True wireless earbuds can be awesome, but they currently come with serious limitations. Even recently released models, like Soul Electronics’ Emotion, only offer up to six hours of playback time per charge, and that’s better than a lot of the competition. That may be set to change, however. The Sonabuds 2 Pro, which are currently surging past their goal on Indiegogo, promise up to 15 hours of playback on a single charge, which is triple what you’ll get from Apple’s AirPods and way beyond anything else we’ve seen so far.
Of course, there is a lot of room for skepticism here. The original Sonabuds, which are still available on Amazon, only supported two hours of playback time per charge. Even the non-Pro Sonabuds 2, which are also part of the Indiegogo campaign, promise to deliver up to eight hours of playback time on a single charge, and up to 40 hours of total battery life with the included charging case, which in itself would present a major step forward for the segment.
The claims for the Sonabuds 2 Pro, however, are on the verge of pushing the limits of believability. Aside from 15 hours of playback on a single charge, manufacturer Dashbon claims the included charging case bumps the total battery life to 74 hours before you need to plug in to charge. Not only that, but these are actually 20 percent smaller than the original Sonabuds.
Dashbon says that a new Qualcomm Bluetooth 5.0 chipset is the reason that the earbuds are both smaller and much more efficient — along with an optimized antenna design. The Sonabuds 2 (non-Pro) use a Realtek Bluetooth 5.0 chipset, which accounts for the only difference between the two. Both models are IPX6-certified water resistant. We haven’t had the chance to actually try these earbuds for ourselves, so we can’t say how those claims hold up, but if these earbuds end up being everything they say they are, we’ll be impressed to say the least.
The Sonabuds 2 will eventually retail for $100, but while the Indiegogo campaign is active, they’re available at an early bird discount price of $50. The Sonabuds 2 Pro, which are probably the ones you want to go for, will retail for $150 after they launch, but the early bird discount for campaign backers offers for just $90. This discount is limited to 500 backers, but if it sells out, a bundle with the Sonabuds 2 Pro sells for just $10 more at $100.
The Indiegogo campaign was initially seeking just $10,000, but has already raised more than six times that amount. There are still more than two weeks left in the campaign, so there’s plenty of time to get in.
As with any crowdfunding campaign, there are risks, and as touched on above, we’re exceptionally skeptical of this product, as it’s unprecedented to see such a quantum leap in battery life. To put this in perspective, imagine if a relatively unknown phone maker claimed to have a smartphone that lasted for 2-3 days or more per charge. As such, if you want to play it safe, we’d recommend waiting until the Sonabuds 2 Pro actually launch. On the other hand, we’re very intrigued to see if the Sonabuds 2 can actually deliver on their claims.
In the meantime, to be sure you know what you’re looking for, take a look at our headphone buying guide and our list of the best true wireless earbuds currently on the market.