Review: Anker SoundBuds Slim

The following review is based on a recent competition prize win and is compared to existing Anker models which I own or have had in the past.

Anker SoundBuds Sport Slim are, for me, a nice introduction to Anker’s overall Bluetooth headphone line. I’ve used the Sport NB10 model (my fav) and the ‘entry level’ SoundBud Sport (casing for the EarBuds were too big and in general were quite uncomfortable in any configuration). The ‘Slim’ offering looks to have taken user feedback on board and improved many aspects which I found off putting with their initial entry level buds. They have also returned to the signature blue/white packaging instead of their ‘revamped’ NB10 Sport packaging, I guess to help with the difference between their entry and premium level offerings.

Used a few times in the gym (held well to sweat), at work and while reading in bed over the past week and was certainly surprised how much I warmed to them given my last brush with the entry level model. If I was recommending to a friend for solely gym use, I would lean towards the NB10, which for me held better, yet for general daily use they would surprise many. Solid build quality as standard and lightness rarely seen in this budget range (a slight 15g). Despite the controls now being returned to the cable, instead of being at the earpiece end, I found this not to be an issue for either access and/or obstruction, quite the opposite actually. Another plus is usage so far has been off a single full charge, with average use of 40 minutes a day (so about 4-5 hours so far). Volume level on average was at around 60-70% of the maximum, higher or lower volume usage will have an impact on usage time from a single charge.

Thanks to Bluetooth 4.1 you are able to keep an eye on the charge level, to an extent via iOS notification centre, android may have its own method, although introduction of a universal Anker app could be a good way forward to monitor their BT range! Clear audio detail over various genres tested, thanks to the 6mm drivers, with no lag during playback and/or changing tracks (as often has been an issue with other similar priced entry level buds I’ve bought or used).

During use three things mainly stood out compared to my past NB10 and Sport version uses, firstly was how accessible the power and volume buttons are, in fact better than the NB10 for this (especially if you’ve got large fingers), second the volume was lower and with just a little less bass than the NB10 (which in many ways worked better for home use before bed) and finally how much better the general fit is compared to the previous Sport version used, they really are more inline and held well under gym use.

Only one small negative I could find during my use this week, is that the flap for the charging port can be fussy about remaining closed from just a simple press, takes a bit more force than imagined to keep it shut.

In The Box:

  • Anker SoundBud Sport Slim
  • Xtra Small/Small/Medium/Large in-ear tips and small/medium/large earhooks (found a medium hook/small tip to work well)
  • Top Sprung Travel Pouch
  • Micro USB charging cable
  • FitClip (for cable)
  • Clothing Clip
  • Warranty and user manual

If you are just making a jump to Bluetooth earphones, compared to the Sport model, these would be a nice introduction and a bargain at £20 (or less on Amazon or Anker deal days) but for the more seasoned gym goer I still would recommend the NB10.


Nice extensive overview, @ndalby


@ndalby You mention being able to keep track of charge level with 4.1, how do you do that? I just got mine yesterday and have fully charged them and today I was into about my 4th hour and it just made the power on/off sound while they were in my ear. I turned them back on and 10 seconds later it happened again. I assumed this means they are dead. no lights flashing or anything. They are on the charger now and the light is solid red.

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Thanks for the review. There is a feature which is not in the bullet points but it does appear in the product FAQ:

How can I skip tracks?
Long press (1s+) Volume + to skip forward. Long press (1s+) Volume - to skip backward.

Can you confirm this? Thanks in advance.

Hi @bobbleheaderman , can’t say if it’s the same for Android (as I don’t have access to a device but maybe someone else can confirm) but on iOS devices you can gauge a rough idea of the charge level from the BT indicator in the upper right corner (see attached). As mentioned this is not completely ideal and perhaps a universal app from Anker to use across their BT device range would be good to give a more accurate insight into remaining battery charge (percent / time etc).

Usage time will also be dependent on volume level (updated my review to mention this as I though I already had, oops)

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Interesting, I was actually paired with my laptop so I guess that’s why I was curious. I downloaded an app on my android to keep track but it is kind of lame but for some could be useful. It is based off timers. Set how long the battery should last on your device and the timers count whenever that device is connected so it does not detect deferential of volumes effects. One thing I found on these ear buds is that I have to keep the volume at max on the buds or when I disconnect them the devices volume will be very high.

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I find with my android device the music needs to be playing and not paused and when I long press volume up on the buds, I will skip one song forward, repeat to skip another song forward. Going back is tricky as when you long press volume down it goes to the beginning of the song you are listening to then you need to be quick(first second of the song)press and hold again and it will go to previous track. If it worked while paused this would be much easier but hey it’s a big step forward from when I was a kid when on an 8 track player you had to listen to about 20 minutes of music just to get back to the beginning of a song :poop:


To be honest it’s one thing I didn’t really check as I normally prefer to use my phone for changing tracks ( if on treadmill etc). Had quick mess tonight when I got home and can confirm that the FAQ is correct.

Just make sure to give a sharp, long press of the buttons until the track has changed to either the next or previous track played. Using gradual pressure, especially on the volume down, has a tendency to activate the volume rather than skip track feature.


Further to my last and I can’t believe I’ve never really bothered to look this up before making me feel both :sheep: and :astonished: but you can actually view the battery percent of bluetooth devices in the iOS notification centre (knew it was possible for the internal battery but not BT also).

Following link gives a run thru for iOS 9 but iOS10 is not that different;


great to know that. thank you very much, ndalby. :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the great review! Couple questions:

  1. Do people say you sound good on calls?
  2. Is there a button combo or something to mute yourself while on calls?
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nice review :ok_hand:
and good pictures! :muscle:

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Didn’t use the call feature extensively but when tested I didn’t get any ‘speak up I can’t hear your comments’. As for muting, you can put a call on hold allowing you to answer a waiting call by pressing play/pause, I would guess if you don’t have a waiting call it would act as a mute feature.

Will give it a test this evening and let you know.

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Thanks, seemed fair doing a review on these as I didn’t warm to the standard Sport versions at all…in fact family and friends didn’t either…

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Im new to bluetooth earpieces and wanted to get either the soundbuds sports or slim because my headphone jack is spoilt. What would you say is the few differences between this 2 models and which one should i buy?

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Personally myself I would go for the slim model as they are lighter, have very decent battery and are more streamlined when worn. The sport model (not the NB10’s) just didn’t sit right for my ears (and a few relatives too), plus they do stick out a tad.


Thank you for the opinion! I decided to get the slim model as suggested and ordered it on amazon. Will see how it turns out :hugs:

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I will also add that the downloadable PDF of the manual is confusing and wrong. It shows that one can advance to the next track by either a single long press on the play button OR a long press on the volume + button. I can confirm that ONLY the long press on the (+) volume button works for this. Don’t throw away your user manual, as it shows the correct controls!

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Does anyone have an accurate way of reading the battery level? These are great but become suddenly worthless without notice - this is a huge flaw and it amazes me that it was overlooked.

I love Anker, I hope there is a way to read the battery available and I’m just missing it! Like holding down the button for x seconds or a companion app. Android does not seem to read it and the 3rd party App BattOn is inaccurate.

I agree i get a couple of minutes warning a bleep then they shutdown, no notice. I’ve just spent 3 days moving and used my Slim during flights and to talk with Uber driver in noisy airport. The Slim do a good noise isolation job, so good for flights. I carry them plus some corded earbuds so I have another earbud while charging.

What I do is just plug in the Slim when not using, because I don’t know their charge, e.g. last evening I had time in airport, then flight, so I used the buds in the airport for about 3 hours, then during the 15mins or so time of walking to gate and boarding, I plugged in the Slim into the Powercore+ mini and got some charge, then used the buds for about 3 hours then during landing I plugged them back into power for the 20 min or so of the landing period then used the buds again through the Uber process. i.e. took opportunistic short times to recharge. If I had not taken those two combined 35mins or so of recharging, I might not have lasted the total of 6+ hours of use.

If I knew the charge level I might not need to do such preventing proactive top-up charging.