Sound One SP-6 review: Sporty bluetooth on a budget

With Apple dropping the trusty 3.5mm jack, everyone’s been looking at Bluetooth. Especially those fitness buffs who workout or do a lot of outdoor sports. While Jaybirds and Bose have the high end sports wireless headset market cordoned off. With several Chinese brands with the same products under different names taking advantage of the budget sport headphone category. Now we see a new contender not only in this segment but also in India. Sound One is a Hong kong based company that has landed on our shores with their new SP-6 budget sports earphones.

Performance and Ergonomics
Contrary to it’s slab like look, the SP-6 fit really well, and with the hook, it held on tight. We put it through several activities and it didn’t budge. It does look rather large, but unlike most headsets which have an uneven control pod on the wire, the SP-6 is balanced in weight on both sides. An important factor to consider when you’re working out. Plus, once you get used to the slight pinch of the earhooks, it get’s comfortable.

The Sound One SP-6 is built to pump out good workout music. We’re talking about fast paced Pop, Indi-Pop, Hip-Hop, Dubstep and even Heavy Metal. Anything with a big, boomy or fast, speedy bass. It was relentless but also not overwhelming. The sound signature should make any basshead happy, adding that extra punch to each repetition of your dumbell curl. To get into the mood, we tried a lot of good workout tracks on it. Like DJ Snake’s epic Turn Down For What track was bright and as eccentric as ever with it’s bass thump. All of Nucleya’s songs which tend to have a sharp, piercing treble, had it evenly tempered. Even the infamous Pepsi commercial song, Lions by Skip Marley sounded fantastic with this headset.

 

¬†For it’s use case, the bass works really well. Sure it comes nowhere near Jaybirds’s refined yet bassy sound, but what the SP-6 is going for is a hammering, happy bass that keeps those endorphins coming. If the Jaybirds as a nice well made BLT sandwich, the SP-6 would be a triple decker cheeseburger that’s all over the place, yet enjoyable. If you nitpick, the bass and mids sort of fuse together with the treble adding in the song detail. Yet when you’re sweating it out at the gym, you want your favourite track to sound like what you’re feeling. If you are the type that listens to classical or orchestral music during your marathons, the SP-6 will give you a decent output.

The SP-6 is a Bluetooth 4.1 headset, with AptX, which is a compression codec that sends lossless music quality over bluetooth. You can connect two devices at one time and with a single charge you get upto 8 hours of usage and about 180 hours of standby time. It has a wireless range of 10m, so you can leave your phone in a safe place while you workout and listen to music. We tested out the microphone in several calls in various areas and the other person could hear us fine.

Design and Build Quality
The Sound One SP-6 comes in a surprisingly premium plastic box. Which slides out like a drawer revealing the SP-6 splayed out in front of you. Removing the SP-6 from the housing required a bit of care, as there were a few locks holding it in place that are very hard to notice. First impression the headset looks the sporty part, with skewed angles and a two toned color. The entire headset is made of plastic that is light, and while the plastic may come off as cheap, anything thicker would have added weight to the unit. One earpiece has the three circular button array of the remote, which felt reliable. The wire is a flat tangle free one which connects both earpieces. The SP-6 is rated IPX Level 4 sweat resistant.

Along with the main unit, you also get a charging cable and several sets of silicone eartips. Which were quite a chore to get on, as the rubber was soft and kept crumpling with the slightest pressure. Once we got the right eartip size on, the soft rubber did feel great when in the ear. The earhooks are of a standard one size fits all and feels soft and hooks on pretty well around the ear. All in all, the SP-6 is as sporty as they come. With none of the minimalism of the SkullCandy Smokin’ Buds 2, Boat Rockerz 250 or the Brainwavz BLU Delta’s. So it may look a bit out of place if you’re wearing it to office.

Verdict

At an asking price of Rs. 1999, the SP-6 is on par with the excellent Boat Rockerz 250 in terms of price. While the Boat’s have a handy magnet for the eartips, better build quality and look good, the SP-6 has great booming soung and is in many ways a true blue sporty headset that’s lightweight. If you are looking for a good wireless sports headset on a budget, the Sound One is worth considering.