SoundPEATS Q29 - Small - Portable - Bassy - Clear - Bluetooth!


Q29 is a budget oriented Bluetooth twin-IEM priced extremely friendly, which enthused thousands of people from all over the world with their romantic sound and cool aesthetics.



Introduction

Soundpeats is a growing company from China that is working on quite a few devices, even a few OEM machines, which are sold under other brands.

Soundpeats received a lot of attention from music lovers and fans from all over the world for producing high quality yet inexpensive audio products, especially Bluetooth IEMs, Headphones and Speakers.

Q29 is a trending IEM at the moment, being appreciated by many, who said that they are one of the best budget BT IEM they've heard, and at their very friendly price point, Q29 is surely going to be an interesting test subject!

I have absolutely no affiliation with SoundPeats, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. This review will be as objective as possible and it reflects my personal experience with Q29. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those interested in Q29 find their next music companion. This review has no affiliate links or other paid external links, just useful links for the reader.



About me

My name is George Dobrescu and I am the Director of the Seventh Heart Studios game studio. I work as one of the main programmers for the company, and I am the writer for Quantum Magica and Falsetto Memories projects, the Programmer, Co-Director, Producer and Editor for Eternal Hour.

I spend almost twelve hours per day working on a computer, drawing, writing and programming. I also take care of administrative work which means that my needs vary a lot, and I'll end up using devices both while on the computer and while on-the-go.

My collection includes everything from Classical to Metal, from Rap to Pop, from Punk to Cabaret and absolutely everything in between. There are great artists from every type of music, and I'm one to collect their albums and discographies.

You can check out more about Seventh Heart Studios games on our pages https://www.facebook.com/seventh.heart.studios/     and https://twitter.com/7heartstudios 

At Seventh Heart Studios, we all love music and this has had an impact on our games as we hold the music close to our hearts and we are committed to only use ogg -q10 as the encoding format for our music since it offers the best disk space to sound quality ratio, OGG -q10 being closest to audibly transparent when compared to FLAC encoding. 

Music is the soul that accompanies human beings through thick and thin, music is the light at the end of the tunnel, and music is the voice that caresses one after the torments of everyday life.



First Impression

SoundPeats is a very friendly company, and I had the occasion to discuss with them for a while, about their products and development directions. They strive to offer some of the best priced headphones and IEMs along with some interesting BT speakers, all relying on a custom set of DSP technologies that work to make up for the typical Bluetooth limitations.

It was a pale day when I received Q29. The skies were white and there wasn't much going on outside, besides a few students still taking classes, as it was almost the end of the school year within Polytechnics. Q29 came differently from all the other items I received so far, in a cardboard envelope rather than a box.

I opened the package, without expecting much from them, but I was amazed by the little box including Q29. It had them tightly packaged, but didn't miss any elementary accessory. I quickly connected them, looking to hear why so many people praised them. After getting through the few connection issues I encountered, I managed to fully connect them, and was quite surprised by the romantic sound coming out of them. It was time for a longer listen.


Packaging:

First things first, let's get the packaging out of the way:









Q29 comes in a drawer-type hard-cardboard rectangular box that protects them. The drawer inside has Q29 seated within their carry / charge case in a soft cardboard cutout, next to the tips, and the USB cable. Taking it all out of the box reveals a user manual and a very useful paper that explains how to connect, and use Q29 in Stereo mode.

SoundPeats made sure that Q29 are packaged in a small yet well-equipped box, that includes all things one need to take full advantage of Q29. Within the box, you can find Q29, a USB cable, 3 pairs of tips, and the charging / storage box.

Given their rather inexpensive price, the package content is very good, and the quality of the storage / charging box is really nice, it doesn't creak, and it feels quite solid while in hand.

It would had been best if the USB cable were a little longer than it is, but besides that, there's no space to complain about Q29, especially considering their price point.



What you should look for when considering a BT IEM (Bluetooth In-Ear Monitor)

When purchasing an IEM, there are a few factors you should take into account to ensure that you’ll have the best experience possible. Sooner or later, all those factors will come into play, one way or another:

-      Sound quality – This is, by far, the most important aspect of every purchase, when you invest in high end audio products. The sonic characteristics, along with the frequency response / sonic signature widely differs from IEM to IEM.

-      Comfort / ergonomics – The fit and comfort are quite important, especially if you plan on using the same IEM for hours in a row, or in a live performance.

-      Isolation – Every IEM will offer some degree of isolation, but there are both models that focus on ultra-isolation from the outside noise, and open models.

-       Good Value – Always nice to have

-      Interesting/Intriguing design – Every user will have a personal preference and taste for what an “interesting design” is, but it is generally recommended to pick a IEM which you consider to be aesthetically pleasing, or in simpler words, Good Looking.

-      Battery Life / Charging time – It is good to keep in mind how long your BT IEMs will stay charged and be usable after each charge, and for how long you need to charge them.

-      Accessories included – It is better to have a large selection of tips and accessories included with a IEM, especially for those that feature unique tips or require their own accessories.

-      Build Quality and Warranty – While it is good to have a solid warranty included with Every IEM, having a solid build quality is far better. Having best of both is the icing on the cake.



Technical Specifications

Bluetooth Version
BT 4.2
BT Chipset
CSR 63120
Noise Reduction
Yes, CVC 6.0
Maximum Rang
10m, no obstacle
Weight
5.3g
Charging time
1 hour
Standby time
80 hours
Driver Type
Dynamic, Closed Back
Coupling type
In-Ear
Includes Microphone
Yes
Stereo
Yes



Build Quality/Aesthetics

SoundPeats Q29 looks pretty cool, small and reliable BT IEM with noise cancelling, that is akin more to a little jewel than an IEM.






The carry / charge box looks and feels quite professional and high quality, having a soft touch material and a semi-translucent lid cover.

The IEM body is made out of glossy yet scratch resistant plastic, and the charge connectors seem to be gold plated. It might be needed to wiggle the earpieces a bit until you find their sweet spot and they start charging, but even after some usage, they still work pretty well.

The IEM bodies are a bit big, being comparable with rather big-sized IEMs, but they are very lightweight, and suspiciously comfrotable while worn, leading to a pair of BT IEMs that can sit in ears for hours, without much fatigue.

After using them for a while, I didn't notice any scratches on Q29, so their build quality can be commended.

It was impossible to test the phone conversation since the test smartphone didn't connect so well with Q29, but other devices connected well and without much hassle.



Fit / Comfort

Q29 presents very good comfort, which can mostly be attributed to their lightweight weight, and their rather ergonomic shapes. They sit well in ears and don't fall out, even with quick movements.

The tip selection is quite good at this price point, Q29 having a slightly small bore size, providing users with a nice comfort, regardless of the ear canal shape and size.



Testing

Q29 has been tested with a multitude of devices, from entry-level devices like Xiaomi Mi max, to portable DAPs like Shanling M2s, HIDIZS AP200, all the way to high end DAPs like FiiO X7mkii and iBasso DX200.



Sound Quality



The sound quality is quite good, especially for this price point. The bass is deep and the whole sound is thick. Snares sound snappy and quick, while the voices are fairly natural and there's a good depth to the sound. The clarity is pretty good as well, Q29 being on level with similarly priced IEMs, like FiiO F5 or such. The top end is extremely smooth and the cymbal crashes are never harsh not abrasive, Q29 being one of the rather smooth IEMs out there.

Those who are looking for a musical, romantic and relaxing experience are going to have a great time with Q29.



Channel balance

There isn't any major channel unbalance, but the channels connect one at a time to the BT source, so for the first 2-3 seconds of each seconds, the sound is quieter in one of the ears, then they balance until they are both at the same volume.



Bass

The bass is deep, goes pretty low, and is presented with good impact. The speed is pretty slow, the bass covering a lot of ground and sounding big. Even so, it doesn't overshadow a lot of the midrange, the whole sound being bassy and powerful, yet quite clear.

The bass is not centered around detail and layering, but it rather focuses on raw impact and quantity, Q29 providing quite a lot considering that they are Bluetooth, and considering their size.  

The midbass, starting with 100Hz, is quite enhanced, further enhancing the thick presentation of Q29. What is more interesting is that while the bass is extremely huge, and presented quite forward, it doesn't really distort, being one of the rather strongly presented yet somehow clear bass types out there.



Midrange

The Midrange is thick, enthusiastic, romantic, clear, vivid, naturally-toned and presented in good space. Q29 is also exceedingly detailed for their price range.

Q29 has a pretty good soundstage for their price point, and considering that they are closed back, instruments are offered a pretty good room to breathe. The sound is romantic, with the upper midrange and the treble being smoothed out for a smoother sound. Sounds actually have space to be separated from each other, feat which is amazing considering the very friendly price point Q29 is presented at.

All music sounds relaxed, including metal, which instead of being raw, harsh and abrasive, comes through as musical and melodic. Screamed voices come through as playful rather than hoarse, Q29 being fun and pleasurable rather than honest in this aspect.

The whole midrange is quite thick due to the bass emphasis, but the bass doesn't necessarily overshadow voices in a negative way, since most of the voices are presented on a pretty natural tone, although with a bit of dark coloration.

There is a nice clarity to the midrange, and guitar notes have quite vivid riffs and guitar notes for electric guitars, although acoustic guitars don't have a bite and are romantic more than they are metallic.

Both male and female voices are presented on a pretty natural tone, especially for the price range, Q29 having a way of sweetening things and giving everything a musical edge, even if the original voice was supposed to be hoarse or screamed.

Metal tends to be over sweetened, but electronic music and pop tends to be presented in an extraordinarily smooth and musical way, all while Q29 keeps all the details and adds more than most IEMs at this price range.



Treble

The treble of Q29 is fairly friendly and presented with a strong smoothening, in such a way that most music comes through as friendly and romantic rather than natural or neutral. This helps if the listener is looking for a laid back and relaxing presentation, since Q29 and their rather dark sound can make even death and black metal sound more like punk and rock, giving everything a sugar coating and a sweet tone.

Trumpets have almost no abrasive sound or attack, being very romantic and enthusiastic rather than abrasive and vivid. There is a sweetness added to both trumpets and cymbal hits that makes all music presented through Q29 musical, be it the most brutal grindcore song or the darkest of ballads.



Song Impressions

BrokeNCYDE – Blame It On Tom – The song starts with very strong and large bass notes woven with snappy drum patterns. Voices have a certain sweetness that make them sound rather musical and playful rather than repulsive (which they were meant to be a bit). The electronic pattern in the background, along with the background instrument rendering is very detailed, and vivid, the voice layering being impressive as well. The song feels airy and playful / musical. The screamed voices tend to be presented at lower volumes than the clean ones, creating a sensation of peace, musicality and smoothness (not exactly ideal for this song).

BrokeNCYDE – Diz Iz A Ranger Dude – This is an interesting selection from the same band, because over the years BrokeNCYDE changed both their sound style and their general direction, to the point where their name isn't even warranted anymore. They were originally named BrokeNCYDE, starting as a depressive crunkcore/scene band, nowadays being a pop/electronic band singing about the same subject as most electronic/pop bands. This song is quite upbeat and Q29 presents it with good rhythm and large bass that has good impact, and a huge size. The voices are once again quite natural, but the screamed parts are again quite smooth and laid back, the whole song feeling like a happy and romantic party. The cymbal notes are extremely smooth and presented quite in the background, while the bass is presented very forward.  

Knife Party – PLUR Police – The song starts with a strongly presented and impressive intro, of strong and forward bass notes woven with clear and vivid electronic effects. Everything is smooth, romantic, musical and smooth, presented with a smoothed texture. Smooth. The actual song starts with a bass that would make one jump from his chair along with earth-shattering levels of bass and many layers of bass. Most other instruments are played on a more distant level, with the treble being the most distant part of the song, the cymbals and other lower treble symbols being there, but much quieter than the bass or the midrange. The song itself, feels smooth and particularly romantic, especially considering that it should probably have a slightly more abrasive presentation at times. Q29 manages to make it fully musical and to somehow extract the most musical parts from it.



Soundstage

Soundpeats Q29 presents an exceedingly large soundstage for their form factor, technology and price. The soundstage width would be much more fit with an open headphone or an open IEM rather than a closed back BT IEM. Those improvements in soundstage could be attributed to a DSP technology implemented in Q29, but either way, the sound is presented with good air for instruments to breathe, and a very nice instrument separation.



ADSR/PRaT

The ADSR/PRaT (Attack Decay Sustain Release / Pace Rhythm and Timing) is quite good for the price point, but it is a bit slow for faster songs, especially for metal. Electronic music, Dubstep, Pop, and even certain types of Electronicore sound very good and the texturization is quite good for those. The smooth and romantic nature of Q29 also helps with presenting most music with an enthusiastic atmosphere that works well with the slower bass decay.



Portable Usage

SoundPeats Q29 tends to be pretty good when used while staying in one room, or in front of the computer, but used portable they require a smartphone or a device with a healthy BT connection.

On the bright side, they isolate very well from the outside noise, are quite comfortable, don't fall out of one's ears, and they are quite enthusiastic by themselves, providing a pretty fun experience for the user.

On the other hand, the two units can be a bit tricky to connect to a new source, and they might lose connection from each other with sudden movements, or if covering one ear with your hand. The connection to the original device isn't generally lost, even in extreme conditions, but losing the connection between the twin BT pieces means one second of silence in one ear before it reconnects again, process which is automatized. While not necessarily often, this happened a few times during the tests.

It should be noted that their maximum loudness is good, but some users might require louder levels, Q29 being about as loud as most other IEMs out there at their loudest levels.



Comparisons 

Very few IEMs or BT IEMs can be compared to Q29, mostly because of their rather low price and entry-level nature. They perform well for this price, but comparing them to something 7-10 times their price won't help much.

Q29 vs Shozy Zero – Shozy Zero is quite similar in signature with Q29, but they present the music with less emphasis on bass, and a more neutral sound, less tilted to dark/warm, yet still quite dark and warm, all while being slightly more controlled than Q29. The wood in Shozy Zeros' build also helps them with their signature.

Q29 vs FiiO F5 – FiiO F5 is very similar in presentation with Q29, the biggest difference being that Q29 has considerably more enhancement in the bass department, while F5 tends to stay a tad more neutral. They both feature similarly clear midrange, and similarly smooth top ends. F5 is open, and this will have some impact on the way music is presented, but Q29 has a similarly large soundstage, if not larger.

Q29 vs Sennheiser M2 IEBT – Q29 has a very different presentation when compared to M2 IEBT (HD1), being musical, romantic and bass heavy, with a very smooth top end, but clear midrange, while M2 IEBT has far more treble, presenting more details and micro-details. The midrange is clear on both, but M2 IEBT had less issues keeping connectivity due to their design which requires only one connection to be made, Q29 requiring both a connection to a source and the two pieces to stay connected.

Q29 vs Kinera H3 - Kinera H3 is a bit more expensive than Q29, and their signatures couldn't be more different, H3 being energetic, upbeat, and really bright in the higher registers, providing a lot of life and energy to all music. The bass is smaller and tighter on H3, while the bass has more impact and larger size on Q29. 

Q29 vs SIMGOT EN700 BASS – Although EN700 BASS is already three times the price of Q29, they are an interesting comparison, since EN700BASS has a natural midrange. The midrange is thicker on Q29, the bass is far more enhanced on Q29, and quicker on EN700 BASS. The treble is quite smooth on both, but the enhanced bass on Q29 makes it feel as if the treble is much more recessed than it is on EN700BASS, although EN700B doesn't have a very forward treble either, being quite musical and smooth as well.



Value

Since SoundPeats Q29 is a pretty budget oriented IEM, and they are judged for their current street price, which is generally around 50$, sometimes going as low as 30$. At this price, they are extraordinarily good, making a great deal for an entry-level BT IEM that presents music with good pace, rhythm, large bass and which has a nice build quality. The carry/charging case is very nice and the whole package feels pretty high quality, reflecting a higher price than they are currently sold at.

All in all, they make a great value, especially if you are looking for a smooth, bassy, dark, detailed, and vivid BT IEM to use with your phone. Their isolation works quite well, making them good for outdoors usage.  



Conclusion

SoundPeats Q29 is an overly good IEM at its price point, and given its rather comfortable fit, musical and romantic sound, good isolation and open sound, they are worth their asking price.



If you're looking for a BT IEM with a sweet sound, and if you don't mind the sound dropping from one ear for a second with certain conditions, Q29 makes a decent buy, especially in the entry-level area.

They have surely been fun to listen to, and when they cost so little, there's little chance they will disappoint anybody, being a safe choice for most people looking for a well-priced BT IEM!



Thank you for reading, and remember to have fun while listening to music!





Link to the writer’s head-fi page: https://head-fi.org/members/dobrescu-george.170938/


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