The Soundpeats Q9A are wireless sports in-ear headphones with a built-in microphone. The sweat-proof earphones are very lightweight and comfortable. The sound quality leaves much to be desired though. The Q9As would be suited to someone who isn’t particularly concerned about audio fidelity, and who values convenience and affordability. They operate via Bluetooth 4.1, and are compatible with iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, Windows devices and other Bluetooth-enabled devices.
The earphones have a very similar appearance to the Beats PowerBeats 2 Wireless. Even the extras included in the box match the Beats accessories quite closely. The Soundpeats ship with a hard case, mesh pouch, USB charging cable and three sets of eartips. The eartips offered are small, medium and large. The standard medium set fit my ears well enough. The package also has a clip to secure the earphones to clothing and a cheap plastic clip to reduce the length of the cable that joins the two earphones. The standard cable length was comfortable enough and didn’t get in the way.
Fair wireless performance from Soundpeats Q9A
Soundpeats state that the earphones have a wireless range of 10 meters. Without anything obscuring the signal, this is about right, if perhaps a little generous. With the device and earphones in the same room I didn’t experience any problem with the Bluetooth signal. The earphones will also operate fine from a device in the next room. Interference will begin if you try to go further than that.
Light and comfortable design
The earphones are very light and comfortable. This is probably their best feature. I usually find wearing earphones around the house annoying. This wasn’t the case with the Soundpeats Q9A earphones. You can wear them for extended periods and you quickly stop being aware of their presence on your head. The ear hooks fit well on the ears and are unobtrusive. You can move around freely without displacing the eartips. Vigorous movement can produce some noise as the earphones move around slightly. This noise is from the physical movement of the earphones – no digital interference occurs.
Average sound quality
The sound quality is where the Soundpeats Q9A earphones fall down. They produce a lot of bass, but the bass is somewhat hollow sounding. The mids tend to get drowned out by the bass. The highs are more pleasant, although they aren’t anything to get excited about. Synth, vocals and clean guitar sound reasonably nice through the Q9As, so if you listen to pop music you may enjoy them more than most. They seem to work best when presented with a simple song without too many layers. Nightrain by Guns N’ Roses sounded OK, as the bass, rhythm guitar and lead lines are clearly separated frequency-wise. When confronted with a wall of sound, like that found in modern heavy music, the earphones fall quite flat. They can’t handle the numerous layers and the result is muddy and fatiguing on the ears. I found that when used in a very quiet environment the earphones were slightly too loud even on the lowest volume setting. This is not an issue I experienced with my other earphones.
Earphones reproduce voice well
The earphones reproduce the human voice fairly pleasantly. This makes them suited to listening to audiobooks or lectures. The Q9A’s microphone works fine for phone calls. Callers could hear my voice clearly and volume wasn’t an issue. I could also hear them clearly. The mic can add some undesirable reverb when used in certain rooms. Ambient noises don’t register too loudly for the caller. I own several sets of pricier earphones but I will continue using the Q9As for calls and listening to audiobooks as they work very well for these functions.
The control scheme on the earphones is quite simple. There is an on-off button which also controls Bluetooth pairing and pausing/answering phone calls. There are two buttons that control volume and track changes. The buttons are clearly laid out and are easy to access while wearing the earphones.
Budget build quality
The components used to make the Q9As are clearly low quality. I didn’t manage to damage the earphones during use for this review. I don’t doubt that if they were handled roughly or knocked about they would break very quickly though. Soundpeats offer a 12-month warranty, if that’s any consolation. The earphones charge via a USB connection. They offer five hours of playtime from 1-2 hours of charging. This doesn’t strike me as a particularly long battery life. It’s certainly enough for their intended use as sports earphones though.
The Q9As are a lightweight, affordable solution for those looking for a comfortable set of wireless earphones. Audiophiles or anyone with a discerning ear will want to steer clear of them. If you aren’t concerned with audio fidelity and just want a comfortable pair of earphones to work out or bring on public transport, then they will suit you fine.
SoundReview also recently reviewed the SoundPeats QY9 Sports Earphones, which have similar pricing but a slightly different design to the Q9As.
After I put them on at the gym I do not worry or think about them until I take them off.
The sounds quality is not up to par for stationary enjoyment, as there are many other options better-suited. This is a gym or workout headset, and should be viewed in that light.
Does exactly what I need it to. Doesn’t block out all outside sounds but for me that’s fine for I run outside and like to be aware of my surroundings.
Fairly comfortable. Shorter than expected battery life. Sound is sub-par. But they’re cheap, so, you get what you pay for.
Bluetooth Version: 4.1
Effective Range: 33ft / 10m
Audio Profiles: aptX
Play Time: up to 5h
Charging Time: 1-2h
Battery Type: Rechargeable Li-polymer battery
Package Contents: SoundPEATS Q9A Bluetooth Earbuds, USB Charging Cable, 6x Ear Cushions, Mesh Carry Pouch, Hard Cover Clamshell Case, User manual & SoundPEATS 12 Month worry-free warranty.