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I gave these $79 headphones a second chance, and they surprised me in the best way

If you spend a lot of time wearing and fine-tuning the sound of your headphones, the Soundpeats Space is secretly one of your best options.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
The Soundpeats Space headphones.

There's cushioning to spare with the Space headphones.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

ZDNET's key takeaways

  • The Soundpeats Space headphones are available now on Amazon for $79.
  • Extraordinary comfort, with a mobile app that allows for enough tweaking to make these headphones sound very good.
  • Naturally, there's a limited soundstage and less-than-crisp highs.

I'm a sound snob and I tend to sometimes judge sound equipment far too quickly. I can generally tell you, within hearing a few bars of music, if I'm going to like a piece of audio equipment or not. Knowing that about myself, I always hold my judgment before I've given a device a fair shake.

Also: These $70 wireless earbuds are my go-to recommendation for audiophiles on a budget

So, when I received the Soundpeats Space headphones, I immediately connected them to my Pixel 8 Pro and cranked up Rush's "Signals" album. I was instantly underwhelmed. In fact, I was ready to toss the headphones on the pile and say, "Probably best to not review these."

Then I remembered my flaw and decided to give them a second chance.

I'm glad I did.

View at Amazon

Although these aren't capable of producing sound on the level of high-end "cans," with the help of a mobile app (Android or iOS), I was able to get these headphones to sound quite good. More on that in a moment.

The specs

  • Hi-Res Audio Certification (only when connecting via the included cable)
  • 40mm Dynamic Drivers 
  • 123 Hrs battery life, 61 hours with ANC on, and 12 of use after only 10 minutes of charging.
  • 35dB Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation
  • Bluetooth 5.3 for multipoint connectivity
  • 65ms low latency game mode
  • Price - $79.99 on Amazon.

The one thing I've not been able to find is the frequency response range. What I can say is that the Space headphones have your bass needs covered but do fall a bit short on the treble side of things. Even with the 8K and 16K frequencies punched to the max, the Space headphones can't quite deliver the crisp highs that are so prevalent with higher-end devices. 

My experience

The Soundpeats app.

The Soundpeats app allows for plenty of EQ adjustment.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

I've already covered the lacking highs. With that out of the way, let's talk about what these expensive headphones don't lack. If you're a fan of the 62, 125, and 250Hz range, you'll really like the sound these produce, especially when you tweak the EQ in the app. If, however, you need something with a really low kick in the 31 Hz range, you might be slightly disappointed. 

Also: My cheap fix that made Google's Pixel Buds Pro sound better than ever

When listening to "Subdivisions" and "Analog Kid" I was surprised that the Space headphones were able to deliver a clean and quick enough bass to keep up. This is especially true with "Analog Kid" which has a very fast-moving bass line in the verses. 

There was even enough "thump" to highlight Neil Peart's (RIP) kick drum. Sure, I wouldn't mind a bit more punch but it was serviceable. Although the soundstage (the ability to hear the "location" of the instruments) of the headphones was fairly lacking, the blend was pretty smooth. 

I much prefer a wider soundstage, so I can close my eyes and imagine exactly where the musicians are in reference to what I'm hearing. You won't get that with these headphones.

Also: The best over-ear headphones: Expert tested and reviewed

As far as the midrange is concerned, it can get a bit muddy but that's a hard frequency response area to get right, especially for budget-friendly headphones. Even so, it wasn't bad.

Where these headphones shined, however (thanks to the midrange) was with audiobooks. Every narrator I listened to came out perfectly clean and clear, almost as if these headphones were made specifically for audiobooks and podcasts. That's great because the Soundpeats Space headphones have one big plus on their side…they're incredibly comfortable. Just one look at the plush earpads and you'll see these things were meant for long listening sessions.

The Soundpeats Space earpads.

Cushion, cushion, cushion!

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Interestingly enough, the headphones connection isn't limited to Bluetooth. You'll find an included 3.5mm cable you can plug into the headphones and then into your device. When using the headphones this way, you don't get the added benefit of the app's EQ but they do actually sound better when using the cable. And with the help of an EQ app on the device you're using, you could eke out quite a bit more quality.

Finally, the thing that really surprised me about these headphones was that, when ANC was on, they sounded significantly better. Combine that with the added EQ and the Soundpeats app should be considered an absolute must.

ZDNET's buying advice

I'm not going to say the SoundPeats Space headphones will please everyone. If sound is your jam, you're probably not looking for budget-friendly headphones. But if you are working with limited funds, you could do a whole lot worse than these. And if you listen to more podcasts or audiobooks, these will be your best friend.

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