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Anker SoundBuds Slim review: A wireless headphone bargain that's hard to beat

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The Good The SoundBuds Slim are inexpensive but don't look or feel cheap; they fit and work reliably well with sound decent enough for their price; a carrying pouch is included and the buds adhere to each other magnetically.

The Bad Bass is a little bloated (loose) and the treble has a touch of harshness, particularly at higher volumes; other online-only companies are selling virtually identical products.

The Bottom Line The SoundBuds Slim Bluetooth earphones are hard to beat for the price, especially if you're not a stickler for sound quality.

7.9 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 7
  • Sound 7
  • Value 9

Anker has made a name for itself by selling a host of budget mobile phone accessories that are relatively inexpensive but manage to avoid looking cheap. The same can be said for the SoundBuds Slim, an in-ear Bluetooth sports headphone that can be had for less than $30 (£20; AU$70) online.

Let me preface the design discussion by saying that this headphone may very well have come out of the same Chinese factory that makes very similar-looking wireless earphones for other online-only brands like TaoTronics, so it's hard to call these truly original or special.   

What you get in the box.

Sarah Tew/CNET

That caveat aside, the SoundBuds Slim earphones do have a simple elegance to them and seem sturdily built with metal housings and a fairly thick cord. They're also sweat resistant and come with a basic carrying pouch for storage. Battery life is rated at 7 hours at moderate volume levels, which is fairly decent for this type of headphone.

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