BlueAnt Pump HD Sportbuds
Bass tones have a strong presence here, but at louder volumes, mids and highs tend to drown out – resulting in a flatter quality.
In terms of software features, the BlueAnt Pump HD Sportbuds doesn’t pack anything profound. Essentially, it’s a matter of turning it on, pairing it with a device, and using it for music playback/phone calls – and that’s all! Fortunately, pairing it is an effortless process, since turning it on for the first time places it into the mode. In our case, we paired it with an HTC One M8 with no issues at all.
First, let’s talk about its music playback quality. Even in the noisiest of environments, we don’t have any problems trying to listen to our tunes. Volume output, in fact, is almost deafening at the loudest setting – so there’s no shortage of command and presence with its output. Now, there’s a strong focus on lows, which enable bass to thump with a serious amount of ferocity at every volume level. However, when it’s placed at the loudest, mids and highs tend to drown out – giving them a flatter presence. At the end of the day, though, we’re pleased by the overall quality of the Pump HD Sportbuds.
Likewise, we have few problems trying to decipher our callers with the headphones – thanks to its powerful audio output. However, voices tend to have an artificial sound to them, but still audible enough to discern words with few repetitions. On the other end of the line, our callers mention they’re able to hear us properly too. Using it under windy conditions, however, callers complain mildly about some distortion.
BlueAnt has this Bluetooth 3.0 pair of headphones rated for 8 hours of play time, or 2 weeks of standby. Playing music from an HTC One M8 and setting the volume to the highest level, we’re able to achieve continuous music playback of over 4 hours – well short of its rating. Nonetheless, we have to point out that you’ll probably be able to get longer playback under the middle volume setting.
Armed with a sticker price of $130, the BlueAnt Pump HD Sportbuds matches many of its main competitors in price – like the Jaybird Bluebuds X and Plantronics BackBeat Go 2. To BlueAnt’s credit, we really appreciate the firmer fit of its model, even though it’s bulkier than the crop. In addition, it’s a fitness lovers’ dream pair of headphones because of its rugged construction, waterproof aspect, and snug fit over our ears. Sure, the battery life doesn’t come close to matching its rating, but nevertheless, it’s well in line to the performance we’ve seen from other comparable models in the space right now. The audio quality might be perceived differently between users, but in general, we’re pleased by its pleasant overall quality. In all fairness, you won’t ever have to worry about this pair becoming loose as you’re sprinting or running long distances – while the strong volume output ensures you’ll be focused on the music.