USD)

      Build 3-1-2 Nothing is with quite a margin the smallest and most autonomous when wearing.
      Sound 3-2-1 W220T was quite lackluster for lower boomy sounds.
      Range 3-1-2 also not impressed with the Soundpeats range.
      App 3-2-1 Nothing app is a step above the other, Soundpeats second 10 band EQ, Edifier, only got presets, which didn’t do much.
      Latency 1-?-? not sure about Nothing and Soundpeats, but the Edifier was quite fast, also had a beeefy Snap dragon chip QCC3056.
      Codecs 1-2-3 Edifier W220T AptX adaptive and AåtX HD call..chip QCC3056 seems to support tons of expected standards.. Edifier also supports Snap dragon sounds, but you need a very modern Snapdragon SoC phone.
      Soundpeats had LDAC.. dont recall that Nothing supported any of these more exotic BT codecs, but I would still rank the sound in Nothing higher then both the others..


    3. I tried a pair of these with my new Galaxy A54 phone, but I found the output unusably low compared to the wired 3.5mm headset that I was used to on my older A70 phone. I’m not an especially loud music person, but I do listen to a lot of spoken word material (podcasts etc) while out walking, and I couldn’t turn the volume up loud enough to actually hear the conversations. Sadly had to return them.


      1. That’s weird. You probably got a faulty pair.


      2. These earbuds have an internal sound volume setting that’s different from the system Bluetooth volume setting. Try enabling the touch keys in the app if they’re disabled and then tapping the right earbud several times with like a 1 second interval between taps. Each single tap will increase the internal sound volume a bit, until the limit is reached (it will play a rejection beep once that happens). You can disable touch keys again after that, the setting should stick.


    4. I’ve spent some time tweaking the equalization for these using Poweramp Equalizer (highly recommended if you care about sound quality and have an Android), trying to approximate the Harman IEM target by ear, while checking your frequency response graph for reference. To my ear they sound much better now, and I’d appreciate if anyone here could test it out and report their experience. Here’s the full preset, save it as .json file and import into Poweramp Equalizer:
      “name”: “Soundpeats Air 3 Deluxe HS Harman target”,
      “preamp”: 0.0,
      “parametric”: true,
      “bands”: [
      “type”: 2,
      “channels”: 0,
      “frequency”: 800,
      “q”: 5.0,
      “gain”: 5.999999523162842,
      “color”: -15649895
      “type”: 3,
      “channels”: 0,
      “frequency”: 2000,
      “q”: 2.5,
      “gain”: -9.0,
      “color”: -15623885
      “type”: 3,
      “channels”: 0,
      “frequency”: 4000,
      “q”: 2.5,
      “gain”: 5.999999523162842,
      “color”: -6710989
      “type”: 3,
      “channels”: 0,
      “frequency”: 5500,
      “q”: 6.0,
      “gain”: -9.0,
      “color”: -7829368
      “type”: 3,
      “channels”: 0,
      “frequency”: 7800,
      “q”: 6.0,
      “gain”: -9.0,
      “color”: -6750055


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