SOUNDPEATS Opera 05 Review: Cutting Edge Wireless Earbuds With Hi-Res Audio

SOUNDPEATS Opera 05 True Wireless Earbuds

$99.00
SOUNDPEATS Opera 05 True Wireless Earbuds
7.8

Build

8.0/10

Features

7.5/10

Sound

8.0/10

What We Dig

  • Warm, Natural, Detailed Sound
  • Great Build Quality
  • Fast, Strong Connections

What To Think About

  • ANC isn't the best
  • Fit may not suit everyone
  • Bass overwhelms the mix on certain tracks

SOUNDPEATS Opera 05 Review: Are they your ideal wireless headphones? Read our review of this cutting-edge earbud model to find out!

For quite some time now, SOUNDPEATS has made a name for itself by putting out great-sounding and affordable earbuds with nice build quality to boot. I’m a big fan of their sub-$50 true wireless earphones, and I would recommend them without hesitation to anyone looking for good wireless earbuds on a budget.

That said, the company recently emailed me about a more ambitious offering they have on Kickstarter and asked if I wanted to look at it. Because I was so impressed with their previous offerings, I jumped at the chance to see what they could do at a higher price point.

That brings me to the SOUNDPEATS Opera 05 ($99 Retail, $79 Pre-Order On Kickstarter). These new earbuds offer the latest in wireless audio technology, designed to deliver extraordinary sound quality for music lovers on the go.

These earbuds promise to provide an impressive Hi-Res Audio experience, with LDAC Bluetooth, along with 12mm dynamic drivers and dual-balanced armature drivers.

The Opera 05 also has touch control, ANC, App-based EQ, and up to 9 hours (no ANC) of playback on a single charge. That extends to a3 hours (no ANC) using the included charging case, ideally making them great for all-day listening.

SOUNDPEATS Opera Review

On paper, the SOUNDPEATS Opera 05 earbuds have all the ingredients for an impressive listening experience, allowing you to get the most out of your music. But is it possible to get a flagship audiophile headphone experience from a $100 set of true wireless earbuds? Do they live up to their lofty potential? Read on to learn more about the SOUNDPEATS Opera 05 wireless earbuds!

SOUNDPEATS Opera 05 Review: Build/Features

As soon as I took the Opera 05 out of the box, I realized it was a clear step up in build quality over their lower-cost offerings (which are excellent). The charging case was heftier and trimmed in gold, and the earpieces were more substantial while still managing to be lightweight.

In addition, the earpieces are also trimmed in gold which gives them a luxurious appearance, but I personally found the liberal use of brilliant decoration to be a bit much. On the other hand, the overall fit and finish looks and feels more expensive than I would expect for $99, once again showing SOUNDPEATS’ penchant for providing value.

Along with the earbuds and case, there’s not much else in the box. You get one pair each of small and large silicone ear tips (medium tips are pre-installed) and a small USB-C charging cable.

As stated earlier, each earbud has a 12mm dynamic driver and dual-balanced armature drivers inside, and audio is transmitted via Bluetooth 5.3. The Opera 05 is compatible with LDAC, AAC, and SBC audio codecs for high-quality sound, and BT 5 ensures quick and stable connections.

Bluetooth 5 also brings along with it long battery life, ranging from around 27 hours using the charging case (with no ANC) to around 28 hours with ANC ON. If you use LDAC audio, the additional bandwidth reduces that to 21 and 17 hours, respectively. That’s a substantial decrease but works out to about 7 hours of playtime per charge from the case, which is on the high end of TWS earbuds on the market.

SOUNDPEATS Opera Review

The Opera 05 also has ANC with a transparency mode option, which is accessible via the free companion app or via a long tap on the earbuds. Unfortunately, I didn’t find either mode to be very effective.

The ANC did remove some environmental noise like A/C hum, but I wouldn’t depend on it to drown out noise on planes, trains, etc. Likewise, the transparency mode didn’t bring through outside noise as clearly or as naturally as I would’ve liked. It worked, but just barely.

Conversely, the 4-mic noise canceling for phone calls worked great, and I was able to hold conversations quite naturally without raising my voice at all. The person on the other end was also able to hear me nicely and clearly, which was excellent.

Fit/Wearability

After inspecting the earbuds and accessories, I tried the earbuds on for fit. I didn’t have much luck with the pre-installed medium ear tips, as they didn’t provide a good seal, so I moved up to the large size. As with all earphones with silicone tips, it’s quite important to get a seal in the ear canal so you can hear the full-frequency response of the earbuds.

Furthermore, the level of the seal seemed to affect the sound of Opera 05 more than most. I suspect that’s because of the large rear portion of these earbuds pulling the tips out of my ears. With the pre-installed tips, the earphones sounded remarkably tinny, to the point I thought my sample may be broken, but once I put in the larger tips, the sound filled out nicely.

SOUNDPEATS Opera Review

As far as overall wearability goes, I found these earphones to be moderately comfortable. Because of the large size of the earpieces and the large silicone tips I had to install, they did take some time to get used to. However, I got used to the “full” feeling in my ears after 10-20 minutes, and the fit was very secure.

Even so, the earpieces are much larger than competing sets, so if you have smaller ears, you may have some issues with fit. In addition, a good portion of the earbud sticks out of your ear when wearing, so if you’re the type that worries about how your earphones look as much as how they sound, then keep that in mind.

Touch/App Controls

On the outside of each earbud are large touch controls, which are quite responsive and intuitive. Taps are readily accepted, and you can perform a fair amount of functions from the earbuds like Volume up/down, track skip, play/pause, along with cycling through the ANC/Transparency modes. Of course, you can also take phone calls with the touch controls.

As mentioned previously, you can also control some functions from the free Soundpeats app, including switching between ANC and Transparency modes, updating firmware, and setting custom/preset EQs. You can also change the volume from the app, as well as check the battery life for each earpiece individually.

The app works well for the most part, even though the firmware update process was a little buggy. It took me about four or five times to get through the process fully, but I finally got it done.

SOUNDPEATS Opera 05 Review: Listening Impressions

For my sound tests, I connected the Opera 05’s to my Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra smartphone and played some tracks from Michael Kiwanuka’s awesome “Love And Hate” album. At first, my phone connected to the earbuds using the AAC audio codec, and I found the sound quality to be decent.

There was nice balance, quality separation, and good detail throughout the audioband, but Michael’s vocal did seem a little boxy, and the transparency wasn’t quite there.

At that point, I switched to the LDAC codec, and these earbuds really started to sing! The overall clarity increased, and the vocal lost most of the boxiness that distracted me previously. There was also more air and spaciousness, which added a lot more musicality to the presentation.

Listening to “Wuthering Heights” by Cecile McLorin Salvant further solidified my overall appraisal of the Opera 05’s sound. The balanced armature units did an excellent job of reproducing Salvant’s considerable vocal range in a clean and organic way. In addition, the dynamic unit did an excellent job of presenting the bass guitar with a natural timbre.

As far as soundstage and imaging go, the Opera 05 was excellent. Again, when listening to Wuthering Heights, the song soared beyond my ears, and the separation was great, giving me a very immersive experience.

On the other hand, when I played tracks with heavy bass, I began to see small chinks in the Opera 05’s armor. It was at this point I started to hear the low end become a little disjointed and bring in a little bloom into the midrange.

Listening to “Stand” by Honey Dijon, I could hear the bass become a little bit “thumpy” and out of step with the mix, which hurt the overall dynamics, but at the same time, the bass was still more articulate than I’m used to hearing from a wireless earbud at this price point.

To sum things up, from the Opera 05, you should expect a balanced yet warmish-sounding earphone with plenty of separation and detail, especially in the LDAC mode. The treble is smooth, the mids are clean and natural for the most part, plus the bass is articulate on all but the most bass-heavy songs.

On the bass-driven songs, the mids can get a little boxy due to bass bloom, but overall this is probably the most immersive-sounding wireless earphone I’ve heard at the price point. I really loved listening to these earbuds on acoustic music, along with classic rock.

SOUNDPEATS Opera 05 Review: The Wrap-Up

In the final analysis, the SOUNDPEATS Opera 05 is a well-built true wireless earbud with good battery life and remarkable sound quality, especially for a sub $99 model.

That said, because of the oversize earpieces, the fit may be problematic, especially for those with smaller ears. ANC also isn’t the best. Additionally, the low end can get out of control on Bass heavy tracks, muddying up the midrange.

However, with most music (and LDAC engaged), the sound can be transcendent for such an affordable set of wireless earbuds, so if the sound is your primary concern, you should check the Opera 05 out. They give you a good taste of wireless audiophile sound for not much money. Check out Kickstarter right now for a possible early bird deal!


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