Review of Anker Soundbuds Slim+

@AnkerOfficial

I was one of the winners of the $1 to buy the Soundbuds Slim+ and this is my review. Unlike say the Power Users program where it is Youtube and other places they have grown a following, I am putting my review only here in this Anker community.

The others will be likely reviewing the Slim+ but as I had the Slim already this is comparing what changed from the Slim to the Slim+

The initial obvious change is the packaging and what is included. The delivered box is well constructed and robust so a good thing to protect your new purchase from rough stuff in the post. It shows clearly what you are getting if you are buying in a store.

The Slim had a small pouch you would poke the Slim into. The Slim+ comes in a zipped orange-sized container which room for a few other items like a charging cable. The container has a small caribener.

Included is also:

  • a cable shortener. The cable is longer than the original Slim, it is now 23.5" between where the stiffeners emerge from the buds, which is good as sometimes a little too tight such as hiding under a work shirt. The tightener you feed the cable through to out any excess
  • a clip. I’m not quite sure what is for?
  • a set of different size in-ear buds for different internal ear fit
  • a set of different size external ear holding curves to keep the buds in the ears
  • micro USB cable for charging.

The Slim+ themselves are almost identical to the Slim, the only difference on close up inspection is the wire which is a fraction longer, which I prefer as the Slim if the wire was behind your head tend to drag pull the buds out of the ear. The addition of the shortener and clip also helps with other unique issues like a narrower neck or wanting the wire tighter and the clip for keeping it on something.

The Slim+ have improved audio - Qualcom AptX HD as explained deeper here:

I checked my phone - a OnePlus3T supported this and it does

On turning on the Slim+ after fully charging I turned it on, and know it would be pairing mode with the flashing light, but the buds did not show up on my OnePlus3T as available devices at all, as if the Slim+ were broken. I rebooted the phone and still no joy. So I went to another device - a Nexus 7 - and it showed up there, paired 1st time, so I figured this was a compatibility issue between the Slim+ and the OP3T. So I turned bluetooth on and off then the Slim+ appeared on the OP3T and I tried to pair. It took 3 times of trying to pair. So there is some kind of compatibility issue between the Slim+ and the OP3T, which is not apparent on other devices like the Nexus 7, and I had no such problem with the Slim. It did eventually pair but that is just an observation.

I own the Anker Soundbuds Life and it has its own compatibility issues almost in opposite to the Slim+. I paired my Slim+ to a Chromebook and it paired instantly and connected instantly. The Life I have learned to tell the Chromebook to connect to the Life 3 times, then turn off/on the Life then Chromebook connect then it works. Conclusion: the whole BT space is a mess of basically “good luck”. Certain devices naturally get better long with others. In my specific case, the Slim+ worked very well with Nexus 7, Chromebook and eventually with OnePlus3T. Other Anker BT products are in some ways the opposite.

I had some HD quality media on my phone and played. Swapping between the Slim and the Slim+ to my ears the Slim actually sounded better, the Slim+ had a slightly more “metallic” sound - not bad but a little less good. That could be due to the pairing compatibility issues. It isn’t an issue of the type I would say do not buy the Slim+ its just overall there in this specific reviewers case some negatives and no positives relative to the Slim.

The Slim+ are identical otherwise which is:

  • excellent ear hugging. This is accomplished by very intelligent light weight bud, shape of the in-ear and two rubber peices
  • excellent noise isolation. Sufficiently good I basically now do not fly with my Bose QC35 as the Slim is much more practical on a flight being much smaller.
  • adequate power duration of about 7 hours as claimed.

Overall,
Pros:

  • improved packaging
  • improved by lengthening of the cable
  • same good ear-hugging dogged determinism to keep in the ears

Cons:

  • BT pairing issues, which could be not Anker’s fault but the usual issues you get between any two devices
  • no apparent audio improvement but could be because I don’t have sufficient HD media or it could be the pairing issues negotiating downwards

I thank Anker for selecting me to buy the Slim+ for $1+tax here in USA and hope the feedback helps with future product development.

Anker’s Bluetooth products I find one of their shining excellent product family, quality vs cost is excellent, I thoroughly recommend any Anker BT product. The cost is now down to similar to wired buds and it is far more convenient and better for the phone / tablet to not use wired as its removes the risk the wired is caught and damages either the phone/tablet or the buds themselves. I also thoroughly recommend Anker customer support, about 3 buds back some IE10 no longer made they had a fault and Anker did a shipping of new replacement and no need to send the failed back. When you consider in sale often buds are around $20-$25 it is a no-brainer to buy Anker buds.

12 Likes

Good review @nigelhealy :thumbsup:

Hopefully I can get my hands on pair at some stage for testing but based on these essentially being an upgrade with an improved codec, I am not expecting a massive improvement, noticeable improvement yes but not earth shattering.

Great review @nigelhealy :ok_hand:

Great review, how would you say sound quality is between the two since aptx?

It’s different but not in a better or worse. More metallic would be a crisper sound that the original audio is getting clearer through which includes if the original audio is not perfect? I don’t know if due to the media I had was not HD enough?

There are other testers who will be giving their reviews, possibly with different media they can detect a noticeable improvement?

Any chance you can run an audio burn in and test the sound quality again between the two?

I am not familiar with burn-in so I went to your link and as far as I can tell that would be what I call wearing them out! My naturally get burn-in with use. I do not listen to music on my Slim or Slim+ anyway I use them for work related calls and as I move a lot I like the buds when moving. The battery life of 7 hours mean I use the headband Life (got in a competition) and they last much longer and recharge fast so they tend to get most hours of actual use and the Slim are more slightly used for when moving.

I know some like to use buds for music when exercising, in my case my exercising is on a bike and I’d never willingly put anything in my ears as I risk not detecting a threat, no I use them if someone phones so I can hear someone speak when they talk via the hugging inside ear noise isolation which the Slim and Slim+ do extremely well.

The other testers may be able to give more of an audio quality review if they have some HD media.

Fair enough, but burn in is not wearing out the device but more bringing them in line with how they truly would sound over time. Most high end audiophiles run burn in to bring out the true sound quality of devices.

1 Like

Great review and comparison :thumbsup:

Great review, @nigelhealy! Interesting note about the Slim+ sounding more metallic.

it could be the music in the TV HD prog I was listening to was actually metallic and the Slim muffled and Slim+ unmuffled or something else. It isn’t horrible, just different.

Wouldn’t most high end audiophiles are worried about wearing the needle?

1 Like

looks like a very high quality product but not sure I would buy the + for 7 more than the normal slims

1 Like

I’d say if own Slim and happy then probably stick with it, if don’t own either then… what you said. Given the Slim and Slim+ are extremely identical, I see the Slim disappearing you will soon not be able to buy it. So just form your buying decision now on prices now, I expect it will change over next month as stocks go.

The biggest advantage of Slim+ is the cable is longer, the Slim would drag itself out of your ear, that is fixed so it is more of an active use product. That alone would be worth if if you’re an active type person.

1 Like

Didn’t see the increased cable length. I would prabs use these while running so that would be good to have a little bit longer cable and of course the nice case.

cable length matters more when head is left/right often, the cable less drags the bud out the ear, that is context specific, a typical gym user moves head less than an outdoor runner or cyclist. I have the Slim+ on now and just wiggled head left/right loads and the Slim+ stayed put

I don’t think you can make a bad decision here.

yeah I think these might be the new wireless earbuds for me

good choice. I think in summary the Slim type with the Slim+ successor has a very low weight item inside the ear, that low weight is most of how they stay put, it then has help with a very comfortable external to ear channel but inside the ear still extension which is very comfortable, nil long period ear ache. Where this suffers is in battery life it is only about 7 hours, so for example I do flying and the Slim / Slim+ cannot handle crossing a continent for that is tends to move to Bose QC35. The Life, it is a puzzle why they cannot block out noise as good as the Slim / Slim+.

If you wait a month or so, a discount code will appear for Slim+

@nigelhealy can you measure the length of these for me please. I was just given a pair of bluetooth headphones yesterday to try out and because I have such a large neck diameter the wire between the ear buds barely fit me and I had to have it in the front instead of behind my neck. Curious how these would play out as they are on my list to get

For the purpose of neck diameter, from where the wires emerge from the bud at the point the wires could wrap around the neck it is 23.5 inches, from there is a stiffener from the bud and then the bud, the magnets on the buds meet and stick so basically its the wire between stiffener is what you could wrap something (longer string, wire) around your neck of 23.5" and know what it would feel like.

One of my photos and the packaging shows the bid and that short stiffener section and then the flexibile wire, so I’m measuring just the flexible wire.

I edited the top post to add that measurement.

1 Like