Groov-E SportBuds Review: Spot-On Truly Wireless Sports Headphones For Under £50

These buds offer excellent value for runners and gym-goers alike

(Image: © Unknown)


  • Terrific value
  • Decent sound quality


  • Poor battery life
  • Volume controls are fiddly
  • Case is too bulky for a pocket

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I always approach budget headphones, especially truly wireless ones, with a degree of wariness. Because solid wireless pairs tend to cost three figures, inexpensive ones sound too good to be true – and that often turns out to be the case. But every so often we come across a true bargain like the Groov-E SportBuds, which meet all of my essential requirements for just £39.99.

The headphones have an ear hook design coupled with an in-ear bud that you can shove into your ear to block out external noise and improve the sound quality. The ear hook is very soft and pliable, which means it’s comfortable if not quite as secure as the firmer hooks on something like the Beats Powerbeats.

Groov-E SportBuds

(Image credit: Unknown)

However, the hook does accomplish its main job, which is to ensure the headphones don’t fall out of your ears when exercising. I found that the in-ear bud would squirm out of my ear a little, especially when running, but the hook kept the SportBuds in place. After several runs and a couple of home workouts, I’ve no concerns about the fit of the SportBuds.

The battery life isn’t brilliant – the headphones last just four hours on a single charge. Most truly wireless buds now offer five hours at least and some are stretching to seven, but four is OK and to be fair it’s likely to be sufficient for any exercise you have planned bar a marathon or an epic bike ride.

You get another 24 hours of battery out of the charger case, which also has a USB plug so you can charge other devices from it. It’s a pretty bulky case, so you can’t pop it in a pocket comfortably and take it with you on the run – you need a running belt or backpack to store it.

Groov-E SportBuds

(Image credit: Unknown)

No-one should be expecting incredible sound quality from £40 truly wireless headphones, but I was impressed with what the Groov-E SportBuds delivered. The sound was a little distorted at high volumes and the bass was a bit fuzzy too, but there was decent separation between instruments and vocals, and the bass was pretty powerful. When you pump up the volume on tracks with dense instrumentation the sound grated a little, but in general my expectations were surpassed.

The headphones each have a button on them you can use to play/pause tracks, accept calls, skip tracks and change the volume. It’s easy enough to use these buttons while exercising, aside from the volume controls which require three clicks on the right side to raise the volume one level or three on the left to lower it. If you plan on jacking up the volume when your power track comes on, keep your phone to hand and do it on that.

When I first set up the Groov-E SportBuds they connected to my phone in mono mode, so I could only use one at a time, which was confusing and a little frustrating. I had to disconnect the buds and start again, making sure they connected to each other before my phone. Having a mono mode is pretty handy if you just want to use one bud, though.

With an IPX4 rating the SportBuds are only water- and sweat-resistant, not fully waterproof, but I wouldn’t let that concern you. It’s the same rating the Apple AirPods have, and I’ve used them for years of running in all weather with no problems.

The Groov-E SportBuds aren’t faultless, but given that you're getting truly wireless sports headphones that sound pretty good and fit well for under 40 quid, all the faults I've come across can be forgiven. I can’t comment on durability having only used them for a few weeks, but from what I’ve seen so far these are a real bargain.

Buy from Groov-E | £39.99

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.