I have had these buds for 2 months and used regularly, including a 10 day trip including two 10 hour flights and 5 trains and dozen of bus trips. I own from Soundcore the Life P2, Liberty Air 2, Neo, Q30, Frames so I can compare with those, as well as some Bose and Sony. I use my Frames when outside moving walking/biking and these Sport X10 have been used for most other purposes when moving, and my Q30 when home.
This is my experience. I had to wait til the launch to share and I checked I was allowed to before this post. I thank Soundcore for the opportunity to test and give feedback.
(I am deliberately excluding unboxing as plenty of video reviews will be doing that)
The case is unusual in that the top is translucent. You turn on the buds by opening the case and turn off by closing the case. The front button presses in to release lid.
There’s a press button front which includes the lights. When you place a bud back in case the corresponding left or right light comes on.
(here I placed the right bud in case)
Otherwise the lights are an indication of case battery level, here it’s fully charged.
This way of on/off via case open/close is not the same across Soundcore’s product line - others have a bud taken out of case to turn on and in case to turn off. So this may not be intuitive to you initially til muscle memory kicks in. Means a single-bud mode must have the case. There may be an auto-off if disconnected type capability but I have not tested that yet so far.
USB-C charging port.
(app is beta, yours probably will be slightly different)
The app support is excellent, you have EQ, customise the button and decide between ANC, Normal and Ambient modes. Button has press once, press twice and press-hold options. The button is at the top so you’d not be pressing it to push the bud into the ear, less accidental presses. I used one press left for volume down, one press right volume up, double-tap for play/pause, and long-press for switching ANC/Ambient. You’d obviously set these up to suit your preferences. I think that is 6 button press options in total you have? So pick which are your 6 most needed?
When using one bud (bud in case, case closed) then some of these options disappear including ambient and ANC options. I fully expect owners will be asking for ambient to be an option single-ear as that is often asked for other Soundcore TWS buds.
My phone supports all the codecs including LDAC, AptX etc the only option presented to me is SBC
I am usually “M” size bud tip sizes, but I tried each ear for a while with S in one and M in other ear. Moving to S seemed to give better noise quality.
Sound quality is fine for me, no complaints!
ANC mode is typical experience for me of Soundcore, comparable with my Soundcore Q30, they do a reasonable job to remove bass sounds, such as rumble. During a 10 hour flight they noticeably removed the hum noise of the aircraft. They much less remove higher pitched noises. So say an adult man’s voice is better eliminated than a child’s voice. So good to ignore a husband but not the kids! (sorry?). But Soundcore ANC is not as good as my Sony headphones (which cost 5x the price and are physically much larger).
Ambient is also typical for Soundcore - excellent, it boosts voices.
Note: at time of writing using my current app version and firmware version, using one bud disables ANC and Ambient modes.
Comfort - I find them extremely comfortable, no problem wearing all day, and you can sleep with these and they stay in without discomfort. The “hook” is soft bendy and smooth, just stiff enough to hold the weight of the bud so they stay in place but not so stiff you notice they are being worn.
You can vary the comfort vs sound quality via the choice of size of tip. For me the “Medium” fitted tips afforded the most comfortable, but gave the lesser ANC performance, the “Small” improved noise isolation but caused less comfort.
Suggestion is to play around with the XS, S, M, L, XL in the box for optimal for you.
So in my case, the M tips would be my default preference, and swap to S tips for flying.
They rotate round to place in case and out to wear.
Battery life - initially I thought was disappointing, around 6 hours but then I discovered the quick charge capability of the buds in the case, a few minutes adds a lot of battery time. During my 10 hour flight I put buds into case when visiting bathroom, so say 10 minutes total over 10 hours, and the buds were more than half full at end of the flight. I suspect reviewers will be asking for improved battery life, but honestly, apart from a scenario of a long sleep wearing these, there will always be times you don’t need them in your ears, so just put them in the case for these times, if only for a minute, then battery life is a non-issue.
Bluetooth stability is so-so, not the best of my Soundcore products, but acceptable. The tear-down shows a fairly small antenna.
Suggestion: make the ear loop the antenna!
For comparison, to scale here’s the antenna in another recent product - Life P3 with ruler of these Sport X10
I have not tested their waterproof IPX7 claims, but I see other reviews have - check theirs. They certainly are the most claimed waterproof Soundcore product I have so if I were to entering a wet environment and needed to listen to something, these would be my first choice.
I didn’t know the price til today. I feel they are priced too high but the 20% discount codes available also today make it more reasonable. The reason I feel it is a high price is have you seen what you can get with say the Life P3?
These don’t have: wear detection, LDAC, AptX, wireless charging.
I’m sure patience will get a deeper discount than 20% if you’re in no particular rush.
If I think of more to say I’ll add, if you ask questions I’ll edit this top post in response to include so the review improves.
- all-day sleep-in comfort.
- they stay in! I have the Life P2, Liberty Air 2, Neo - these all fall out, very easily to the point I don’t use them unless I’m sat down. These Sport X10 actually stay in. They don’t make a tight seal for me sustained, they pop out, but do not fall off my ear. So these would be my go-to for when moving.
- As the hook is taking most of the weight, changing the tip down a size from Medium to Small does make a better seal without the “digging” ear canal ache.
- Reasonably useful ANC, good Ambient, for sure smaller to travel with than over-ear options. I’ve used on flights, bus, train, and is a useful enough noise reduction to be worthwhile wanting.
- factoring the fast charging, excellent battery life.
- the ANC is the most noticeable area for improvement, but it is comparable performance to other Soundcore ANC products I have. I found the passive noise isolation worked briefly if I pushed them in but would quickly slacken. I note ANC and Ambient are beta, so firmware updates may improve performance?
- Bluetooth is not the best, nor worst, but would be an area for improvement for a successor.
Conclusion: recommended particularly for active folks, or damper situations, or who haven’t managed to find TWS buds which stay in. If you’re not an audiophile then these sound perfectly fine (to my ears). I’d not expect a deeper than 20% discount for a couple of months so if you’re not prepared to wait a few months then I’d encourage to buy these now.
Thanks again to Soundcore for chance to test these, and can you imagine the self restraint of not placing these in many weekly photo competitions.