SoundPEATS RunFree Lite

Bluetooth headband earphones with air conduction technology

In a nutshell

The RunFree Lite from SoundPEATS is not particularly pretty and doesn’t feel particularly high-quality, but on the whole, it does what it is supposed to do quite well. Considering the price range and the somewhat lossy transmission due to the air conduction concept, the sound was quite acceptable, and the epic battery life of 17 hours was really amazing. Possible uses for these headphones go far beyond jogging because, of course, there is a whole range of scenarios where it would be very desirable to be able to perceive unfiltered ambient noise. Because the RunFree Lite is so comfortable to wear, in particular when using them as a hands-free headset when making phone calls, it makes them suitable for use in the office. The RunFree Lite should be tried out by anyone who recognises a need for such a headset, especially as their price of around thirty euros is very budget-friendly.

  • interesting concept
  • amazingly good sound
  • very comfortable to wear, especially as a headset when talking on the phone
  • very long battery life
  • App with individual sound adjustment
  • not particularly loud
  • Not particularly high-quality haptics

SoundPEATS RunFree Lite headphones are not stuck in the ear canal like in-ears but use a special technology that keeps the ears clear. This ensures safety in everyday use. Although the RunFree Lite are not among the most high-end headphones on the market, considering the price of just 40 euros, the sound and the lossy transmission due to the concept are pretty decent, and the epic battery life of 17 hours is actually really amazing.

When jogging, wouldn’t it be nice to have your ears free so that you can hear a cyclist whose brakes have failed while speeding downhill who is screaming loudly at you from behind? In-ears and their associated isolation from the environment are not always desirable: for example, what if you have to remain responsive at work but still want to be accompanied through the working day by a little music? The Chinese company SoundPEATS, which is being launched into the market with a swathe of new products, could potentially do well in this very scenario with the RunFree Lite. These headphones rely on so-called air conduction, which leaves the ears free. We took this “Air Conduction Headset” for a workout and put it to the test.

The principle of air conduction

One disadvantage that all in-ear headsets share is already obvious from their name: they are placed in the ears and close the auditory canal like an earplug (ideally making them airtight). The resulting closed system ensures excellent sound transmission but brings with it a number of disadvantages – especially during sports: first and foremost, the wearer is acoustically shielded from the environment, this is not only unpleasant, but it can also be quite dangerous during urban workouts. Secondly – depending on the design – there is the danger that the ear pieces can fall out. In order to counter this problem, various manufacturers have come up with ingenious concepts that go beyond in-ear headphones: these are usually bracket designs that rest on your ears that are secured by a band that goes around the back of your head. These use classic ear-mounted drivers as well as bone conduction or air conduction earphones, like those being tested here. In practice, this means that the headphones are placed so close to the ear that the sound emitted finds its way directly into the auditory canal and, as a result, onto the eardrum.

The SoundPEATS RunFree Lite in detail

The RunFree Lite is designed in the form of a single headband, with the two 16.2 millimetre drivers positioned above the ear canal; the controls are located in a bulge next to the right ear, and the battery is on the opposite side. Incidentally, the battery is quite large and gives these headphones an impressive runtime of 17 hours. The charging cycle via an integrated USB socket takes 1.5 hours. Initially, reaching behind the ear to the bump with the control buttons feels like an unfamiliar action, and it’s not possible to be particularly precise. Three buttons control the volume, track selection and answer /hang up calls.


These headphones use Bluetooth version 5.3, and SBC and AAC are used as streaming codecs. SoundPEATS also provide a free app (Android/iOS) with which you can control the sound characteristics of all the earphones in their range (with different functions depending on the model). In the case of the RunFree Lite, you have access to the volume, nine different EQ profiles and the ten bands of the equaliser in separate steps. There is also a switch for reducing the latency for gaming or video applications. In addition, the RunFree Lite is capable of multi-pairing with two devices – where after successful contact – the device that was last connected to the earpieces is always allowed to transmit.

The handling of the SoundPEATS RunFree Lite

As far as their external appearance is concerned, these earpieces are understated: the speaker housings come in matt black with the headband in grey, while a small LED in the right earpiece provides information about operating status. Unfortunately, the SoundPEATS don’t feel particularly good to the touch – Aftershokz, for example, have managed this better with a slightly rubberised plastic compound on their earpieces. Even when you’re wearing them, these earphones do not feel as if they are “fitting” – they just rest on your ears. However, the RunFree Lite has the advantage that once it is on, it is almost imperceptible. These headphones really live up to the “Lite” in their name. Even for a spectacle wearer like me, it was fine if the arms of my glasses and RunFree Lite had to share my ears.


The sound of the SoundPEATS RunFree Lite

A fundamental disadvantage of air transmission is that – unlike with in-ears – no real sound pressure can be built up. The changes in air pressure generated by the diaphragms cheerfully release their energy into the room (and not into the ear). Accordingly, “sound pressure level” and “bass reproduction” are not necessarily the RunFree Lite’s strengths. Nevertheless, an astonishing amount of sound energy ended up reaching my eardrums, and I certainly enjoyed an entertaining music performance with this device.

The sound impression was about the same as a decent kitchen radio or laptop speaker: there was no spectacular impact or brilliance, but a basic musical soundtrack was provided. In fact, due to the rather unspectacular sound and, above all, the fact that the ears remained free, there was no feeling of “getting drowsy” after prolonged use. During my test, I caught myself several times completely forgetting that I was wearing the SoundPEATS. This was especially true when making phone calls because the fact that your ears are free and it is possible to hear your own voice in the room made phone calls feel very natural. The sound quality in your own ears was good. Unfortunately, it was not quite as good on the other side of the call, where it was a bit washed out and echoey.

1 year ago by Numinos
  • Rating: 4
  • Sound
  • Handling
  • Price/Quality
  • Function

Technical specifications

  • Ear couplingair conduction
  • Typeopen
  • Transducer principledynamic
  • Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
  • Weight without cable27 g

What's in the box

  • USB-C charging cable

Special features

  • BT codecs: SBC, AAC
  • BT version: 5.3
  • BT profiles: A2DP, AVCTP, AVDTP, AVRCP, HFP, HID

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