Whether you like a good podcast to make that nine to five life bearable or you’re a fitness weapon who needs some serious (sounding) tunes to get you through your workouts; you’ll be wanting some decent ear candy to make the most of the hours you spend plugged in. There’s a huge wireless headphone market at the moment though, and as the technology develops, it’s only getting larger.
In the past few years audio, battery and Bluetooth technology has advanced to harmonious new levels so you can now connect with your smartphone, wire and hassle-free. Of course, some of you will instantly go for the Apple Airpods, which are a very good product. However, if you need sealed in-ear earbuds, or simply would like to look further afield, then this selection might help.
After extensive road, bus, train, plane, ferry and gym testing, this is what we reckon you need to know before buying a set of wireless earbuds;
- Most come with charge stations that plug into laptops and cars.
- Automatic sensors should detect when the earbud is in your ear and start/stop audio.
- High-quality rubber/silicon seals are our recommendation to block out outside noise.
- Tap to answer is one of the better features with Apple’s Airpods. Airpods just got an update too, now featuring wireless charging and improved battery life, and are worth exploring.
- Samsung has entered the wireless earbud race with a very good looking product.
- Bose is still our favourite for sports. Bose also offers a good product for sleeping and flying.
- B&O is a sublime design.
- Master Dynamic is the most expensive for its quality and design.
Skullcandy’s Utah origins become evident the moment you pick them up. However, even though they are designed for snowboarders, skaters and surfers, these buds do anything but hang loose. Sitting tight (but not too tight) in your ear, it’s easy to see why Skullcandy’s Push Truly Wireless Earbuds have become a sweet streetwear staple.
Skullcandy Push Truly Wireless Earbuds with Bud Kit $182
Samsung is a name synonymous with smart tech. Chunky and stylish, yet not aesthetically obsessed like Apple, they make products that sing and don’t charge you a premium. And to be fair, their Galaxy Buds look (and work) pretty damn fine.
Samsung Galaxy Buds $182
Sol Republic makes awesome affordable gadgets like these Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds, which provide premium sound, 3 hours of battery life, a charging case, and epic sweat resistant, for just $209.
Sol Republic Amps Air 2.0 Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds $209
Engineered for the best in class wireless calls and music experience, Jabra has stayed true to its quality origins with the Jabra Elite 65t Wireless offering. These bad boys make conversations sound unerringly clear, with four-microphone technology, wind-noise reduction and 6mm buds that hit your sweet spot just right.
Jabra Elite 65t $240
JBL’s Free Truly Wireless In-Ear headphones offer 24 hours of combined playback (or 4 hours of continuous playback), hands-free calls, a comfort-stay secure fit, 3 ergonomic tip sizes, two gel sleeve sizes and a splash-proof design.
JBL Free Truly Wireless in Ear Headphones $252
Bose is one of the best when it comes to premium audio technology, comfort and performance. The soundsport is no exception, with a noticeable hike in quality compared to some of the other entry level wireless headphones out there. And while the design isn’t quite as sleek as Apple’s AirPods, it is far more comfortable (and less liable to fall out) when working out.
Bose SoundSport Free Wireless Headphones $280
For $319 the AirPods better be good. Fortunately for Apple (less so for your rainy day fund), they are. Distinguishing them from the competition is the voice-activated Siri-Access and their ‘magical’ ability to sense when they are in or out of your ears, and start/stop play accordingly.
Apple Airpods 2 $319
Bose’s sleep buds are your salvation if you live anywhere near a railway station, a jet engine, or if you have a partner who snores like one. They use noise masking sounds (think: the sound of a gently running stream) at frequencies that neutralise common distracting noises, to help you get uninterrupted sleep. Insomniacs Anonymous approved.
Bose Noise Masking Sleepbuds $350
12 hours of playtime (with the charging case) and sweaty and underwater fun awaits you with Jaybird’s fast charging Run XT’s. Great for professional athletes and weekend warriors alike. Three words: get amongst it.
Jaybird RUN XT True Wireless Headphones $363
Cut out wires and noise with one purchase. Sony’s 1000X may seem to be lacking an imaginative name but the product itself is unflappable. It’s compact, minimalist design ensures a discreet fit, its smart listening feature ensures ease of use, and its cutting edge technology provides a sensual audile experience.
Sony 1000X Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones $400
True wireless earphones from one of the higher end brands in the market, Master & Dynamic’s MW07’s are designed to look as good as they sound. Buy ‘em now or forever hold your… tangled old wires.
Master & Dynamic True Wireless Earphones $420
Providing exceptional clarity, fingertip control, extended listening time and a durable yet stylish form, Sennheiser’s epic wireless headphone offering is hard to go past.
*Sennheiser* Momentum True Wireless $420
Inspired by the subtle and unique colours of a Scandinavian Summer, and with a price (and attention to detail) that reflects its company’s EU origins, Bang & Olufsen’s Beoplay E6 are now going international thanks to their broad appeal and epic audile appeal.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E6 $500
If the E6 version doesn’t cut it for you, check out Bang & Olufsen’s E8 model, which wants you to experience true freedom with wire-free charging, superior sound, intuitive touch control and outstanding comfort.
Experience true freedom with wire-free charging, superior sound, intuitive touch control and outstanding comfort.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 2.0 $545
Funky design, but the highest price in the sector. Why? These ‘tortoiseshell’ wireless headphones give you unparalleled sound and a sleek fit worthy of a king. Oh, and they do the whole AirPod ‘magic’ stop/start thing too. All up, their beryllium drivers, silicone ‘fit wings’ and classy stainless steel carrying case (which doubles as a charger) come together to fashion a lethal weapon of phonic destruction.