As shocked as many of us were that the new iPhone did not include a headphone jack, it is undeniable that wireless earbuds would eventually become the norm over their wired predecessors. And, not to mention, even though the Apple AirPods have just been released, there has been a host of wireless earbuds on the market for quite some time already. Some even come with an AI built in to block out noises. As such, they are gaining in popularity among early adopters who want to give a totally wireless mobile experience a shot.
However, there are many to choose from and they cover a wide a variety of price points. It is, as such, useful to have a guide to choose the one that best suits you. This article will first detail what the benefits of wireless earbuds are and then go into the nitty gritty about each of the best wireless earbuds you can buy online right now.
What are the Benefits of Wireless Earbuds?
Much has been discussed over why manufacturers should even start pushing wireless earbuds. For, if wired ones have worked so well for so long, why the need to make the switch to wireless ones, especially when it’ll make using the plethora of legacy devices difficult. Point taken. However, there are quite a few benefits that wireless earbuds offer over traditional ones. Not to mention, it is quite possible that we’ve lived with grievances of wired headphones for so long that we’ve become blind to how wireless earbuds could improve our daily lives.
So, first, let’s go over the obvious: wireless earbuds don’t have the issues associated with having wires. For instance, since they don’t have wires they don’t get caught in anything. If you’ve ever known the annoyance of having your earbuds snagged violently from your ears, you’ll know what a benefit this is. Furthermore, they can’t get tangled. So if you walking out in the cold, you’ll never need to spend time frantically trying to put them on. And, last, wireless earbuds don’t fall out of your ears as easily. The reason for this is simple: the slack of the wires of your earbuds tug on them and gradually dislodge them from your ear. Without wires, you only have the weight of the buds to worry about.
However, there is the issue of charging. Like all things wireless, they are battery powered. Many wireless earbuds are rated at 3 hours, however, some of the higher quality ones can hold a charge for up to 5 hours. They do this intelligently managing power by understanding if they are in an ear or not and by utilizing Bluetooth technology more efficiently. The ones that do this best contain the W1 chip.
What is the W1 Chip
The W1 chip is a chip or specifications for a chip is both used by AirPods and third party wireless earbud manufacturers who want to either have the same feature set as the AirPods or want to be able to connect to Apple hardware. The chip allows the wireless earbuds they power to use a series of sensors to help the earbuds understand if they are in an ear and turn on or off depending on this information. Furthermore, it allows them to have a higher range than normal Bluetooth headphones and pair with your device easily. What does this all mean? If you’ve ever wanted to share your earbuds with a friend, you’ll know that it can be somewhat cumbersome and you don’t have much mobility. With wireless earbuds using the W1 chip, you can easily share the earbuds with a friend and be across the room and still listen together.
The Best Wireless Earbuds Reviewed
This next part of the guide will review the best wireless earbuds for mobile that you can buy online. As they are “for mobile” they will work with any smartphone you need to pair them to. It is also important to note that we’ve decided, due to their ubiquity, not to include the Apple AirPods in this article. They are already well known as providing a great wireless experience and we want to showcase other great third party wireless earbud providers.
While not exactly “earbuds”, the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones provide amazing sound quality for a wireless device. They are over-the-ear headphones are have a huge battery life of 20 hours of playing time. Furthermore, they provide amazing active noise canceling and can take calls. The built-in microphone also cancels out disturbing ambient noise so the person on the other end can hear you better. And, best of all, they have a cable that lets you use them wired, allowing these headphones to work with any device you have. This device is a top pick for anyone who is looking for amazing wireless over-the-ear headphones.
The TaoTronics Bluetooth wireless headphones are an entry level wireless headphone set. They aren’t fully wireless as they have a connecting cable in the middle meaning you’ll never lose just one of the buds. However, for the asking price, they offer great sound. The best part about this headset is that it lasts for 5 hours on a single charge. It does so by utilizing Bluetooth 4.1 technology to increase battery efficiency. Because it has a wire in the middle, it has a control box attached that houses the microphone and volume controls.
As you would expect, the Bose 761529-0010 SoundSport Wireless Headphones offer a wireless earbud package with great sound. While not exactly entry level, the price point still provides a great value. You get a fantastic sound quality from a wireless device that lasts up to an astonishing 6 hours. As they are meant for exercising, these headphones are water resistant and are made to fit snugly in your ear.
The Powerbeats3 Wireless In-Ear Headphones are the first W1 chip ear buds reviewed on this list. As such, they provide all of the functionality you would get with your Apple AirPods. However, the defining feature of these earbuds are their battery life. They pack an insane amount of juice for their size. A single charge will last up to 12 hours of play time and, not to mention, you can perform an “emergency” charge of 5 minutes to power these headphones for 1 hour.
The only Sony device on this list, the Sony MDRXB950BT/B Headphones provides a midrange wireless earbud experience. The provide average sound for an over-the-ear design and last up to 20 hours. A great choice for anyone looking for wireless over the ears on a budget.
The Hussar Magicbuds are a low budget option for those who want to give wireless a try, but aren’t yet sold on it. And for the price, these earbuds give amazing value. They provide up to 7 hours of battery life, which is very high for earbuds of this type. Of course, the sound quality isn’t what you’ll get on a high end Bose pair, but they’ll definitely get you through casual use.
The Phaiser BHS-730 wireless earbuds are another budget option for those looking to start out with wireless earbuds. They have built in magnets so they stick together when not in use. As can be expected, they don’t offer amazing sound, but give a great battery life of 5 hours of talk time using the mic and speakers.
At just under $26, the TaoTronics TT-BH06 BL wireless earbuds are the least expensive wireless earbuds on the list. They come from a reputable manufacturer and have still a great build quality for the low price. And they are fully featured as well. You can summon Siri, take calls and control your sound volume. Definitely a great choice for those on a small budget
The AYL 4009152 Wireless in-ear headset is the last budget option on this list. A key differentiator of this device is that it can connect to up to 2 phones at one time and offers a high 7 hour battery life during use and 175 hours of standby time.
The Bose SoundSport Pulse Wireless Headphones are a set of earbuds made with endurance sports in mind. They can connect to any device using either Bluetooth or NFC and fit very snug in the ear. Unlike the other headsets, these earbuds also monitor and track your heart rate with a built-in sensor. A great option for runners or those who workout for long periods of time.
The Bragi Wireless earbuds are the only truly wireless earbuds on this list as each bud is not connected to the other with a wire. They feature a stunning design and, incredibly, feature an on-board 4GB MP3 player right inside the buds. They are also built with passive sound canceling to let you focus on whatever it is that you are listening to. Furthermore, they also contain a heart rate monitor for those who use the buds while exercising. However, these features come at a cost as the device lasts for 3 hours per charge. However, if you are looking to go fully wireless, these are one of the best wireless earbuds you can choose.
So, depending on what kind of wireless experience you are looking for, you’ll likely find it in one of the devices listed above. We’ll be updating this page as new devices are released so keep an eye out.
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