There are two ways of listening to music: you can shut everything out and focus purely on the tunes, or you can use music to enhance other activities in your life. Headphones and earbuds, especially those of the noise-cancelling variety are quite good at the first; you just put some on, turn up the volume, and let everything else fade away. However, when it comes to the second kind of enjoyment of tunes, earbuds aren't quite as proficient. Now sometimes that's a good thing, because I doubt many people like hearing others grunt at the gym or taking a jackhammer to the street. But at the same time, wearing earbuds often means you lose the ability to hear the bell of a bike coming up from behind you, or the chirping of birds on a beautiful day in the park.
Tagged With wireless earbuds
Despite many tries, no company has nailed truly wireless earbuds. Apple's AirPods come close, but the lack of sports-friendly features has always been a problem. That's why I was so excited to see Sony release a set of truly wireless earbuds that are not only tight-fitting and water resistant, they also come with noise-cancelling. After two weeks of testing, I have to admit that the new Sony buds aren't perfect, but they're seductively good.
When I first heard the pitch for the Sony WF-1000X, I thought I was hearing it wrong. Sony made a new set of wireless earbuds that aren't just completely wireless -- they also employ active noise-cancelling tech. This is a first for the wireless earbud industry, and let me be the first to tell you: It's kind of awesome.
Apple crushed a big problem when it released the AirPods. Companies had been trying -- and failing -- to build truly wireless earbuds for years. But then Apple showed up and was like, "Here they are!" Now, it's Bose's turn. The new SoundSport Free wireless earbuds are sleek, powerful, and dependable. The Bose buds can do things that the AirPods can't. They're also $US250.
This fall seems like the season we're finally going to see an amazing new family of gadgets: completely wireless headphones that work properly. Sure, companies have tried for years, but most of those attempts have sucked (or been really hard to actually buy). And now, Jaybird is sprinting out of the gates with Run, a slick set of earbuds that practically disappear in your ears. Unfortunately, the new Jaybird buds have some problems.
Apple doesn't release new products very often, but when it does, people pay attention. In fact, it's probably safe to say that the gadget gurus at Sony were taking notes. The Japanese company just announced two products that could safely be called ripoffs of Apple's newest products: a slick set of wireless earbuds and a smart home speaker.
One of the big trends we're expecting at CES 2017 are "truly wireless" earbuds, much like Apple's AirPods. But unlike others out there, the IQbuds from startup Nuheara have a bit of a twist. IQbuds aren't just truly wireless earbuds for music, they can also be used to augment the sound happening around you to dial-back ambient noise and elevate the sound of someone talking.
I had high hopes for Sol Republic's new Amps Air truly wireless earbuds. Sol Republic has a long history of making low-priced gear that sounds pretty good, and with Apple's AirPods delayed for the next little while, the Amps Air earbuds could be a good alternative, especially since they sell for just $US180, with a special $US150 promo price. And then I put them in my ears.
I am listening to music at all times. Always. I've missed whole memos of verbal information and dodged countless potentially life-changing conversations. I've been the guy in a bar with headphones on. And carrying me through this blissful solitude was a pair of indestructible $10 corded earbuds that I knew to sound only kind of good. Wireless earbuds usually market themselves towards the sporty, sweat-prone types, and I'd yet to find a pair that could also help me tune out the world 24 hours a day. That's still not the case, but the Jaybird X3 comes pretty damn close.
Apple finally went through with it. It killed the headphone jack on the iPhone 7. In its place, you can use headphones that connect to the Lightning port. But Apple thinks the future is wireless headphones. And AirPods are its vision for that future.
Bose likes to talk about how it invented noise-cancelling headphones. While technically true, it didn't seem to give the company any advantage over the competition that now saturates store shelves with wireless ear gadgets of various kinds. But, finally, Bose is making its most popular noise-cancelling headphone, the QuietComforts, completely wireless.
I'm obsessed with wireless headphones. Once you get past the inevitable connectivity conundrum, it's simply brilliant to listen to music comfortably without being tethered to a device. But wireless earbuds never lived up to that promise -- until now.