I’ve got lots of products kicking around that I purchased to review, but just don’t have the time to cover them all. The SoundPEATS B10 we’re looking at today is one of them. So I can start clearing out this side queue, I figured a simplified review series could be helpful. It will be a pared down version of my regular review style, covering only the essentials in a quicker, more easily digestible form. The B10 is going to kick us off, so let’s get started!
After reviewing a slew of SoundPEATS products last year, I decided to buy the B10 and give them a shot because I liked what the brand was offering. I picked this up on Amazon for 17.99 CAD on April 9th, 2017. They’re currently retailing for 18.99 CAD and now seem to come with an inline mic which was not an option when I bought mine: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01N7MABZW/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Packaging and Accessories:
The B10 comes in a simple cardboard box free of any frills. Simple design for a simple earphone. Inside is the B10 and three sets of single flange silicone tips in small, medium and large sizes. No carrying case or baggy. The included tips are excellent, quite similar to what JVC provides with most of their gear, but a little stiffer. You don’t get much at all, but at least what you do get is good. (3/10)
Build, Comfort, and Isolation:
The B10 is crafted from a very compact, bell-shaped, two piece plastic shell. There is a tiny pinhole vent for driver ventilation. The cable is an old-school design with left and right cables connected up until the y-split which is just a simple rubber stopper. After that, the cable splits leading to each ear piece. Strain relief at the straight jack is short but does the job. Strain relief leading into the ear pieces is handled by two long, flexible rubber tubes that work very well. Material quality is nothing special but it’s all put together well. (6/10)
The B10 weighs next to nothing. This combined with some tiny housings and excellent ergonomics make the B10 amazingly comfortable, up there with the best I’ve worn. The nozzles exit at an angle so wearing them with the cable over the ear requires either swapping channels, or having them stick out at an odd angle. Either way, they’re still completely unobtrusive and are something you wear for hours without any discomfort. (9/10)
Isolation is actually pretty good for a cheap, plastic bodied dynamic driver based earphone. Without music playing, it does a great job drowning out my noisy A/C unit, typing, people trying to get my attention because I’ve always got earphones in, and other annoyances. It won’t best a sealed BA unit like the Brainwavz B100, but it’s better than average. (7/10)
The first thing you’re likely to notice about the B10 on first listen is how open and large it sounds, and how full it’s presentation is. It’s really not something you’d expect given the diminutive size. Next up is the balance. They have a polite u-shaped signature with a pleasant uptick in the bass. It’s a very refined and mature tune from a product in this category.
Treble is nicely extended and near perfectly emphasized with just the right amount of emphasis in the lower and upper treble regions (5k and 7k). This gives it great detail retrieval and some airiness and sparkle to the sound. The mids are set back ever so slightly but have excellent timbre and vocal presence. I have yet to come across any situations where I struggled to hear anything due to the mids being overshadowed by other frequencies. No sibilance either. Bass is also handled well. Balance leans a towards mid-bass which can be a little overpowering at times, such as on Karma Fields & Morten’s “Stickup ft. Juliette Lewis”. EQing out a couple dB goes a long way if you find it too much. It’s got decent punch and is well articulated regardless. Extension is excellent too with a visceral sub-bass presence. Sound stage is the B10’s claim to fame. It is even and round with the ability to toss effects pretty far. Depth is excellent letting the B10’s good layering and separation stand out. There isn’t much I can complain about. (8/10)
vs. Final Audio E2000:
If I were to compare the B10 to anything in my collection it would be the Final Audio E2000. The B10 does an amazing job emulating it with some mild shifts in signature. The E2000 is a couple dB brighter with a few dB less mid-bass. The mid-range is a touch thicker and more bodied on the B10. The E2000 picks up slightly more micro-detail and is a touch more textured in the bass, but the B10 does a better job controlling sub-bass which comes across a touch loose on the E2000. Sound stage is remarkably close too with the E2000 feeling a bit more spacious, though that could be due to it’s leaner note presentation. If you have an E2000 and want a similar sounding beater to accompany it, the B10 would be near perfect.
The B10 doesn’t look or feel like anything special and would probably be passed over by a thief if given the opportunity for a five finger discount. It certainly has a low key feel about it. When you hear it, you’ll be won over by the silky smooth sound, lush mids and bass, and non-fatiguing treble that all rests within an expansive sound stage. Having well above average comfort and good isolation also help it out, making it a great earphone for daily use.
That said, at almost 20 CAD they’re nipping at the heels of products with vastly superior build quality and nearly as impressive sound, like the KZ ZSA. There are also much cheaper gems like the Mixcder X5 which offers ridiculously good build quality and an expansive accessory kit at almost half the price, albeit with a solid but less refined sound than the B10.
Who is the B10 for? Someone that values sound, comfort, and isolation over all else. In these aspects that have few equals in their price range. If you want amazing build quality, gobs of extras, and an eye catching design to go along with a great signature, you’d best look elsewhere.
Overall I give this awesome little earphone an 8/10. It’s proven itself to me time and again over the last year and a bit, and I’d do it all over again if given the chance.
Thanks for reading!
**If you like this slightly quicker and more to-the-point style, let me know in the comments below. Feedback is always welcome.**