Recently, I promoted the “Help Me Choose” feature of the Brains Report website on our Facebook page. And, one commenter was in desperate need of a pair of wireless earbuds to wear while working out. Well, I take Brainiacs’ concerns seriously so I have put in the research and come up with the following report on wireless earbuds. What you read may shock you.
What Are Wireless Earbuds
The term “wireless earbuds” is used for a wide array of earbuds, including ones that clearly have wires. For instance, there is a style that features a weird strap that connects the two buds, and these buds each have little ear loop things. It looks like something Guy Fieri would wear while pretending to enjoy deep-fried butter. We are not going to explore these headphones. We are going to find the best “true wireless” earbuds. They’re kind of like high-tech hearing aids only they threaten your long-term hearing abilities while you blast dubstep to get hyped for your 405-pound squat.
I did a lot of research, and the conclusion I came to is that you should not buy true wireless earbuds. At least, you shouldn’t buy the ones that are currently available on the market. There is a long list of reasons why they just plain suck.
Not all true wireless earbuds fit the same in all ears. Therefore, those fancy headphones could easily fall out while you are going for a jog. Big deal: you can just pick them up, right? But, what if they fall into the sewer and a clown makes off with them? Or worse yet, your $200 earbuds could fall into the throat of a stupid kid causing them to choke to death. Then, you lose your listening device and have a lawsuit on your hands.
This is a relatively new technology, and there are still plenty of bugs to be worked out. If you don’t want to be the guinea pig, stick with wired earbuds. Otherwise, if money isn’t an object and you plan on staying stationary or in a place free of drains, kids, or other bottomless pits, then, give true wireless earbuds a shot. Let me recommend your best options.
If You Have Apple Devices, Buy the Apple AirPods
Apple has come the closest to mastering true wireless earbud technology with the AirPods. The only problem is that you lose a lot of functionality when you pair them with non-Apple products. With the AirPods you can speak to Siri or make phone calls without touching your iPhone. The tunes last for up to five hours on a single charge. And, they store in a case that holds up to a 24-hour charge. With just 15 minutes of charging, you can get up to 3 hours of listening time. Another cool feature is that the AirPods can tell when they are in your ears to automatically connect or pause your podcast as they come out.
I am not alone in recommending the AirPods. The reviewer at The Verge found that this model provides the best combination of performance, features, and affordability. He was even impressed with how well it worked when paired with an Android. CNET gave the AirPods four stars because of how convenient and compact they are but disliked their look and sound quality. And, Wirecutter appreciated how clear phone calls were using these buds. However, the reviewer was annoyed by how heavily they rely on Siri.
The AirPods have a 4.4-star rating based on more than 800 reviews on Amazon. Many of the users are impressed with how long the AirPods hold a charge and the sound quality compared to EarPods. One buyer put hers through the wash by accident and found they worked fine after a few days of drying out. She also noted that you can use the Find My iPhone App to track down lost AirPods, but it doesn’t work if they don’t have a charge or if they are in their case.
If Using Anything Non-Apple, the Jabra Elite 65t Is Best
The Jabra Elite 65t works with Siri, Alexa, and Google Now. It is a little bit larger than the AirPods, but it doesn’t have as dorky of a look. These earbuds last for about five hours of play time, and the charging case adds another ten hours. Jabra backs this product with a two-year dust and water resistance warranty. And, the 65t holds an IP55 water protection rating, which means it can stand up to dust and water projected by a nozzle from any direction.
This is Wirecutter’s pick for the best true wireless earbud because of the excellent sound quality, clear calls, simple controls, and adequate battery life. However, buyer reviews on Amazon are not as glowing. The biggest complaint is that the Jabra App isn’t very helpful. There are some quibbles about the sound quality. Yet, there are also plenty of positives. A collection of people with weird ears have all expressed joy in how these earbuds fit their freakish ears.
If You Don’t Want to Spend Much and Want to Roll the Dice…
For under $30, you can try the Losei Dual Wireless Earbuds. The battery only lasts for three hours and takes up to two hours to charge. And, it’s only compatible with some devices, including some iPhone, LG, and Samsung Galaxy phones. Fortunately, they offer an 18-month replacement warranty and a somewhat dubious satisfaction guarantee: “if you are not satisfied with your purchase for any reason, please feel free to contact us.” By the way, please feel free to contact ANY company if you’re not satisfied with their product.
Nerd Techy and Tom’s Guide are the only expert sites that recommend these earbuds, and their recommendations are conditional. On Amazon, the Losei Dual Wireless Earbuds have a dismal 2.9-star rating. The positive comments are generally some form of “it’s a great product for its price.” Many of the negatives are from users who had trouble pairing the buds with their phone. Make sure it’s compatible with your device before ordering!
Do you have experience with true wireless earbuds? Now’s your chance to share! Please comment below with what you think of this new technology.