Anker Soundcore AeroFit and AeroFit Pro review: Hear almost all the things

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I love earbuds with ear hooks. Prior to the Beats Fit Pro, Powerbeats Pro were my workout earbuds of choice, so I was looking forward to testing out Anker’s latest open-ear earbuds, the Soundcore AeroFit series. I’ve tested other open-ear earbuds, so I went into this with an idea of what to expect but was a bit blown away by what Anker was able to do with these sonically. 

So I’m going to air this out, tell you what you need to know, and help you set the proper expectations to determine if these are your next pair of earbuds that will help you move through spaces where you need to have your hearing unobstructed but still want to rock out to your favorite tunes!

Open-Ear Sound Explained

(Image credit: Tshaka Armstrong)

Let’s make it like that Thanksgiving feast and set the table so you know what you’re getting into. 

This will be the Reddit “Explain it like I’m 5” explanation of audition as it pertains to earbuds. The sonics of earbuds that sit in your ear canal are very different from those that sit outside that canal. Inside your canal, the vibrations generated by earbud drivers more directly excite the auditory apparatus, whereas those that sit outside that canal have their vibrations affected by not being focused by the confines of an ear canal, leading to a bass and sub-bass experience, which can be muted by comparison, given their tiny size. Another way to put it: think of yourself shouting into a crowd, where in-ears are like an old-school analog megaphone, whereas open-ears are like just shouting with no aid. Does that make sense? You can yell at me on Twi-er, X, if it doesn’t.

After all, at its most rudimentary, “sound” or better yet, “audio” is not much more than a thing generating atmospheric vibrations that excite the structures inside your ear, which you then perceive as “sound.” 

If that thing generating sound is in a big, open space, those atmospheric vibrations disperse broadly like throwing a stone into a lake. That’s open-ear earbuds. In-ear devices contain those vibrations or “sound waves” so that fewer vibrations are lost as they travel from their source to your hearing apparatus. The impact of this loss is greater on low-frequency sound, like bass, than it is on high-frequency sound, like treble.

Hopefully, that places my insights into context throughout the rest of this review. 

AeroFit Pro vs AeroFit: Pros and cons

Anker Soundcore AeroFit and AeroFit Pro review: Hear almost all the things

Anker Soundcore AeroFit (l), AeroFit Pro (r) (Image credit: Tshaka Armstrong)

So, let’s get right to it, shall we? Let us begin with the sound quality of both the AeroFit and AeroFit Pro. You’re basically wearing a boombox next to your ears, walking around like a 2024 version of Radio Raheem. And that makes a big difference in my testing of both of these units. 

Neither of these is going to “wow” hip-hop fans with their bass response. However, the lack of punch is inherent in this technology. 

The AeroFit Pro (which I’ll also refer to as AFP) come with 16.2mm dynamic drivers, while the AeroFit (AF) have 14mm dynamic drivers. You will hear the difference in sound if you audition both units. From the larger drivers, coupled with LDAC support, you’re going to get bigger, fuller sound out of the AFPs. What bass there is to be experienced will be a bit more robust than that of the AFs. In the gym and on the street, you’re going to get more “loudness” to fight competing ambient sounds. That sound will be fuller, so you can turn the music down and compete less with ambient sound out on the street and still have good quality sound. 

Admittedly, after going through my local .flac files and lossless streaming tracks, I enjoyed my time with the AeroFit Pros more than the AeroFits. I wasn’t all that impressed with the AF sound reproduction for the money, and I’d definitely recommend spending the additional $40 and going with the AFP model. You’ll get more battery life, that larger set of dynamic drivers, spatial audio (though that was not that great, more in a moment), LDAC support, and physical buttons instead of touch-based controls. The only area where the AF has the AFP beat is in water resistance. The former is IPX7, and the latter is IPX5 water-resistant.

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Catergory Anker Souncore AeroFit Anker Souncore AeroFit Pro
Weight 12.23g 8.5g
Drivers 14mm 16mm
Supported Bluetooth Profiles AAC, SBC AAC, SBC, LDAC
Bluetooth version 5.3 5.3
Spatial Audio No Yes
Multipoint Connection Yes Yes
Water Resistance IPX7 IPX5
Controls Touch Buttons

AeroFit Pro Audio Tested

Anker Soundcore AeroFit and AeroFit Pro review: Hear almost all the things

(Image credit: Tshaka Armstrong)

So, let’s get more into my experience with the AeroFit Pro. As I stated before, bass and sub-bass are the weaknesses of bone conduction and open-ear earbuds, and that weakness shows up when listening to tracks like “A Milli” from Lil’ Wayne. There’s no sub-bass to be had in the reproduction of that track, while you do get some decent thump at the higher bass frequency, and it sounds fine. Speed metal tracks like those from Gojira and Sylosis fare better overall, but they will still be a bit light in the bass response as well. You’ll notice this at the beginning of the Gojira track “Stranded,” where the drum intro comes in. 

That said, I was actually surprised by how well these open-ear earbuds overpowered the terrible gym music playing over the house speakers at the gym I go to. I couldn’t really hear their music over the sound the AFPs produced. That’s great for me because I was actually lamenting having to use something during my workout, which would hinder my ability to zone out and focus on that mind/muscle connection.

My other concern besides having to hear their music over my own was actually how well these would stay on my head because when you first put them on, the part that holds the speakers over your ears feels like they’re just dangling off the side of your ears. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I hit the local elevated metro train stop to run stairs and then again when I went to the gym. No movement! These are a joy to wear during workouts. For my gym workout, I even took the included neckband with me in case the AFP fell out, but I never attached it because the fit was so solid. That said, if I were riding a bike, I’d definitely attach that neckband as an extra safety measure against losing them. And the neckband is easy to attach and detach. It clips to the ends of the earbuds via strong magnets and doesn’t budget once attached. 

I was pleasantly surprised at how well the Anker Soundcore AeroFit Pro actually fit during workouts.

Now, my workout didn’t consist of dynamic movements like burpees, but when I was lying back on the flat bench, they never moved at all. When I went to do dips, I got the same result. Running those stairs, which I’d consider dynamic movement, they stayed in place.

The only caveat with regard to fit is that the size of the AeroFit Pros could be a bit rough for those with smaller heads and ears, while the AeroFits, with their visibly smaller size, might actually be a better fit.

With regard to watching movies and video content, they’ll provide a solid experience if you leave the Spatial Audio off. Turning that feature on creates a tunnel effect, which I noticed when I was watching “Thor: Ragnarok.” The good news is that there is no latency when watching!

But how do they sound on the other end? When you’re taking a call? Well, during one of my midday walks through a very busy part of Santa Monica, packed with cars and all the sounds of a bustling urban landscape, my wife couldn’t hear any of it while we chatted for around 20 minutes or so; she said that I was also clear and easy to hear. While we were on that call, I also walked into a grocery store, and she said she couldn’t hear the music playing over the store speakers in the background.

Final Thoughts

Anker Soundcore AeroFit and AeroFit Pro review: Hear almost all the things

(Image credit: Tshaka Armstrong)

In terms of the rest of the features, both units support AAC and SBC audio; both have four mics with a background noise canceling AI algorithm, and neither case is wireless charging enabled but charges via USB-C. You’ll get up to 14 hours of playback with the AeroFit Pro, and from dead, 10 minutes of charging will get you 5.5 hours of playtime. With the AeroFit, you get 11 hours and as much as 4 hours of playtime with a 10-minute charge. Both units also support multi-point connections to two devices, with the feature turned off by default, and with the AFPs, you’ll have to choose between turning on LDAC support or multi-point functionality. Both cannot be active at the same time.

Should you buy these?

I think that these types of technologies have come a long way since my bone conduction walkie-talkie using paintball days in 2006. The sound quality of many open-ear earbuds I’ve tested is pretty darn good with respect to the limitations of the technology. 

But, you know what else has come a long way? Hear through, or ambient sound passthrough technologies. 

There are competing products that sit in your ear canal while still allowing you to hear everything around you in a manner that sounds natural. Of those competing products at this price point or below, Soundcore’s products seem to have much better battery life, which is definitely a consideration. For example, the Jabra Elite 5 has solid hear-through, but you’ll get half the battery life of the AeroFit Pro. Additionally, if you ride a bike on busy urban streets or work in some place like a warehouse where you want to have tunes on, but situational awareness is mission critical, these may be for you! 

I think these are great for very specific use cases, and if you fall into one of those “need to hear what’s going on around me and listen to music/podcast/audiobook” situations, give the AeroFit Pros a try.

Via: Androidcentral

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