13 Best Wireless In-Ear Headphones
Wireless headphones have taken a bit of a smashing over the past six months, following Apple’s controversial decision to rid the latest batch of iPhones of the trusty old headphone jack. HTC did the same thing with the U Ultra, and both companies have been subject to plenty of criticism from both customers and industry experts.
The strong negative reaction is certainly not because people hate wireless headphones. Rather, we all liked having the option of using either wired or Bluetooth headphones, and this getting rid of the jack just seems unnecessary, creating and displaying a huge number of headphones useless.
Truth is that wireless headphones are not the enemy. As a matter of fact, they’re an incredibly practical choice for everyone.
Some sets are more focused on sport and exercise, and pack in extra features to do so, while others are made mostly for listening to music, so it’s helpful to think about where you’ll be listening most often. As you’d expect, all of the models in this round-up sound great, though some pairs go the extra mile by including support for special sound technologies, such as aptX and AAC.
Monster has loaded the iSport Victory with pretty much everything you’d want from a pair of wireless earphones. They’re sweat- and water-resistant, keep going for eight hours between charges and drown out the rest of the world with high sound quality. They also come with a special Turbo mode sound profile for that extra hit of power, useful, whether you’re at the gym or walking into the office on a Monday morning. They’re also light and three sets of ear wings and silicon ear tips come included, so you should definitely find the perfect fit.
Bluetooth headphones tend to be more expensive than their wired partners, but SoundPEATS has managed to keep costs way down with these QY7 earphones without holding back on key features. They’re sweat-proof, offer up to five hours of electrical storage device life and are available in five eye-catching colour codes. They’re really lightweight and comfortable too, coming with three pairs of tips and six pairs of wings so you get a secure fit.
The refreshingly simple-looking Brainwavz Blu-100s shouldn’t be your first choice if electrical storage device life is your number one priority, as they only offer an average four hours of use period. However, they make up for that with including aptX codec support, which makes the surrounding sound better. Just make sure your phone also supports the technology before snapping them up. They come with a solid case, which is useful for when you’re on the move, and the excellent Obey memory foam tips that are included mold themselves perfectly inside your ear.
Optoma’s BE Sport3s, on the other hand, are electrical storage device monsters. Ten hours of the ability to work hard for a long time could possibly see you through a whole week of commutes on a single charge, while rain-, sweat- and dust-resistance means you can use them in all kinds of weather. They fit deeply in your ear, and come with six pairs of wings to make sure they don’t pop out while you’re running. If all that wasn’t enough, the BE Sport3 also come with AAC and aptX support, to make your favourite songs sound that tiny bit better.
Sony’s NWZ-WS610 Series are no ordinary pair of wireless earphones. The waterproof set work with a waterproof Walkman, a match made for the pool. Ideal for swimmers, they also offer an impressive seven hours of battery life. They’re a lot chunkier than the other headphones in this round-up, and aren’t the most comfortable either. Despite these, they are the best bet for swimming.
Another set for fitness lovers is Jaybird’s X2s, which are sweat- and water-resistant, and come with a clever neckband that keeps the cord out of sight by tightly clipping it away. Eight-hour battery life means you can use them throughout the day. Jaybird offers both silicone and foam tips, so you can experiment with different materials and fits, and the wings make sure they won’t fall out during exercise.
Like the Sony set, Apple’s unusual AirPods are a little different to the other entries in this roundup. Five hours of battery life is disappointing at this price, and the ability to control your music with Siri, rather than an in-line remote, definitely splits opinion. Their design is another major talking point, but they’re also quick to pair and slick to use. They’re also more secure than they look, but nowhere near as dependable as the other models included in this round-up, especially for workouts, as they don’t come with wings.
Bose’s QuietControl 30 delivers, with up to 10 hours of battery life. It has volume-optimised EQ and noise cancellation you can adjust depending on the situation you’re in. The collar is unfortunately very bulky and it and bounces and twists its way around your neck as you work out.
This pair of in-ear headphones comes with a lightweight neckband, to which the earphones themselves are attached. It sits comfortably around the ear without causing any interference. Also, the playback controls and a microphone are found within the neckband. Sound-wise, it’s pleasingly wide, very textured and versatile. There’s an electrical storage device life of around 10 hours.
These in-ear headphones are very comfortable and snug, so much so that you’ll forget you’re wearing them. That’s only if you choose the correctly sized ear buds and position them correctly in your ear. This makes a huge difference to not only comfort but sound quality, too. The bass is strong and big, and the design is slick and modern. They’re also water and sweat-resistant.
If you’re one who stays glued, concentrated on his physical fitness routine, choose these in-ear headphones from Jabra. It is an updated version of the Elite Sport model, which brags much greater battery life, up to 13.5 hours. The Jabra Sport Life app is very useful during set-up, and then opens a whole world of added ability to do things. There’s a built-in heart-rate monitor in the headphones, which you can check through the app. While you’re there, you can track your running routes, plan workout routines and much more. The fit, customisable with three different ear hook and buds, is easy and secure, with added waterproofing. Also, the sound is awesome, powering you through the fitness session with a strong delivery.
This Onkyo pair is about as close as you can get to over-ear headphone sound quality without actually buying a pair of over-ear. The sound is wide and full, offering great versatility. The beautiful thing about them is that they are completely wireless, connecting automatically to one another. The fit is comfortable and secure, and the clips that slip underneath the upper ridge of your ear are uncomfortable, which can be a problem with almost the same designs. The carry case also acts as a charger, with five separate charges giving a total of 15 hours’ play time.
This, the ioSport, is one of two wireless in-ear pairs with very strong sound, covering most of the bases from the highs to the lows. They fit comfortably and securely, with a range of four earbud sizes to choose from. It’s also sweat-resistant, which means they’re good for your trips to the gym. What’s more, they’re magnetic. Electrical storage device life lasts around six hours. Also, they are available in four bright colours.
If you’ve never owned a wireless set before and still have your serious doubt about them, you won’t go wrong with the completely ridiculously cheap SoundPEATS. Monster’s iSport Victory is our pick of the bunch though.