Hello friends, today I’m reviewing the Soundpeats Engine4 which comes from one of the biggest names in true wireless… Soundpeats. I want to first thank Ellen as well as Soundpeats for providing the Engine4 in exchange for a full review as well as a feature at the website. I’ve had nothing but very positive dealings with Soundpeats and have come away impressed by the company in general. Never have they asked me to skew my words or shed a positive light in their products and for that I have nothing but respect.
Soundpeats has been around for years creating mostly budget oriented audio gear and is positioned at the forefront of the industry as far as advancement in the technology is concerned. Always near the top of respective price points you will see a Soundpeats product. Within the past year I’ve reviewed a number of their products which all received very good to great marks. Sets like the Soundpeats Mini Pro HS, Capsule 3 Pro, Air3 Deluxe HS, and even an air conduction set, the Soundpeats RunFree Lite. All very well done aesthetically, built nice, and all sound great as well. The set I’m reviewing today seems like an upgrade across the board from some of their recent efforts as well as in its design language. With that said, let’s check out this latest entry into Soundpeats lineup of true wireless iem’s.
Engine 4 early bird purchasing link:
> Early Price: $41.99 (MSRP: $59.99 )
> 10% coupon +20% code: SPENG4PR
> Limited Time: June 6th-30th
>US Amazon: https://bit.ly/Engine4US
-Aesthetic, a very attractive set
-Case is perfect
-Comfort for all day listening
-Huge battery life (12.5 hrs) on a single charge
-LDAC audio codec
-Overall balance sonically
-Clean sound across the board
-Reacts well to EQ
-Limited features (no transparency mode, ANC, wireless charging etc.)
-Volume isn’t the loudest
-Call quality isn’t as good as previous releases
-Buds can be difficult to remove from charging case
The Engine4 or “E4” as I’ll refer to it for this review, arrived at my door and I have to admit I was really looking forward to this set. You’ll notice the box is not large, it’s black, it has a picture of the E4 imposed graphically on the cover along with some specs and features. Nothing too grand or wasteful. Inside you’ll find the E4 charging case in all its beauty staring back at you. Underneath that is the charging cable and tips. This will not knock your socks off or anything but it’s an elegant little packaging.
I really enjoy the size, shape, and look of the E4’s charging case. For me it is perfect. There isn’t a place I go without a set of true wireless tucked nicely into the tiny pocket (5th pocket) within my front pocket in my jeans. I really value cases which can easily slide into that pocket. I realize this is an odd “pro” as I am likely in the minority of people who actually do this. Still, the case is very smooth and glossy which aids it to easily slide into that tight pocket, and it doesn’t bulge out in any weird ways. Okay, now that I helped nobody with that, let’s look at the charging case a little deeper.
The charging case that Soundpeats designed for the E4 is very much reminiscent in size and shape to previous cases in the Soundpeats lineup. Namely the Soundpeats Mini Pro HS which I just reviewed not too long ago. I gave that case great props for the same use cases. However, this case is a true upgrade. For one, the case provided with the E4 is beautiful with its coffee-colored high gloss metallic paint job which covers the entirety of the outside of the case. The hinge has a nice rectangular logo adorned on it. The Mini Pro HS has a similar style case but comparatively I enjoy the E4’s case a bit more. First, it’s a hint larger to make room for the larger battery, which in turn means it has a higher battery capacity. In this case the E4 can provide up to 43 hours of battery life. Another thing which I find nice is its ability to withstand scratches, which is not normal for anything with a gloss to it. So far, no scratches.
I think Soundpeats did a great job with this one. On the bottom you’ll see the type-c charging port and right next to it is the reset button. As you open the case, you’ll find the small LED light which communicates battery life and pairing. I also like how strong the magnet is on both the charging pins for the earpieces as well as the lid magnet. Very strong. However, like the other Soundpeats cases thee number one great attribute of this case is its ability to allow 3rd party eartips! Friends, this is huge! I cannot begin to tell you how annoying it is when tws companies leave only enough room for their proprietary eartips. In the case of the E4 I haven’t used any tips that won’t fit inside the case. This is a great benefit, and anyone who’s been in the hobby can tell you how important finding the right tips is. Great job Soundpeats!
I think the only downside I’ve come across is the difficulty I have at times removing the buds from the charging case. I am embarrassed to admit that I do have to concentrate at times to get these things out. There is simply no real good place to grip my fingers on. Oh well, if that’s the worst thing then the E4 is doing pretty darn good.
Soundpeats provides three sets of eartips (S, M, L) for the E4. They are nice tips with a rigid flange and are more of a shallow fit with a medium-wide bore. To be perfectly honest I don’t think these tips do me much justice due to the fit and seal. I suppose for some people they will work perfectly fine, and they aren’t of bad quality by any means. I instead went with my favorite tips, the KBear 07‘s. One thing the 07’s will do is add a bit of cleaner mid-bass punch without adding any muddiness but also, they tend to emphasize the upper mids to a degree. The sound is more open and simply a bit airier too. Most importantly the fit is perfect using these tips. Obviously, this may slightly vary from person to person, but for the most part I do think most people will benefit from trying to find the best tips for them personally. Again, thankfully we have a case which allows us to get creative with our tips.
Build / Design / Internals / Fit
I find the build of the E4 to be very sturdy, very premium feeling in the hand and structurally well put together. They feel rugged as well, with solid quality materials used in construction. Soundpeats didn’t use any cheap plastic material but a more robust and dense plastic. Not chinsy and cheap. The Faceplate is made of what also feels like a hard plastic, while the top half of the shell is textured with an ornate design. The bottom half of the shell cavity is a harder rubber material which is very substantial and compact to the touch and slightly grippy for sitting in the ear. A cool touch is the clear plastic which runs to the nozzles and allows me to see the drivers. Also, the metal nozzle grill is another nice touch. Soundpeats also included a total of four different mics as well as ENC.
The E4 are not very large, especially in comparison to other tws iems on the market. They are comparable in size to the Mini Pro or Mini Pro HS. One thing which helps is the exclusion of some of the features and tech which would otherwise take up a lot of space and increase the size. For me the E4 are a very good size, and they are very light weight as well. They do slightly stick out from the ear but not like some Frankenstein looking tws iems. They still look stylish to me.
The E4 is truly an exceptionally nice-looking set of tws earbuds. The look is a “class act” from top to bottom with perfectly contrasting colors and design language. From front to back the E4 are simply ornate and very trendy looking. Starting with the faceplate touch surface, there is the faintest logo semi hidden inside of the darker plastic. It’s really only visible in the right light. Next, as I’ve mentioned, the top half of the shell which houses all the tech within has this cool textured design formed from imposed squares all stacked together, and this pattern circles all the way around the buds. The hard gray rubber on the bottom is a nice contrast as well. The E4 is simply a very nice-looking set which certainly seems as though it should be more expensive than it is.
I love the choice of coffee brown and matte gray with a little bit of luster finish on the faceplate. Couple that with the clear lower shell which gives us a sneak peek at the bronze-colored coaxial drivers inside and what you get is a very elegant and premium looking set. The team of people who designed the E4 should truly be proud. They have created a wholly unique pair of earbuds that certainly looks much more expensive than they are.
Soundpeats decided upon another unique feature in the driver configuration. They went with Dual Coaxial Dynamic Drivers. One being a Titanium coated 10mm Driver acting as a dedicated Woofer and the other being a 6mm Tweeter. Both drivers are stacked on top of each other which helps to keep the size of the E4 to a minimum. Also, Inside is the battery of unknown size and Soundpeats also went with the same chip that they’ve been using for a few of their more recent sets, the WUQI WQ7033AR chipset.
The fit will likely be a mixed bag unless you find a pair of eartips which seal really well in your ears. As for myself I need a wider tip to seal as the nozzle length is on the shorter side. Hence why it was difficult for me to use the included shallow fit eartips. Anyways, the fit is great once you get them situated. In fact, I have most certainly had these in my ears almost all day in my office doing work on multiple occasions. Truthfully they never even once bothered me. I don’t know how they will do for you but I’m willing to bet that the E4 will fit most people perfectly fine.
SOC Chipset / Audio Codecs
Like I quickly stated earlier, the E4 houses the WUQI WQ7033AR chipset. This has proven to be a very good chip which allows the E4 to achieve Bluetooth 5.3. This chipset also allows LDAC, AAC and SBC Codecs. The E4 can reach up to 990 kbs using LDAC which is as good as it gets as far as Bluetooth is concerned. The Engine4 can also replay at 24bit/96khz as well which is fantastic to see at $59. Friends, there was a time when we couldn’t even dream of getting LDAC inside of any tws iem, let alone a set which costs under $60 US. Really great to see. Soundpeats also advertises a Bluetooth range signal of up to 10 meters or roughly 32′ in unobstructed length.
Game Mode (Low Latency)
One feature which comes in handy is game mode. This feature is becoming much more commonplace anymore as most earbuds come equipped with some sort of low-latency mode. Having said that, not all “game modes” are created equal as they must work as intended. In the case of the E4, Soundpeats says that you can achieve down to 70 ms latency playing games on your mobile device or watching videos or movies. I cannot speak on the exact number in milliseconds, but I can honestly say that the E4 did a relatively decent job in most any game I tested them with. Videos are a breeze but it’s the first-person shooters with a lot of commotion that I still had slight issues with. Which by the way is very normal.
Another fantastic feature is only recently becoming more easily attainable in on-the-go Bluetooth devices. It used to be that you’d have to pay $300 for a set which could actually do such a thing. It’s like anything I suppose, as time moves on by the technology grows and gets better. In the case of the E4, what you get is a Multipoint connection but a sort-of stripped version of it. What I mean is, you cannot simply play a game on one device and then switch to the next device and automatically begin to watch a video. Yes, you can be connected to both devices but only it seems that only one device will be the one you must use for your videos and gaming while the other will be to answer phone calls. Still a solid addition that I welcome very much. Also, it works like a charm, and you won’t know how much you enjoy it until you’ve used it for a while and then it was taken away.
Soundpeats claims the E4 can get you up to 12.5 hours of listening on a single charge. I cannot speak on the truth of this claim. When using SBC or AAC codecs you can get close to that 12.5 hours but using LDAC you will get around 8.5 hours. This is still a huge number for a tws. Not to mention that the housing is not very large, so how Soundpeats managed to squeeze 8.5 hours out of the E4 on LDAC is beyond me. I can say for certain that I have used this set many days in my office, watching videos as I do my work and not once have they run out of battery. Using LDAC of course. This is a huge benefit and a true selling point.
Another great feature isn’t really a feature persa but instead it is the app that all Soundpeats Bluetooth devices get to interact with. Please understand folks, not every tws set has the luxury of an app and even fewer get an app as useful as Soundpeats. You can do things like firmware updates, check battery status, reset the buds themselves, toggle game mode, toggle multi-point connection and so forth.
One of the best features in my opinion is the Soundpeats graphic equalizer. It is a ten band fully functional equalizer which does make a significant difference in my listening. You can also use Soundpeats already preset equalizer settings as there are actually nine different sound modes to choose from. There is Bass Boost, Bass Reduction, Electronic, Rock & Roll, Folk, Treble Enhancement, Pop, Classical Music and last but never the least is Soundpeats Classic setting. For your info I am using the classic setting throughout all critical listening for this review.
Another nice feature on the E4 is the touch controls. Thankfully Soundpeats gives us the ability to handle almost all functions straight from the touch controls. Again, the faceplate area is the touch surface, and I found the controls to be very responsive. I only have had a few ghost touches but other than that I’ve never had any issues. Anyways, with that said, you do get forward and backward controls, volume controls (up / down), you can speak to your voice assistant, answer calls etc.
My experience with Soundpeats involving call quality has always been rather good. However, if the E4 had a downside I’d say that call quality may possibly be it. I wouldn’t call it poor, but it simply isn’t as good as previous sets within their lineup. Let’s put it this way, I’ve done multiple Teams meetings using this set and speak often with my wife and kids over the phone using the E4. I have heard my wife say I sound muffled, and my son said I sounded tinny. In the case with my wife, I simply readjusted the E4, and she it sounded better. In the case of the metallic sound, I haven’t heard anyone else tell me this so take it for what it’s worth. Soundpeats employs ENC which stands for “Environmental Noise Cancelation” and for the most part this is exactly what it does. So, in that case I’d say that they nailed it. They use four mics and I believe one is this ENC mic.
Soundpeats did give the E4 an IPX4 waterproof Rating which actually means they aren’t waterproof at all but instead they are more akin to being splash proof. They can take splashes and possibly rain in a jog but do not submerge them. This is still a nice feature and I actually prefer this to full Waterproofing as I’ve noticed that at times a higher Rating means a slightly more veiled sound due to the film covering.
Note: I want to quickly make mention that I do not use EQ when reviewing tws iems. I may occasionally clue the reader in to how well a set reacts to EQ, but I want this to be an almost right out of the box review. I have a hard time not including what this set can sound like with some addition or subtraction of dBs at specific spots in the frequency. For the Engine4’s I used the “Soundpeats Classic” preset which is what is used out-the-box. Also, I listen using either UAPP or Poweramp using flac files stored on my devices.
Out of the box I would say that the Engine4 has an L-shaped to V-shaped sound signature with a slightly warmer tonality overall. I hear a pretty good dynamic balance between the frequencies with an emphasis in the low-end, upper midrange and the treble. The bass hits with good authority and moderate density. The midrange has a thicker note weight in the lower-mids and a bit more shimmer in the upper. The treble is mostly laid back yet with moments of uplifting levity.
The E4 comes across with a rich quality to the sound and a smoother note delivery while still sounding energetic and lively. Quite a feat for a true wireless. The stage is about average in size and the E4 is well adept at picking up smaller details in my music though I wouldn’t call them a detail oriented tws iem.
The only gripe I see is that the volume is lower on the Engine4 than I’d like. I listen at around 90/100 on my Samsung Galaxy Fold 4 and about the same on my daps as well. They aren’t the loudest. Of course, this is an issue with many true wireless earphones. If Soundpeats could add a bit more volume headroom to the E4 than they’d be perfect. As it is, I’m not bothered by it as I simply have to crank the volume a bit more. Especially for activities which involve louder things going on around me. For instance, cutting the grass with the E4 is out of the question as they aren’t loud enough. However, for quiet environments, just chillin’ on my couch listening to music or watching videos I find the volume to be just fine.
The bass is fantastic on the E4. I could end this section here and that’s all you need to know. The bass is tight, with a nice transient behavior and good density for a true wireless. Using the “Soundpeats Classic” setting and no EQ I found the bass to be clean for a true wireless and dynamically full, almost like a wired set of earphones. Texture is actually nice, and the bass is not simply a one-noted affair. It’s not sloppy or smeared and isn’t wooly or hollow.
The sub-bass shows off on “Heavy is the Ocean” by Bush. To begin this track there is a very deep rumbling electric bass that reverbs in my brain using a bass heavy set of earphones. In the case of the E4 I almost get there. In fact, the sound has a nice leading edge and a clean and dense delivery that sounds awesome for a true wireless. I would venture to say this is the best I’ve heard from a Soundpeats product. Cleaner than the Soundpeats H1, which is saying something.
The mid bass does very well for bass drops, bass guitar, kick drums. It all sounds nicely rounded and buoyant yet slightly punchy too. I really enjoy the tuning here. With the Soundpeats Classic setting the mid-bass is moderate in quantity. Not even close to basshead… but clean. The E4 isn’t fuzzy, or wooly, and not even close to muddy. However, when I personalize the EQ, I began to see just how well this set performs. With the ten-band equalizer I found that the E4 reacts very well and without distortion or any weird artifacts from adding db’s. Of course, there is a correct way to go about EQ’ing but I can verifiably turn this moderately bassy set into a bass cannon!! In the track “Heat Waves” by The Glass Animals you have to wait out the beginning jingle knowing the bass drop is about to hit. Some sets can replay the gravely & sharp slam of the bass drop well, and others… can’t. The E4 sounds great here. Very satisfying.
The bass is done right. Out of the box Soundpeats tuned the E4 to be a mature sounding V-shaped set with a nice sub-bass that’s deep and has good haptic vibration and a mid-bass that is held back a bit. This helps to ensure the midrange is free and clear of any mud or veil. There is evident texture to the low-end and remember, with a little EQ this set can flat out detonate.
The mids are clean and halfway between lush and crisp. It’s a warmish-neutral midrange with nice note weight and a smoother replay. The midrange is organic sounding to me. Lifelike I would say. There is a sense of space between instruments and voices that is nice for a true wireless product. The stage is expanded and there isn’t that overcast veil over the sound or the congested type of replay that simply smears my favorite tracks. The E4 is well tuned friends, and I am more than happy to report that.
Male come across slightly warm and well bodied. In the song “I Walk Alone” by Chase Rice, he comes across very present in the mix and while he begins the track singing less loudly and softer, his voice still sounds somewhat up front and full. As the track progresses (around the 2 minute mark) his voice grows and this is where you see the clarity in the sound as the instrumentation around him picks up as well. His voice comes across palpable and separated from the melody surrounding him as he takes on a crisper inflection to his voice.
Females come across smooth, lush even. However, they also have a slight shimmer to them, very slight. Just enough to evoke the sense of sparkle and levity in a woman’s voice. As it should be. Of course, I will keep saying it, you can EQ until your heart’s content. With “Classic” I find females to be slightly laid back dynamically while still sounding expressive. There is a softer leading edge to vocal notes in this range which plays well with more emotional type tracks in my opinion. “Mariana Trench” by Gabrielle Aplin is such a song. Her voice is nicely rendered, breathy at times, sentimental yet ardent and the E4 is able to replay this very well. Again, surrounding instruments aren’t blurred into the background and there is a distinctness to the sound between elements on the stage.
Not bad at all
Instrumentation all sounds pretty natural. Strings have a ping to them with nice harmonics and the piano sounds elegant and contoured and again… nice harmonics. Percussion is good for a true wireless as well, but all of this can change in tonal color and timbre when you switch between settings or use the EQ. Out of the box, I like the way the midrange is tuned. It isn’t too far back on the stage and voices sound centered and distinct. Not bad at all.
The treble has a sense of warm airiness to it that is able to pick up on some macro details pretty well. There is certainly an emphasis up top which does well to bring up the entire mix and bring everything a bit closer to neutrality. I don’t hear an over emphasis at all and in fact when I EQ I add a little bit to the presence region. Not that the E4 really needs anything else but I do like a slightly crisper treble. There is a nice smoothness to the sound while still providing an open feel to it. I do hear some treble punch on certain tracks, but it never gets knife edged or sharp.
In the track “Do it Again” by Steely Dan the E4 replays the cymbals with a fullness to them while not sounding unnatural. The electric sitar is also fuller in body and harmonious. However, I do like that the E4 is able to illuminate some of the details and minutiae within this song.
All things considered
All things considered, this is a true wireless and there are shortcomings with the technology. Still, the E4 are getting remarkably close to the expressive dynamism of a wired connection. The E4 has decent extension up top so to not leave out instrumentation and most secondary harmonics. There isn’t anything sibilant at all, not even close. I also don’t hear anything shrill or piercing at all. The treble nicely uplifted yet not even close to overdone, I’d even call it safe. I would also call it non-offensive and good for long listening. Again, this can all change with a few dB bumps through EQ. Not bad at all.
The stage size is just above average for most true wireless. This is evident in the track “Hook” by Blues Traveler. The sound is just past my ears in width and there is sufficient height and even some depth to add some layering. This is not a flat wall of sound in front of me and there is a sense of 3D depth around elements of the stage.
Separation / Imaging
Instruments and voices have suitable air in between to accommodate a realistic stage performance. It isn’t perfect though. On some more congested tracks or songs with more commotion there is some masking and smearing but this isn’t the most noticeable in my opinion. Mostly, I hear a nicely partitioned off stage. As far as imaging I’d say that the E4 is very well done. I had no problem discerning individual Instruments most of the time. Left to right imaging is perceptible as well as front to back.
As far as the detail retrieval of the Soundpeats Engine4. I’d say it has a lot stacked up against it. First, it is a true wireless and again, the tech alone holds it back. Second, this set isn’t tuned to pick up every tiny detail, it simply isn’t. This is a musical set with good macro-dynamics that is more fun than it is analytical. Despite all of that the E4 is actually very clean and even resolving for a set of tws. The transient speed seems to be on the quicker side and there is a boost in the treble region to add a sense of space along with good extension both ways. All this adds up to decent details. It won’t blow your mind, though I’d say if you were looking to have your mind blown in detail-oriented wonder then you are looking at the wrong stuff. The E4 isn’t bad at all though and does a lot very well.
Is it worth the asking price?
Soundpeats lists the Engine4 at $59.99 and while the early bird sale goes on you can get it for significantly less. To be perfectly honest, Soundpeats could have sold the E4 for over $100 US without batting an eye. I have heard many many tws iems that cannot even stand next to the E4 sonically. So… Absolutely the E4 is worth the asking price! Without question this set is well worth the asking price.
The only thing holding the E4 back is the fact that it is feature deficient. We don’t see some of the features that other tws have in its price point. In fact, there are sets from the same company who dwarf the E4 in features. There is no ANC, Transparency mode, wireless charging, in-ear detection etc. The other thing that this set has going against it is the fact that the volume is pretty low. We want headroom! All hobbyists want more volume, we want to be the ones turning down our tws sets. So yes, there are some things holding the E4 back against its peers.
There is one caveat though, the E4 simply sounds better than the others. It isn’t sold as a feature rich tws iem. It isn’t advertised as such. Anyone going for this set is going for it because it looks flat-out DOPE and because they want something which can replay music at a very high level for the technology. Add in LDAC and you have a set that faithfully replays hi-res music at very close to wired levels. So… With everything laid on the table I can most assuredly recommend the Engine4 and can most definitely state that it is well worth the asking price.
*All Ratings are given per the price point as well as the style of earphone. In this case I am rating the Engine4 against the field of similarly priced tws iems. Keep in mind that a “5.0” is exactly average. These scores are collected only against the other sets in the price point, so it isn’t crazy to see some higher scores. This basically is my subjective scores in a price to performance against the rest of the similarly priced market. I feel this is the best way to gauge a set.
Feature function- 9.5
Overall Rating- 9.0 🔥🔥🔥
P2P- 10.0 (Price to Performance)
Overall Rating- 9.6 🔥🔥🔥🔥
What a nice set. I have a strong feeling that the Engine4 will become a daily carry tws iem for me. I personally don’t need anc, passive mode, or any other mode honestly. Just give me something which works, sounds nice and is built nicely while looking good. The E4 checks all of those boxes. However, I am not everyone else. I’m sure that many will like something with a richer feature set. One thing is for sure, the Engine4 excels at what it can do. I have enjoyed my time with this set, and I hope this review has been of some help to the folks out there in the market for a true wireless earphone. Please listen to, read, or watch other reviews relating to the Engine4. We are not all the same, so getting other perspectives will only help you to make an informed purchasing decision.
I again want to thank Ellen and the good people of Soundpeats for providing the Soundpeats Engine4 for a fair and honest review. They have always been so very kind and have never asked me to say anything against my integrity. I also want to thank you, the reader, for checking out this review. You are a huge the reason I even complete these reviews, other than I truly enjoy writing them. Please take care and stay safe.