Status Audio Between 3ANC Wireless Earbuds review – Things are not always what they seem

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REVIEW – I’ve made it no secret how much I like and appreciate my Apple AirPods Pro earphones. What they may lack in sound quality (they do sound great) is more than made up by their convenience. I like them so much, that I talked a friend into buying them. Let’s just say he did not share my opinion—at all. He complained that they hurt his ears. That’s when it occurred to me—no earphone will be right for everyone despite my opinion! There are many great alternatives available for those with different tastes and priorities. This brings us to the Status Audio Between 3ANC Wireless Earbuds. These little wonders sound fantastic and are extremely comfortable in my ears. But can they replace my beloved AirPods Pro earphones?

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What is it?

The Status Audio Between 3ANC Wireless Earbuds is a new offering from a small company making waves with good sounding—yet affordable audio headphones and earbuds.

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In this case, these earbuds are small enough to carry in a jeans pocket, yet have an impressive battery life of 8-12 hours of listening with the case providing an extra 24 hours of charging. That’s pretty average today, but it’s still impressive battery life overall. 

There are three lights on the front of the case that show battery life. Also, the case will charge wirelessly using a QI charger. 

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The Between 3ANC earbuds (yeah, I know Status Audio calls them earbuds) come in either Onyx (black) or Bone (eggshell color). I asked for the Bone color for photo purposes. The case magnetically snaps shut but is difficult to open one-handed. The earbuds snap securely inside the case—also magnetically. 

There are three sizes of ear tips and what Status Audio calls FitWings which are soft silicone “wraps” that the ear tips fit over. The FitWings help secure the 3ANC in the ear. I am using the large ear tip but left the FitWings alone since they felt fine in my ear. It may take a bit of swapping to get a fit that works for you.

Three speakers populate each earbud—a single dynamic speaker combined with two balanced armature speakers.  This is sometimes called a hybrid speaker setup. These two types of speakers have their strengths and weaknesses—at least on paper. A dynamic speaker looks like a tiny version of a typical speaker. A balanced armature speaker is derived from the hearing-aid industry and looks nothing like a traditional speaker. Armature speakers accentuate higher frequencies, while dynamic speakers are more “bass-friendly.” Pairing them brings out the best of both. Note that either the dynamic or armature speaker can be tuned to sound good to great individually, but when both are joined, the goal is to get an audio balance. Thus approach is much more common—and affordable—than even a few years ago.

An app (iOS/Android) supports the 3ANC earbuds. It’s nothing fancy but offers some EQ and noise canceling choices as well as a Firmware upgrade button. 

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  • Active noise canceling (ANC)
  • Wireless
  • 10mm dynamic driver
  • 2 Balanced armature drivers
  • Charging case
  • IPX-5 waterproof rating
  • USB-C charging
  • Wireless charging
  • 8hrs playback ANC on/12hrs playback ANC off
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • Multipoint connectivity
  • 6x external microphones
  • Environmental noise reduction

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Design and features

When I first unboxed the Status Audio Between 3ANC Wireless Earbuds, I was immediately reminded of the Master & Dynamics MW08 earphones. Both models do not look like they are made to fit in any ear, much less be comfortable. But both assumptions are wrong. The 3ANC’s stout, squarish shape belies how comfortable they feel in my ears. 

Now I don’t exercise like I should, but just being outside in the summer humidity of Florida is a good test for sweat resistance. The 3ANCs held up well to sweat and do not fall out when damp from sweating (ugh).

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There are many touch and physical controls on each earbud—almost too many. I have some issues with how Status Audio has designed this feature. The controls are not customizable, plus they cannot be turned off. If it was up to me, I would turn off about half of the controls and then make the physical buttons do what I want. While you may find the touch controls usable, I have trouble finding the right touch or tapping and usually mess it up.  

I imagine that over time, the Bone-colored 3ANC earbuds will show dirt easier than the Onyx version. These are too new to tell for sure.

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Status Audio touts that there are  6 beam-forming mics (3 per earphone) that use environmental noise reduction (ENR), making them great for Zoom, Skype, Facetime, Google Hangouts, and virtually all wireless chat (including phone calls). I generally don’t use earphones for Zoom or Teams meetings (I work remotely), but when it’s necessary, the 3ANC earbuds work fine. 

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The trick always seems to be phone calls. There’s good and meh news here. The meh news is that people I call tell me that while they can understand me fine, I’m not as natural sounding as when I use my Apple AirPods Pro earphone (the gold standard for my ear). Fair enough because calls are always successful. The good news is being able to hear my voice in the 3ANC earbuds while I talk. Why is this feature not in all earphones? I find myself not shouting to be heard. I love this feature.

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The 3ANC earbuds are an updated version of the Status Audio Between Pro earphone with added active noise canceling (ANC)—a big improvement. Nowadays, the absence of any ANC is a deal-breaker for me. I’ve come to rely on it. There’s nothing more satisfying than shopping in a noisy environment such as Costco (my weekly trek) in almost total silence using ANC. It’s kinda eerie, but it’s wonderful.

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Status Audio has done a good job implementing noise canceling, especially on this first try with earphones. ANC works well for me but still falls short of Apple’s ANC. To my ears, everything falls short of Apple’s ANC, so it may be an unfair comparison. Let’s just say that if you have never experienced Apple’s ANC, you will think the Between 3ANC earbuds are great at noise canceling. That’s a good thing. 

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Status Audio has three ANC settings: On, off, and Transparency modes. ANC set to Off is the same as pushing fingers into your ears. Transparency allows all outside noise to be heard which can come in handy in high-traffic areas. It also lets people have a conversation without removing the earphones. Just keep in mind it can appear to be rude. 

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In many earphones, ANC when on can alter the sound of music—not in a good way. Happily, using ANC with these earbuds did not negatively affect music—no matter the genre. All my favorites sounded as good either with or without ANC. The 3ANC earbud’s dynamic/armature hybrid speaker setup certainly doesn’t hurt. 

The 3ANC earbuds use Bluetooth 5.2, which is supposed to have better range. However, I could only walk a short distance in my backyard away from my iPhone when the Bluetooth signal sputtered and died. 


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Let’s look at the Status Audio Between 3ANC app. When it’s opened, the app wants to connect to your (Status) device. Once connected, you can set the ANC mode or check. EQ presets are offered in the app, but yeah . . . no thanks. I didn’t enjoy any of the presets over just leaving EQ off. Luckily, you can make your own EQ setting and save them—which I did. I prefer my EQ settings way more than what Status Audio provides.

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What I like

  • Good ANC
  • Music sounds great
  • ANC doesn’t negatively affect music quality  

What I’d change

  • Extend Bluetooth range
  • Make controls customizable 

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Final thoughts

If you place musical enjoyment over absolute convenience, then the Status Audio Between 3ANC Earbuds may be a better fit than Apple’s AirPods Pro. They do sound better. And even though I still prefer the AirPods Pro, it’s great that there are so many great alternatives available. Because as my friend whose ears disliked Apple’s offering proved, there is no perfect one-size-fits-all earphone—at any price.

Price: $199.00
Where to buy: Status Audio
Source: The sample of this product was provided by Status Audio.

3 thoughts on “Status Audio Between 3ANC Wireless Earbuds review – Things are not always what they seem”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. I found the battery life with the Between Pro earbuds not as advertised. Status response was that the advertised battery life is only in production test lab settings. I have lost 38% of battery life in 6 months. Status says this is acceptable. At this rate, my battery life will be down to three hours before the warranty expires. This is unacceptable, even though I think they sound amazing.

  3. Glad I didn’t listen to the iBot. They shouldn’t allow Apple diehards to do reviews of non-Apple products. I thought AirPods were the best earbuds I’ve ever had and then friends started recommending the Status buds and ditched their AirPods. I just got mine today and my AirPods are immediately in the trash. I can’t believe I ever thought they sounded good let alone think they were the best. These blow AirPods out of the water and into space for both music, audiobooks, and phone calls. Now I wonder what I’m missing out with so many of my friends on Android phones.

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