Review: Soundpeats Air3 vs. Apple AirPods 3

Soundpeats Air3 in the test vs. AirPods 3

I'm a big fan of the classic AirPods because you can quickly put them in your ears without having to fiddle with them until they close properly, as is the case with real in-ear headphones like the AirPods Pro. This design is called "semi-in-ear", as I learned today. And just like the AirPods, the Soundpeats Air3 also come in this semi-open design - the headphones that this test report is about.

Transparency notice

The people at Soundpeats sent me the Air3 for free to test. But I'll tell you about the headphones just as much as if I had spent the approx. 40 to 50 euros on them myself. So no sweet talk and no advertising chatter. ;-)

For just under 50 euros, the Air3 semi-in-ear headphones from Soundpeats are a pretty solid AirPods alternative - read more here in the test report (photos: Sir Apfelot).

For just under 50 euros, the Air3 semi-in-ear headphones from Soundpeats are a pretty solid AirPods alternative - read more here in the test report (photos: Sir Apfelot).

Specifications of the Soundpeats Air3

Before we go to the actual test, I would like to briefly discuss the specs of the Air3:

  • Brand: Soundpeats
  • Model: Air3
  • Headphone Type: Semi-In-Ear
  • Bluetooth: V5.2
  • Driver: 14,2 mm
  • Headset function: yes
  • Weight (single earbud): 4g
  • Capacity (single earbud): 30mAh
  • Total weight: 95g
  • Capacity (charging case): 220 mAh
  • Case dimensions: 49 x 47 x 22 cm
  • Running time (one charge): 5 hours
  • Total running time with charging case: 17,5 hours
  • Supported BT profiles: HSP, HFP, A2DP, AVRCP
  • Supported BT Codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX Adaptive
  • Protection class: IPX5 (splashproof)
  • Low latency mode: yes, 60 ms
  • Operation: via two touch surfaces
  • In-ear detection: yes
  • Charging port: USB-C
  • Colors: black and white
  • Price: approx. 40 to 50 euros (here at Amazon)
SoundPEATS Bluetooth Headphones, Air3 Wireless In Ear Earphones with Qualcomm QCC3040 and ...
  • 💕[Mini size and comfortable fit] - Special research, design, production and improvement by the ...
  • 💕[Qualcomm QCC3040 & 14,2 mm driver] - Equipped with the advanced Qualcomm QCC3040 chip with Bluetooth ...
  • 💕[4-Microphones & cVc 8.0 Noise Cancelling] - With dual microphones in each earphone, the human voice is accurately captured...
The scope of delivery of the Soundpeats Air3 is quickly described: Case, earphones and charging cable - that's all you need for good music.

The scope of delivery of the Soundpeats Air3 is quickly described: Case, earphones and charging cable - that's all you need for good music.

Design and operation of the Soundpeats Air3

Visually, I find the Soundpeats Air 3 quite successful. They are slightly reminiscent of the AirPods, but the design is fundamentally different. The coloring alone ensures that there is no risk of confusion here, because the Air3 are dark grey/black, while Apple's AirPods are always white.

The operation is a touch surface, which is marked on each earphone with the Soundpeats logo. Touching the surface on the left and right earbud triggers different actions. Exactly which ones are clearly described in the instructions.

Here is the relevant excerpt from the Soundpeats Air3 operating instructions – all operating options at a glance.

Here is the relevant excerpt from the Soundpeats Air3 operating instructions – all operating options at a glance.

The operation for stop and play is a double tap on the left or right touch surface. A single tap on the left provides "quieter" and on the right for "louder". Well solved, because you still can't do that with the Apple AirPods 3.

I always manage with the AirPods by taking out an earplug, because the in-ear recognition stops the playback if you take one out of your ear. Incidentally, the Soundpeats Air3 also have this function and it works very reliably.

The touch operation of the Soundpeats Air3 works very well and reliably even with sweaty fingers (photos: Sir Apfelot).

The touch operation of the Soundpeats Air3 works flawlessly and reliably even with sweaty fingers (photos: Sir Apfelot).

Reliable touch operation - even with wet fingers

There is one test that I always carry out when I have headphones with touch controls in front of me: operating them with wet fingers. In the past, I've had models on the test bench too often that no longer allowed reasonable operation as soon as sweaty fingers were used on the control panel.

Since then I've always tried this out with wet fingers. The Soundpeats Air3 are a welcome exception here, because they can be operated perfectly with wet fingers and recognize triple taps without any problems.

When opening the charging case, the color of the LED indicates the charging status.

When opening the charging case, the color of the LED indicates the charging status.

Gamemode - extra low latency

When experimenting with the Air3, I also came across the game mode (low latency mode), which can be activated and deactivated by pressing the left earphone three times.

The advantage of this mode is the low latency (delay) you have between video image and audio. All Bluetooth headphones have this latency, and with some models it is so high that you feel a noticeable offset when playing video games or even watching films. This is of course annoying for some things. If, for example, pistol shots are first seen and then only heard a fraction of a second later, it's irritating.

To get around this, the Soundpeats Air3 use a game mode that slightly reduces the transmission quality and, in turn, lowers the latency to a value of 60 ms - low enough for a normal person to no longer recognize any offset.

The stems of the earbuds on the Soundpeats Air3 are nice and short, so they wobble less than the old AirPods 1 or 2.

The earbuds on the Soundpeats Air3 are nice and short, so they wobble less than the old AirPods 1 or 2.

Sound: Soundpeats Air3 vs. AirPods 3

Now we come to the - from my point of view - most important part of the test report, because the sound of headphones is not insignificant when you have to decide between different models.

So that you can better classify the sound, I like to test headphones in comparison with common AirPods models from Apple. In this case, the AirPods 3 are the closest to the design of the Soundpeats Air3. You don't really have to start a comparison with the AirPods Max, since headphones with a semi-in-ear design can never keep up with over-ear models in terms of sound. The AirPods 3 also have to take a backseat when heard against the AirPods Max.

Sonically pleasant - somewhat "drier" and more finely resolved than the AirPods 3

If you listen to the Soundpeats Air3 with various genres of music, you quickly realize that they have a less "pleasing" sound than the AirPods. However, this is by no means meant in a negative way, because in contrast to the AirPods, they resolve some instruments in the mid-range, which are almost lost in the Apple headphones.

But the mids and highs are not overly strong either. There's also decent bass on the Air3, and overall on the AirPods it feels like someone flipped the "loudness" switch. This can sound great for rock and pop, but the Soundpeats Air3 simply have better resolution for classical music.

Mind you, we are talking about a not insignificant price difference here, because the AirPods 3 from Apple cost around 150 euros, while the Soundpeats Air3 are available for just under 50 euros.

Fortunately, Soundpeats uses the USB-C standard for the charging connector.

Fortunately, Soundpeats uses the USB-C standard for the charging connector.

Soundpeats Air3 suitable as sports headphones

The athletes among the readers will certainly be interested in the fit of the earplugs in the ears. Personally, I can give the green light here, because the Soundpeats Air3 stayed in my ears and didn't fall out during my headbanging tests and somersaults.

However, I have to mention that I don't have any problems with the AirPods in this regard either. There are probably different ear shapes and mine are fine for these types of headphones and other ears may not be. However, there is no fundamental problem with the seat of the Soundpeats Air3. I think you simply have to test whether they are suitable as sports headphones for you personally.

The Soundpeats Air3 are surprisingly good semi-in-ears, which can be recommended as an AirPods alternative.

The Soundpeats Air3 are surprisingly good semi-in-ears, which can be recommended as an AirPods alternative.

My verdict on the Soundpeats Air3

There is no question that the AirPods 3 have a comfort advantage with the automatic switching on Apple devices that no headphones from any other brand (except Beats) can offer.

Those who can do without it will find a surprisingly good-sounding AirPods alternative in the Soundpeats Air3. Personally, I particularly like the Soundpeats because – like the classic AirPods – they can simply be hung in the ears. With in-ear headphones, you always have to fiddle with them until they sit properly in your ear, and that's not the case with the semi-in-ear design of the Soundpeats Air3. The price of around 50 euros is absolutely fine, so I can recommend the Soundpeats headphones without hesitation.

If you want to buy the Soundpeats Air3, you will find them here at Amazon or via this product box:

SoundPEATS Bluetooth Headphones, Air3 Wireless In Ear Earphones with Qualcomm QCC3040 and ...
  • 💕[Mini size and comfortable fit] - Special research, design, production and improvement by the ...
  • 💕[Qualcomm QCC3040 & 14,2 mm driver] - Equipped with the advanced Qualcomm QCC3040 chip with Bluetooth ...
  • 💕[4-Microphones & cVc 8.0 Noise Cancelling] - With dual microphones in each earphone, the human voice is accurately captured...
-
Did you like the article and did the instructions on the blog help you? Then I would be happy if you the blog via a Steady Membership or at Patreon would support.

The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de

Leave a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked with * marked