At NZ$130 a pair, the Belkin Soundform Rise True Wireless Earbuds are a low-cost alternative for people who want cord-free sound.
You can pay four times as much for noise cancelling wireless earbuds. Belkin offers the more upmarket Soundform Freedom earbuds at close to twice the price.
Which means the price is going to be a major selling point for the Soundform Rise Earbuds.
What do you get for NZ$130? The short answer is that you get earbuds that are good enough for casual use.
They aren’t going to win prizes for sound quality or features but they get the job done without emptying your wallet.
The sound quality isn’t bad. There’s audible bass boosting which can be tiresome after a time. I took them as loud as I dared without hearing distortion.
The Soundform Rise earbuds do rock better than other forms of music. Classical tracks sound unnatural, electronic music misses something in the mid-range.
If you are an audiophile, you’re not going to buy these. Otherwise, you won’t hate the sound. At the same time, if you switch to other, more expensive alternatives, you may be surprised by what you were missing with the Rise earbuds.
There is no active noise cancelling. You shouldn’t expect that at this price.
Away from music, the sound is great for making phone calls and using voice controlled apps. There’s a small amount of Bluetooth fuzziness, but you’ll hear callers and be heard when you make calls. That’s what matters.
Belkin’s physical design is not up to Apple, Sony or Bose standards, but it is serviceable.
Could be more comfortable
They are not as comfortable and don’t fit as securely as rival wireless earbuds. There are three sizes of earbuds, which should cover your needs. This is one of the compromises you make buying low-cost wireless earbuds.
Like other modern earbuds there are touch controls. At first it’s not obvious what actions trigger the functions – you’ll get used to that soon enough.
One thing that annoyed me in testing was how easy it is to hit the wrong command. I found music leaping forward to the next track or back to the start when I wasn’t expecting that to happen.
Unlike rivals, Soundform Rise earbuds don’t stop playing when you take them out of your ear. This may be a good thing for you.
Bluetooth pairing is harder than with other earbuds. This could be a reviewer-only issue, I’ve tested many Bluetooth sound devices in recent years. Yet I found I needed to restart pairing more often that I’d like.
Belkin says you get five hours battery life. And 19 hours with the case. This was hard to test, but it felt like the manufacturer’s claims were optimistic.
Verdict: Belkin Soundform Rise True Wireless Earbuds
There’s nothing exciting or earth-shattering about the Soundform Rise earbuds. They get the job done. They are not expensive. You won’t be delighted, but nor will you be disappointed.
If you can stretch to the NZ$230 needed to buy the Belkin Soundform Freedom earbuds, then you’ll get a better experience.