The Anker Soundcore Sport X10 ($79.99) join the company’s lineup of budget-friendly true wireless earphones with effective active noise cancellation (ANC). These earbuds feature a waterproof, exercise-ready design, plus pair with a useful app that offers an adjustable EQ. We also like their powerful (and admittedly bass-heavy) sound signature. But if you are on a tight budget or are not a fan of the ear-hook design, the Editors’ Choice-winning Tribit FlyBuds 3 ($39.99) may be worth a look even though they don't offer ANC or an in-app EQ.
Swiveling Ear Hooks, Confusing Controls
Available in red, black, or off-white, the Soundcore Sport X10 earpieces rely on hooks that latch over the top of your ears for an extra-secure fit. These ear hooks are unusual—instead of using a moldable material, they swivel at their base and have a snap-back-into-place tension that naturally latches over and onto the top part of the ear. They exert gentle pressure to maintain a secure fit. If you wear glasses (or sunglasses when you exercise), however, these hooks might contend with chunkier frames for real estate on your ear or swivel out of place when you remove them. Ear hooks aside, the box includes five pairs of silicone eartips that range in size from extra small to extra large; they make it easy to achieve an ideal in-canal fit.
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Internally, 10mm dynamic drivers deliver the audio. The pair is compatible with Bluetooth 5.2, plus supports the AAC and SBC Bluetooth codecs.
(Photo: Tim Gideon)
Each earpiece features a physical control button. A single press on the left earbud lowers the volume, and a single press on the right raises it. A two-second hold on either initiates the ANC mode and lets you cycle through the ANC On, Transparency Mode, and ANC Off options. Additionally, for calls, a single press on either answers incoming calls and a two-second hold ends them. Press the left earpiece twice to skip forwarda track and the right earpiece twice to handle playback.
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The controls work well enough, but this layout isn't ideal—single presses typically control playback, for instance, and there's no function for navigating to the previous track. You can adjust the control layout to an extent in the app at least. We also much prefer capacitive touch controls to physical ones, though Anker managed to get the placement right; because they are on top of the earpiece (not the side), you don't inadvertently push the earpieces into your ears every time you use the controls.
The pair's IPX7 rating means it is fully waterproof—you can submerge the earpieces at depths of up to a meter for 30 minutes, as well as rinse them off under a faucet. The Tribit Flybuds 3 match the Soundcore model here. For runners and gym-goers, this level of protection is ideal. This rating doesn’t apply to the charging case, however, so make sure to fully dry the in-ears before you dock them.
The oval-shaped case is slightly bulky, but its slippery surface is not too much of a problem because there's a button below the edge of the lid that opens the case. (It also illuminates the battery status LEDs.) On the back, there’s a USB-C port for the box's USB-C-to-USB-A charging cable, as well as a pairing button.
Anker estimates that the Soundcore Sport X10 earphones can last roughly eight hours on battery and that the case holds an additional 24 hours' worth of charge. Your results will vary based on your volume levels and use of ANC.
A Look at the App Experience
The latest version of the Soundcore app (available for Android and iOS) was in beta mode during our review period, but the changes are extensive. The standard features are all present: You can install firmware updates; adjust the layout of the on-ear controls; switch between ANC On, Off, and Transparency modes; and change the sound signature via a customizable eight-band EQ, for instance.
But the app goes much further; it includes multiple breath-training exercises for before or after your workout routine. Options include Warm-Up, Relax, and Pressure-Reliever, and you can adjust everything from the total time of the exercises to the intervals between breaths and whether relaxing audio sounds play in the background. You might not find these routines useful, but at least they work well.
The Soundcore Sport X10 earbuds deliver quality noise cancellation for their price. They substantially dial back powerful low-frequency rumble (like you hear on an airplane). A recording of a busy restaurant with clanging dishes and boisterous conversation was slightly more challenging. The pair eliminated plenty of low- and low-mid-frequency content, but the high-mids and highs passed through with more ease. In both tests, the earphone added a high-frequency hiss to the signal, which is unfortunately common among less-expensive ANC options.
If you’re looking for the best in-ear noise cancellation, the Sony WF-1000XM4 ($279.99) is our top pick, but it’s a full $200 more expensive. Regardless, this Soundcore model offers above-average noise cancellation in its price range. Transparency mode also works well, and it’s simple to toggle through the available modes via the app or on-ear controls.
Strong Sound, Clear Mics
For testing, we kept the earphones primarily in the default EQ mode. On tracks with intense sub-bass content, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the in-ears deliver powerful low-frequency response. At top volume levels, the lows don’t distort and, at more moderate ones, the bass still packs some serious thump.
Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” a track with far less deep bass in the mix, gives us a better sense of the pair's sound signature. The drums on this track get a significant amount of thunder. Callahan’s baritone vocals also receive a hefty dose of low-mid richness, but they retain sufficient detail because of some high-mid crispness. The acoustic strums andhigher-register percussive hits sound bright. Despite the sculpting and low-end tendency, the audio signature is relatively balanced.
(Photo: Tim Gideon)
On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild,” the kick-drum loop receives enough high-mid presence for its attack to retain some of its punch. The vinyl crackle and hiss are very prevalent in the mix, too. The sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat come across with powerful depth, and the drum loop’s sustain gets some additional thump, as well. The vocals on this track sound clear and free of sibilance.
Orchestral tracks, like the opening scene from John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary, get a bit more low-frequency boosting than they need, but the track doesn’t sound terrible unless you’re specifically after a flat-response sound; that’s not what these in-ears offer by default.
The pair's six-mic array works fine—we had no issues understanding every word from a test recording on our iPhone. Bluetooth audio artifacts are minimal, and the signal even benefits from a bit of additional low-mid body. On a reliable connection, you shouldn't have any issues with calls.
Fit for the Gym
The Anker Soundcore Sport X10 earbuds pack powerful, bass-forward sound and deliver noise cancellation beyond what we expect in this sub-$100 price range. Those aspects, in addition to a waterproof build, are enough to forgive the nonintuitive controls and fiddly ear hooks.
All that said, you may be better off with one of a few alternatives. We're fans of both the budget-friendly Tribit Flybud 3 and the conventionally shaped Jabra Elite 3 ($79). And if your budget is flexible, the Editors' Choice-winning Jabra Elite 7 Pro ($199) is our current top choice for exercise.
Anker Soundcore Sport X10
(Opens in a new window)See It$79.99 at Amazon(Opens in a new window)
Powerful, sculpted, and bass-forward audio
Impressive ANC for the price
App features adjustable EQ and customizable controls
Ear hook design makes docking process annoying
On-ear control array could be more intuitive
The Bottom Line
The budget-friendly Anker Soundcore Sport X10 earbuds deliver a bass-forward sound signature in an exercise-focused design, plus offer solid noise cancellation.
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Overall, the Soundcore Sport X10 earbuds are a decent alternative to the PowerBeats Pro and give you the additional feature of
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|Native name||安克 (Ānkè)|
|Brands||Anker Soundcore Eufy Nebula Roav Zolo (defunct) Bolder KARAPAX (defunct)|
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Place the earbuds in the charging case and leave the case open. Press and hold the button on the case for 3 seconds until the earbud LED indicators flash white to enter the pairing mode. Select “Soundcore Life A2 NC” on your device's Bluetooth list to connect.Why is one of my Soundcore earbuds not working? ›
Place both earbuds back in the charging case, wait for 5s, then take them both out and try again. 2. If this doesn't work, then reset the headphones refer to the manual and re-pair： (1) Place the earbuds into the charging case and make sure they are being charged for at least 10 seconds.
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