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Best wireless earbuds: ranking of bluetooth models in 2020 Best Wireless Headphones


What to look for when choosing wireless headphones?

Before going to the store, it will not be superfluous to study the list of important characteristics that you should pay attention to first. Below we list the main ones:

  1. Form Factor Distinguish between earplugs, earbuds, on-ear and full-size. To determine which is more convenient, it is better to try each model live.
  2. Case. The earbuds and earbuds are often supplied in a carrying case for storing, carrying, and charging the battery. It can be made of cheap or high-quality materials, perform fast or long-term charging, or have a charge indicator or not.
  3. Specifications. These include the frequency range (a person is able to perceive frequencies from 20 Hz to 20 kHz), sensitivity (in decibels, the maximum volume depends on this parameter) and resistance (impedance, measured in ohms, affects the possibility of using in tandem with a particular technique ).
  4. The presence of a microphone and noise reduction. Are you going to use your “ears” as a headset? Look at specifications – microphone and noise cancellation should be included.
  5. Bluetooth version. The newer the version (the newest at the beginning of 2020 is 5.2), the greater the range the device can cover and the higher the data transfer rate will be supported.
    Best wireless earbuds: ranking of bluetooth models in 2020 Best Wireless Headphones
  6. Battery capacity. The autonomy of the headphones will depend on this parameter, that is, the duration of their operation on a single charge. Advanced models are capable of working up to 30–70 hours away from the outlet.
  7. Profiles. The Headset profile allows you to manage phone options (primarily calls) when using the headphones as a headset. The A2DP profile will provide high-quality stereo sound, AVRCP will expand the remote control capabilities, and the AptX (HD) support will allow you to transfer data in the best quality, almost like an Audio CD.

The presence of protection against moisture. Relevant for athletes and romantics walking in the rain to their favorite music.

  1. Control elements. Conveniently, if the headphones themselves have audio playback control buttons – you don’t have to take your smartphone out of your pocket every time.

Time, character and other circumstances

First you need to decide where, in what conditions and for how long you are going to listen to music with headphones: at home, on the way to work, during sports or on long trips. This is important not only from the point of view of autonomy (how long the device can work on a single charge), but also design: in some headphones you can easily spend a whole day, in others – one and a half to two hours, after which it is advisable to take a break. Sports models, on the other hand, should be confident in their ears when performing exercises, be protected from sweat and water, and also sound high quality and loud.

Comparison of characteristics

Model frequency range Sensitivity Working hours Weight Price
Samsung Galaxy Buds 20 – 20,000 Hz 6 h 12 g 6 900 ₽
Apple AirPods Pro 4.5 h 5.4 g 17 138 ₽
Xiaomi Redmi AirDots 20 – 20,000 Hz 4 h 4.1 g 1 094 ₽
Sony WI-C400 8 – 22000 Hz 20 h 35 g 2 064 ₽
Apple AirPods 2 MV7N2 20 – 20,000 Hz 5 h 4 g 8 960 ₽
Bixton AirOns Plus 3 h 4 g 3 700 ₽
HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 30 – 17000 Hz 4 h 9 g 8 690 ₽
Apple AirPods 20 – 20,000 Hz 5 h 4 g 9 560 ₽
Bose QuietComfort 35 II 20 – 20,000 Hz 115 dB / mW 20 h 235 g 15 390 ₽
Audio-Technica ATH-SR30BT 5 – 35000 Hz 99 dB / mW 70 h 193 g 7 990 ₽
Marshall Major III Bluetooth 20 – 20,000 Hz 97 dB / mW 30 h 178 g 5 940 ₽
JBL T450BT 20 – 20,000 Hz 100 dB / mW 11 h 320 g 1 499 ₽
Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT 5 – 45000 Hz 97 dB / mW 15 h 310 g 47 990 ₽
Sony WH-1000XM3 4 – 40,000 Hz 104 dB / mW 38 h 255 g 16 990 ₽
Sony WHH900N h.ear on 2 Wireless NC 5 – 40,000 Hz 103 dB / mW 28 h 290 g 13 650 ₽

It is best to choose wireless headphones based on the type of use:

  • Listening to music at home or outdoors. In noisy places, the most comfortable in wireless headphones with active noise canceling: Sony WH-1000XM3, Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless, Bowers & Wilkins PX5, Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 SE, Sony WI-1000X, Sony WF-1000XM3, HUAWEI FreeBuds 3, Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, Apple Airpods Pro (2019). See also TOP 15: Wired and wireless headphones for music.
  • Sports and active: earbuds, earplugs, true wireless, neckband models and dedicated sports on-ear headphones. Sony WI-1000X, Apple Airpods Pro (2019), Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless, Sony WF-1000XM3, HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 completely wireless + analogs. TOP 10: Best Headphones for Sports.
  • PC, work and play. Any full size model with a good microphone. The best options from the TOP’a Sony WH-1000XM3, Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 SE and Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700. Models with a microphone on a cable or a low-quality microphone would be an unsuccessful choice. PC Models: TOP 10: Best Gaming Headphones.
  • Headphones for phone and conversation. All TOP models presented below will do; See also: TOP-15: The best headphones for your phone with a quality microphone.

Wireless radio headphones (headsets) with DECT transmission – convenient for offices and watching TV. The sound is not musical, but they hold a charge for a long time and have a long range (on average 50-100 meters from the source). If you only need headphones for TV or a headset only for talking, then DECT radio headphones are a good choice. Most bluetooth models are also suitable for TV (if the TV has a bluetooth module) and for conversations. TOP 10: Best Wireless Headphones for TV

So which wireless headphones are best? – In short, in this rating – Sony WH-1000XM3. In more detail, then you need to build on the place of use: home, street, work. Kinds of use: for PC and games, for phone, for talking.

What can you save on? – NFC chip (usually useless), active noise cancellation (not everyone needs), premium quality and equipment is also included in the price (perhaps it makes sense to choose something with a minimum set).

Pros and cons of wireless headphones

  • No wires, convenience. This, of course, is the main plus. Nothing interferes, does not delay, does not restrict freedom. Bluetooth connectivity also has its limits, but they are much wider than wired ones. And they are constantly expanding. The sector of fully wireless headphones is booming: earbuds and plugs that do not have wires even between the cases.

  • Rich functionality. Most of the additional functions are implemented precisely in wireless headphones, because they already have a lot of electronics. And no one expects audiophile sound quality from them, the priority is convenience. Active noise cancellation, “transparency” mode, “smart” pause, technologies for improving and processing sound “on the fly”, functional source control (playback, volume, and other functionality through the voice assistant): all this and much more can now be found mainly in wireless headphones. And it is thanks to the demand for them that these areas of technology are developing.

  • Large selection. We have already entered an era when, when people say “headphones,” they mean wireless. Otherwise, they will clarify what they are talking about “wired headphones”. And now there are more Bluetooth models than wired ones. All the most interesting novelties in this segment. Except, perhaps, audiophile. Even gaming, for example, options with a wireless connection (but via a radio channel) are becoming more and more.

  • Progress. As a result, all new technologies are being created for wireless headphones. Bluetooth communication is becoming more stable, the sound quality is getting better. All new developments in the field of consumer audio technology belong to the wireless segment.

  • Sound and communication quality. Despite the fact that now “wireless sound” is much better than it was a few years ago, but it is still far from the quality available “over the wire”. As good as Bluetooth headphones sound, you can easily find a wired model that will give you a better, more detailed, natural and lively sound. Well, there are still communication artifacts even in the best models. It is enough to get to a place with a loaded “air”.

  • Price. The postulate “expensive Bluetooth headphones provide the same sound quality as a wired model is 2 times cheaper” is still more or less true. And if in the budget and middle price segment the difference has smoothed out (wireless headphones under $ 100 sound better than wired models for $ 50), then in the “top” one it remains noticeable.

  • Autonomy. Yes, now there are wireless headphones that can work on a single charge for up to 40 hours (or TWS, which will last more than 100 hours with charging from the case), and these are already comfortable indicators, but there are a couple of nuances. Firstly, there are still few models with such impressive autonomy. Secondly, it’s still +1 gadget on charge sooner or later. Wired headphones will never fail in this regard.

5 best Bluetooth headphone manufacturers

  1. Sony. This company has always been at the forefront of technological progress. It is difficult to overestimate their contribution to the field of audio technology. And now they are producing a wide variety of wireless headphones. Sony understands exactly what Bluetooth is the future (at least short term) of personal audio. Therefore, they offer not only dozens of models of headphones and speakers in different price categories (from very budgetary to “flagship” and expensive), but also develop their own technologies for playback and wireless transmission of sound: LDAC codec, proprietary active noise cancellation system, “recovery” algorithm records of poor quality and so on.
  2. Sennheiser. This German company specializes only in the production of audio equipment. Mainly headphones and microphones. Sennheiser produces a number of wireless headphones, among which there are iconic (Momentum series in general and the best sounding TWS headphones Momentum TW2), which always have high sound quality. This is where the emphasis is placed. If you still don’t believe in quality wireless sound, listen to the top Sennheiser models.
  3. Apple. The company has created the most popular fully wireless AirPods. In terms of sound quality, this model is far from the best, but it has a lot of fans all over the world. Apple has been the best seller of its wireless headphones for years. They focus on convenience, ergonomics and ease of use, which is essential for many music lovers on the go.
  4. JBL. The company produces many different wireless headphone models and, perhaps, the most popular Bluetooth speakers. JBL has long focused on the wireless segment, there are almost no wired models in their range. But there are a lot of Bluetooth options: any form factor and price. Except for expensive “premium” models. The company focuses on the budget and middle segment of the market, which has earned the love of customers. And, importantly, their headphones are always of high quality, bright and, so to speak, youthful. What you need for an active life.
  5. Marshall. This manufacturer of concert equipment entered the headphone market not so long ago, but very quickly found its way into it. Now they are releasing 1-2 models of each form factor, which “migrated” from wired to Bluetooth. In addition, Marshall has several models of portable speakers. They differ from others in their signature (easily recognizable and memorable) style and sound. The concept of “only for rockers and metalheads” has now been expanded a bit, but the basis remains. Marshall headphones and speakers stand out from their peers, and at the same time, which is very important, they are of high build quality and materials.

Autonomy (battery) of wireless headphones

The average autonomy of wireless headphones is steadily increasing. Nowadays, most models provide comfortable use and rarely “ask to be charged”. It should be noted separately that the autonomy values ​​indicated by the manufacturer are usually measured at an average volume, without additional functions (like ANC) and on the standard SBC codec.

Naturally, the use of noise cancellation, connection to a more demanding codec (aptX, LDAC) and high volume “drain” the headphone battery faster.

The following values ​​can be distinguished:

  • Fullsize and overhead. On average, about 20 hours on a single charge. Maximum – up to 40. All models that work less than 20 hours between recharges have insufficient autonomy for 2020. Some headphones can work up to 30 hours with noise canceling on, for example.
  • Vacuum, liners. On average 8-10 hours, maximum 12-15. Models of this form factor have already reached a comfortable minimum: 10-12 hours is enough to charge the headphones once a week while working for about 2 hours a day. Enough for commuting to and from work, for example.
  • Completely wireless. Maximum about 11 hours on a single charge (without case). On average 5-6. With recharging from the case, this time is extended to 24-100 hours. But this varies greatly from model to model. For example, Galaxy Buds Plus work record 11-12 hours, but their case provides only one more full cycle of work, together it turns out about 22 hours. But the more modest Mifo O5 works for a comfortable 6 hours on a single charge, but the case has about 15 full charges, which gives a total operating time of up to 100 hours.

It should be noted that, in addition to the increase in autonomy, the charging time is reduced. In principle, the batteries in the headphones are already charging faster on average (about 2 hours for vacuum and earbuds and up to 4 hours for full-size and overhead ones with long autonomy). In addition, Type C fast charging is widely implemented, when after a few minutes of “refueling” the headphones can work for several hours.

Prices for popular wireless headphones (in 2020):

Best wireless earbuds

All the “juice” and the depth of sound will be concentrated in the auricle, while extraneous sounds will remain outside your perception. While on the road, enjoy music instead of the roar of a bus or car engine by purchasing one of the proposed models of vacuum plugs.

4Sony WI-C400

Experts and users alike agree that the Sony WI-C400 headphone model is one of the best on the market in terms of quality and value. It has decent build quality, solid sound, NFC module, good noise cancellation and a nice price tag – all that is needed for an ordinary fan of “plugs”.

Battery life – up to 20 hours. Weight of 20 grams contributes to comfortable wearing and transportation. The neckband secures the headphones around your neck, while the Sony microphone converts the headphones into a wireless headset. The manufacturer also equipped its device with a wire length adjustment system.

A more expensive and even more interesting analogue is the Sony WI-1000X.


  • Capacious battery
  • Low price
  • Vibration when a call comes in
  • High build quality typical of Sony
  • NFC support


  • Signal delays (model not suitable for video and games)
  • Thin wires

3Xiaomi Redmi AirDots (Mi True Wireless Earbuds Basic)

Another budget option for vacuum headphones. Not to be confused with the Xiaomi AirDots model, this is its counterpart from Redmi. The main differences were the black color, slightly larger dimensions and the possibility of mechanical control. And the price is even more affordable, given the fact that there are practically no differences in sound quality.

Users note that for a small price, they received a device that produces no less decent sound than the Galaxy Buds. Of course, this opinion is subjective, but it has a basis under it – 7.2 mm emitters do their job. You will also appreciate the effective noise reduction system that uses a microphone for this purpose.


  • Very low price
  • Pleasant bass
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Good microphone
  • Convenient small case


  • The second earphone may sometimes not be detected
  • Flimsy body

2Apple AirPods Pro

The younger brothers of the “Pro” model predictably lose to it in sound quality, since these are not earbuds with their noticeably “cut off” sound, but in-ear plugs, “stuffed” to failure. Here is a combination of internal and external microphones for better noise suppression, and Siri support, and the ability to share, and an excellent H1 chip, which allows you to reduce signal transmission delays to a minimum.

In addition, “airpods” allow you to listen to text messages, automatically connect to devices around and charge as quickly as possible – 5 minutes of hold time on the charge allows you to get 1 hour of listening!

However, users recommend this gadget more as a Bluetooth headset, since there are certain complaints about the sound for such a price.


  • Apple technology
  • “Transparent” mode
  • Effective noise reduction
  • Autonomy + fast charging
  • Low signal latency
  • Comfortable “fit” in the ears


  • Huge price
  • Non-musical headphones, rather – a pumped-up headset

1Samsung Galaxy Buds

The best wireless earplugs of 2020 – Samsung Galaxy Buds. A cheaper alternative to “airpods” from the eternal rival Apple. For its own, albeit a lot of money, this is a really excellent solution, which is clearly confirmed by customer reviews. First of all, the battery life is pleasing – up to 6 hours on a single charge. “Bads” are protected from moisture and are suitable for athletes, as they are conveniently synchronized with the proprietary S Health application.

If the AirPods Pro are more suitable as a headset, then the Galaxy Buds, on the contrary, sound better, but as a headset they perform much worse. Noise cancellation is implemented “anyhow”, but if listening to music is your priority, it is difficult to find the best balanced version of the in-ear form factor on the market.


  • Autonomy
  • Good sound (like wireless)
  • Convenient touch buttons
  • Moisture protection
  • 4 colors to choose from
  • Thoughtful case


  • The case offers only 7 add-ons. hours of work
  • Weak microphone and lack of a sane “shumodav”

Best wireless in-ear headphones

There is a certain category of people who will never use “plugs” for anything. For some, they cause discomfort, for others they fall out of their ears, and others do not need such rich low frequencies. Well, there is plenty to choose from in the good old-fashioned in-ear headphones category. Below we will consider the TOP-4 rating.

4Apple AirPods

Who all manufacturers of wireless “ears” look up to is Apple – their AirPods have really become a hit. And even after a while after the appearance of the model on the market, there are few worthy analogues – they can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Yabloko’s production is based on their standard headset, which comes with iPhones, which is the reason for the good sound quality. The headphones come in a handy charger case. Try to pull at least one of the two “airpods” out of your ear, and the music will immediately stop playing. However, for such nice features (also, for example, quick access to Siri and, in general, advanced functionality) you will have to pay far more than one thousand rubles.


  • Convenient lightweight case
  • Auto pause
  • Two microphones in each earpiece
  • Stable wireless connection
  • Integration with iOS
  • Good battery capacity


  • No AptX support
  • Soundproofing is not the best
  • Not the best value for money

3HUAWEI FreeBuds 3

HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 are good wireless earbuds for your phone and smartphone. The 14mm drivers and the new Kirin A1 CPU, along with the Bluetooth 5.1 version, made it possible to achieve good sound, which the owners of the “earbuds” could not even dream of at the time. It’s only a shame that “freebads” do not support HQ codecs, such as AptX. Nonetheless, FreeBuds 3 have become a decent (if not the best) alternative for Airpods with the same form factor. These are truly true wireless headphones, absolutely devoid of any wires.

Buyers note that the model combines “musicality” and the ability to conveniently use as a headset, which few analogues can boast of. The maximum effect can be obtained from their work in tandem with smartphones Huawei (of course), Xiaomi and with some other “Chinese”. It’s hard to “make friends” with Samsung or Apple (again, from the owners’ reviews).


  • Noise canceling in earbuds!
  • Great microphone
  • Original case design
  • Decent sound quality
  • Comfortable “fit” in the ears


  • Reduced features when used outside of Huawei
  • The price is a little overpriced

2Bixton AirOns Plus

Buyers simply “threw” these headphones with positive reviews with minimal complaints. And they cost less than their quality counterparts. Suitable for use with the Siri voice assistant, with which you can control the playback of content.

The case supports Qi wireless charging technology, has a light indicator. The case can also be charged using the Lightning connector.

Autonomy is another factor in favor of choosing this particular model. Not to say that it is impressive, but it will take 3 hours of audio playback and 4 hours of talks. However, over time, these indicators may deteriorate. The case gives 12 additional hours of headphone operation.


  • Stable communication
  • Good sound
  • Nice microphone
  • Smart case with magnetic lid
  • Nice price
  • “Choice of buyers”


  • Sensors are triggered every other time
  • Externally repeat AirPods

1Apple AirPods 2 MV7N2

The best wireless earbuds of 2020 – Apple AirPods 2 MV7N2. Even without absolutely any warm feelings for Apple technology, you simply cannot pass by these headphones. The second version of the “airpods” was a success, and, perhaps, each of their sides underwent changes, in addition to the appearance – the design of the first audience model “entered”, so the developers did not change anything.

The new H1 chip, according to Apple, offers 1.5x faster smartphone connectivity and 30% lower signal latency. The functionality is significantly expanded when using the voice assistant Siri. And if earlier it was required to double-click on the body, now it is enough to just “say hello” to Siri in a voice.

AirPods 2 last longer on a single charge. The manufacturer announced a 50% increase in battery life – instead of 2 hours of talk time on a single charge, you can now chat as much as 3. A short charge for 15 minutes makes it possible to listen to music for 3 hours. Marking MV7N2 means a simple case with wired charging is included in the kit.


  • Compact dimensions
  • High volume threshold
  • Good sound quality
  • Minimal delays in work
  • Lots of executable Siri commands
  • Instant connection to signal sources


  • Over time, the battery loses its resource
  • Possible interference with Bluetooth communication outdoors
  • Many have complaints about the case cover

Best Vacuum Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

In-ear models are the most compact and, at the same time, really reliably sit in the ears, cutting off external noise. This makes them the best for sports and use in crowded places.

JayBird Bluebuds X – Never Drop Out

16-ohm vacuum tubes weighing 14 g on a single charge work up to 4-5 hours, but they can last for 8 hours at an average playback volume. Speaker sensitivity 103 dB, all frequencies between 20-20000 Hz in place. Supports Bluetooth version 2.1.


  • Sounds great for their form factor;
  • Easily connect to players, PCs and phones;
  • Do not fall out of the ears due to removable clips;
  • Solid build;
  • Not afraid of rain, although not declared as waterproof;
  • Hard case included.


  • The connecting cord is harsh, but strong;
  • When mounted behind the ear, the microphone is in an inconvenient place;
  • Do not switch between devices immediately.

Sony Ericsson MW600 is a multifunctional headset, not just “ears”

Not the youngest, but successful model weighing 13 g with a display works on one of the old versions of BT 2.1. Nevertheless, the MW600 headphones are one of the most popular in our market. Despite their small size, these vacuum cleaners are equipped with a decent 170 mAh battery, which keeps them in working order for up to 23 days or 9 hours of playback. It takes only 2.5 hours to charge.


  • True sounding without embellishment;
  • There is a multipoint with the ability to connect 3 devices at the same time;
  • Built-in radio with support for RDS alerts;
  • Informative screen – displays tracks, incoming calls, time, etc .;
  • Native headphones can be disconnected and any wired ones with a minijack can be inserted;
  • Average effective noise cancellation, but it is there;
  • Adequate volume headroom.


  • Not very sensitive volume sensor;
  • The list of radio stations is not fixed;
  • The model is gradually disappearing from sale, and the Sony SBH50, which replaced it, is not so good.

Best Armature Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Balanced armature and wireless connectivity is a rare combination in headphones. However, it is the balanced armature that delivers high-quality, detailed sound. Alas, it is not cheap, and the Bluetooth headset was not originally designed for audiophiles. And yet there are models that combine autonomy and high sound quality.

Earin M-1 Wireless – Never Smaller

Miniature earbuds operate in the standard range from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, while having a good sensitivity of 105 dB and an input impedance of 25 ohms. These wireless crumbs weigh only 3.5g, but the built-in 60mAh battery lasts for 3 hours.


  • The best sounding in its segment;
  • Extremely compact – the size of each plug is only 2×1.5 cm;
  • Waterproof cases (degree of protection ip54);
  • Ergonomic fit – the ear cushions adjust to the shape of the ear canal;
  • 2 pairs of interchangeable attachments;
  • The charging capsule provides up to 3 full ear charges;
  • Support for AptX, which improves the quality of the audio stream even on bluetooth.


  • It takes a long time to charge – about an hour.

Klipsch X12 Neckband – the most self-contained vacuum cleaners

In-ear headphones with partial isolation from external noise (up to 26 dB) operate at frequencies from 5 to 19000 Hz. In standalone mode, they can play for up to 18 hours thanks to a large 220 mAh battery. Installed version of Bluetooth 4.0, operating range 10m.


  • Record operating time for VT-vacuum workers;
  • Original steampunk design and leather collar;
  • Assertive and well-detailed “rock” sound;
  • Splash-proof design;
  • Includes 4 pairs of interchangeable attachments and a cover;
  • It is possible to connect to several sources at once;
  • Conveniently organized management;
  • AptX support.


  • Expensive;
  • Warm up required;
  • Too deep in the ear.

Best Wireless Active Noise Canceling Bluetooth Headphones

ASP is definitely a useful system, especially if you are in a noisy place. It monitors ambient sounds and reflects them back into the external environment, leaving you alone with the music. Alas, between the tracks, the listener finds himself in absolute silence, which after a few hours can provoke headaches. True, according to statistics, there are only 5-7% of people susceptible to ASP in the world.

Bose QuietComfort 35 – 100% isolated from the outside world

The first manufacturer to release headphones with active noise canceling today offers a full-size dynamic model that works in standalone mode for about 20 hours. The charge is fully restored in 4 hours.

Reviews Review


  • Improved, “emotional” sound, special attention is paid to the portrayal of high and low frequencies;
  • Effectively cuts off external noise at all frequencies;
  • 2 microphones;
  • There is a Multipoint function;
  • They perfectly connect with i-gadgets and Androids, there is an NFC chip;
  • VT does not fall off;
  • Practically not felt on the head;
  • The set includes a transport case, which is rare for full-size models;
  • The voice assistant calls the name of the caller.


  • Noise reduction modes are unregulated;
  • Outwardly, the sound still passes.

LG TONE – fashionable headset

The vacuum model with a “collar” headset weighs only 32 g. An old but still current version of BT 2.1 is installed here, but the range of action can reach 25 m. In standby mode, the “ears” will last about 15 days, with active use up to 10-15 hours. Charging time is only 2.5 hours.


  • Loud and high-quality sound as for BT;
  • The signal vibration is well felt;
  • Convenient control keys;
  • The headphones work great in headset mode;
  • Excellent build and fashionable design.


  • Not in all cases dual pairing is established correctly;
  • Few replacement ear pads – just 1 extra pair.

What can modern headphones do?

Perhaps, it is worth saying right away that in this material we are considering exclusively wireless headphones. Firstly, many manufacturers have abandoned (and continue to refuse) the mini-jack and even stop putting an adapter to Lightning or USB-C in the kit. And secondly, no matter how much one would like to refer to the sound quality, warm lamp-like and centuries-old traditions, it is much more convenient to live without wires.

One of the most discussed topics in the last year and a half has become the active noise cancellation function. And although it is not new in itself, the latest models of wireless headphones (especially in-ear) show great progress in this area – which are, for example, Sony WF-1000XM3 and Apple AirPods Pro. In the future, there will be even more TWS-models (True Wireless, that is, two separate headphones without wires at all) with noise reduction. Most importantly, these headphones have a “transparency mode” where you can hear ambient sounds without removing the headphones. That is, there is no need to fuss and take out / insert them during a short conversation, for example, at the checkout of a store. But there are also headphones that simply pass external sounds in any mode, for example, the usual Apple AirPods of the first and second versions. They do not have sealing caps, therefore, outside sounds are naturally passed through. This is very convenient for those who drive a car, but on the other hand, it will be difficult to enjoy music in a noisy place (on the subway, on an airplane).

Some headphones allow you to connect to multiple devices at once – a feature found on Jabra and Plantronics. But the opposite also happens, when several headphones can be connected to the same source – this is possible, for example, when using the iPhone and AirPods. Oddly enough, the possibility of normal operation of one headphones with several (usually two) sources is provided only in the professional models of Plantronics and Jabra. In general, such a function is most often associated with call centers, which often purchase headsets from the aforementioned manufacturers.

Wired headphones often offered a separate remote with buttons for controlling playback, which usually housed a microphone. Wireless headphones have a microphone (and sometimes even several microphones) located directly on the body, and the control has become as diverse as possible. The most popular format is the sensitive area on the headphones (or one of them), which reacts to different types of touches: single, double, triple, short, in my opinion, this is implemented by Apple.

Full-size wireless headphones often offer gesture control. The Sony WH-1000XM3 is a good example here. Since the cups are quite large, you can place a touch panel large enough for blind control on them, which, in fact, was done. However, models from other manufacturers often do the same.

Oddly enough, it is the question of the form factor that is still the key when choosing. The main features of headphones of different form factors, as well as their pros and cons, practically do not change when switching from wired to wireless connection. For example, for better noise isolation (it doesn’t matter, with or without active noise cancellation), you should choose in-ear headphones with silicone earbuds. And for the best sound quality and the longest runtime – closed, full-size.

Fully wireless earbuds (TWS)

TWS headphones are relatively new, but the great success of Apple AirPods has made all other manufacturers look this way. This class of devices has its drawbacks – for example, the relatively short battery life. However, this is usually compensated by a charging case, which increases the operating time several times.

Unfortunately, true wireless headphones are still expensive, at least when it comes to models from well-known manufacturers. Although you can now find hundreds of TWS models on Aliexpress at a price of 350 rubles, and if you expand the range to 1,000 rubles, the choice becomes simply huge. Most of them, of course, do not stand up to criticism, but we may make a comparative review of such headphones in the near future.

This is exactly the model with which the boom of TWS headphones began, and one of the most popular on the market so far. Minimalistic, beautiful and sounds quite decent, although there are not enough stars from the sky. Apple is now releasing a second version of AirPods, which is optionally available with a wireless charging case. However, the first version can still be found on sale. There are no fundamental differences between the first and second generations, besides, for the earlier model, you can separately buy a case with support for wireless charging.

Best of all, AirPods work with Apple devices – iPhone, iPod, iPad and Mac: in the operating system settings, the appropriate widgets are displayed, the charge level is displayed accurately, and so on. But if desired, the headphones can also be made friends with Android devices. True, in order to see the charge level when you open the lid of the charging case, as it happens on the iPhone, you will have to install an additional application. The second generation AirPods play music mode for 5 hours, and the charging case allows you to add another 24 hours to this. That is, even with active use, you are unlikely to have to charge the headphones more than twice a week.

Apple AirPods Pro

These are the first Apple headphones with active noise canceling and that, in fact, says it all. Unlike the original AirPods, the Pro uses replaceable silicone earbuds for a more secure fit in your ear and therefore better noise reduction. Plus, the earbuds are protected from dust and moisture, which means you can easily sweat with them on a treadmill or on an ellipse without any consequences. You can run with them and practice on the uneven bars, but I would not recommend going to boxing with them – otherwise you will have to take them out of your ears in the traumatology department. Noise cancellation removes about 60-70% of external noise in especially loud places like the subway, which is very good for such a compact wireless headphone. Operating time in playback mode with active noise reduction – 4.5 hours, plus another 24 hours thanks to the case,

Sony WF-1000XM3

The best in-ear TWS earbuds in terms of noise canceling. They will not completely eliminate external noise (as, for example, the full-size WH-1000XM3, which are discussed below, will do it), but they will make sure that no noise interferes with listening to music. The earbuds are large enough, so try to fit the replacement earbuds so that they fit slightly tighter than usual. In the early days, you may experience a little discomfort, but the habit comes quickly, and the sound quality and noise cancellation does not disappoint. Sensitive areas on each of the headphones are used for control, the functionality of which can be configured in the proprietary application. Like the AirPods Pro, the Sony WF-1000XM3 has a transparency mode that lets you hear sounds well without removing your headphones. All in all, a great model, which for many will be more attractive than the Pro version of Apple headphones. Battery life is 6 hours with Active Noise Cancellation, and the charging case will provide 24 hours more.

Samsung Galaxy Buds+

These headphones can be described as “AirPods for Samsung smartphones”, although, of course, they can be used with absolutely any device equipped with Bluetooth and supports headphone connection. There is no active noise cancellation, but due to the rather deep landing in the ear canal, quite good sound insulation is obtained. External sounds still penetrate into the ear – the same will happen with the Sony WH-1000XM3 with the noise reduction turned off – but this allows you to listen to music in the subway without any problems. True, you need to slightly raise the volume. The sound, in my opinion, is better than the regular Apple AirPods, but slightly worse than the aforementioned Sony model. I would not call the difference in sounding critical, but the price is one and a half times lower, so from the point of view of the combination of price and quality, this model is definitely attractive. Another nice feature: the battery life of the headphones themselves is 11 hours. And the charging case allows you to double it.

Jabra Elite 75t

Another interesting and well-balanced headphone. The feel is similar to the Samsung Galaxy Buds +, and the sound quality is comparable to the Sony WF-1000XM3. Jabra cannot offer active noise cancellation, but the Elite 75t has good noise isolation with the right earbuds. At the same time, there is also a transparent mode that allows you to hear external sounds without removing the headphones. Instead of touch control, the headphones have buttons – many find this convenient and quite deliberately choose Jabra models. By the way, the model of the previous generation – Elite 65t – can now be bought cheaper. Returning to the 75th model, it is worth adding that it lasts 7.5 hours on a single charge, and the charging case adds another 28 hours.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless

Expensive, beautiful and very good-sounding headphones. One of the few TWS models with support for the aptX codec, it is often praised for its sound quality. Although in my favorite genres of music, Sony, Apple and Samsung headphones perform even better. A separate Sennheiser prize should be awarded for the stylish fabric-covered case – it looks very cool. The application for working with additional functions is not very intuitive – you have to figure it out. But there is one more serious drawback – the headphones gradually discharge when they are in the case. If you leave them in this form for a week, then you will be surprised to find that they are completely discharged. If you use them more actively and, accordingly, charge more often, then there is a chance not to notice this minus at all.

CGPods Lite

Above, we talked only about quite expensive completely wireless headphones. CGPods Lite is a rare budget option in this area.

The creators claim that CGPods Lite have good sound (they had no opportunity to check) and work autonomously for up to 20 hours (taking into account three recharges from the case). They synchronize with each other and a smartphone via Bluetooth 5.0 and work with both Android and iOS devices. The design allows you to expect that they will not fall out of your ears even with active movement, and moisture protection – that they can be used in the rain, washed under the tap and even take a shower. Another feature of CGPods Lite is an “anti-stress” case-charger with a velvet soft-touch coating and a reliable magnetic lock. Active noise cancellation is not provided.

On-ear headphones

The iconic example of on-ear headphones is the well-known Koss Porta Pro, released over 30 years ago. In terms of their performance, such models are approximately halfway between in-channel and full-size ones. The design with a headboard allows them to comfortably rest on the head with a fairly large weight, and the fact that the ear cup does not completely cover the ear, but only adheres to it from the outside, makes the on-ear headphones more suitable for use in summer – the ears and the area around them will not sweat and ” suffocate. “

Koss Porta Pro Wireless

The most famous on-ear headphones also exist in a wireless version. In terms of sound quality, they hold the bar, but the external performance is very controversial. With enough space in the cups and a steel headband, the manufacturer, for some reason, added a cable that houses two blocks with batteries and controls. And this cable is also devoid of a clip that allows you to adjust it in length. But if you consider that the wireless Porta Pro cost only a little more than the original wired model, then it’s just a sin to complain about all this. Battery life is 12 hours.

AKG N60 Wireless

Among the on-ear wireless headphones, there are also models with active noise cancellation, AKG N60 Wireless is just such an example. And although this is not the newest device in the manufacturer’s assortment, it is still relevant. They won’t be as hot in summer as in full-size headphones, and noise cancellation is just as good. The sound is good, thoroughbred, control is carried out by buttons – there are even separate mechanical elements for adjusting the volume. Battery life – 15 hours with active noise reduction.

Jays x-Five Wireless

Compact and surprisingly good-sounding headphones from the Swedish brand. If you haven’t heard about it, then I separately recommend that you familiarize yourself with the Bluetooth speakers of this company, they are exceptionally good. As for the x-Five Wireless, they delight with juicy bass, good high frequencies and even an intelligible middle. There is no noise cancellation, but the sound insulation is at a level – external sounds are moderately cut off, and your music at a moderate volume will not come out. There are three buttons on the right cup to control playback, and the battery life is 20 hours. After this time, the headphones can be connected using a cable. Here you can also recommend a slightly more expensive model from the same manufacturer – Jays a-Seven Wireless. It looks even better, lasts a little longer on battery power, and sounds about the same.

Marshall Major III Bluetooth

Very beautiful on-ear headphones for those who care not only about sound quality, but also about the integrity of their image. The sound is peculiar – Marshall Major III Bluetooth is clearly more “friends” with instrumental music than electronic. The control is carried out with one button, there will be no problems with switching tracks and pause, but you can turn up the volume only from a smartphone or from a smart watch / bracelet. Of the shortcomings, one can single out perhaps too strong fixation on the head – the ears can get tired, but on the other hand, accidental falling of the headphones is also excluded. Battery life – 30 hours.

On a long journey with Koss Porta Pro Wireless

Long-distance travel headphones must be comfortable and have decent battery life. An example of a successful model of this kind is the Koss Porta Pro Wireless, a wireless version of the legendary earbuds that are well known to many. Remember what they became famous for? An extremely attractive combination of price and quality, decent sound and convenient folding design. The wireless model has inherited all these essential properties.

In essence, these are the same headphones, but with aptX-enabled Bluetooth module on the wire connecting the emitters. The battery charge lasts for 12 hours – enough for a transatlantic flight or travel in a branded train from Moscow to Kazan.

When folded, the headphones take up a minimum of space. You can safely send them in your carry-on luggage and not be afraid that they will break – there is a hard case included in the kit.

Isolation from external noise is typical for on-ear headphones. Let’s be frank: they will not save you from the noise in the subway. So with chamber classics and other transparent genres, you will have to wait until you return home. But you can listen to energetic rock with a dense spectrum or funny pop music, such records are played with headphones with a bang. This is achieved by small boosts on the lows and in the 5-6 kHz region, which has a beneficial effect on the reproduction of vocals, drums and all types of guitar. In general, the sound is juicy, embossed, expressive.

Finally, we note that Koss Porta Pro Wireless can be listened to comfortably at home. This is a truly versatile model.

We train with Audio-Technica ATH-SPORT70BT

Music sets the rhythm, energizes, brightens up monotonous efforts. It is not surprising that many manufacturers produce sports models, but often their differences from the usual are minimal. In the best case, this is increased protection against moisture and sweat and some kind of fixing “horns” in addition to the standard attachments.

But Audio-Technica ATH-SPORT70BT are specially designed for an active lifestyle, which is why they have such an unusual design. Responsible for a secure fit are durable earhooks with an adaptable shape, and the thoughtful design of the bodies and five pairs of ear tips (including foam from Comply with a special filter that protects the waveguides from earwax) ensure a stable and comfortable fit. Protection is serious, at the IPX5 level. These headphones are not only sweat-resistant, they can also be rinsed under running water after a workout.

The device works on a single charge for 6 hours, which is enough even for long professional workouts. Only SBC and AAC codecs are supported, but more is not needed – while driving, we do not perceive subtle nuances and shades of sound. A proprietary driver with a diameter of 9 mm is used (this is the optimal size for sports headphones). The diaphragm has a carbon coating that makes the diaphragm particularly durable and helps reduce distortion.

A small, but revealing detail: there is a slider on the wire that allows you to reduce the size of the loop so that it does not interfere during exercise.

Touching the left housing toggles between listening to your surroundings – a must-have feature when exercising outdoors. Note that the microphone located in the control panel is of high quality – the audibility of the voice during telephone conversations is excellent.

Sounding everyday with RHA TrueConnect

These headphones do not attract too much attention – they are emphatically minimalist, so they are perfect for use in the gym and in the office. But it is worth picking them up once in order to understand how well and with love they are made. A detailed review of them has already been published on the site, so we will not repeat ourselves and only note the main thing.

The TrueConnect kit included 9 pairs of nozzles (not counting those that are already installed), three of them are expensive Comply foams. It’s nice that there are also large ones, size L – a great rarity.

The battery life is not bad: 5 hours without recharging in the case and another 20 with recharging. The device charges quickly: half in 15 minutes, fully in 1 hour 40 minutes. For the impeccable quality and stability of the connection, we should thank Bluetooth version 5.0, as well as the enlarged antennas (because of them, the earphones have “branches” on the cases).

RHA TrueConnect has good passive isolation, so that even in the subway you can enjoy music at a moderate volume, and in the gym there is no risk of hearing the rumble of iron from the corner where pitching is usually practiced. Ergonomics are also at their best – the buttons are easy to press, but without false positives when accidentally touched.

Of course, the most important thing is the sound. It is saturated, dense, transparent, harmonious in terms of frequency balance – no obvious dips or rises are heard. Music of all genres is equally well played, the sound is expressive and groovy. By purchasing these headphones, the user pays not only for excellent design and excellent performance, but also for high-quality sound.

Through the city to music with Audio-Technica ATH-CKR7TWBK

For a secure fit in the ears, the Audio-Technica ATH-CKR7TWBK model is equipped with silicone clips. You can at least run after the departing bus, even push in the subway at rush hour – the headphones will not fall out. They are light (each weighs 9 grams), so you won’t want to take them off soon.

The enclosures seem to be large, they had to be enlarged to accommodate an 11 mm driver – it is necessary for deep low frequencies. In addition, its diaphragm is reinforced with a diamond-like carbon coating, which increases the rigidity of the diaphragm, which is beneficial for the bass. The developers have given this model the appropriate sound character – accurate, neutral, even and unbiased. Note the dense and powerful bass, transparent and clean highs, natural mids. Not only the AAC codec is supported, but also the more advanced aptX. At the same time, the digital-to-analog conversion is carried out not by a Bluetooth chip, but by a separate AKM AK4375 DAC, which also has a beneficial effect on the sound.

The developers managed to provide the device with decent autonomy: the headphones can work up to 6 hours (a little less if the aptX codec is used) on their own, and the charging case will give another 9 hours. For a couple of days, you won’t have to think about finding an outlet.

Finally, we will mention that this model is compatible with the proprietary Audio-Technica Connect mobile application. It makes it easier to connect and configure headphones, as well as manage them and update the software if necessary.

For a walk with the RHA T20 Wireless

This device is suitable for those who used wired headphones while walking around the city and do not want to lose sound quality when switching to wireless.

The developers did not reinvent the wheel, but took the successful T20 model with a detachable cable and equipped it with a Bluetooth cable. If you don’t like to frequently charge your gadgets, keep in mind that the battery life is about 12 hours, and charging is done via a convenient USB Type-C.

The advanced DualCoil speakers with two voice coils operating at different frequencies are responsible for high-quality sound. In fact, such a design is two-way, but thanks to one membrane common to two bands, it sounds together and without phase distortion, like a good wide-band driver. And at the same time it sounds the frequency range of 16 – 40,000 Hz.

An important feature of the model is the ability to adjust the sound at high frequencies to your taste using special filters wrapped around the waveguides. There are three of them in a set, and 7 pairs of replaceable nozzles, including two foams from Comply. There is also a soft carrying case.

Let’s sum up

The most comfortable headphones for long-term use are on-ear headphones, but these models do not have the best passive isolation. They are not suitable for a noisy environment (of course, if they are not equipped with an active noise cancellation system), but for home or walking in nature – just right.

In-ear headphones provide acceptable passive sound isolation, they can be listened to even on the subway – this applies to all models discussed today.

The smallest and lightest are TWS headphones, it’s not for nothing that they are so popular now. However, one must understand that their continuous operation time is usually limited to five to six hours, after which they will have to be put in a charging case. If autonomy is more essential, it is better to choose models with a Bluetooth module, a remote control with a microphone and a battery located on the wire.

Sources used and useful links on the topic: https: // headphonesbest .ru / ratings / top-15-luchshie-besprovodnye-naushniki-24 -v-2020-godu

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