SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS Review in 2023
The SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS headphones offer an astonishing range of features at just under $50 via Amazon. With LDAC support, these semi-earbud headphones can transmit Hi-Res Audio, providing an enhanced listening experience. Additionally, they boast a low-latency gaming mode for gamers and automatic wearer recognition for added convenience. Including a dedicated app allows users to personalize the equalization settings according to their preferences. Considering their affordability, these semi-in-ear headphones deliver remarkable sound quality and functionality.
I. Product Tech Specs
- Connectivity: Bluetooth version 5.2
- Profiles: A2DP/AVRCP/HFP/SPP/GATT
- Chipset: WQ7033M
- Supported Bluetooth Codec: LDAC, SBC
- Driver: 14.2mm
- Playtime Time: 20 hours
- Waterproof Rating: IPX4
- Single Earbud Weight: 4.06g
II. Design of SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS
The AIR3 DELUXE HS earbuds have a half-in-ear design for comfort and reduced pressure. They are lightweight with a matte grey finish and golden highlights. The 14.2mm dynamic driver delivers dynamic sound, supporting LDAC technology for Hi-Res audio. The compact charging case has an LED indicator and a pairing reset button.
The $50 package is made entirely of plastic, as expected. The earbuds have a matte finish, but the plastic quality is noticeable. They are lightweight and assembled from multiple parts. The earbuds have an IPX4 rating, protecting against light water exposure like rain or sweat.
The charging case now has a matte texture, which attracts fingerprints but offers better scratch resistance than the non-HS model. The hinge on the case is tighter, although personal preferences may vary. Keeping the charging case away from water or moisture is important as it lacks water protection.
Comfortable & Fit
The Air3 Deluxe HS shares the same design as the Air3 Deluxe, with the only difference being a golden touch-sensitive surface instead of silver. The shape is comfortable and adapts well to different ear sizes, including smaller earlobes. Apple AirPods 3 are slightly larger and may not fit all children’s ears.
Apple’s earbuds have a glossy finish and larger contact area, providing better grip than the Air3 Deluxe HS, which has a matte, rougher finish, and a smaller contact area, resulting in slight movement during head motions.
The Air3 Deluxe HS earbuds have an IPX5 rating, indicating their ability to withstand low-pressure water streams from any angle. However, they are not designed for submersion. This makes them suitable for physical activities, although the loose fit may present some challenges.
III. Performance of SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS
The SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS delivers superior audio quality compared to the non-HS model, making them a compelling alternative to AirPods 3 and the best classic earphones on the market.
It’s impressive that SoundPEATS made these improvements and included LDAC support without increasing the price. The HS version is currently priced lower than the non-HS version.
The SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS earbuds offer impressive sound quality beyond their price range. They have a solid bass foundation and powerful midrange, with agile and well-defined highs. The bass lacks punch but is still enjoyable. However, the sound can feel slightly boomy and may not suit high-quality jazz or classical music. The in-ear information system’s voice, with added reverb, is not pleasant or clear compared to other assistant voices.
Boosting low frequencies can be problematic for open-back headphones and classic earphones, often leading to power loss and distortion. However, the SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS earbuds deliver a boosted bass without distortion. It should be noted that Apple AirPods 3 and the non-HS version have a louder bass if that’s what you prefer. The Air3 Deluxe HS offers more controlled bass, especially for bass guitars. You may even experience sub-bass rumble with pop or hip-hop music in quiet environments, but it may be masked by external noise during commutes.
The original and HS models exhibit similar dips at 800Hz and 4kHz in the midrange. However, the Air3 Deluxe HS has slightly deeper dips, resulting in energy loss from electric guitars. As a result, songs like “Promise” by Voyager can sound noticeably off during chorus riffs.
Fortunately, using the app’s EQ to raise both regions can restore balance to the midrange and make it sound more natural. The Air3 Deluxe HS also delivers an airier sound, with vocals pushed further away. This creates a less intimate and more relaxing listening experience. Furthermore, there is no sibilance present in the sound.
The Air3 Deluxe HS earbuds offer clearer and airier treble without harshness. They provide decent texture and sizzle in cymbal crashes, outperforming most earbuds in their price range. While they don’t match the realism of premium earbuds, that is not expected at this price point.
Comparing the custom EQ and presets to the non-HS version, the Air3 Deluxe HS creates a wider soundstage, giving a spacious feel to the music. The imaging is relatively accurate, although better accuracy can be achieved with ear tip earbuds.
The earbuds provide up to 5 hours of playback on a single charge, while the charging case extends the total playtime to 20 hours. The earbuds and the case require approximately 1.5 hours to reach a full charge.
The Soundpeats App offers additional features for your convenience. It includes 10-band custom, preset, and adaptive EQ modes. Moreover, the app provides real-time battery level information for the earbuds and allows for easy installation of firmware updates.
The HS model of the earbuds doesn’t offer significant feature changes compared to the original version. In-ear detection can be turned off, and touch controls cannot be customized. The Adaptive EQ works differently in the HS model, but it’s not recommended as it makes the sound quiet and dull, reducing the dynamic range.
The SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS model improves call quality compared to the non-HS version but still struggles with loud background noise. During phone calls in quiet environments, the earbuds’ microphone captures your voice nicely and clearly. The audio is full, albeit slightly thin, making it suitable for video calls with colleagues or friends.
However, the call quality noticeably degrades when exposed to loud ambient noise. Your voice becomes muffled, accompanied by some distortion resembling an echo. Fortunately, the person on the receiving end can still understand your words. However, it’s not uncommon to occasionally need to repeat yourself.
The SoundPEATS Air3 Deluxe HS earbuds provide minimal noise blocking, making them more suitable for indoor or quiet environments. Traditional earphones suffer from weak, passive noise isolation due to the absence of ear tips that seal the ear canal. As a result, external noises easily penetrate and disrupt your music experience. Increasing the volume can help to some extent, but it poses a risk to your long-term hearing health. Additionally, sound leakage becomes noticeable, allowing others to hear your playlist.
Consequently, the Air3 Deluxe HS may not be the ideal choice for commuting. Without active noise cancellation, the sound of engines and surrounding noise can quickly overpower your music. To fully enjoy these earbuds, it is recommended to use them indoors, such as at home, in libraries, or in quiet environments where external noise is minimal.
IV. The Advantages and Disadvantages
- Clear sound with natural midrange (after EQ adjustments)
- Impressive battery life of 6 hours per charge for classic earphones
- Good call quality, particularly in quiet environments
- Lightweight and comfortable for extended listening sessions
- The abundance of features and a budget-friendly price with app support
- Inadequate passive noise isolation and sound leakage
- Below-average Bluetooth indoor range of up to 35 feet (at best)
Priced just under USD$50, the Soundpeats Air3 Deluxe HS offers a solid package. With their semi-open earbud form factor, these earbuds have inherent limitations in bass response and lack isolation from external noise. As a result, they may not be suitable for everyone. However, the midrange delivers a natural sound that may appeal to certain users.
It’s worth noting that the treble can be overly bright, which might be uncomfortable for individuals sensitive to high frequencies. Despite these considerations, Soundpeats deserves credit for achieving proper tuning to some extent. We recommend the Air3 Deluxe HS to listeners who enjoy classical or acoustic music.