UPDATE: Huge Sale! Charge Your Headphones Once a Week? SOUNDPEATS Space Headphones Review
There are a lot of ways to extend battery life. One popular way is to make sure your headphones are Bluetooth Low Energy compatible. Then you can claim a lot longer battery life. But that only works if your device is ALSO Bluetooth Low Energy compatible. This leaves a lot of people wondering if they got swindled because they don’t get nearly the claimed battery life. SOUNDPEATS has made good on their battery life with the Space headphones by not relying on Bluetooth LE. Instead, they just have a huge battery that lasts for triple-digit hours. At a claimed 123 hours, charging once a week is a real possibility. For some, that battery life might justify the $90 MSRP. But how do they sound? Let’s discuss!
UPDATE: The SOUNDPEATS Space headphones are currently on sale at Amazon (link below) for $50! Just use coupon code SPACE4PR for the reduced price. This sale will be in effect until March 15th.
SOUNDPEATS Space Headphones Specs
- Hi-Res Audio Certification (with inner cable)
- 40mm Dynamic Drivers with Punch Bass
- 35dB Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation
- Bluetooth 5.3 for Stable Multipoint Connection
- 65ms Low Latency Game Mode
- Profiles: A2DP/AVCTP/AVDTP/AVRCP/HFP/HID
- 123 Hrs Ultra Long Battery Life
- Battery Capacity: 1000mAh
- Headphone Charging Time: 2 hours
- Charging Port: Type-C
SOUNDPEATS Space First Impressions
I review a lot of headphones so it should come as no surprise that I quickly form opinions about them. When you first pick up a set of headphones, you can often tell a lot about their build quality. Some headphones seem flimsy and delicate. Others seem sturdy but heavy. It’s a careful balance. The SOUNDPEATS Space headphones have just the right mix that makes them feel like they’ll hold up to some abuse but not so overbuilt as to be bulky.
Aesthetically, the SOUNDPEATS Space headphones have the typical logo on the earcups that was made popular many years ago. SOUNDPEATS has eschewed the capacitance touch controls for physical buttons. There are buttons for power, volume, and ANC (Active Noise Cancelling). As you might expect many of these buttons do double duty. The volume up and down buttons can be held to skip forward or back. The power button controls Bluetooth pairing as well as play/pause, answering calls, activating voice controls, and even enabling Game Mode. The ANC button…cycles through the ANC modes. If you’ve ever used headphones before, the controls will feel familiar with very little for you to remember.
The one thing the SOUNDPEATS Space headphones were missing was a travel case of any kind. In fact, the picture below is about as small as these could be collapsed. For a headphone with such an impressive battery life, it seems like it would be a perfect fit to include a travel case and the ability for the headphones to be easily put in a very small configuration. While you could rotate the earcups 90° and almost get them to overlap, you had to push them and continuously put pressure on them. They just didn’t get as compact as you’d expect. An odd omission.
SOUNDPEATS Space App
I’ve addressed the SOUNDPEATS app in a previous review so I won’t belabor the point here. I did decide to try out the Adaptive EQ function this time. It walks you through a couple of test tones played at different volumes. You are instructed to press your phone when a tone is played if you can hear it. The problem is that there is a visual indication that a new tone is being played. It’s very hard to NOT press the button when you can see that a new tone is being played. Personally, I’d either use the manual EQ to tune the sound to your liking or pick one of the included EQ presets.
The App allows you to enable Game Mode and Dual Device Connection. From what I can tell, every time you turn off the headphones, these settings will be reset. As you can enable Game Mode from the headphones with a triple-press of the power button, that’s not much of an issue. It does seem to remember your ANC and EQ settings.
SOUNDPEATS Space Battery Life
The main claim to fame of the SOUNDPEATS Space headphones is their battery life. At a claimed 123 hours at normal use and 61 hours with ANC on, you’re talking a pair of headphones that are not going to last long enough for a plane ride, but an entire vacation! If you do manage to kill the battery, you can get 12 hours of playtime with a simple 10-minute charge! That’s insane!
Trying to test that claim is also insane. It’s not like I can keep these things on for days at a time. I will say that, after nearly a full “day” of use, I only managed to get them down to 97% charge on both the app and my phone. What’s a “day?” Casual use as I was testing them for sound quality (coming up), writing this review, working around the house, and cooking. We’re not talking minutes, we’re talking HOURS. My phone lost over 50% of its battery before I saw the SOUNDPEATS drop 1%. I don’t know if you’ll actually get 123 hours out of the SOUNDPEATS Space headphones, but I bet I could charge them once every two weeks and not get close to killing the battery. That’s nuts.
SOUNDPEATS Space Comfort
If you are going to make a headphone that has a battery that will last for over one hundred hours, they better be comfortable. SOUNDPEATS did everything they could to make the Space headphones comfortable and mostly succeeded. They have an over-ear design that is certainly the most comfortable of the types of headphones out there. The clamping pressure on my head was enough to be secure but not so strong as to create any discomfort. The ear and headband pads are plush and soft. The earpads are soft enough that I was able to wear my glasses with the SOUNDPEATS Space headphones without the pads pushing the arms of my glasses into the sides of my head.
ANC headphones must, by design, be closed-back. There is no other way to implement noise cancellation. This does, unfortunately, mean that your ears and the area enclosed by the earcups will get hot. As closed-back headphones go, the SOUNDPEATS Space was certainly no warmer than others I’ve tested. My only complaint was the area where the top of my head touched the headband. The pad was so plush that I could feel the hard plastic on the other side. This meant that I often needed to try to extend the headphone’s arms to relieve the pressure. I wouldn’t call the experience painful. I’d say that it was the one point of slight discomfort in an otherwise perfectly comfortable experience.
The Active Noise Cancelling function is easy to control with the dedicated button. When you press it, you’ll hear a voice that will inform you of the mode in a tone of voice that is oddly excited and also seems to have been recorded in the world’s most echoey room. You can cycle between Normal, Pass-Through (allows in outside sounds), and ANC. Normal, because of the closed-back design, does a fairly good job of blocking out sound. The ANC mode does a good job of eliminating background humming noise. Like many ANC solutions, I found the SOUNDPEATS Space to accentuate very high external sounds from time to time when in ANC mode. I’d call the ANC performance middling. Not great but certainly okay. With the closed-back design, I never really felt I needed it all that much to begin with.
SOUNDPEATS Space Sound Quality
As always, I start my listening tests by running the headphones through a couple of sweeps. The EQ was set to manual with no adjustments made so that I could experience the headphones without any EQ. The SOUNDPEATS Space exhibited remarkably low bass with very little extraneous noise. The high end trailed off about 14kHz. When listening to content, the SOUNDPEATS Space headphones sounded slightly bass-forward but overall had a very pleasant and accurate sound. Of course, with an adjustable EQ, you can tailor the sound to your liking, but without any EQ, I thought they sounded very good. Certainly good enough to justify the $90 MSRP.
Many products will find a selling point and lean into it. It would have been easy for SOUNDPEATS to lean into the insane battery life and not worry about the fit and finish, sound quality, or comfort. People would have likely still bought these headphones at the $90 price point simply for the convenience of not having to charge them every day.
But they didn’t.
The SOUNDPEATS Space over-ear headphones are some of the most comfortable I’ve tested. Their sound quality is as good if not better than every other headphone I’ve tested in this price bracket. Add to that the physical buttons that always work and a battery that will legitimately last you over 100 hours, and you’ve got a product that is AV Gadgets Approved!