Review: 5 true wireless earbuds

Premium earbuds at a comfortable price

If you need new earbuds, they should be completely wireless. Here we are looking for the best of the cheaper premium buds.

Published 2021-09-12 - 7:00 am
5 true wireless earbuds
Geir Nordby

Products in this test

It is not many years since the world saw its first completely wireless earbuds – also known as true wireless. Now they are everywhere. The market is flooded with the small plastic knobs, and just when it was thought that the selection is large enough, new ones appear.

Of course you do not want a squeaky cord if you can opt it out, at the same time a pair of small earbuds takes up much less space than a pair of full-sized cans (which does not prevent the marked for over ear headphones to be even more flooded).

Better battery life

Compared to semi-wireless in-ears, connected by a cable behind the neck, the completely wireless earbuds have previously suffered from a shorter battery life. This has improved significantly now, with battery life of up to 9 hours in the earbuds alone, and more recharges from the portable case. In other words, the completely wireless earbuds have become much more functional lately, since you do not have to constantly take them out of your ears to charge them.

Noise reduction and ambient noise

Lately, more and more earbuds have got active noise reduction, and also an ambient mode, letting in sound from the surroundings. The latter is of course good to have when maneuvering the electric scooter in dangerous traffic, and other times we want to reduce low-frequency noise that the plugs cannot handle on their own, such as the noise from an aircraft cabin.

Premium class true wireless earbuds

In this test, we are looking at earbuds around £200 and just below. It is a slightly lower level than the top models of, for example, Bang & Olufsen, Sony and Sennheiser, but at the same time it is well above the cheapest models that cost from a hundred Pounds and down. This is a reasonable price level, if you are picky about sound and functionality.

In this test, we compare the Supra Nero-TX Pro, JBL Tour Pro +, Sennheiser CX True Wireless, Beats Studio Buds and OnePlus Buds Pro.

Products in this test

Supra Nero-TX Pro

The king of bass

Supra has taken its brilliant cheap plugs and given them active noise cancellation - and even longer battery life. The price tag is also higher.

Heavy bass, long overall battery life, working noise cancellation and ambient sound. Ultra compact!
Can be a little harsh in the upper midrange, especially on some female voices. The lid is not attched to the charging case.
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JBL Tour Pro+

Possibility for big sound

If you are a bit technical and trust your own ears, you can tweak JBL Tour Pro+ to golden sound.

The great EQ allows for great sound. Noise reduction and ambient noise are nice additions. Wireless charging.
Uncorrected, the sound is a bit fidgety in the midrange, and the sound is generally a bit loud and harsh. Not the best speech quality.
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Sennheiser CX True Wireless

Great sound, but ...

Provided you find buds that fit your ears properly, the Sennheiser CX True Wireless provides wonderful sound.

Fabulous sound, provided you get the optimal fit.
No active noise cancellation. Maximum sound level could be higher. The silicone pillows often slipped out of our ears, we had to resort to alternative pillows.
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Beats Studio Buds

Sharp Beats

We have seldom been so excited about a pair of earplugs for less than £200. Or so similarly disappointed.

Hassle-free connection. Noise reduction and ambient sound, supports Spatial Audio. Missing plugs can be found using the mobile phone.
Harsh sound, no app with EQ adjustment.
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OnePlus Buds Pro

Excellent AirPods copy

It is quite clear that OnePlus has used AirPods Pro as a template, yet Buds Pro is so successful that they deserve to be seen as something of their own.

Very lifelike sound on music, good transients on piano and great sound with voices. Well-working noise cancellation and ambient sound. OK control directly on the plugs, good quality impression.
The app has no EQ function. No multipoint connection yet.
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