Jaybird Vista 2 True Wireless Earbuds
Not only do these earbuds minimal hooks help keep them locked in place, theyre seriously rugged and durable. Theyre so rugged that Jaybird calls the Vista 2s earthproof, meaning that they can get wet and dusty and still function like normal. The buds are also impact-resistant, and come with 6mm drivers, active noise-cancelling sound and a full days worth of battery life using the case. Pro tip: Buy them while theyre on sale right now.
It’s Time To Upgrade Your Headphones
A pair of headphones can be a great buy for people who like entertainment on the go, whether that’s for music, gaming, or workouts. A good pair of headphones fit comfortably, deliver great sound quality, and can even match your style. Headphones come in a variety of designs, like on-ear, over-the-ear, open, and closed back. You can also go for wireless and Bluetooth options that offer convenience — no dragging along a cord wherever you take them.
Who Should Buy Bluetooth Headphones
Bluetooth headphones bring the convenience of wireless technology with great sound quality.
- Commuters. If you spend a lot of time riding buses and trains, then you probably like to stay occupied with headphones. Well, cutting the cord makes blocking the world out that much easier.
- Office workers. Lets say you want a break from your cubicle but dont want to engage in casual banter. Easy solution: grab a pair of wireless headphones. They notify others that youre not up for talking without having to explicitly say so.
- Students. Getting around campus can be a slow, monotonous process. You might as well exercise your mind and learn a thing or two from your favorite podcast while going from the quad to your English seminar.
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Plantronics Backbeat Fit 3100 Wireless Earbuds
A safe balance of ambient noise and great sound
- nough ambient sound for urban running
- 5-hour battery life
- Bluetooth interference
Features director Matt Allyn used the Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100 in midtown Manhattan traffic and on a serene Pennsylvania rail trail. He found that the 3100s overall sound quality and ambient-noise awareness feature performed well in both environments. On the rail trail, I could still make out the sounds of birds flapping nearby, he said. Allyn also felt aware enough to Citi Bike around New York City wearing these buds, although they struggled with some interference from other electronic devices. The buds hover over the ear canal, rather than fitting within it, and use the hooks to stay in place. While the hooks didnt require any adjustments once running, they did feel less comfortable if worn with sunglasses.
Jbl Reflect Mini 2 Sport Headphones
Clear sound and a secure fit for less than competitors buds
- 10-hour battery life
- Very little ambient sound
The JBL Reflect Mini 2 isnt the newest pair of headphones, but a price drop to $40 makes them an attractive value proposition. The buds form a tight seal in your ears and dont move after youve started to trot. The downside for outdoor runners is the lack of ambient sound, which also isolates your tunes from the outside world. Video production manager Jimmy Cavalieri also used them while mowing his lawn. Although I could still hear my lawnmower, the earbuds blocked out enough engine noise that the quality of the audio still sounded clear without having to max out the volume, he said. When I concentrated on my music, I could still identify each instrument. The connecting wire between the buds is lightweight and hardly noticeable midrun, and the Reflect Mini 2 quickly paired with Bluetooth and stayed connected up to 100 feet away. The earbuds also sport reflective cables for nighttime visibility, an IPX5 water-resistant rating, and an impressive 10 hours of battery life.
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What Is A Soundstage
When referring to the “soundstage” of a pair of headphones, just imagine the feeling of hearing a piece of music’s instruments arranged around you — as if you’re sitting in the middle of a band. For gaming, in particular, a good soundstage can help players identify the direction a sound is coming from — like gunfire, a grenade, or a character’s speech. Some headphones specialize in soundstage. Ear cups with open backs have good soundstage because they allow for perceived spacing between instruments and depth sound.
What Are The Benefits Of Wireless Versus Wired Earbuds
What matters most to you: convenience, sound quality, price, or longevity? There are two main reasons to choose wired earbuds over wireless ones. First, choose wired if you dont want to deal with recharging batteries. Recharging can be inconvenient, and batteries lose capacity over time, eventually reaching a point where they cant be charged at allwhich means you may need to purchase new earbuds every few years. Wired earbuds never need charging and will last until you break them, so theyre generally a better long-term investment. Second, wired earbuds cost less for the same sound quality as wireless. Bluetooth chips cost money, so wireless earbuds put a portion of your purchase price toward that technology. However, wireless earbuds are more freeing to wear, especially when youre working out. Plus, many phones no longer offer a headphone jack, so you need an adapter for wired earbuds.
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How Do I Keep Wireless Earbuds From Falling Out Of My Ears
With wireless earbuds, it’s important that you get the right fit so they not only stay in your ears but so they sound and perform at their best . If the buds come with silicone ear tips, you should use the bud that’s a little bigger rather than too small for your ear. Also, in some cases, like with the AirPods Pro, you can buy third-party foam ear tips that grip the inside of your ear better and keep your buds from falling out. Note that sometimes people have one ear shaped differently than the other, so you might use a medium tip in one ear and a large tip in the other.
The original AirPods and AirPods 2nd Generation didn’t fit all ears equally well, and a lot of people complained about how they would stay securely in their ears. You can buy third-party wingtips — sometimes called sport fins — that lock the buds in your ears. But you have to take them off every time you use your buds because they won’t fit in the case.
If you have trouble keeping earbuds in your ears, your best bet is to look for a model that includes wingtips.
Should I Buy Wireless Headphones Or Earbuds
When making this decision, its important to think about where and how youll be using your gear. You have three factors to consider: sound, battery life, and fit. Generally, headphones sound more spacious than earbuds. This is because high-quality small drivers cost more to make, so to achieve the same caliber of audio as you get with headphones, companies frequently charge more for earbuds. The larger size of headphones also means designers are able to fit bigger batteries in them, which results in a longer listening time per charge compared with that of diminutive earbuds. But headphones are bulkier to carry, can be unwieldy during workouts, and dont feel as comfortable to wear for folks with glasses or puffier hairstylesor people who are sensitive to the feeling of a headband on their skull. So depending on which of these factors is the most important to you, one or the other might prove a better choice.
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How To Choose The Best Wireless Earbuds
With so many wireless earbuds to pick from, how do you know which are right for you?
Obviously, price is a huge factor. You can get a good pair of wireless earbuds for under £100/$100. But often you do get what you pay for in terms of connectivity, build and noise cancellation.
Next up is form. Do you intend to workout with your earbuds? In which case you’ll need a design that’ll stay put, like the Beats Powerbeats. Or maybe small and minimal is what you’re after, so opt for a pair of discrete true wireless buds, like the Jabra Elite 85t.
But the biggest consideration is whether you should go wireless, which means there isn’t a cable from your phone to your buds. Or true wireless, which is totally wire-free. Let’s take a look at the differences, pros and cons of these types of buds.
Aftershokz Aeropex Bone Conduction Headphones
The ultimate headphones for urban running awareness
- Most ambient sound of any workout headphones
- 8-hour battery life
- Thinner, quieter sound than in-ear buds
For road runners who arent comfortable jamming an earbud in as cars whiz past, theres AfterShokz. These headphones use bone conduction technology to transfer sound through your cheekbones, leaving your ears open to hear potential hazards before they sneak up on you. Compared to in-ear designs from Jaybird and Bose, the sound is admittedly thinner and quieter, but I find it totally suitable for running, said Dengate. This sleek update to a longtime favorite pair of headphones has a slimmer design and noticeably vibrates less at loud volume. Despite that change, the sound has improved, and feels more well rounded and slightly clearer when running along loud city streets. The Aeropex is also IP67 rated, so itll survive a heavy sweat and rain storm, and the battery lasts up to 8 hours.
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Do Airpods Fall Out Of Ears
If they fit you well, completely wireless earbuds should stay in place. But because ears come in a variety of shapes, not everyone can get a secure fit with a particular earbud design. Earbuds with a bulkier design or a stem that hangs down are more subject to gravity or inadvertent bumps that can pull them loose. An earbud with a stabilizing wing or a hook over the ear is more likely to stay put but doesnt look as sleek. Look for true wireless earbuds that come with multiple tips of different sizes, and experiment to find the correct tip size for your ear canal. A memory-foam tip can conform to the shape of the ear canal to provide a more stable fit. Also, check the manual or the manufacturer website to ensure that youve positioned your earbuds properly.
Bose Sport Open Earbuds
You might initially think that a pair of earbuds that dont even go inside your ears will likely slip around on you. But thats not the case with these Bose Open Sport buds, thanks to their ear hooks designed to wrap over and curve around the natural shape of your ear. With their sweat-resistant IPX4 rating, get them for your workouts, and keep them for their eight-hour battery life.
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How We Pick And Test
- Great sound
Our audio experts compared hundreds of earbuds, listening for clear, true-to-life sound with a solid Bluetooth connection.
- Secure, comfy fit
A good design should fit most ear shapes, so we have people with various ear sizes try on our top contenders.
- Call quality
Your callers should understand you no matter where you are, so we test mics in a quiet room, with background noise, and in wind.
- Battery life
The battery must last at least five hours for true wireless earbuds, and we test to confirm that they meet manufacturers claims.
May be out of stock
Jabra recently released a successor to the 75t called the Elite 7 Pro. Although the 7 Pro earbuds get a lot right, we experienced connectivity problems and other issues that need to be resolved before we can consider recommending them. You can read more of our thoughts in the Competition section. Jabra declined to say whether the 75t will be discontinued, but as long as that pair is available, it offers better overall performance for far less money and so remains our top pick.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $40.
How We Picked The Best Wireless Headphones
The Phiaton Legacy 900 headphones have Bluetooth multipoint so you can switch between devices easily.
Choosing which product is best changes depending on what the category is. If youre searching for the best headphones, we might focus more of our efforts on sound quality instead of cool extra features. On the flip side, if youre looking for the best waterproof speakers, chances are were going to prioritize a strong, durable build over something like sound quality.
For this particular list, there were a few things that took priority. First was the Bluetooth connection. In order to be in the running for the best wireless headphones, a strong connection was a must. After that came sound quality. At the end of the day these are still headphones, and youre going to be using them to listen to music.
Additionally, we took user feedback on battery life into account when weeding out products from our list. When we were writing our best Bluetooth earbuds best list, our readers made it very clear that battery life was the most important quality to assess after sound quality and comfort.
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The 20 Best Wireless Earbuds For Runners
We tested the newest models against established contenders on our daily runs. Heres what we found.
Wireless earbuds are now smaller and more affordable than ever, yet its tough to know what kind of sound you can expect from these tiny devices before you buy.
For the sake of making useful comparisons, we segmented our test pool into three categories: Truly wireless, truly wireless with ear hooks, and neckband earbuds. Neckband means that while theres no wire to plug the earbuds into your cellphone, there is a wire or band that joins the two earbuds to each other.
Check out the top five performers below, and keep scrolling for our full list of best picks. Youll also find additional info on each type of earbud, tips from our gear experts, and the scoop on how we tested.
Wireless Vs True Wireless: What’s The Difference
Wireless earbuds have existed for a while now, basically since Bluetooth was invented. Though battery-powered and not physically connected to your phone, they have a cord connecting both buds and sometimes a band around the neck too.
True wireless earbuds have no cord whatsoever. While wireless allows us to wear headphones a few feet away from our music players, True Wireless cuts the cord between the earbuds, giving us true freedom. If you’re looking to go full wireless, we also have a round-up of the best true wireless headphones, but you’ll find our top picks here, too.
Wireless headphones are traditional over-ear or on-ear headphones without the wire the two earcups are connected by a headband. Check out the best wireless headphones for more.
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Jbl Endurance Peak True Wireless Sport Earbuds
Another pair of earbuds that wrap over and around your ears, these JBLs wont budge no matter what youre doing. Currently 20% off for just $79.95 at press time, theyre some of the longest-lasting, budget-friendly earbuds weve found. They can run for around 30 hours when used with their included charging case, with six hours of use per charge. They might not have noise-cancelling tech like other buds weve featured above, but theyre ideal for trail runs and outdoor use with their IPX7 waterproof rating.
Should You Save Up For The Apple Airpods Max
The Apple AirPods Max costs $549 USD, which means plenty of us would need to take out a small loan just to afford Apples noise cancelling headset. Since were not financial advisors here, its a bit unwise to recommend you purchase something so pricey when other products of similar quality go for much less. However, the AirPods Max performed better than any other headphones weve tested for active noise cancelling, and it also sounds really good. The AirPods Max may be right up your alley if money isnt an object, and youre happy to a pay a premium for absolute convenience .
The Apple AirPods Max look great, though it did take a while for the overall look to grow on me.
Apple integrated its H1 chip into each AirPods Max ear cup, so it has plenty of processing power for things like Adaptive EQ, Transparency mode, active noise cancelling, hands-free Siri access, automatic device switching and more. These features require basic operating system requirements depending on your Apple hardware, so thats something to keep an eye on.
Battery life is on-par with the Sony WH-1000XM4 at around 20 hours, and you need a Lightning cable to charge the AirPods Max. It supports passthrough audio, if you purchase a Lightning to USB-C cable, which may be useful for audiophiles.
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Compared To Other Headphones
The Bose Sport Earbuds are sports-oriented truly wireless earbuds with a very comfortable and stable fit. Although they struggle to block out background noise, some users may prefer this to improve their spatial awareness when running outdoors. However, they lack sound customization features like an EQ and their continuous battery life is shorter than that of the Bose Sport Open Earbuds Truly Wireless. See also our recommendations for the best truly wireless earbuds, the best wireless earbuds for running and working out, and the best in-ears and earbuds.