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REVIEW: Belkin Launches Into The Premier Earbuds Market

Belkin has made the rather curious decision to enter the premium audio game with its new Soundform Immerse Noise Cancelling Earbuds, which retail for over A$300, putting them squarely in competition with most of the major audio companies.

Known more for its power banks and screen protector than for top-shelf audio gear, I was interested to see how these would shape up.

I have to say, they are very impressive.

Specs-wise, these boast 12mm dual-layer dynamic drivers with neodymium magnets and aptX audio technology – which is a complicated way of saying the mids are satisfying, the bass is clear and deep, while the treble never sounds thin and tinny. I tested these with both the latest productions from bass-heavy producers like Dr Dre, as well as reed-thin mixes from Mamas and Papas records last remastered in the 70s, and they manage to bring out the warmth of the latter and the sharp clarity of the former.

In terms of comfort, once you get the right-sized eartips and wingtips, they sit nicely. Looks can be deceiving, as they look like they would be cumbersome and fall out of your ear when moving, but I didn’t find this to be an issue at all.

The features are plentiful and mostly useful. You can track the charging case with Apple’s Find My feature, which gives peace of mind, or pair with an Android phone with Google Fast Pair. The Multipoint feature is great for pairing with two devices and moving between them seamlessly, while the Hybrid ANC is customisable, allowing total immersion, or the ability to track outside atmos and avoid walking into traffic.

31 hours of battery life is generous, too, with seven in the buds and another day’s worth in the case.

The only issue I can see Belkin struggling to overcome is audio snobs who would discount such a great and intuitive pair of earbuds just because they aren’t a proven high-end brand.

While this is understandable, it’s a real shame, as these are as good as anything on the market in the $300 range.

VERDICT: If you are willing to take a chance on Belkin’s foray into the upper-scale audio universe, you will be richly rewarded.

9.5/10

PROS:

Exceptional sound
Intuitive controls
Lots of great features that are actually useful

CONS:

Brand recognition
The charging case is quite big


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