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The Status Between 3 ANC with the case open with a wood and white background and one bud out.
Jasper Lastoria / SoundGuys

Status Between 3ANC review

All Status, no substance?
By

Published onOctober 4, 2023

6.5
Status Between 3 ANC
The bottom line
The Status Between 3 ANC are an upscale set of active noise canceling (ANC) earbuds with AAC and SBC Bluetooth connectivity. They are well made, with an IPX5 rating, and an excellent equalizer. The downsides are the ANC itself could be better and the fit might prove difficult for some ears.

Status Between 3 ANC

The Status Between 3 ANC are an upscale set of active noise canceling (ANC) earbuds with AAC and SBC Bluetooth connectivity. They are well made, with an IPX5 rating, and an excellent equalizer. The downsides are the ANC itself could be better and the fit might prove difficult for some ears.
Product release date
04/12/2023
Price
Original: $248.99
Dimensions
Cable length: 0.35m
Ear tips: 12mm, 13mm, 15mm
Weight
48.8g
Model Number
SAANC-3X-BONE
Waterproof
What we like
IPX5
Wireless charging
OS agnostic
Equalizer
Controls
Ear tips and stabilizers
What we don't like
Poor ANC
Lacks bass without EQ
Sticks out of ears
Hard to wear with earrings
6.5
SoundGuys Rating
7.7
User Rating
Rating Metric
Our Rating
User Rating
Isolation / Attenuation
3.7
6.7
7.0
Active Noise Cancelling
5.6
7.0
7.0
Durability / Build Quality
8.3
8.6
9.0
Value
5.5
8.8
9.0
Design
7.0
7.0
7.0
Connectivity
5.0
7.7
8.0
Portability
8.8
7.6
8.0
Battery Life
7.1
7.9
8.0
Feature
8.0
8.3
8.0
Comfort
6.0
7.5
8.0

New York City’s Status returns with active noise canceling (ANC) wireless earbuds. The Status Between 3ANC target audiophiles who want to cut the cords for on-the-go music. Case in point, when visiting the Status site a quiz pops up to determine if you are an audiophile. Do you need to be one to like the Status Between 3ANC?

Editor’s note: this review was updated October 4, 2023, to answer FAQ, add updated charts, and update formatting.

About this Status Between 3ANC review: We tested the Status Between 3ANC over a period of 5 days. It was running firmware version 0.0.3.3, and the Status App ran version 1.4. The company provided the unit for this review.

Audiophiles and music enthusiasts may find the Status Between 3ANC attractive for its good reproduction of midrange frequencies. The long battery life will appeal to folks with long workdays without needing to charge the buds often. The IPX5 rating against water should lend assurance to listeners with active lifestyles, and those who live in humid locations.

What’s it like to use Status Between 3ANC?

On a green cutting board are the Status Between 3 ANC buds.
Jasper Lastoria / SoundGuys
Controls are at the top and on the metal parts of the buds.

Available in Bone and Onyx colorways, the Status Between 3ANC look a bit different from your run-of-the-mill true wireless buds with their short, wide metal-clad stems. Further distinguishing features are the fitwings (basically stabilizers) which help secure the buds mostly into place, although the fit never quite seems totally locked in. Also, the buds stick out more than you’d expect based on the product images.

At the top of the each bud you’ll find a single button and an indicator light. The button allows toggling through ANC and ambient listening modes, and playback controls occur on the touch sensitive area. The Between 3ANC appear upscale in that they aren’t garishly adorned with logos —  really there’s just the Status waveform logo engraved on the case.

You’ll size your buds with one of three oblong shaped ear tips (12mm, 13mm, 15mm) and one of three fitwings. The best fit for my ears include a 13mm ear tip in the left ear, and the 15mm in the right ear, with the largest size fitwings. Although, the fit is still not completely secure on a walk with a breeze, so I have to readjust. Folks with larger ears may find they sit more securely, but the heft of the block shaped stems tends to pull the Between 3ANC downwards. Anyone with earrings in their lobes might notice the stems can get in the way as well. My ears encounter mild discomfort after 20 minutes, but they’re reasonably wearable for about 90 minutes at a time.

Case problems, who’s got them?

While the Between 3ANC buds look good in the industrial design sense, the case seems rather pedestrian in contrast. That would be completely fine if it worked well, but we found a notable issue during our review period.

Frequently the buds don’t charge, seemingly because they aren’t making proper electrical contact, even though they apparently snap into place in the charging case. Sometimes the fitwings can get in the way or move, which contributes to the issue. Being able to pop the buds into the case, which will still close but not charge is a problem. It’s understandable that sometimes when replacing an earbud on the go you can carelessly load it into the case incorrectly, but usually you know you need to reseat it when the lid won’t shut. Here the lid will still close and you’ll open the case later only to notice that one or both of the buds not only didn’t recharge, but in fact, the Between 3ANC buds can remain powered on and connected the entire time they were in the case.

The lid itself feels sturdy without give, and the metal hinge feels robust, so it’s not all bad, just be mindful of the charging contact issue.

How do you control Status Between 3ANC?

Unlike most earbuds that choose a lane between capacitive touch surfaces and buttons, the Status Between 3ANC uses both. Generally the touch surfaces, denoted by the silver metallic area, are well calibrated in their responsiveness to commands.

Single pressTwo pressesHold (3s)Three presses
Either button
Single press
ANC/Ambient
Two presses
Voice assistant
Hold (3s)
Manual power off
Three presses
Battery status
Left touchpad
Single press
Play/Pause

Two presses
Skip track previous
Answer/End call
Hold (3s)
Decrease volume
Reject call
Three presses

Right touchpad
Single press
Play/Pause
Two presses
Skip track forward
Answer/End call
Hold (3s)
Increase volume
Reject call
Three presses

Another weird issue we ran into is that Spotify identifies the Between 3ANC buds as a car, so automatically goes into driving mode. Playing around with Bluetooth settings doesn’t make a difference. It still works just fine, but it’s an irritating quirk for Spotify users.

Should you use the Status App for the Status Between 3ANC?

On top of a green cutting board is an iPhone 13 showing the Status Between 3 ANC and an app.
Jasper Lastoria / SoundGuys
The equalizer is the main reason to use the app.

Yes, you should use the Status App for the Between 3ANC because it offers you different sound tuning options, updates, and a custom equalizer. The app also works regardless of whether you’re using an Android or iOS device. However, as apps go, it’s otherwise pretty light on features. You can’t remap any controls, for instance.

With that said, the custom equalizer labels the frequencies you can adjust, and you can save your own presets. It’s also the only way listeners can access a standard listening mode, without ANC or ambient modes enabled.

How does the Status Between 3ANC connect?

Status uses AAC and SBC codecs over Bluetooth 5.2. This is a bit surprising considering the price point and marketing around “audiophile” sound suggests Status is offering something better than average, but AAC and SBC are just average. If you have an Apple iPhone, the AAC codec is the best you can get, so that’s not a problem. However, Android users typically can expect higher quality codecs such as aptX, or even LDAC from most contemporaries for the same price or much less.

Status includes Bluetooth multipoint — a nice touch, especially if you switch between devices frequently.

Pairing the Status Between 3ANC is pretty easy if you follow these steps. Don’t try to download the Status App and connect through it the first time you pair, because it likely won’t work.

  1. Enable Bluetooth in your device’s settings.
  2. Open the case and leave the buds in it.
  3. Press and hold the button on the back of the case until the lights atop the Between 3ANC buds flash.
  4. Select the Status Between 3ANC in your Bluetooth settings. Now you’re connected.
  5. Downloading the Status App will make sure you can get updates.

How long does the Status Between 3ANC battery last?

The Status Between 3 ANC case charges on a wireless pad with the USB-C cable and accessories nearby.
Jasper Lastoria / SoundGuys
Three ear tips, three fitwings (one on the set in the case), and a USB-C cable are included.

In our standard battery test the Status Between 3ANC lasts 8 hours and 13 minutes with ANC on a single charge. That’s basically in line with what Status claims, and you’ll achieve a better battery life if you disable ANC as well. Rounding out the package, you get a good 24 hours of battery life, including the charges provided by the case. Longer lasting batteries are not only more convenient, but also extend the life of the product.

The charging case has a USB-C port, to go with the USB-A to USB-C cable included in the box. In addition, you can wirelessly charge the Status Between 3ANC on a Qi pad.

With 15 minutes of fast charging the Status Between 3ANC you gain an additional 2 hours of playback.

How well does the Status Between 3ANC cancel noise?

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The Between 3ANC differentiates itself from other Status earbuds with active noise canceling. Unfortunately, as shown in our chart above, the ANC is not particularly impressive. Reducing environmental noise at 150Hz by 10dB is better than nothing, but it’s also 15dB less than the Sony LinkBuds S for instance, which sells typically for about $100 less than the Between 3ANC. When enabled, ANC mode also still passes along the whooshing sound of wind. There are plenty of other noise canceling earbuds with more effective ANC.

Furthermore, it doesn’t help that the Status Between 3ANC are difficult to fit correctly. This drastically impacts passive isolation, which can be pretty decent at blocking out very high pitched noises (by over 40dB), but sees a steep taper off in effectiveness below 1000Hz. The fact that isolation works better on blocking out high pitched noise isn’t news, but that Status includes three ear tips and three “Fitwing” stabilizers and it’s still hard to find your fit is notably frustrating.

To be clear, it’s not difficult to fit the Between 3ANC in your ears and have them stay in, but it’s challenging to create a consistent seal, especially if you’re moving. Considering that most people simply pop their buds in, rather than minutely adjusting the fit with each use, it really limits the utility of the Between 3ANC.

You can only choose between ANC and ambient mode unless you open the app and turn off both. That’s how you get a standard listening mode.

How does the Status Between 3ANC sound?

Unusually for TWS earbuds, each Status Between 3ANC earbud employs three separate drivers rather than a single driver. A traditional 10mm dynamic driver is used in conjunction with two balanced armatures to cover the range of audible frequencies, requiring advanced acoustic integration that’s more commonly found in higher priced in-ear monitors (IEMs). There is also a choice of three tuning presets available from the app to affect the sound: Original Between Pro EQ, Signature EQ, and Audiophile EQ.

Audiophile EQ

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The term “Audiophile” has long been associated with sonic accuracy and high fidelity, but its burgeoning ubiquity has arguably transformed it into marketing jargon in recent years. Everybody has an opinion on the subject these days. Rather than debating if the Status Between 3ANC are audiophile grade — whatever that means to you — we can say they sound decent, but they don’t deliver the studio style sound profile we’d recommend for critical listening.

Signature EQ

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When comparing the included EQ presets accessible through the Status App, all follow our headphone preference curve in the upper mids and treble frequencies quite well. All three EQ presets produce frequency responses that are a bit light on low end by scooping the higher bass frequencies and sub bass as well. Status argues that scooping the higher bass frequencies makes music less “muddy,” though since music producers and mastering engineers already do this to some extent, so you don’t really need your headphones doing that.

Original EQ

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Comparing the Original Between Pro EQ preset to the Signature EQ preset reveals nearly identical frequency response curves up to around 4kHz, at which point the Signature EQ increases the output up to 7dB more than the Original Between Pro between 4kHz and 7kHz, and then Signature EQ tapers off volume, as the Original Between Pro increases volume at 8kHz.

Lows, mids, highs

Setting the Status Between 3ANC to the Signature EQ while playing Madison by Drugdealer does allow you to clearly hear most of the instruments on the track. Despite the quiet sub bass of the tuning, the volume bump peaking at 100Hz means kick drums and most bass guitar comes through fine. You just won’t hear the depth of the low end with a nearly 10dB deviation from our target curve at 30Hz, but in fairness, not a lot of sounds occupy those sub bass frequencies.

Cymbals and snare on the track play with a lot of volume relative to the backing vocals and guitar. Lead vocals come through pretty clearly, as it’s not a terribly busy arrangement. The Signature EQ can cause some early listening fatigue because the treble is too loud compared to the bass, but you can certainly hear everything.

Switching to the Audiophile EQ on the Between 3ANC delivers a less hyped response curve, and listening to the same track by Drugdealer, bass frequencies are so quiet that it sounds like the song is playing through a high pass filter. With this preset, the cymbals don’t sound so loud either, but the keys and lead vocals are clear. For most people the Signature EQ or Original Between Pro EQ are going to sound better than the Audiophile EQ, and not for the reasons that some people don’t like studio headphones, but because they deliver less low end than studio headphones usually do.

Can you use the Status Between 3ANC for phone calls?

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The Status Between 3ANC has an okay, if slightly muffled sounding mic. In an office setting you’ll hear some keystrokes, but nothing too distracting. Out on the street the mic suffers the most, and becomes slightly more muffled sounding. Under windy conditions, the mics do a decent job, only occasionally letting in noise.

Tell us what you think below.

Status Between 3ANC microphone demo (Ideal conditions):

Status Between 3ANC microphone demo (Office conditions):

Status Between 3ANC microphone demo (Street conditions):

Status Between 3ANC microphone demo (Windy conditions):

How does the microphone sound to you?

592 votes

Should you buy the Status Between 3ANC?

Centered is the Status Between 3 ANC on a green cutting board with the lid open.
Jasper Lastoria / SoundGuys
The Between 3ANC is quite thick as earbuds go.

While it’s really great to see not-so-mainstream brands challenging the big mainstays, it’s an uphill struggle, and they have a lot to prove. The Status Between 3ANC does some things right, but perhaps at the wrong price. The ANC works, but scarcely attenuates 10dB where it really counts, and the majority of the “hybrid ANC” Status advertises is performed by good old fashioned isolation. When faced with wind, the ANC system tends to produce whooshing in your ears, which makes disabling it altogether more appealing.

One of the Between 3ANC's positives is its long battery life with ANC enabled.

The app’s graphic equalizer is nice and that it labels the specific frequencies impacted is useful for figuring out how to adjust it more easily. It’s surprising that controls aren’t remappable, considering you can find that feature in many earbuds for under $100. However, the controls themselves work well and almost never misfire, even when readjusting the fit of the earbuds. Getting a good fit can prove difficult for some ears even with the stabilizers, and they tend to droop and stick out.

The sound is decent, but low end is pretty weak on all EQ presets. You can up those low frequencies in the equalizer, but this might lead to unwanted distortion. On the plus side, over 8 hours of playback with ANC (such as it is) is an impressive figure, and an IPX5 rating offers some security in daily use. Really the biggest issue we found is the buds not reliably switching off or charging when placed in their case, as it’s most likely to result in frustration.

Status Between 3 ANCStatus Between 3 ANC
Status Between 3 ANC
EQ • IPX5 • Wireless charging
MSRP: $248.99
The Status Between 3 ANC is an upscale set of active noise canceling (ANC) earbuds with AAC and SBC Bluetooth connectivity. It's well made, with an IPX5 rating, and an excellent equalizer. The downsides are the ANC itself could be better and the fit might prove difficult for some ears.

What should you get instead of the Status Between 3ANC?

Grell Audio TWS 1 earbuds in case next to a paper airplane cutout.
The Grell Audio TWS1 can be another option for folks looking to invest in “audiophile” earbuds.

You’ve got a lot of options besides the Status Between 3ANC, including the Status Between Pro, which are pretty similar, but cheaper ($69 at Amazon). They have the same tuning as the Original Between Pro EQ preset found in the Status App. You don’t gain any noise canceling, but you don’t get much on the Between 3ANC anyway.

Staying in the independent realm, the Grell Audio TWS1 offer excellent sound quality and ANC. At release the price was a bit high, but currently the Grell Audio TWS1 sell for $216.81 at Amazon, which is a good price. If you consider yourself an audio enthusiast, and don’t mind chunkier earbuds they’re worth checking out.

Venturing out, you can pick up the reliable Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 True Wireless and get a more comfortable fit and improved sound quality with a bevy of Bluetooth codecs such as aptX Adaptive befitting the price ($169 at Amazon). The Sennheiser app offers greater depth as well. Battery life isn’t quite as impressive, which is an area where the Status buds outdo Sennheiser.

Nothing Ear 1 in hand outside.
The Nothing Ear 1 gets style points, and is very compact.

If you’re concerned with aesthetics, the Nothing Ear 1 sound quite good and look the part as well, with touch controls. Like the Status Between 3ANC the noise canceling does not amaze on the Nothing Ear 1, but the price ($99 at Amazon) better lines up with the performance. Of course, the Ear 1’s battery life isn’t as good on a single charge. There’s also the Nothing Ear 2 ($149 at Amazon) with a more trebly frequency response, but for Android users you get the LHDC codec.

Frequently asked questions

Spatial audio isn’t an advertised feature of the Status Between 3ANC, but if your source device (and streaming service) provides it, you will get the effect on these earbuds, but there’s no head tracking.

Status has a one year warranty against material defects and workmanship from the date of purchase.

Neither is better or worse, but passive isolation and active noise cancelation usually attack different kinds of noise. Typically, isolation blocks high frequencies best, and ANC filters lower frequencies that repeat, like hums or din.

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