Rome wasn’t built in a day. We have seen this with Bluetooth earbuds. A few decades ago, Bluetooth earbuds were the worst. Though heavily marketed, very few people were willing to fork out a fortune to use them for their entertainment. But times have changed. Now people cannot seem to have enough of them. They are chic, trendy and loved. This is largely courtesy of improved wireless technology like aptX and improvements in battery life.
But who is to thank for these major industry strides? Well, if we were to make a list, Qualcomm would be at the top. After all, they developed aptX codec. Other companies like Nuforce, Plantronics, Jabra, RHA, and Jaybird would follow for role they have played in effecting the changes experienced. These companies have committed their resources to the improvement of audio quality and battery life.
And while all this was happening in the background, consumers weren’t truly aware of the changes until Apple and Google got in on the fun in 2016 and 2017 respectively. It is in these years that these companies decided to cut the cord on their earphones. This move helped to fast forward the growth and popularity of wireless earphone technology.
Now, all these changes are great. However, they can be confusing for the average buyer. This is especially when industry keywords like aptX, true wireless and the like are thrown around. So to help you make the right decision, we have taken time to review a bunch of wireless earbuds and compiled a list of those we thought were worth your time.
Check the review list down below.
True Wireless Vs Wireless Earbuds
Now before we sink our teeth deep into the reviews, there’s something we should clear up – the difference between wireless and true wireless earbuds. You’ve probably come across the debate and wondered what in the world it was all about. Well, here, is a simple break down to get you up to speed with wireless tech lingo.
Wireless earbuds use Bluetooth technology. These have been around for a long time. But as mentioned above, they weren’t as popular since the music experience wasn’t all that. The Bluetooth connection was intermittent. But aptX technology came to their rescue. But even with this technology, these earbuds have wires connecting them to the Bluetooth compartments. Note that these still connect to music gadgets Via Bluetooth.
True wireless earbuds, on the other hand, don’t have a cord. Unlike wireless earbuds, they don’t have a cord between the earbuds. Everything is contained in the earbud. In this guide, we shall focus our sights on the wireless earbuds. True Wireless earbuds will be covered on a separate guide.
What to Look For in the Best Wireless Earbuds
Theirs is no way you’d be willing to spend your hard earned cash on earbuds with crappy sound. And trust us there are some we could bear listening to. The highs, lows and, mid-ranges should be well balanced. Sound quality is most important for those who listen to music throughout the day.
Now, the sound quality is determined by internal drivers. Driver sizes are given in terms of the diameter. Generally, the larger the earbud driver the louder the earbud is. Driver sizes vary between 8 and 15mm.
Though wireless earbuds have lots of benefits over wired earbuds, their downside is limited battery life. A solid wireless pair should last anywhere between 5 and hours on a single charge. This should be enough to get you through the day. But in case it doesn’t, on the upside, they charge pretty fast. Heck, for some, you can continue enjoying your music as you charge.
Water and Sweat Resistant
Though you probably don’t intend to work out with these earbuds, this feature comes in pretty handy. You never know when you’ll be caught in the rain or in a heat wave while running errands.
Design and Comfort
Generally, wireless earbuds feature the same design. They come in a neckband style. The ‘bone’ runs around the back of your neck. They are designed to be snug. For added comfort, the earbuds should also fit snug in the ear canal. This reduces the chances of falling off while exercising.
We spend quite a great deal of time testing out some of the highly reviewed wireless earbuds in 2018. To get dependable results, we tested them in varied environments like in the gym, in the streets and at home. We considered the above feature when testing them out.
For those that we couldn’t test, we depended on expert and consumer reviews. In our line of work, we’ve learned not to ignore consumer reviews. They are a gem and provide facts (well, aside from those who are out for revenge and are just bitter. Yes, these consumers exist).
Reviews of the Best Wireless Earbuds
When the Jaybird X2 was released, it was an instant hit with the casual runners and athletes. Their reputation grew courtesy of their high-quality sound and rugged and solid construction. What’s even better, the price seems to keep getting lower. Being the X2’s successor, the X3 is designed to carry the brand name to greater heights. It has every feature the X2 came with plus some improvements.
Though they are considered to be sports earbuds, they feature hydrophobic Nano-coating which wicks the moisture away. They are designed to be comfortable for daily use. For comfort, Jaybird X3 comes with silicone ear fins which attach to the ear and are secure. The battery life is commendable. It offers 8 hours of music play.
The earbuds have 6mm drivers. These offer loud and high-quality bass. Even better, with the MySound App, for IOS and Android, you can fine tune the sound to suit your preferences.
- Excellent adjustable sound through the App
- Compact and durable design
- 8-hour battery life
- Intermittent signal
- A universal US charger would’ve been better
We loved the noise canceling abilities on these earphones. Cleary Sony gave it their all on this front. Here’s the thing to complement the noise cancellation feature, they added atmospheric pressure optimization. This makes them perfect for flying.
In addition to these, the sound they produce is state of the art courtesy of the aptX HD support. What’s more, they have a smart auto setting which automatically adjusts the sound according to the ambient sound. Couple these qualities with a robust and durable form factor and you get superb wireless earbuds. They can comfortably survive daily use.
Its battery lasts for 10 hours which is better than most wireless earbuds have.
- It’s optimized for use with Google Assistant
- Long battery life
- Supports hands-free calling
- Noise cancellation
- The adaptive sound control is fairly slow
Though is branded for sports, we found that it’s perfect for daily use as well. Actually, the features that make it great for exercising like water resistance make it popular among casual listeners. The sound from these earphones is great and the ear tips are a perfect fit. Actually, the tips are in 3 sizes. They are all made from soft silicon shaped into fins. They provide a loose yet secure and comfortable fit. The loose fit allows ambient noise through. It’s perfect for those who want to enjoy music but still be aware of their surroundings.
The Bose SoundSport offer great sound. The mid-range and bass are pretty decent. Overall, the battery lasts for 6 hours on a single charge. In addition to Bluetooth, this pair has NFC technology.
- NFC pairing
- Comfortable and secure fit
- Decent sound quality
- Water resistant
- Average battery life
Optoma NuForce Be Sport4
NuForce truly took their time creating a piece of art. These earbuds have a sleek and solid build. They have high performance and are ideal for everyday use and sports use.
They are perfect for sports given that they are sweat proof. The battery lasts for 10 hours on music playback. And when you forget to charge the earbuds, a quick 15 minutes charging will provide you with 2 hours of music playback. Insane right?
For a comfortable fit, the earbuds have a spin fit twin blade ear tip which offers maximum stability, comfort and secure fit.
- IPX5 water resistance rating
- Quick charge
- 10-hour battery life
- Not ideal for one-year listening
Anker SoundBuds Slim+
Now you probably aren’t aware of this brand yet. But this doesn’t negate the fact that it is a gem. The SoundBuds Slim+ are of high-quality and designed to last. The earbuds feature an ear hook design for a secure and comfortable fit. The earbuds have an IPX5 rating and weigh only ounces. They are so light you can forget you have them on you.
Inside they sport 6mm drivers that produce solid and deep bass. The battery lasts for 7 hours which is perfect for athletes and commuters. However, marathoners may have to think twice before getting this pair.
- Lightweight and sleek design
- Water resistant
- Deep and solid bass
- Average battery life
- Takes 1.5 hours to fully recharge
What’s Your Pick?
Though all of these are the best in the industry, they each have their pros and cons. So needless to say they will appeal differently to different people. Which one did you love best? Which one will you be getting?
Whichever you choose, find comfort that it’s among the best in the industry. Also, do note that these wireless earbuds vary greatly in price.