Belkin wants a slice of the earbud action. The Belkin Soundform Freedom earbuds are a respectable low cost alternative to Apple’s AirPods.
You could use them with Android or Windows devices, but Soundform Freedom earbuds connect to Apple’s Find My network.
That way you can track them down if they go missing. This only works if you use other Apple kit.
It’s about the price
While they sound fine and have plenty of features, the main reason you would choose these in place of the Apple original is that you get to keep $100.
Belkin’s Soundform Freedom earbuds cost NZ$230. Apple sells the third generation AirPods on its website for NZ$330.
The Soundform Freedom earbuds resemble AirPod. The review earbuds are black, there is a white option. They have stems and controls in much the same way.
In use they weight about the same1. The stems are larger and have a more clunky feel, but if you’ve never owned AirPods you’ll never notice this.
I found they are not as comfortable as the AirPods and more inclined to fall out of my ears. But it’s marginal.
They have a similar charging case. You can use a wireless charger. Although I recommend you don’t. Belkin uses a micro USB connector. This is an annoyance in 2021 when the world has standardised on USB-C.
Belkin says the batteries in the earbuds together with the carry case give you 36 hours of use. Apple claims 30 hours for the AirPod. In practice it didn’t feel like there was a noticeable difference.
Connecting to an iPhone or iPad is not as straightforward as connecting the AirPods, but again, there’s not much in this. You won’t feel disadvantaged if you haven’t owned AirPods in the past.
Putting sound quality aside for a moment, that’s the story for the Soundform Freedom earbuds: Apple’s AirPod are a better experience.
If you come to Belkin Soundform Freedom from AirPods you’ll notice little things. If these are your first wireless earbuds, you might be happy about all that.
You might also be happy about the sound quality. But it is not for everyone.
I’ve tested earbuds from Apple, Huawei and Sony in recent times. To my ears they all sound better than the Soundform Freedom earbuds. I did a fresh test to write this review and my opinion hasn’t changed.
Belkin cranks up the bass on the Soundform Freedom. That may be to your taste, but there’s not the depth of sound with these earbuds.
Verdict: Belkin Soundform Freedom
The Belkin Soundform Freedom earbuds make sense if you don’t want or can’t afford to pay extra for active noise cancellation. There’s nothing bad, nor is there anything outstanding.
The Find My feature means they are going to appeal more to iPhone users than Android users.
You’d choose these if you want decent, serviceable earbuds without paying more for the best earbuds.
- I normally use scales to check weight but the scale resolution isn’t capable of measuring the difference. ↩︎