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CNET: Best bargain true wireless earbuds for under $50

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Published in Science & Technology News

Sound quality is good for open earbuds. It's right there with the AirPods and these even have slightly more bass. We think most people will be satisfied with the sound. The only issue we noticed is that you can only push them so far. When playing certain tracks at higher volumes we encountered some distortion; rock tracks where several instruments are playing at once can be challenging. As a result we kept the earbuds at about 60% of maximum. You can adjust the volume using the touch controls, which work well. They do play loud at higher volumes.

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Under $50 Anker

Anker Soundcore Life P2

CNET TAKE: Anker has released its newer Soundcore Life P3 (around $70), but the Soundcore Life P2 earbuds remain a good value option at around $45. The buds charge horizontally in their case rather than vertically, and there's a slightly cheaper feel to both the case and the buds compared with the Liberty Air 2. Their sound doesn't have the presence boost in the treble that the Liberty Air 2 buds have, so they're not as clear-sounding with well-recorded tracks, and the bass isn't quite as well defined. But they're warmer and more forgiving, which we appreciated, and they sound more like the original Liberty Air.

 

It's also worth noting that instead of touch controls they feature physical buttons, which some people may prefer. They have four microphones, two of which are supposed to help with noise reduction when making calls in noisier environments. They do a decent job of reducing background noise when making calls, but we didn't sound as clear to callers as we did with Anker's Liberty Air 2.

While there's no wireless charging, you do get USB-C charging. Battery life is rated at seven hours, and this true wireless earbud option has an IPX7 water-resistance rating, which means they can be fully submerged in water to a depth of 3 feet and still survive. They're arguably the best value in the Anker true wireless line right now.

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The following CNET staff contributed to this story: Executive Editor David Carnoy and Copy Editor Jim Hoffman. For more reviews of personal technology products, please visit www.cnet.com.

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