Tech

True wireless headphones tested: Soundcore Spirit Dots 2


Soundcore’s Spirit Dots promise rich bass and reliable fit. TechStage has tested them and reveals how they do in practice.

True wireless headphones, i.e. completely wireless headphones, are available for a wide variety of target groups. There are models with active noise cancellation, such as the Huawei Freebuds 3i (test report), with the delay-free AptX codec, such as the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 (test report), or headphones especially for athletes (advisers). All tests and advice can be found on our True Wireless topic page.

Image: The headphones are packed compactly.

The design of the Spirit Dots 2 does not have a shaft and so the earplugs sit almost completely in the auricle. Thanks to the compact design, the headphones are no longer noticeable even under a hat.

The True Wireless are generally reserved. A gold logo of the manufacturer is only emblazoned on the touch surface. The status LED installed next to it is switched off during operation and accordingly just as inconspicuous as the small openings for the microphone. The three gold-plated charging contacts per earplug can be found on the side facing the ear. There is no proximity sensor. Overall, the feel and workmanship are good, if not first-class.

The earplugs are comfortable and sit very reliably.

The combination of the actual ear cushions and the so-called Airwings ensures a good hold. These additional silicone pads “anchor” the headphones in the ear. The silicone pads are packed in four different sizes. The upholstery in the delivery state fits us right away. A USB-C charging cable is also included. A power supply is not included.

The dark charging cradle is also made of smooth plastic. With the dimensions of 79 × 45 × 29 mm, it fits comfortably in your pocket. Thanks to a rubber cap, no dust got into the USB-C charging socket. The weight of the bowl including the 5.5 gram earplugs is 62 g. For comparison, the Galaxy Buds + (test report) weigh, for example, 52 g. The glossy white plastic inside the box is much more susceptible to dirt and dust than the outside.

The unusual sliding mechanism looks great.

Unlike the Xiaomi Mi Airdots Pro (test report) or the Apple Airpods 2 (test report), for example, the lid is not opened, but pushed open. It looks very cool, but it seems to us to be much more sensitive than other solutions. There are three status LEDs in the middle below the lid on the front. Which headphones belong in which ear can be seen on the respective earplugs. A label in the charging cradle is missing; but it does not matter. The right headphone comes on the right side, the left on the left.

Thanks to the IPX7 certification, the headphones can withstand a lap in the shower. This actually works in practice. However, the water in the headphones is at the expense of the sound quality and running water drops cause incorrect operation on the touch-sensitive touch fields.

The Spirit Dots 2 sound is pleasantly good. The advertising slogan Epic bass gets to the point. Thanks to the elastically embedded dynamic 8 mm drivers and the extremely good and reliable fit, these headphones have a lot to offer. And in a positive sense. The full and warm bass is powerful without dominating uncomfortably. Even at full volume, which is relatively high in this model, there are no oversubscriptions. The high and mid-range is also a good impression. Overall, the sound is particularly suitable for electronic music and hiphop. Ultimately, the tweeters lack assertiveness for classical and rock. Fine nuances are simply lost. But that’s complaining at a high level. Overall, the sound quality can be described as above average; especially with regard to the price of less than 80 euros. The Spirit Dots 2 cannot compete with high-class models such as the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 (test report) or the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 (test report), but the sound is superior to the more expensive Freebuds 3i from Huawei (test report).

As with other true wireless headphones, it depends on how well the earplugs fit in the ear. Only when the user has found the right size of silicone pad and has the headphones properly inserted into the ear can the in-ears fully exploit their potential. Here the model scores with its exceptionally reliable hold, even without an additional earhook, as with the Soundcore Spirit X2 (test report). The shielding from the outside is relatively strong due to the additional air wings. Monotonous and muffled background noises are no longer perceptible from a medium volume. What is definitely an advantage in the underground can quickly become dangerous in traffic.

Ear pads and air wings are included in a total of four sizes.

The Spirit Dots 2 are theoretically unsuitable for watching films or for gaming because of the missing AptX codec. However, the test shows that there is only a relatively low latency between the playback device and the headphones during operation. For a short video or a round of gaming, the delay is fine. We would not recommend the headphones for extended series evenings or as a gaming headset. If you don’t feel like asynchronous lip movements, you have to consider that. You can find affordable models with the codec in our guide: The cheapest true wireless headphones. The missing AptX does not matter when listening to music.

The microphones do a decent job, but filter background noise significantly less than, for example, the Huawei Freebuds 3i (test report) or the Xiaomi Mi Airdots Pro (test report). The sound of your own voice is pure and clear.

With many True Wireless headphones, the fit must be corrected regularly; that is not the case here. But on the contrary. In order to get the Spirit Dots 2 used out, even a little finger touch is required. The plugs are so tight in the ear that they can only be removed with gentle force. What is noticeable here is the fact that we regularly have to realign our Airwing pads with the earplugs, as they move when they are removed from the ear. This is not too bad in everyday life or during sport, but it can be annoying. If you regularly put your headphones in and out of your ear, you should take this into account. The Spirtit Dots 2 are also suitable for everyday use without these airwings; however, they then sit less comfortably and also withstand fewer movements.

The pairing between headphones and smartphone works without any problems. However, the Spirit Dots 2 can only remember one source device. If you want to use the headphones with different devices, you have to bind them every time.

The sound is great in terms of the moderate price.

Operation via the touch field works well. However, you have to learn the appropriate commands first. A volume control on the earplugs is not possible. Jumping to the next music track works. Further settings or changes in the control are not possible; the Spirit Dots 2 are not compatible with the Soundcore app.

The batteries in the two earplugs last a little over four and a half hours at a volume of between 70 and 75 percent. Anyone who reduces the volume to less than 50 percent comes just above the official manufacturer’s specification of five hours. After 10 minutes in the bowl, the Spirit Dots 2 hold out again for an hour. The headphones need about 90 minutes to fully charge. The empty charging box takes 10 minutes longer.

The two headphones can be recharged a little more than twice with the charging cradle. In practice, the total runtime is 15 hours. It takes a little over three quarters of an hour to fully charge. The charge level of the headphones is visible in the status bar of Android smartphones. The values ​​are easily sufficient for everyday use.

Soundcore uses Bluetooth 5.0 for transmission. The Bluetooth connection is stable and works up to a range of a good ten meters; depending on the environment. The walk into the next room works without any problems in the test.

With a price of currently almost 80 euros (for example at Amazon) the Spirit Dots 2 belong to the upper middle class of true wireless headphones. The price seems fair and reasonable to us. Experience has shown that it will at least decrease by a few euros over time.

The Soundcore Spirit Dots 2 leave a very positive impression. In addition to the very good and pleasant bass-heavy sound, the True Wireless particularly convinces with an excellent and reliable fit in the ear. Together with the IPX7 certification, the everyday battery life and the decent workmanship, the True Wireless headphones are also ideal for outdoor athletes. Lovers of electronic sound will enjoy the overall sound quality.

The only real complaint is the lack of AptX; with the codec there would have been a grade better. It is annoying that the Airwings detach from the earplugs when they are removed. When testing, the fumbling on the silicone pads was annoying. After all: In everyday life, the headphones are usually put on and taken off less often. After 2 weeks of testing, we cannot say whether and how long the sliding mechanism will survive everyday life in a backpack or trouser pocket. Nevertheless, we would have preferred a classic folding mechanism here.

In any case, the price-performance ratio of the Spirit Dots 2 is consistent. If you are looking for inconspicuous headphones with decent sound for listening to music, you will be very satisfied with the model. If you want to watch or play movies regularly, you should better look for a model with AptX. An example would be the Anker Souncore Life P2 to call. However, if ANC is the decisive criterion, you should take a look at the expensive Sennheiser Momentum 2 (test report) or the Magic Earbuds from Honor (test report).

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