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Airpods, Samsung Galaxy Buds, Jabra Elite 65T, Sony WF-1000X … our comparison of the best in-ear wireless headphones “true wireless” in the year of 2019.
Need to change Air … pods? If it did not kill the headsets that also converted to Bluetooth, the hegemony of Apple in the market of wireless headphones or “true wireless” is far from artificial. The Airpods have indeed launched the fashion of the “zero cable” in 2017 but they are far from being the only one nor the best choice in the matter.
In two years, technology has indeed had time to improve. From (without) to needle, the new models always offer more autonomy, a Bluetooth connection more stable at the expense of sound quality and often random microphone.
But the models are still a little expensive, hence the interest of choosing well to find earphone in his ear. To help you find the sound that kills, The HuffPost offers this comparison to see-and almost hear- what the best “true wireless” headphones have in the belly.
The choice of The Twasha
Jabra Elite Active 65T
Get it On Amazon for $159.53
|The right choices :
How Twasha selected these products
We tested three models of wireless headphones or “true wireless” for several weeks.
We chose the Airpods (waiting to receive the Airpods 2) who launched this fashion wireless in-ear, their rivals the Samsung Galaxy Buds and the Jabra Elite 65T, which camp since their out the podiums of the different comparisons drawn up by the specialized sites.
Among our assessment criteria, we mainly paid attention to design, ergonomics, Bluetooth connectivity, audio quality and that of microphones and autonomy.
For nearly a month, we used alternately the three models in extended listening and especially mixed, ie for music and handsfree mode.
For the other models that we could not test, we proceeded by curation of the different tests and comparatives made by the French and international specialized sites.
1- Samsung Galaxy Buds, the most beautiful design and the best autonomy
If the Samsung Galaxy S10 had arguments to assert its anti-iPhone status at the time of its release, Samsung Galaxy Buds that accompany it can not claim to be anti-Airpods.
The buds stand out with an autonomy that far exceeds the competition and a very elegant design, at the height of their claims of high-end “true wireless” wireless headphones.
The different tips and stabilizers combined with the lightness of the headphones also make them less afraid of dropping them and losing them than the Airpods.
The sound is correct but nothing more and the quality of the microphones is nothing transcendent. Overall, the performance is not quite at the level of Airpods and especially Jabra 65T yet display the same price.
The compatibility of the application with Android only has something to cool the followers of Apple and makes the use of buds much less intuitive and customizable.
Samsung Galaxy Buds
Get it On Amazon for $117.80
|The right choices :
2- Airpods, perfect on iOS, minimalist on Android
The design, except the absence of cable, is directly modeled on that of Earpods, the filial version of Apple. And even though the grip is surprisingly good despite their smooth plastic surface and the absence of silicone stabilizers, you can not be afraid of losing them by putting on your hood or shaking your head a little too abruptly.
Level pairing, the process is very intuitive on iOS, your device automatically detects Airpods nearby which triggers the opening of a tab to connect.
On any other support, it is necessary to find – because it is really very well hidden – the discrete button of pairing on the back of the box of refill so that the Airpods are detectable.
As for Samsung Galaxy Buds, Airpods offer the bare minimum in terms of touch controls and it will most often manage its playlists directly via the smartphone connected to the headphones.
The quality of the sound is not the best, without being bad, the fault largely due to lack of sound insulation. Despite voices very, if not too readable, the sound of Airpods suffer from quite a bit of distortion.
But as for microphones, Airpods offer quality rendering in hands-free kit with a voice that remains intelligible, except in a noisy environment.
Get it On Amazon for $144.00
|The right choices :
3- Jabra Elite 65T, the best headphones “true wireless”
Robust in performance as in appearance. That’s what best defines the Jabra Elite 65T. The very sober and metallic design gives them an aspect rather “pro” and especially discreet.
If they are forgotten visually, the Jabra Elite 65T know how to be noticed once planted in ear. The maintenance is very good and the insulation almost hermetic, even if they are not waterproof unlike their sports version, the Jabra Elite Active 65T.
A good point for passive noise reduction but can be annoying for the most sensitive people. Especially since outside listening, we feel the solid sounds (whose source is the contact with a solid surface) as footsteps or when we touch the headphones with a “sound box” effect that can disturb .
But if you are afraid of being totally cut off from the outside world, the Jabra Elite 65T lets you hear the surrounding sounds in a “HearThrough” mode thanks to their built-in microphones.
The microphones precisely are one of the strengths of these wireless headphones and offer the best rendering of the market, ahead of the Airpods. Your voice remains clear in all circumstances.
As for the sound, it is also very good and suffers from almost no loss of connection between the headphones and the device to which they are connected. A tour de force achieved through the use of Bluetooth 5.0 which offers excellent stability.
The controls, although they are not tactile but rely on good old buttons are very complete and intuitive. The application, which the Airpods are lacking is very rich and compatible iOS / Android, unlike that of Samsung Galaxy Buds.
Another advantage of Jabra Elite 65T, autonomy. It exceeds five hours and the battery only takes 45 minutes for a full charge. The charging box (micro-USB) allows to perform at least two complete refills.
Jabra Elite Active 65T
Get it On Amazon for $159.53
|The right choices :
4- Sony WF-1000X, the best sound on the market
The latest in-ear version of the Sony 1000X series already revered by all sites specialized for its Bluetooth headset WH-1000XM3, “the WF-1000X offer the best sound performance” on the market, greet the Digital.
If they “offer an incomparable comfort of listening”, it is “thanks to the system of noise canceling embedded”, adds Labo Fnac in its test. Indeed, Sony’s headphones are currently the only ones to offer an active sound insulation system.
The WF-1000X comes with three pairs of silicone or foam tips of different sizes, as well as an alternative stabilizer. Once properly adjusted, the headphones provide sufficient support.
But their oval design (reminiscent of Ridley Scott’s Alien head) makes them fall to the ends, forcing you to readjust them regularly. The dedicated application is not essential, but you can still set your headphones to prioritize either the quality of audio or Bluetooth depending on your environment.
The capture and retransmission of the voices of embedded microphones is “very bad”, nuance “Les Numériques.” Still, the competition is not really more convincing from this point of view, the Airpods and Jabra Elite 65T aside, of course.
|The right choices :
5- PowerBeats Pro, Airpods for athletes (many) too expensive
We can definitely say that Apple’s Powerbeats Pro are more efficient than the Airpods and they do very well for sports use, unlike their cousins.
But they also excel in sectors other than sports and could be very good headphones everyday. Their sober and elegant design allows them to pass everywhere unlike their predecessors, the Powerbeats 3, much more flashy.
The sound was really reworked to reduce without erasing the sound signature (too) worn on the bass Beats had made its trademark. We can regret the absence of active noise reduction, which is far from being a standard on in-ear, and especially the lack of a way of listening to surrounding noise.
Headphones are also among the most comfortable in their class, despite the presence of holding fins that know very well to be forgotten while ensuring optimal support.
On the other hand we can really deplore the quality, in any case the stability, of the Bluetooth connection which remains too random for a pair of buds at 250 euros!
|The right choices :
Overall, the market for 100% wireless or “True Wireless” headphones has made a lot of progress since the release of the Airpods in 2016.
The products embody more and more enduring batteries, waterproofing certifications, Bluetooth connections more stable. But overall, the current offer is still struggling to offer quality sound, even on products over 200 euros.
We have some doubts about their sporting use, as the low maintenance does not really inspire confidence for fear of losing the headphones during too abrupt movements. For sports, we advise you rather indestrucables Jabra Elite Active 65t, more interesting for this use and also in terms of price.
But the very good sound associated with a bluetooth connection in terms of stability and signal quality and a significantly higher autonomy make the Libratone an excellent choice.
With a price just below 200 euros, Track Air + are much more interesting than Powerbeats Pro (250 euros) and their audio performance is close to even those of Sennheiser Momentum, also sold 50 euros more expensive.
How to choose your headphones wirelessly or “true wireless”?
Bluetooth quality and stability
Who says “true wireless” necessarily says Bluetooth connection to connect the two headphones together and the device on which you want to use it. Bluetooth 5.0 is the standard here, ensuring good stability even in the most problematic environments.
we must also ensure the latency and synchronization of the headphones between them. Indeed, some models offer a latency more or less long between the music or the video that you launch on your device and the sounds retransmitted in your ears.
Some models sometimes tend to get out of sync, one taking precedence over the other in full reading for example. In general, these problems are due to the Bluetooth communication system between headphones called “master / slave.”
|Here, the “master” earpiece communicates with the smartphone and shares the music with the second “slave” earpiece. This explains why on some models it is impossible to remove the “master” earphone (often the one on the right) without the other being deactivated.|
Most models are compatible with iOS and Android, but some offer fewer features and are less intuitive depending on the platform chosen.
Comfort and support
All ears are not alike, that’s why choosing headphones delivered with tips and / or silicone stabilizers of different sizes can be a big plus.
Some headphones, by their size or weight, will tend to fall back and dislodge from your ear, forcing you to readjust regularly. A discomfort that can particularly disturb the sportsmen who will be advised to favor the models equipped with support fins.
Sound insulation is obviously stronger on in-ear headphones because they almost completely block the ear canal. Unlike many headphones, almost all true wireless headphones only offer passive noise reduction.
Passive noise reduction is mainly based on the chosen materials and the more or less effective occlusion of the ear canal when the earphones are introduced into the ear.
With active reduction, the process is software and relies on the microphones built into each earpiece that record the surrounding noise and then attenuate it.
If you like to isolate yourself from the world and filter the surrounding noises in transport or office is perfect. But if you are afraid of getting hit in the street by a car that you have not heard arrive, it is better to opt for models that offer a way of listening to outside noises.
Quality of sound and microphones
This is the most subjective part of this comparison. In our tests, we focus mainly on the feeling, the impression left by the headphones after several hours of consecutive listening of different musical genres.
Of course, it is possible to analyze the sound spectrum, the frequency response in the treble and bass … We leave these methods very precise specialized sites to focus on the experience of a lambda user.
But in general, the in-ear better isolates external noise than a headphone. An asset that allows you to listen to your music at a softer volume for your eardrums.
The quality of microphones is meanwhile rather average on headphones “true wireless.” But some models stand out by offering a result in hands-free kit almost similar to the microphone of your smartphone. Again, the number of embedded pickups and especially the quality of Bluetooth are key criteria.
Which headphones for which styles of music?
Tell me what music you listen to, I’ll tell you what headset you need. You may have fallen while reading a headphone test or comparison on cryptic expressions such as “presence”, “heat of a sound” or “small airy side.”
You then surely nodded, pretending to have understood to forget the brain cramp that was beginning to launch. But then, what is a “good bass sound, with a good presence in the low mids and a certain treble clarity without pulling towards the nasal”?
These words are not (only) intended to shine in society. Indeed, the objective criteria are not lacking to evaluate the quality of an audio material.
But next to the obsessed specs, a fringe of musicos focuses on the sound qualification of a headset or headphones, their signature, also called bandwidth, which will greatly affect the rendering of your music depending on the style you listen.
Do not worry, we will stop talking in hieroglyphics but rather explain what lies behind these lyricisms of “his hot”, “signature V” in order to understand which headphones, and therefore what signature, choose according to his favorite musical style.
Bassphones for Rap, Hip Hop and RnB
In the jargon musicos, a bass listener is, drum rolls, very focused on the bass. The human ear is naturally more sensitive to medium frequencies.
If you listen to big sound based dirty punchlines, a flat sound that lacks bass frequencies that are low is not ideal at all. So bass headphones propose a bandwidth that amplifies, like an equalizer, this part of the audible range.
The bass is more dynamic but the bandwidth is not very wide in the treble. If you listen to a sound rich in information, they can be drowned under the weight of bass.
Hot earphones for classical music or Jazz
The common point to all these headphones is a bandwidth where the medium is featured, the bass seems light in comparison to models more “trend”, but it is more realistic, better integrated and less tiring over time.
These headphones allow you to enjoy more defined music, the essence of the musical message is actually in the medium, and not in the treble and bass as we often think. They are particularly recommended for voice lovers, whatever they are.
V as Vendetta for electro and hard rock
For the listening of electro or hard rock, it is necessary to privilege headphones proposing a nice bandwidth, broad but with a serious percussive and definite treble.
This amplification at the antipodes of the audible range is materialized by a frequency curve which forms a “V”.
On the other hand, it’s impossible to talk about this famous V-shaped signature, which flatters the basses and defines the highs, not to mention Bose, which makes its trademark.
W like walou, for those who do not want to miss anything and hear everything
You have the hearing of a bat and do not want to miss anything of your favorite tracks. You want to hear everything, absolutely everything. Bass to treble through the mediums, so you want a signature W that flatters your entire audible range.
We must then look at very versatile headphones that offer a very balanced bandwidth, no imbalance to the basics or treble, suitable for all musical styles.
Why trust us :
Twasha do their best to offer you the best shopping guides possible. This involves introducing you to trends, ensuring their interest, qualifying them, but also testing and comparing a multitude of products and services.
The Twasha tries hard to perform extensive tests, but it is sometimes difficult to get them, not to mention the lack of time faced with the multitude of objects, hardware and virtual, available for purchase. When journalists can not handle the products, they do their best to offer you the most informed and thoughtful advice possible to advise your purchase.
We thus compare the tests and comparisons made by our colleagues, analyze the opinions left online on many specialized sites and merchants. We also regularly interview specialists in the field, ensuring their independence from the brands mentioned in our tests and comparisons.
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