Wireless earbuds have been increasingly popular due to their portability, convenience and handy extra features. But in fact, most of them you see in online stores today are not fully cordless. This is because in order to create stereo sound through 2 separate earbuds, there is always a short cable, a neckband or a headband for a wired connection so the sound simultaneously emits to both sides.
Discard all these parts, the completely wireless earbuds come in. Start with the Dash and boom! they are now everywhere. You can easily figure out they are not just worth for music genres you love but for a lot of smart integrated features.
If you are intrigued by truly wireless earbuds, here are the top 5 you can order right now from their websites, including Earin, Dash, Samsung, Sony and Jabra. No cable, just two earpieces insert into your ears, once they fit right you will find how they actually excel. Considering feature, design, sound quality, fitting, noise isolation/sound leakage, we’ve made the comparison chart for you.
Best Totally Wireless Earbuds
True wireless earbuds don’t have long battery life – currently the longest battery life is more or less 5 hours.
Best Totally Wireless Earbuds
|True wireless earbuds don’t have long battery life – currently the longest battery life is more or less 5 hours.|
Here’s our comparison table, you may want to look at the Buyer’s Guide later in this post.
|Name/Picture||Size/Weight||Battery Life||Accessories||Additional Features|
|Small and light (rated 4.5/5)||6 hours||Foam eartips||Mic, transparency feature|
|Apple Airpods||4.5/5||Around 5 hours||Automatically connect Apple devices|
|Sony WF-1000X||4/5||3 hours||Eartips, earhook||Water-|
|Samsung’s Gear IconX (2018)||4/5||5 hours||Eartips, Silicon jackets||Fitness tracking|
Mp3 player (4GB)
|Jabra Elite Sport|
|3.8/5||+4.5 hours||Eartips, Silicon jackets||Fitness tracking,|
Water resistant IP 67, Transparency
Apple Airpods | Release date: 2017 | Style: Unsealed | Weight: 4 grams (each) | Play Time: 5 hours | Bluetooth version: 4.1, W1 chip | Driver type: Dynamic | Bluetooth range: 30 feet | Active Noise cancellation: No | Fitness tracking: No | Touch control: Yes | Sound signature: Natural sounding |[/su_spoiler]
Apple finally released their first Bluetooth earbuds, the Airpods, in December last year. With their own designed chip W1, the earbuds will make a break-through about the Bluetooth audio and connection, according to the company announced at the Iphone 7 launch event. The Bluetooth is reliable and strong with working range up to 50 feet. The built-in infrared and accelerometer sensors will detect when the headset is worn and touched, to either automatically play or navigate tracks.
|The charging case provides 5 full charges for Airpods|
People buy Airpods because of their advanced features rather than the true sound quality, because Airpods’ sound isn’t way better than wired lightning Earpods.
The Airpods are not integrated with fitness tracking feature.
Samsung Gear IconX 2018 – Longer lasting battery and better wireless performance
Samsung Gear IconX 2018| Release date: 2017 | Style: Earhooks, eartips | Weight: 8 grams (each) | Play Time: 5 hours | Internal storage: 4GB |Bluetooth version: 4.1 | Driver type: Dynamic | Bluetooth range: 30 feet | Active Noise cancellation: No | Fitness tracking: Yes | Touch control: Yes | Sound signature: N/A |
Samsung Gear IconX 2018’s highlight
- Smaller charging case
- Longer lasting battery life
- Fit discreetly in the ear
- Touch control isn’t perfect
- Some features don’t work with iOS
|IconX can play music without your phones and track your fitness|
The battery of Gear IConX was improved, the buds can play for roughtly 5 hours when pairing and streaming music from your phone, or more than 7 hours if they playe as Mp3 player (4 GB of internal storage). Actually, it can be shorter and varied depending how you use the earphones. However, when not in use, you can but them back in a portable charger, which provides one fully charges.
Like the first version, 2 earbuds are independent. That means your phone will connect to 2 earbuds–separate devices, the stereo audio they deliver is quite impressive witth crisp bass and clear, relatively detailed vocal. If they play music from internal storage, you should store the music on both earbuds, if not you just get mono sound from one side.
The Gear IconX focuses on fitness, so they are very comfortable and lightweight. They are also easy to fit and lock in place with high sound isolation capacity. Note that the GearX has transparency feature, once you turn this mode on, this allows to hear the ambient sound and vent the bass–if you feel the sound a lot of bass.
To track your fitness like heart rate, distance traveled, calories burned, Samsung built sensors in the GearX, and the data is synced directly to Samsung’s S Health app. These features are only available for Android users.
Track navigation and volume adjustment are done by tapping on the R-earbud.
Jabra Elite Sport Wireless
Jabra Elite Sport Wireless | Release date: 2017 | Style: Earhooks, eartips | Weight: 7.3 grams L, 7.8 grams R | Play Time: 5 hours | Internal storage: No |Bluetooth version: 4.1 | Driver type: Dynamic | Bluetooth range: 30 feet | Active Noise cancellation: No | Fitness tracking: Yes | Touch control: No | Sound signature: N/A |[/su_spoiler] Along with Samsung (Gear IconX) and Motorola (Verve One), Jabra has joined the totally wireless earbud competion with Elite Sport. The earbuds come with compact size in a sport-focus, rugged design. It features water resistance (IP67), slicon jacket with wings for secure fit.
Built with sensors, the Elite sports can track your performance like VO2 Max and HR by Jabra Life App. The app features an equalizer to let use customize the sound to their preferences. The real-time coaching feature from the app also gives suggesttions based on the measured fitness information, which tells you whether to slow down or speed up.
The earbuds can be used a headset with great call quality as the company promised, there are two microphones on earch earbud, one for capturing your voice and the other for filtering surrounding sounds.
Recently Jabra upgraded the battery of Elite Sport that will last 4.5 hours compared to 3 hours previously.
Bragi The Headphone | Release date: 2017 | Style: Eartips | Weight: 9 grams each | Play Time: 5 hours | Internal storage: No |Bluetooth version: 4.1 | Driver type: Dynamic | Bluetooth range: 30 feet | Active Noise cancellation: No | Fitness tracking: No | Touch control: No | Sound signature: N/A | [/su_spoiler] Bragi was among the first startups to release the true wireless earbuds, and their Dash earbuds aren’t perfect. They are built-in with a lot of smart features such HRM, Transparency but these features didn’t work as promised despite their attempts to update the firmware. Bragi’s recent release, The Headphone is a fix but they focus on music listening experience rather than being smart. Unfortunately their sound didn’t best the competitors. Overall it just sounds good with rich bass and the trebles is not that clear and very plesant to listen to.
You can take calls, navigate tracks and control volumes with buttons on the right earbud. The call quality is good but it still presents hiccups sometimes.
Cheap True Wireless Earbuds Are They Worth It?
Most cheap true wireless earbuds are outsourced from factories in China. Their prices often range from $20 to $40.
By searching Google Image I easily found a pair that listed on Amazon is also sold on Aliexpress or Alibaba. I ordered a lot of them to test. They sound moderately good with some bass kicking in and they should be the right choice for those who just need free-cable experience for running, for example. But because they are built-in with cheap lithium Li-ion battery – the size of battery is large in order to prove 4 or 5 hours of battery so the earbuds are going to be big for most people’s ears and they are not very comfortable.
I could mention some brands like SmartOmi True Wireless or Soundmoov 316T Mini Wireless Earbuds. This proved some Chinese companies are no longer copycats they have developed their unique products for both design, features and performance. And sellers on Amazon can be confident about the quality of products they outsourced and consumers don’t have to pay a significant sum of money for a pair of wireless earbuds.
Based on my research, there are at least 17 different companies that make totally wireless earbuds (2 startups Kanoa and Doppler Labs have shut down), including big names like Apple (Airpods), Samsung and Motorola. Meanwhile, here are other pairs you would be interested in.
Crazybaby Air Nano
Crazybaby Air Nano Release date: 2017 | Style: eartips | Weight: 0.14 ounces (4grams) | Play Time: 3 hours | Internal storage: No |Bluetooth version: 4.1 | Driver type: Dynamic | Bluetooth range: 30 feet | Active Noise cancellation: No | Fitness tracking: No | Touch control: No | Sound signature: N/A |[/su_spoiler]
Crazybaby Air Nano are the smallest earbuds you could find for this type of headphones. They are fairly comfortable and has good noise isolation that is fine for listening in noisy environments.
Those are pretty small and yes if you drop them chances are you will lose them. Compared to other competitors, the crazybaby doesn’t sound impressive. Tiny sound, weak bass I could say.
When not in use, they are stored in a case that looks like a pill and works as a charging case. The case can provide 4 times of earbuds’ battery life. Due to their small size, Air Nano only have 3 hours of battery.
Single button allows you take calls and trigger voice assistants such as Siri or Google asistant.
JayBird Run Free
JayBird Run Free| Release date: 2017 | Style: Wingtips, Eartips | Weight: 0.22 ounces (6.2 gram) each | Play Time: 4 hours | Internal storage: No |Bluetooth version: 4.1 | Driver type: Dynamic | Bluetooth range: 30 feet | Active Noise cancellation: No | Fitness tracking: No | Touch control: No | Sound signature: N/A | Sound customization by App: Yes |[/su_spoiler]
Designed for sports, the buds should provide tight seal and fit securely for most people’s ear with sports fins and eartips. Plus, they are sweatproof. Though the Run Free is less comfortable than Bose SoundSport or Apple Airpods.
It is quite easy to connect Run Free with any phones whether they run Android or iOS. How ever if you frequently commute in places where there are a lot of wireless communication such as subway or busy street, the Bluetooth connection between your phone and Run Free will be interfered. As a result the L or R earbud would drop out, in the worst case they can eventually go silent and you have to set them up again.
Because of tight seal keeping bass from venting, the Run Free sounds better than un-sealed earbud like Apple Airpods. You can also adjust the sound from the app, the bass, treble or mid-range depending on kind of music you are listing to.
The Beoplay E8 stands out from the crowd for the sound, but its battery doesn’t. They only last 4 hours between charges, which is under average for this type of headphones. The earbuds’ sound isoation is so good that if I want to hear the surrounding I have to switch the Transparency mode on. Though this feature is quite confusing for first time users.
Anker ZOLO Liberty (Bluetooth 4.2 vs 5.0)
Jabra Elite 65t
Jabra Elite Sports (2nd) is a great pick, but if you like something with more refined sound and better call quality, the Jabra Elite 65t would be an alternative and they are cheaper too. This comes with a compromise that no HRM feature is included, but with a single button control, it can virtually trigger most AI voice assistants such as Alexa.
The Jabra Elite feature transparency feature that allow users to let the ambient sound in when they need to. Users can also fine-tune the sound via Jabra App.
This is another product that features a charging case, omnidirectional mic, and superior sound. The earbuds are only 4 grams, fitting snugly in the ear and are almost undetectable to others.
If you have heard some of best wired earbuds under $100, Erato Apollo 7 are very close in terms of sound quality. They offer solid bass, clear treble and overall balance sounding profile.
They fit comfortably to most ear shapes and with one button control, it is simple to navigate tracks and adjust the volumes. They also have solid Bluetooth connection over long range up to 10 meters.
While Apollo 7 earbuds have a great built quality, they are very expensive compared to other sets such as Airpods or The Dash Headphones and their headset function isn’t as good as others.
Earin offers a truly engaging wire-free listening experience, but it does come at a premium price. The Earin has a simplistic design with the two ultracompact earbuds, which are well built and light weight. The Earin earbuds fits comfortably and snugly in the ears as it uses Comply foam tips, which also provides a high level of noise isolation. The included stabilizers–wing tips provide extra secure fit for your workout.
Setting up Earin is surprisingly easy, and there are even no buttons that may confuse you. As soon as they are fully charged and are out of the tube, they are about to enter pairing mode, and you can instantly pair them in your phone’s Bluetooth settings.
Aiming to keep the size of earbuds as small as possible, the Earin wireless earbuds can only host tiny battery, which has a playtime varied between 2.5 and 3 hours on a single charge. When not in use, the earbuds are stored in a carrying case, which also work as a charger, giving earbuds 3 triple battery times.
In terms of sound quality, powered by balanced armature drivers the Earin sounds accurately crossing over all ranges, tuning the tight and clean sound with an enjoyable transient response. Bass boost is also another notable highlight of the Earin earbuds. The Earin earbuds are no simplistic gimmick, but a genuine breakthrough in wireless technology, and a great-sounding one at that.
- Smallest and lightest
- Rich, full sound
- Easy and simple to use
- Impressive sound quality for a truly wireless in ear headphones
- Though they include the charging case, which enable you to re-charge the earbuds on the go, the Earin’s battery can last just more than 2 hours.
- Connection drops when you stuff your host phone in pan pocket
- No controls or mic for calls
- Balance shifts sometimes from one side to the other
Bragi Dash is one of the most ambitious wireless earbuds available on the market. It is an independent 4GB media player, a fitness tracker with a step counter and heart rate monitor, and also great earbuds with decent sound quality, so it can play music without connecting to any devices. While there is clearly an inclination towards active people, features like audio transparency and swipe/touch controls are quite refreshing and will appeal to anyone willing to fork out relatively high price tag for these earbuds.
The Bragi Dash sits comfortably and snugly in your ears. Even when running, there is no risk of these earbuds falling off. An interesting feature is that if you want to change a song, you just tap twice on the right earbud while tapping the left earbud shows your running process. There are several silicon skins included to accommodate a broad range of ear sizes.
Bragi Dash also comes with a transparency feature that should come in handy for runners. Normally, when you are using your earphones, the very last thing you would want is also to hear the external environment sounds. However, for runners, it is important to be aware of one’s surroundings, and that is what the Bragi Dash provides through the transparency feature – feeding ambient noise through the microphones to your ears.
The only weakest link of the Bragi Dash is its fitness tracking feature as it can only track running. The only measurements you get are heart rate, total steps and period of a workout. Nevertheless, support swimming (it’s waterproof) and cycling are soon going to be added on through an update.
Lastly, the Dash can work as a Bluetooth headset but it don’t offer a good call quality.
- Stellar noise isolation
- Touch controls
- Fitness tracking
- Integrated 4Gb-MP3 players, which can hold up 1000 songs
- Great build quality
- Fitness features require expanding
- Bluetooth connection problems outdoors.
- Mediocre sound–lacking in clarity
Bragi announced their second gen of the Dash, The Headphone with the pre-order price $140. Check out this post to find out which features have been cut and improved from the Dash.
“Wireless Earbuds Now Are Not Just Cable-Free But Getting More Sophisticated”
As you probably know audio makers have struggled to figure out the way that make the sound by Bluetooth get better. One of innovations was Aptx, which has been used for years, but supposedly it needs to be improved. The Hearnotes innovatively utilizes Kleer technology, which is believed to deliver loss-less sound with outstanding details as HearNotes promises
Hearnotes is based an innovative audio project aimed at developing earphones that are truly “wirefree.” These ground-breaking earbuds are hooked over your ears, with no wire connections between the two earphones with the hangers worn around the ear will keep the earbuds stay securely. The Baton transmitter is then plugged into your device of choice to transmit sound directly to the earbuds. Also, you also get a wireless portable charging base that you can easily carry around in your bag and recharge your earphones on the go.
The Hearnotes run on a unique system known as KLEER Technology, which gives it several advantages over other conventional wireless earphones. This new technology is expected to boost sound quality and lengthen battery life. The range of transmission with Hearnotes is also better than other wireless earbuds that get disconnected immediately when you move out of range.
- Premium sound through KLEER Technology
- Longer range of transmission
- Sleek look
The latest wireless earbuds of Earin, the M-2 were introduced at CES 2017. The Swedish company claimed this is lighter and smaller than any other truly wireless earbuds available. The M-2 has built-in mic for calls and touch control for track navigation and taking calls.
The first model of company encountered some problems related to connectivity. To solve this, Earin has utilized the Dual antenna and near-field magnetic induction (NFMI) for solid connection to any Bluetooth devices the M-2 connects to.
The M-2 are set to deliver in March, yet no specific date and price were indicated by the company.
FreeWavz incorporates a lot of useful features, including active noise cancellation, tracking your performance and voice guide. For sound, you can change the frequency response to match your taste of sound.
Forget about buying a fitness tracking device or a smartwatch to track your stats as you work out. Rather, just get the FreeWavz wireless earbuds will keep track of your workout while you listen to some motivating music. Also, the design of the FreeWavz-over the ear makes it comfy to wear, and it should be able to withstand tough workouts.
The stats that FreeWavz can monitor include the steps taken, average speed, distance covered, duration, calories and heart rate among others. These stats are generated in real-time and delivered to your connected device through its app to allow to customize and enhance your overall fitness experience.
There is also the Heads Up feature that allows FreeWavz to be used a voice command prompt so that you can schedule meetings, check calendars and so much more – all through the earbuds. Also, these earbuds are sweat resistant and water resistant as they are entirely sealed inside a snug, soft rubber.
The FreeWavz wireless earbuds have longest battery life.
- Long battery life
- Great fitness features
- Easy to use
- Quite large and bulky compared to other models in this list
- The extra features reduce playtime significantly
True Wireless EarBuds Buyer’s Guide
It is worth noting that the sound quality of these models is not comparable to their wired companions, and their battery is required to recharge regularly. That’s all sort of things may pop up in my mind when I look to buy Bluetooth earbuds. Though wireless in ear headphones are built with a lot of practical features, here are top five big challenges any audio makers will meet and try to fix when they design their wireless earbuds.
Short battery life: As you can see small and compact size mean wireless earbuds are not able to incorporate a better battery, making them have lower capacity. This can be simply solved by portable charging case, which gives earbuds a full of juice once they are stored. Or in the future, earbud companies can make a longer lasting battery.
Easily to get lost if they fall out: If you wear those devices in public transportation, and accidentally one of your earbuds fall out in a crowd, the chance that someone will step on it, or hiding in a place that you won’t be able to plot them. If they are not drop proof, the incident may cause the drivers breaking
Sound quality: wireless audio seems not attract too much to audiophiles. The big issue with those wireless earbuds is sound quality, and most of them sound mediocre. They sound lack of details and the frequency response is not as full as wire earbuds.
Connectivity issues: Supported by Bluetooth®3.0 and 4.0–Bluetooth receiver, these earbuds have no problem with compatibility, but one of the major problem is that not only does your phone have to connect them separately but 2 earbuds have to sync with each other. So they may not sustain the connection stability, the audio lagged or connection drops are common issues. This happened to the VerveOnes–the latest completely wireless earbuds of Motorola.
Apps: You can monitor your activities, including heart rate (HRM), steps by companion apps synced with The Dash wireless, which is integrated bio-sensors. However, these information obtained is not always accurate.
HRM: Smart watches and other wearables like HRM wireless earbuds are built with HR sensors. Though these wearables don’t provide 100% accuracy HR measurements but the data collected from app can tell a lot about your health.
According to a reasearch conducted by Cardiogram and UCSF, the HR recorded from smart watch users that can predict diabetes with 85 percent accuracy.
We don’t know yet whether Samsung will collect the HR data from Gear IconX users for their own App that can identify the HR patterns but Apple has already released the Heart Study app, which send notification to users if it finds irregular HR patterns indicating atrial fibrillation.
Which pair of wireless earbuds will be right for you and going to be the next revolution in wearables? they replace the wrist band, phones and earbuds, accumulating everything you need for your workout in a single in ear device. Here are top 6 things they may have in the future:
- Hearing Aid: IQbuds has been making the product.
- Sound customization by app, adjusting frequency response (JayBird Run Free)
- Real-time translation: The Pilot earbud is in development stage, but it is a single earpiece.
- Feature from connect app that can locate the earbuds on Google Map if they get lost
- Integrated optical sensors to monitor sugar levels in blood.
- Thermal sensors to track body temperature.
- Can play snoothing sounds making you sleep better (ANC Bose sleepbuds)
- Voice assistant: Google voice, Alexa, Siri, Cortana are everywhere. Google developed their Pixel Buds, Apple did with Apple Airpods and Microsoft will soon announce their first pair of earbuds too.
- Wireless charging: the reason why most true wireless earbuds go with a charging case because it is difficult to build micro-charging port on the earbuds, adding weight and nuisance for users. Without charging case you can’t charge earbuds. Wireless charging has been used for phones, Bluetooth mouses and it soon will be a feature for true wireless earbuds. At the end of the day, you just leave it on the charging station and they are ready to use for the next day.
- Built-in sensor can detect which location/direction user is looking or heading to.
It is possible that they will overcome the connectivity problem like Bluetooth connection cutting out and pairing complication. For the sound quality do they sound better than Bluetooth earbuds or behind the neck Bluetooth headphones? Personally, I think my wearable’s battery life should be more than 4 hours.
Check out this post to see how did we pick? Which wireless earbuds above are worth buying please leave your comment below!
For under $100 you can get some really good earbuds.
Updated on 02/08/2018
Which features do you need the most please answer the survey below:
Click here to view the result: Touch control is the most important feature for true wireles earbuds, which accounts for more than 80% rating score from 7, while HRM feature is the least important 43.5% people rated this feature with rating score 1.