Anker Soundcore Spirit Review
Pros: Inexpensive, great for working out, comfortable
Cons: Average sound quality
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Anker Soundcore Spirit is a good pair of low priced earbuds. However, the Anker SoundBuds are just as good and slightly less expensive, so we don't see any reason to spend the extra few dollars on the Soundcore.
The Anker Soundcore Spirit put in a respectable overall performance given their low price, staying slightly above in our spread of overall scores.
For all intents and purposes, the sound quality of the Soundcore is acceptable. The clarity and bass are good enough to create a decently well-rounded and full-bodied sound, and have enough punch to keep you motivated during a workout. Sure, you might lose some of the nuance of high-quality jazz recordings, but unless you're particularly picky about sound quality you probably won't really notice.
Notably, this sound quality is almost dead even with that of the Soundcore's sibling, the Anker SoundBuds. When quickly switching between the two we were able to notice that the Soundcore has just slightly better clarity, but we highly doubt anyone would be able to notice this in real-world use. For this reason, we still think the SoundBuds are a better overall buy, since they're slightly less expensive.
For making phone calls we again found the Soundcore to be acceptable. Calls generally sounded clear, and the microphone was clear enough that anyone we called could understand what we were saying, with maybe just a bit of static in the background.
The Soundcore Spirits was one of the most comfortable pairs of earbuds we tested. The 4 different earpiece sizes and 3 different ear fin sizes accommodate pretty much any ear size, and allowed everyone in our office to find a comfortable and secure fit. Bottom line, we doubt anyone is going to have any sort of fit issues with these buds.
We loved taking the Soundcore Spirit out for runs or to the gym. The stable fit let us open up the pace on downhills and bust through a set of burpees without fear of them falling out. We also felt that the buds retained their comfort, even when sweat started pouring down our cheeks.
This is one area where the Soundcore Spirit may have a slight advantage over their siblings, the Anker SoundBuds, as the Soundcore comes with a totally waterproof IPX7 rating. The Soundbuds, on the other hand, has no official water resistance rating. This certainly will lend some peace of mind if you tend to sweat a lot, but in our experience a waterproof rating for earbuds is not particulalry necessary. We've run plenty of sweaty miles with the SoundBuds and had no issues.
This is one area where the Souncore sat towards the back of the pack, lasting just 5.5 hours on a single charge in our testing. Functionally that works out to most exercisers having to charge them once or twice a week, which isn't too bad. However, if you're on a long plane ride you may find yourself without headphones right when the boredom really starts to set in. Surprisingly the less expensive Anker SoundBuds lasted an hour longer in our testing, letting you fly from New York to LA without recharging.
The Soundcore is quite light at 0.6 ounces, and comes with a cloth carrying case. The flexible wire allows them to be packed up small and shoved in a pocket. For this they earned a high score of 8 out of 10 in our portability testing, the same score the Anker SoundBuds received.
For just $40 the Anker Soundcore Spirit gives you decent sound quality, good comfort, and complete waterproofing. This makes the buds a great value. However, the Anker SoundBuds are slightly less expensive, and the only sacrifice you make is the lack of waterproofing, which likely won't be a big deal for most people.
The Anker Soundcore Spirit offers good all around performance for a low price. However, in most aspects that performance is matched by the less expensive Anker SoundBuds, so unless you want the IPX7 waterproofing of the Soundcore, we would suggest going with the SoundBuds instead.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata