I still don’t know how I feel about fully wireless earbuds. On one side, they are very convenient. On the other, they are so easy to lose, it makes one feel like one is making it rain in Las Vegas.
Then, someone smart came up with silicone straps to keep the buds together, so you’re not sentenced to a mono audio experience. But what’s the point of fully wireless earbuds now when they stop being, you know, fully wireless?
And don’t let me get started on the price. I get it that this is not the same technology as those discounted earbuds you can pick up at the checkout line at your local Walmart. Still, why would you drop that kind of money on something like this when you can spend half as much on a decent pair of sports wireless headphones?
Now that we have started on this sour note let’s talk about Tsumi Sound Mates. I’m not coming into this Sound Mates v2 review determined to hate them. From the beginning, I am impressed with their reasonable price. However, affordable junk is still junk, and I would rather spend those $20-ish on ice cream.
I don’t demand of these to give me a wide soundscape, but they have to give me decent audio quality, good battery life and have to be comfortable to wear. Let’s see how they measure to my expectations.
✔ True wireless in-ear earbuds
✔ 5 hours of music play time
✔ Well-built and sturdy
✖️ Bad mic
✖️ One size doesn’t fit all
Tzumi Sound Mates v2 Review
First look and appearance.
At first, these look like one of those AirPod knockoffs. While they will not win an award for the most original design anytime soon, there are a few key differences. Namely, that the SoundMates are in-ear earbuds, while the AirPods don’t go anywhere near your ear canal. The size and overall shape are almost identical.
The set I got to play with came with a silicone case cover straight away, and I didn’t have to buy additional accessories.
They use a Type C charger, which was even more good news.
I was not too keen on the packaging. It’s that kind you’ll see with a lot of cheap electronics and… toothbrushes. However, if the manufacturer needs to cut costs somewhere, it’s good that something you will throw away gets sacrificed.
If I were to compare these to AirPods, they are more comfortable. They sit securely in the ear and lay flat against it. I didn’t try sleeping with them, but I wore them to bed when vegging out.
I found the fit, okay, but I’ve seen people complain they are too big and uncomfortable for their ears.
They are also suitable for high-impact activities. They didn’t move when I was running or jumping, which is a huge plus in my book. For this reason alone, I would recommend them to anyone looking for sports earbuds. Even if you lose them on a trail somewhere, they are not painful to replace.
Recommended: The 5 Best Earbuds For Small Ears in 2022 (Review & Buying Guide).
The SoundMates can connect to any device through Bluetooth. Every gadget I’ve tested paired seamlessly and didn’t lose connection easily.
The SoundMates mostly delivers on the promise of battery life. I don’t know if I got exactly 5 hours out of them, but I would say it’s in that neighborhood.
Most days, I had them on during the morning workout, commuting to work and back, and also while running errands. I usually end up with some extra juice, quite enough to cook a meal and/or clean up.
I have to say there is a significant difference in battery life when they are freshly charged to when you leave them be overnight. It could be just me, but the battery life almost halved in those cases.
The plastic feels like it should be on earbuds that are at least twice as expensive. So, that’s five stars from me.
I’ve also squished them with my fingers, just a little harder than normal. They felt very solid and didn’t break apart as some of the other budget buys.
The charging case is robust. The only thing I don’t like is the charging cable. It’s the thinner one that you get with electronics in this price range. It’s nothing that can’t be replaced, though.
Can I just say average? It’s the same sound quality I’ve experienced from other pairs of truly wireless earphones.
At least that leads us to some good news. Most of those earbuds I’ve tested are twice as expensive. If I were to judge them on their own, trying no other similar pair before, I would say meh. But comparing them to the pricier models, I say you’re getting quite a bang for your buck.
The bass is as it would be expected, but it should not affect your experience listening to most genres. Classical and jazz pieces came out sounding clear, while you can get more out of rap and contemporary pop after playing with your device’s EQ.
They are also okay for watching movies and listening to podcasts and audiobooks. The human voices sound natural, though the explosions are underwhelming.
It’s not a sound quality that would impress an audiophile, but it’s a lot better than you can get in the from $20 Bluetooth headphones.
Recommended: Tozo T6 vs T10 Wireless Earbuds: Which One is Best for You.
I kind of don’t have many good things to say here. I didn’t find these to be any better than any other pair of truly wireless earbuds, and I am disappointed in those as well.
Inside, I didn’t have many problems, but the second I stepped out onto the street, I had to disconnect them and finish the call the old-fashioned way.
Take this with a grain of salt. I am not a loudspeaker, so that is also influencing my opinion.
Pushing it to the next level.
This Sound Mates v2 review can’t end without my Mayhem test. In short, this band’s music easily showcases any issues with sound quality.
The earbuds fail the test. These are not the most nuanced musical compositions; even so, everything sounds very flat and crackly. I would definitely not recommend these earbuds to anyone who doesn’t listen to music with a higher production value.
Next, I wanted to see how they fare at max volume. Kids, don’t do this at home, it’s very painful.
They fail here as well. Anything with a lot of treble crackles even before I reached the max limit. Obviously, you will not be listening to music that loud, but it’s still a good indicator of what we have to work with here.
Another thing I like to test for is how suitable the gear is for people with disabilities. I do this by putting on a pair of kitchen mittens to simulate dexterity and mobility issues.
To be fair, these types of earphones are never suitable for people with severe disabilities. In advance, I knew the SoundMates will fail this test.
However, I will commend them for having a button that is easy to access. I believe that someone with arthritis or syndactyly could still operate them with no issues.
Overall, these earbuds come with clear limitations. If you have specific needs or wants, look elsewhere.
FAQs About Tzumi Sound Mates v2
Is SoundMates a good brand?
The overall consensus is yes, it’s a good brand. Their earbuds are affordable and work great. For their lane, I could consider them to be among the frontrunners.
Is SoundMates v2 noise Cancelling?
In theory, these earbuds offer active noise canceling. In practice, things are different.
To make the long story short, you can expect as much noise canceling from these as you would expect from other earbuds. They will not completely shut out the world for you, but you can still concentrate and enjoy your music in noisy areas.
How do you turn SoundMates v2 on?
On the side of each earbud, you’ll find the multifunction button. You use that button for turning the earphones on and off, pairing, and connecting calls.
To connect the SoundMates to your device, start by pairing them. You’ll do that with a long press on the multifunction button when both buds are turned on. The LED lights will flash to show that the pairing was successful.
Then turn on the Bluetooth on your device and scan for the earbuds. Tap on them to connect.
Time to wrap up this Tsumi Sound Mates v2 review with a few personal opinions.
These are a good buy. I’ve tested wireless earbuds with better sound quality, but they were all from a different price range. So, apples and oranges?
If you are looking for earbuds for your commute or casual use, these are a perfect choice. Other than that, I’m happy with the quality, battery life, and overall performance. I would like to see how they fare as the months go by.
Other reviews I’ve seen mostly align with mine. I’ve seen additional complaints on mic quality and people claiming no one would hear them during phone calls.