Soundpeats is a lesser-known brand of headphone makers, but their products are surprisingly functional and affordable. If you’re familiar with Ray-Cons or Airpods, you should have a hard time getting used to their Free2 Classic Wireless Earbuds, but is it worth making the switch?
Discover our Soundpeats Free2 Classic review to learn more:
Soundpeats Free2 Classic Unboxing
The Free2 Classic wireless headphones come in a small box with some accessories. These include a 7-inch USB-C charging cable, designed to connect to the charging case, and a few extra ear tips in larger and smaller sizes. It would have been nice to include a plug adapter with the cable, but you can use an Apple plug adapter or a generic wall adapter from Amazon if you have one.
In addition to the USB-C charging port, the Free2 Classic’s case has a plastic shell with a leatherette pattern and uses a soft magnetic gasket to keep the case lid closed when not in use. It’s more scratch resistant than the Airpods charging case, but the faux leather pattern on the plastic looks really cheap. For comparison, the similarly designed Soundpeats Mini Pro has a much nicer feel with its matte black casing.
There’s a slight magnetic pull on the slots in each bud, making it easy to reattach them once you’ve finished listening. A light on the front of each earbud turns white when turned on, flashes when pairing, and turns red when charging in the case. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to see the tiny left or right indicators for each bud, which can be distracting when you put the Free 2 Classic buds in your ears.
I felt a slight discomfort in my jaw after an hour of use, so I switched to smaller ear tips. These were surprisingly difficult to replace, although you might have an easier time if you don’t have big sausage fingers like mine. Unfortunately I still felt uncomfortable after an hour with the small tips, but that helped a little.
Classic Features of Soundpeats Free2
The Soundpeats Free2 Classic uses Bluetooth 5.1 to connect, and it paired quickly with my iPhone and Nintendo Switch. According to the paper manual included in the box, there are several commands you can perform by pressing or holding either bud, but I spent the most time fiddling with the volume – it takes a single tap on the left to decrease, and single tap on the right to increase. It was also able to disconnect and reconnect between two devices easily and without conflicts. However, I noticed that it took a bit longer to connect to the Switch in docked mode compared to handheld mode – about ten seconds after the voice assistant told me the device was connected, I started hearing sound from my switch.
One of the most impressive features of these headphones is their great battery life. Soundpeats advertises that the Free2 Classic can play audio for up to 8 hours on a single charge, and you can charge it almost 3 times with a fully powered charging case. In standby mode, they claim the battery lasts about 30 hours, but I noticed these headphones still connect and play audio instantly after a week without being charged. You can possibly use these headphones for a few hours a day for a week without having to recharge them, and it only takes about an hour and a half before the case is full and ready to resume playing.
Noise reduction is also impressive, although there’s no built-in software to achieve this. Thanks to the fact that they are in-ear headphones, there is a natural sound-isolating effect when the earbuds are fully inserted into your ear canal. It allowed me to clearly hear the sound of a loud fan, running water and wind.
Soundpeats Free2 Classic audio quality
Now for the most important question: how does the Soundpeats Free2 Classic sound when playing video games? I tried several to get an idea of the overall sound quality of these headphones.
- On the SNES emulator included with Nintendo Switch Online, Earthbound it looks great. If you’re playing this game with these headphones, I recommend turning on the stereo effect to fully enjoy the stunning soundtrack – the mid tones of the SNES synths are perfect for these headphones, and the game sound effects have lots of punches.
- Unfortunately, The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past sounds bad in comparison. The rupee pickup noise in particular is squeaky and makes the audio sound like it’s clipping. This noise was never particularly pleasing to me when emulating this title on PC, GBA or Switch, which may be due to the game’s mixing; that being said, these headphones are doing it a disservice.
- Super Mario 64 sounds decent, with stereo audio in full effect. The various virtual instruments that make up the game’s classic score sound clear, with remarkable bass and hats in the Bob-Omb Battlefield theme. Mario’s voice sounds less impressive, though that has a lot to do with the audio from the bitcrushed original game – maybe playing the recent remaster would sound better.
Retro games aside, I decided to try out a few modern titles to see how these headphones hold up:
- Crypt of the Necrodancer is a perfect test as it uses retro soundscapes along with higher latency narration and voice acting. It also has an in-game latency tester, which allowed me to judge the connection speed of these wireless headphones. After some testing, the game reported the Free2 Classic’s audio latency to be between 0-181ms in handheld mode, and 45-128ms in docked mode. The music sounds good, but the voice acting sounds flat although very clear.
- My final test set was Legends of Rayman, sounds good. Every instrument in the score shines, with no noticeable issues when listening through these headphones. That being said, the low end is clearly lacking to accommodate clearer mids and highs.
General sound quality
After trying out a few games, I paired these headphones to my iPhone and tried listening to other things to determine the overall sound quality.
- While listening to a podcast, I noticed that the audio quality was noticeably poor. Again, vocals from all speakers were clear, but there’s hardly any bass to speak of. Additionally, echoes and other room noises were present even when using Overcast’s voice boost feature, which I attribute mostly to the emphasis on streaming the audio in the middle of the spectrum.
- I switched to Spotify and listened to different genres of music. When listening to hip-hop, the vocals were clear but the beats and backing instruments weren’t impressive which detracted from the experience. It was less noticeable when listening to heavy metal and acoustic rock, and I could still hear low-end instruments like trombones and basses clearly in an ensemble with higher-pitched string and woodwind instruments. Ambient electronica also sounded clear and robust, but faster, more intense electronic music with lots of layered synths started to tire these headphones out and get a bit muddy.
- Finally, I recorded some voice memos to test the built-in mic for taking calls and giving voice commands. I wasn’t expecting much, but I was impressed with how far I could get away from my phone while still recording steady audio for the memo. However, the mic isn’t very sensitive and struggles to pick up your voice if it’s too soft. Overall, you can expect the same voice quality as the built-in mic for a cheap laptop or USB webcam.
Ultimately, the Soundpeats Free2 Classic are perfectly passable for listening to game audio and music with minimal loudness. They have excellent battery life that makes them painless for occasional use, especially if you like to travel with a Nintendo Switch or Bluetooth-enabled portable gaming device.
But if you’re an audiophile, a hip-hop chef, or a fan of audio quality in your podcast listening experience, these would be ill-suited to your delicate sensibilities. In these cases, I’d recommend the Soundpeats Mini Pro instead, as they offer a more robust sound profile with better low-end for a modest price increase.