True wireless headphones have many advantages, almost to the point of becoming the norm today. Here are our recommendations.
The best wireless headphones
- 1 The best wireless headphones
- 2 Some advice before purchasing
The new wireless headphones from Sony logically succeed the old ones, the WF-1000X. These are not the WF-1000X2 or 3, but the WF-1000XM3. A letter that inevitably recalls the excellent headphones from the same manufacturer, which is particularly known for its audio quality, but especially for its very effective noise reduction system. Sony was very smart, it simply took the technology of the WF-1000XM3 to adapt it to a smaller format. The result does not reach the level of the headband headphones which completely covers your ears, this reduction is actually good compared to other in-ear headphones on the market and already allows you to cut a lot of external distractions.
The autonomy is also gargantuan. Sony announces 6 hours with noise reduction enabled and 8 hours without, for a total of 24 to 32 hours with the charging case. These figures were verified in our test of WF1000XM3, where we could use the manufacturer’s headphones for about 28 hours before recharging the case. A great performance which undoubtedly places it at the top of the basket. If we can nevertheless regret the absence of wireless charging, we must still be reassured with the efficient fast charge which promises 10 minutes of charge for 90 minutes of listening.
In terms of functionality, we especially note the Quick Attention mode which makes it possible to reduce the sound and hear the surrounding noises by the simple touch of the dedicated touch zone. In addition, the WF-1000XM3 now embeds Google Assistant natively. This will allow you to make calls or chat with the voice assistant without removing the headsets.
In 2018, Jabra offered one of the best proposals on the market for true wireless headphones with its Elite 65t. The brand returns in 2020 with the Elite 75t. A new improved version, smaller more autonomous and which corrects certain defects of the previous generation while keeping the good ideas.
The 75t once again combines design and comfort while ensuring a good fit in the ears. The firm significantly adjusts the case by adopting a very practical magnetic closure and it is now recharged via USB C. As before, there are also physical buttons for controlling the tracks on the earphones.
They also have the merit of being on an average high in terms of autonomy with a little more than 7 hours on a single charge according to our tests. The case will add about 2 full refills. Jabra, on the other hand, has overlooked noise reduction, which partly explains the price difference with Sony’s book.
Obviously, the 65t remains a completely honorable solution if you want to reduce the bill. They are sold at $179.99.
The first Galaxy Buds of the name were already a good mid-range solution, the Galaxy Buds + are… even more. Slightly more expensive than its predecessor, this new version makes some changes in tune with the times while retaining the main good idea: the presence of wireless charging. An advantage that its main competitors, the Jabra Elite 75t, cannot claim. Qi-compatible, it will work with any charging station … and any smartphone with reverse charging, including the recent Samsung S series and Note, in particular.
Despite this handy addition, Samsung has not set audio quality aside, especially on the bass, with the addition of a second transducer in each earpiece. These are probably the headphones to recommend if you like low frequencies, but note that the treble and midrange are still there. As we said in our review of the Galaxy Buds +, they respect the entire audio spectrum well … provided you find the right tips.
Tips are oh so important, because, like its competitors in this price range, the Galaxy Buds Plus ignore the active noise reduction! On the other hand, since it is an in-ear headphone, passive isolation is much better than on AirPods (not pro). This is where the size of the tips comes into play, they must fill the ear canal well to reduce the surrounding sounds, but also improve the audio rendering, especially with regard to the bass.
If you are afraid of hearing nothing more, rest assured, there is a “pass-through” mode taking up external sounds. The software is well put together, and pairing with Samsung terminals is very simple. On autonomy, buds + lasted almost 11 hours on a single charge during our tests and the case will double this value. Note that they can also be recharged by wire via USB-C.
You can take a look to the Galaxy Buds Plus collection below for more references
The Bose SoundSport Free are IPX4 certified, which protects them from perspiration and rain. They are supplied with 3 pairs of StayHear + tips designed to provide maximum comfort. As usual at Bose, these earbuds are among the most comfortable you can find on in-ear headphones. They insulate particularly well, without completely entering the ear canal.
They provide a clear and powerful sound, all with a battery life of around 5 hours. The controls on the right atrium allow you to take calls, manage to listen and access personal assistants with a multifunction button.
Their mobile app provides access to various settings, such as the choice of language for voice prompts, and features, such as “find my headphones” that cause them to beep to indicate their location. If you are looking for headphones for sport more generally, you can also consult our guide to the best headphones for sport.
We find these headphones for less than $150 as a flash sale at AMAZON
The AirPods 2 did not have active noise reduction, it is now available on the AirPods Pro, released in at the very end of October 2019. This is not, however, the only addition of these Pro models. On the contrary, it is a major overhaul of the AirPods.
The design has evolved and significantly reduced the length of the rod characteristic of Apple earphones. They are now less visible (or more discreet if you prefer), and probably more importantly, we went from earbuds to earbuds. It was mandatory to offer active noise reduction.
Of course, the AirPods keep this extremely practical pairing with the iPhone. Apple product requires, the symbiosis is perfect with iOS. Like their predecessors, the AirPods Pro also works with Android, with noise reduction. For those interested, we have also made a tutorial on how to use Apple’s AirPods (Pro) on Android.
Champion of the quality/price ratio in the field of smartphones, Xiaomi via its subsidiary Redmi, has also transformed the test on wireless headphones with the AirDots. These headphones are offered at a very low price, less than $30, but obtain very satisfactory results.
No miracle, at this price, they are obviously not at the level of more high-end models, there are obviously concessions to make. These True Wireless are minimalist: there is no active noise reduction, no in-depth adjustments, or luxurious codecs. Simply Bluetooth 5, an SBS codec, and a microphone for making calls. They are however able to filter the surrounding sounds to be better understood by your interlocutor when you call.
In terms of sound quality, the AirDots fulfill their contract: they do not saturate at full volume, but force a little too much on the bass, which tends to chew the rest of the frequencies. That said, the whole is quite honorable in terms of its contained price. In terms of autonomy, count about 4 hours of operation per recharge, knowing that the box is able to recharge it 3 times for a total autonomy of about 14h. Finally, the pairing is solid, with little or no disconnection during use.
Some advice before purchasing
Before buying wireless headphones, many questions can cross your mind. We’ve listed a few here with answers that we hope will light your lantern.
Why opt for wireless earphones (or true wireless)?
Wireless headphones are usually completely in-ear headphones. They work in the same way as Bluetooth headphones, except that freedom of movement is total, hence the term “true wireless”. This type of product is intended for the most nomadic – as well as the most athletic-looking for lightness and practicality. Usually delivered with a charging case, wireless headphones generally enjoy good autonomy. In addition, some models even take advantage of additional functions, including active noise reduction.
What criteria to take into account for sport?
If you enjoy playing sports while listening to music, know that some manufacturers have thought of you. First of all, you need a model of headphones that fits well in the ears despite sudden and repeated movements (the addition of support that goes around the hollow of the ear is generally a plus). Then, above all, check the IP certification. Depending on its level, it will be more or less waterproof. If you don’t plan on going to a swimming pool with it, IPX4 certified headphones are the union minimum to resist rain and sweat. Fully submersible headphones are still quite rare on the market, even if some smartphones today go up to IPX8.
What are trustworthy brands?
By browsing the Internet for a few minutes, you can quickly realize the plethora of brands that offer wireless headphones today. You should generally not be fooled by ultra-attractive prices, models often testifying to a quality that is unfortunately not there. In comparison with actors like Sony, Jabra, Samsung, or Bose who have acquired indisputable know-how over the years, there is no photo with small brands without any reputation, them who often try to clumsily copy the references of ‘Apple, to no avail.
There may indeed be exceptions, but turning to one of the brands mentioned above is the assurance of having a quality product in your ears.