3SIXT Studio True Wireless Earbuds: Budget Buds
Coming from a brand with minimal experience in the audio space, you do have to wonder what 3SIXT have to offer with their own blunty-named Studio True Wireless earbuds. Smartphone cases and Bluetooth earbuds might go together but they’re still pretty different..
However, considering the context, this 3SIXT’s expansion here shouldn’t be a huge surprise. After all, the steady extinction of the headphone jack has led to a huge rise in demand for good, affordable true wireless earbuds and 3SIXT’s popular phone cases put them in a good position to make their own true wireless pitch to smartphone buyers.
What’s more, it turns out their confidence isn’t entirely unwarranted. Do they compete with heavy hitters like Jabra’s Elite Sport and The Samsung Gear IconX? Not really. However, they’re not trying to. 3SIXT aren’t trying to win over the kind of customer who spends $300 on a set of true wireless headphones. They’re trying to win over the ones people don’t want to. Customers who are happy to pay less (and get less) but still make that jump to true wireless.
Dimensions: 20mm x16mm x 14.6mm
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2
Built-in Microphone: Yes
Pack Ins: 6 x Gel Earbuds (S, M, L), Power Bank Carry Case, Micro USB Charge Cable
Battery Life: 3 hours per full charge, 15 in total.
Colors: Black and Grey
As far as design goes, the 3SIXT Studio True Wireless Earbuds don’t exactly settle for anything close to a groundbreaking note. Minute to minute, they’re super utilitarian. Grey, black and bland are the name of the game here - and the build-quality doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.
As far true wireless earbuds go, these do feel like the cheapest I’ve handled to date - and not in a good way. More broadly, they look like most true wireless earbuds do - except a little smaller in form factor (though, it quickly becomes clear, not for ergonomic reasons).
No matter how I messed with the fitting options included, the 3SIXT Studio True Wireless earbuds always felt just a little too small for my ears and too loose to keep out outside sound.
It’s very much the same story when it comes to 3SIXT’s carry-case. As per convention, this doubles as a charger for the earbuds themselves. However, unfortunately, it looks and feel every bit as ‘budget’ as the earbuds themselves.
Setting up the 3SIXT Studio True Wireless Earbuds wasn’t a huge trial. Everything was pretty much as expected here. As with most wireless earbuds, you just set them to pairing and match them up to your Bluetooth-enabled source of choice.
From there, you’re good to go. There are no additional apps you need - or want to install here. Given the iffy ergonomics involved, there’s a good chance this might be the best silver lining that comes paired with the budget-minded minimalism here.
3SIXT clearly have no interest in wasting time or money on any additional features, so if you want to get right to the part where you’re listening to audio on these earbuds, there’s not a whole lot standing in your way.
In terms of performance, the 3SIXT earbuds deliver listening experiences that are surprisingly listenable but far from the best. There’s a very noticable amount of distortion here and the ergonomics definitely feel like they take a toll on the quality of overall experience.
That said, considering the price, there’s not actually as great a step downwards between this and other, more expensive, options as you might think.
The connectivity isn’t as tight as the Bluetooth 5-powered Zolo Liberty+ earbuds. The battery life isn’t as high as it could be either and there’s no on-board storage or noise-cancellation. However, if you’re after frills-free true wireless audio at a lower-than-average price-point, there’s a surprisingly strong case to be made for 3SIXT’s Studio True Wireless earbuds.
The Bottom Line
As far as budget true-wireless earbuds go, the 3SIXT Studio buds are surprisingly easy to recommend. At $129, they’re one of the cheapest options out there and while there are a few caveats, they never quite manage to outright break the experience.
All the same, if you’re looking for cheap true wireless buds, I’d probably opt for the BlueAnt PumpAir or Zolo Liberty+ before these. They’re a little more expensive but do offer some pretty clear-cut advantages across both audio quality and battery life. They also look and feel so much better when it comes to form-factor.
Still, if the prospect of paying $129 for decent true wireless earbuds sounds good enough that you’re happy to make the compromises that 3SIXT are asking for, then you’ll likely come away satisfied with the sound of these.
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