Anker Soundcore Spirit X2 review: affordable Powerbeats Pro rival running headphones

Anker Soundcore Spirit X2 are perfect for exercise fiends who prefer earhook design and low price without too many audio compromises

Anker Soundcore Spirit X2
(Image credit: Anker )
T3 Verdict

Earhook workout headphones that have a sleek design which belies their budget price tag. Impressive sound, waterproofing and ease of use makes them an excellent bet.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Affordable

  • +

    Secure on the ears

  • +

    Good sound for the price

  • +

    Excellent battery life

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Awkward controls

  • -

    Don’t always disconnect when placed in charging case

Anker Soundcore Spirit X2 review in a sentence: with an earhook design aimed at keeping them secure, Anker Soundcore Spirit X2 are true wireless running headphones – or workout earbuds – offering bass-heavy sound and superb value to buff fitness buffs.

Despite their relatively low price Soundcore Spirit X2 – Soundcore is a kind of audio sub-brand of Anker – come laden with an impressive array of features, including bass boost tech, top end waterproofing, voice assistant access and battery life that puts the similarly priced Spirit Dot 2 in the shade.

For those on a budget who want headphones that will keep them entertained beyond their run, HIIT session or bike ride, these promise much. As you can see from looking at them, Soundcore Spirit X2 is Anker's equivalent of the way more expensive Beats Powerbeats Pro. They certainly look the part, but can they deliver?

Anker Soundcore Spirit X2

(Image credit: Anker)

Anker Soundcore Spirit X2 review: Design and battery life

Not everyone is a fan of the earhook design. But when it comes to working out with true wireless headphones, it’s an option that guarantees you won’t end up scrabbling around on the pavement looking for an ear bud that’s slipped out just as you look to up the pace. Anker has clearly taken inspiration from the far more expensive Powerbeats Pro. And considering that they’re half the price of those Apple backed headphones, they manage to look every bit as sharp.

They hook into the ear comfortably, with three sets of ear wings and five pairs of ear tips ensuring that all sizes are catered for. Once on, they don’t budge and are comfortable on even the longest of runs. We took them out on a 10k and there was no discomfort or the need to adjust, as is often the case with buds that do not hook over the ears.

Thanks to the earhook, their larger size means that the battery case is also somewhat chunky. It’ll slide into a bag easily, but is too big to fit comfortably in a pocket along with a phone and wallet. That’s not necessarily a deal breaker when working out, of course. Especially as Anker promises nine hours of playback without the need to charge Spirit X2. That’s exactly what we got from them, something that really makes them stand out from the entire wireless headphone crowd. The 36 hours of charge from the case means we’re also willing to overlook its somewhat outsized design.

Anker Soundcore Spirit X2

(Image credit: Anker)

Anker Soundcore Spirit X2 review: Performance

Pop the Spirit X2 in and hit the road and you’ll find them great at delivering exactly what they promise: bass heavy sound that cuts out most ambient noise and keeps you motivated when the going gets tough.

They’re swift to pair, entering pairing mode as soon as you take them from the case. Button controls are available on each headphone, although they take some getting used to seeing as they’re set at the side of each earbud, rather than on the front where your fingers naturally fall. Unlike the smaller Dot 2, they do have volume controls. Tap the left earbud to turn the sound down and the right to crank things up. You skip back and forth and pause by holding down the volume controls, left for back and right for forward. This isn’t that natural when running, however, as your hand has to rotate into an unnatural position in order to do so. You can also up the bass by holding down the play buttons on either ear bud. This gives added oomph when motivation is needed, without drowning out the middle and higher ends of even the most detailed electronic tracks.

IP68 waterproof rating means they can also handle getting very sweaty, which proved rather good when we were in the midst of a particularly intense Yoga With Adriene session.

The mic is also a pleasant surprise, delivering crystal clear hands–free calls. That means these can easily double up as your go to headphones for all those daytime Zoom calls. However, they do have a tendency not to unpair when you place them back into their case, as they’re meant to do. It’s a minor issue but one which can become irritating over time.

Anker Soundcore Spirit X2

(Image credit: Anker )

Anker Soundcore Spirit X2 review: Audio quality

With an acoustic tube behind the main driver, the Spirit X2 is all about the bass. As mentioned, this can be given an extra boost when working out. Thankfully though, it doesn’t overly detract from the rest of the soundscape. We worked out to John Hopkins’ Immunity and Daniel Avery’s Drone Logic and neither lost any detail while delivering plenty of chest thumping bass to help keep us moving even during the dreariest and windiest of midwinter evenings.

At under £80, they obviously don’t come with noise cancelling tech, meaning you will still be able to hear some ambient sounds. This isn’t the end of the world when running in traffic heavy areas where it’s good to have a clear idea of what’s around you. Leakage was minimal and did not take away from the audio experience.

We also spent some time listening to podcasts through them while working out and found that they did an admirable job. If you can get past the ear hooks, they also work really well as a regular pair of headphones. Televised Mind by Fontaine’s DC sounded far better than expected through them considering they’re aimed at bass loving workout fans rather than those into melancholy Irish punk rock.

Anker Soundcore Spirit X2

(Image credit: Anker)

Anker Soundcore Spirit X2 review: Verdict

Anker’s Soundcore Spirit X2 offer brilliant value for money and come with features that make working out with them a joy. The awkward placing of the controls can sometimes be an annoyance, but in terms of sound and build quality, they are an excellent option considering the low price tag.

Battery life is exemplary and means they stand alongside much more expensive models when it comes to longevity. They might lack the smaller footprint of the Soundcore Spirit Dot 2, but the larger battery case and hook design are by no means a problem. In fact, they simply mean more power and a secure fit at all times.