You may know Belkin best for its iPhone accessories and its recent push into MagSafe tech, but during the latter half of 2020, it began making inroads into audio, too. At CES 2021, it announced its latest audio product, the Soundform Freedom true wireless earbuds, and they show how serious the brand is about delivering high-quality audio products at a reasonable price.
Belkin seems to be the first outside company to add Apple’s Find My technology to one of its products, which means the Soundform Freedom earbuds connect to the same location-finding feature used to find a lost iPhone. Although Find My iPhone launched in 2010, Apple only opened up the technology to other brands in 2020. For iPhone owners, it’s a great bonus, and a reason to look closely at the Belkin earbuds.
What about the earbuds themselves? The case comes in either white or black, and has a glossy top, which is held closed by strong magnets and matched to a matte finish case body. The earbuds are also magnetically held in place inside the case, and share the same glossy/matte finish. The earbuds use 7mm custom-built drivers for a balanced sound, come with three sets of earbud tips, and support AptX, AptX Adaptive, AAC, and SBC codecs. Belkin has not made an app to go with the earbuds, though.
Touch controls operate the earbuds, and they can also connect with the voice assistant on your phone. Using them when exercising is fine, as the earbuds have an IPX5 water-resistance rating, so sweat or rain shouldn’t be a problem. There are two microphones that work in conjunction with Qualcomm’s QCC3040 Bluetooth 5.2 chipset and Clear Call technology to remove unwanted background noise from calls.
However, this is not active noise cancellation, and Belkin calls it environmental noise cancellation. Don’t expect it to work in the same way as the best noise-canceling headphones out there, but it should enhance the natural sound isolation delivered by in-ear earbuds.
How about battery life? Expect to get eight hours of playback from a single charge, and 20 more hours use from the battery inside the case. Use the USB Type-C connection to charge for 15 minutes and you’re rewarded with two hours of continuous play. It takes 90 minutes to fully charge the case’s internal battery.
The price has not been announced yet. A Belkin representative told Digital Trends the company is aiming for a final price of between $100 and $150. This puts them in competition with the Jabra Elite 75t, and the Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch. Belkin will release the Soundform Freedom earbuds some time in March or April.
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