Comparison Review: Best true wireless earbuds right now

Completely wireless

Time to cut the cable! We have reviewed 11 of the best true wireless earbuds right now

Fully wireless earbuds are the latest category among headphones, but also the best-selling. Everyone wants completely wireless!

If we disregard the obvious disadvantage – namely that it is twice as easy to lose at least one earplug as if the two were connected – then the advantages are several.

First, release the cable that rubs against the body. This creates noise that propagates into the ear. Secondly, the amplifier sits directly at the speaker element, which facilitates an extremely fast start and stop of the speaker element. Important for the dynamics. Just be aware that with less space for the amplifier, the maximum sound level is often a little lower with the completely wireless plugs. Third, the plugs take up very little space in your pocket, even in your travel case. You also never have to think about loosening a tangle of wires when you get them ready to listen to your favorite music.

Battery life

A disadvantage until now with completely wireless earplugs has been the battery life. The tiny batteries have so far given us 3-5 hours of battery life. If you do not count the extra time you get from charging in the case, which has a built-in battery for charging. But now it is more common with up to 6-7 and even 10 hours of playing time in the earplugs, and it is not uncommon for you to get 20 hours extra from the case. In other words, battery life is no longer a reason not to buy completely wireless earbuds.

Lately, it has become increasingly common for earplugs to let out ambient sound, and this is very nice since the earplugs insulate very well. So look for this feature, is our tip. Several models have also begun to receive active noise reduction. Because even though the earplugs themselves attenuate eye frequencies, they are less effective at taking the low ones. If you are sitting on a plane with a lot of noise in the cabin, it is an advantage with active noise reduction as well.

Cheap and expensive

In this test, we consider some of the newest earplugs on the market, which range from the cheapest – under 100 £ – and all the way up to the top of the premium layer. There we find, for example, Bang & Olufsen and Sennheiser, who are fighting for the throne. We have not included the Apple Airpods Pro this time, we have included them in comparison tests before. The same with Samsung Galaxy Buds and probably many others you are wondering about. On the other hand, we have included Powerbeats Pro in this test, since they still stand out as exceptional earplugs. For a more complete overview of tested earplugs, you can take a deep dive into our test archive here.

The experience we had in this test is that it is definitely worth paying more for better sound, but if you have a tight budget, you will definitely find something to your liking as well.

Thanks for reading Tech Reviews.

Create your free account or to continue reading.

Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive mail with link to set new password.

.

What do you think?

4.8 / 5. 140

Technics EAH_AZ70W

The icing on the technological cake

Technics EAH-AZ70W has everything you could want from technology in a pair of earbuds, and also excellent sound with great resolution.

Our verdict

Good noise cancellation, neutral and resolved sound
We want more punch
  • Type: Fully wireless hearing aids
  • Bluetooth: 5.0
  • Water resistance: IPX4
  • Codecs: AAC, SBC
  • Battery life: 6.5 hours + 13 hours extra from case
  • App: Technics Audio Connect
  • Weight: 2 x 7 g + case 45 g
  • Charging cable: USB-C
  • Number of earplugs in the box: 6 pairs
  • Web: technics.com
show more
show less

Price 299 £

Technics EAH-AZ70W, possibly just the AZ70, is a more refined version of the Panasonic RZ-S500W. Among other things with larger 10 mm speaker elements, lined with graphene for lower distortion and more airy harmonics. Where Panasonic uses plastic, there is more aluminum on Technics. Otherwise, it is the same technology inside, as advanced active noise cancellation with both analog and digital processing of the signal. Beam technology on the microphones picks up more of the voice and less of ambient noise, thus providing clearer call quality. And it works.

As an alternative to suppressing noise from outside, you can let it through, and it works well. The surroundings are then reproduced with a nice midrange reproduction, and it never sounds sharp.

An oversized Bluetooth antenna on the inside will provide better stability. Battery life is better than with Panasonic, with 6.5 hours in the plugs and 13 hours extra in the charging case. It also comes with two extra pairs of pillows, 6 instead of 4, so there is a greater chance that someone will fit your ears. On me, the medium pillows that sit on in the box work, and the fit is nice.

In the app you can select different EQ settings or create your own. Here you can also choose whether you want noise cancellation (basically it is on), and also how much with a stepless lever. Alternatively, you can select Ambient mode, which does the opposite: namely, lets ambient sound through, so you hear when you are talking to. You can also find lost earplugs with the same app.

Technics can also call up the voice assistants Alexa, Assistant and Siri at the touch of a button.

The sound of the Technics EAH-AZ70W

Where the Panasonic S500W sounds balanced and nice, but lacks a little resolution at the very top, Technics takes it a bit further. Here there are extra nuances at the top, which makes Eric Lu’s piano hands dance easier, with a great harmonic structure from the grand piano. Acoustic guitar also has a more natural sound than with Panasonic, although they both have a neutral production of the instruments. It just sounds more real with Technics, which also surpasses the B&O Beoplay E8 in this discipline. B&O sounds a little louder at the top.

The bass at Technics is very well balanced, and never sticks out in an unwanted way or steals space from the midrange. The chest sound of large male voices comes out well, without being masked by tones in the bass.

With Panasonic, we also missed dynamics and the fun factor. Technics are better at this, although these also do not have the last word in this discipline. Should I hear Lady Gaga or Ariana Grande, I prefer to activate the Bass Boost function, but here too it does not work miracles in the rhythm section. When it sounds as good as it does here at moderate volume, you want more. And it works to boost the sound, but Technics lacks a bit compared to the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2.

The extra sound structures that come with Technics compared to Panasonic, send the more expensive twin up a quality class. Definitely worth the price difference of a thousand kroner. The increased feeling of quality adds extra joy of ownership, but it is first and foremost the better sound and not least the longer battery life that makes me want to go for Technics.

Conclusion

Technics EAH-AZ70W are a pair of very twisted earplugs. Good battery life, solid quality impression and great call quality pull up. The same goes for active noise reduction, which works great. The call quality is also very good, and when the sound quality can even compete with the very best, this is a very exciting choice.

The only thing we miss at Technics is more push, guffawing and commitment in the rhythm section. Acoustic instruments sound fantastic, but there is a bit to go on when party music appears in the playlist.

Beoplay E8 3.0

Luxury that finally sits

Bang & Olufsen have tried and failed sometimes with their completely wireless Beoplay E8. Beoplay E8 3.0 is the best so far.

Our verdict

Nice sound with lots of details. Ambient sound that is let through sounds very natural. Wireless range is finally good, and support for wireless charging is fine.
The sound could well have been louder. Touch features are quite knotty, and the Bluetooth connection could have been more intuitive. Not NFC.
  • Type: completely wireless earplugs
  • Bluetooth: 5.1
  • Waterproof: IP54
  • Coder: aptX, AAC, SBC
  • Battery: 7 hours, 35 extra in case
  • Weight: 11.6 g
  • Charging cable: USB C
  • Web: bang-olufsen.com
show more
show less

Price 345 £

Beoplay E8 3.0 is Bang & Olufsen’s latest version of their completely wireless earbuds, which can also charge wirelessly.

The problem with its predecessor was first and foremost that the wireless range was far too poor, and that wireless noise from other Bluetooth products negatively affected the E8 2.0. Both parts are fixed now. And even though there are several more expensive earplugs that do not support aptX, it is definitely a minus, something B&O has taken on and finally got in place.

Battery life has also greatly improved since the last time. Up from 4 to 7 hours in the plugs, and also 35 hours extra in the case, compared to the predecessor’s 12 hours. Not bad!

B_O Beoplay E8_3Gen wireless charging
Photo: Bang & Olufsen

The slight time delay of its predecessor that went beyond the gaming experience has not gotten any better, even with aptX. If you are going to play, you have to live with the sound hanging around for a quarter of a second after the action.

The fit of the E8 3rd Generation is identical to its predecessor. In my ears they sit well, but I have read that others think they are a little troublesome. Ease of use is good, but it will always take some time to get used to the printing on the two earplugs. Press once, twice and even three times, perform different functions, and the right and left earplugs do different things. But you get used to this.

One thing I like about the Beoplay E8 is how it lets through ambient sound when you want it. This is done by tapping the left earplug easily, or you can do it in the mobile app, then with three different degrees of volume. The surroundings sound much more natural through the E8 than with any other earplugs I have heard with a similar function. For example, Panasonic and Technics, which both sound a little more closed.

You still do not get active noise reduction here.

The sound of Beoplay E8 3rd Generation

The sound is almost the same as its predecessor, with a rich and good bass – although not the most powerful. It could well hit a little harder on electronic rhythms, especially compared to Powerbeats Pro.

With aptX from an Android phone, the treble becomes even more fine-meshed and airy, compared to the AAC sound you get through the iPhone. But the sound signature is otherwise the same. By the way, if you want to adapt the sound to your own taste, this can be done in the app.

What I miss is sound pressure. Maximum sound level actually seems to be a notch lower than its predecessor, perhaps to extend battery life. It makes me sit a lot and play music at full blast, and it also makes classical music quite boring. Here, Sennheiser is better.

The call quality, on the other hand, is excellent. The receiver hears my voice clearly and distinctly, as with Panasonic and Technics.

Conclusion

Beoplay E8 3rd Generation – which is officially just called E8, is a pair of very good luxury earplugs. The sound is good, with lots of details. Ambient sound is also nice to be able to let through, and the sound of conversations is very good.

Wireless range is finally on par with the best, and the connection is much more stable than on its predecessor. Finally, aptX is in place, but the sound delay is still almost a quarter of a second compared to the image. That makes gaming a little annoying affair.

All in all, a great earplug, and a clear improvement from its predecessor.

Klipsch T5 True Wireless
Klipsch T5 True Wireless

I really want these earplugs to be good!

Klipsch likes it best when the music is thrown into the listener's face. It also happens here, but we have to make some reservations.

Our verdict

Energetic midrange, lots of dynamics. Fantastically satisfactory charging case.
Coarse-grained and fairly sharp sound.
  • Type: completely wireless earplugs
  • Bluetooth: 5.0
  • Waterproof: IPX4
  • Coder: AptX, AAC, SBC
  • Battery: 8 h + 25 h from case
  • App: No.
  • Weight: 2 x 5.5 g + 96.9 g
  • Charging cable: USB C
  • Number of ear cushions in the box: 3
  • Web: klipsch.com
show more
show less

Price 1390 £

When it comes to the ability to entertain, few are above or beside Klipsch. Their speakers ooze rock factor, while being very versatile in music style. They are world famous for their horn speakers, and use horn treble for almost everything.

Since horn elements do not exist for headphones that I know of, Klipsch still has to rely on regular drivers here. Still, you have managed to get much of the same fun and commitment, not least with the expensive top model HP-3.

Earplugs are a new water for the famous speaker manufacturer, who wants to show what you can do with the top model Klipsch T5 True Wireless.

The first thing I notice is the elegant aluminum charging case, which draws associations to the famous Zippo lighter. Only lower and significantly thicker. It is the most beautiful case I have seen for this type of earplugs, with smooth and soft curves and very trustworthy weight. Gorgeous. Klipsch tops it by offering personal engraving, if you order from their website.

There is no app for the T5, so you have to take what you get when it comes to sound. There is an app on the way, but when it will come we do not know.

Eight hours of battery life in the earplugs themselves and 25 extra in the case is very respectable. When it comes to adaptation, however, I have problems with the earplugs protruding too far from the ears. Too small pillows, like the ones that sit on in the box, do not seal properly with me, and the houses weigh down and threaten to tip out of the ear at any time. The largest pillows, on the other hand, fit better. Still, I’m not entirely happy with the fit.

Klipsch_T5_TrueWireless_Lifestyle
Photo: Klipsch

The sound of the Klipsch T5 True Wireless

To connect the earbuds, select the right plug in the list of Bluetooth devices. The connection is otherwise fine.

I get carried away by the sound, which is full of energy. Especially electric guitars are reproduced with such a push, that it feels as if I have implanted a Marshall amplifier into the skull! This pulls! It is also very liberating, after missing midrange energy from previous candidates, that one suddenly brings out the tones in this important area.

When the enthusiasm for the energetic joy of the game has subsided, I notice that it gets a little hard. Especially on pieces of music with prominent vocals, it is in the sharpest layer. And isn’t it a little slim in the bass? Yes, definitely.

In the treble range, sibilants get too much attention, so ss become hard, and cymbals also bite extra. In excess of a lot. Hip hop vocals get too nasal, female voices fussy and a piano tunes as it is played through a PA amplifier.

According to Klipsch, an app is on its way, and then an EQ function is expected, among other things, which will be able to solve a number of problems with the sound. But as it is now, this sound is “too particularly interested”.

The call quality is also nothing further to write home about. “It sounds like you’re sitting inside a box,” has been mentioned up to several times.

Conclusion

Klipsch T5 True Wireless oozes rawness, and the case in “Zippo lighter metal” gives an almost unheard of great quality impression. I really want these earplugs to be good!

To begin with, I also get carried away. The super-energetic midrange never gets boring, and this is an important tonal range where there is a lot of goodies from voices and instruments. And no one should touch Klipsch with the joy of playing.

Unfortunately, it gets too hard and harsh, the bass is not quite big enough to follow up, and the harmonic area sharpens. Even with low-key, delicate music, it tears too much in the ears. The call quality is not impressive either.

Sometimes it can simply be too much.

Skullcandy sesh evo blue
Skullcandy Sesh Evo

Do what it's supposed to

Skullcandy's cheapest completely wireless earbuds Skullcandy Sesh Evo have rhythmically enough bass, and sound pretty good. When set correctly.

Our verdict

Energetic bass, works for training. Movie sound mode sounds pretty good.
Missing details, especially in the overtones. Default setting sounds woolly. Poor call quality.
  • Type: completely wireless earplugs
  • Bluetooth: 5.0
  • Waterproof: IP55
  • Coder: SBC
  • Battery: 5 h + 24 h from case
  • App: No.
  • Weight: 63.5 g (total w / case)
  • Charging cable: USB C
  • Number of ear pads in the box: 3
  • Web: skullcandy.com
show more
show less

Price 89 £

When you get below the thousand mark for a pair of completely wireless earplugs with good battery life, it starts to taste like a bird. Skullcandy Sesh Evo is also water and dust protected with IP55 certification, which means that you can train well with them – even in heavy rain.

Skullcandy has something they call Fearless Use Promise, which means that if you destroy or lose a part that is not covered by the warranty and return the plugs, you will receive new plugs in exchange for only paying for the part that is damaged or lost.

Battery capacity is stated at 5 hours in the earplugs, while the charging case that charges lasts another 24 hours.

Sesh Evo is compatible with the Tile app, which allows you to track them with Tile if you have lost them. Fun.

The earbuds do not support the Skullcandy app, but there are some EQ settings to choose from. Press the skull logo four times on one of the earbuds, and scroll through three different EQ functions: Music, Podcast, and Movie. Music mode is preset. Steer clear of Podcast mode for anything other than pure speech, as it removes all bass. Whether you choose Music or Film, on the other hand, depends a bit on your own preferences.

You control music and conversations by clicking the skull logo on each earplug, and they work properly. But be aware that call quality is deplorable stuff. The other party will hear you as trapped and hollow.

The sound of Skullcandy Sesh Evo

At first I was quite impressed by the hefty bass in the Sesh Evo. You feel it in your head every time the bass drum beats, and the bass guitar takes up a lot of space. But it takes up too much space, and masks the chest sound area in singing voices. It sounds too woolly, and does not get particularly engaging anyway.

Switch from Music to Movie sound mode, and the energy in the bass range moves from the middle bass down to the subwoofer range. This gives the voices more space, and comes out more clearly. It also gets clearer in the top register, overall it sounds a lot better in my ears. You lose a bit of the party bass factor, and now it rumbles a little too much all the way down in the bass register. It does not sound as rhythmic. But I prefer this mode, since I like to listen to the singing voices and also to bring out the different sound layers in instruments.

But no matter how you twist and turn it, Sesh Evo is too coarse-grained. They do not sound as engaging as the Supra Nero-TX, which at the same price has at least as much bass as the Skullcandy Sesh Evo, and also has a more powerful amplifier that can play louder. And without it sounding woolly at the top.

Are there training plugs you are looking for at this price, I would rather look in the direction of Kygo E7 / 900.

Conclusion

Skullcandy Sesh Evo is a cheap entrance ticket to completely wireless earplugs, and also withstands water and sweat and can be used for training.

The preset EQ sounds too woolly, with way too much midrange. Press four times, then four more times to switch to Movie mode, and it sounds better. There is still a little too much grumbling at the bottom of the bass, and it gets a little coarse-grained. But no longer a crisis.

There are even better earplugs for the price, also for training, but in the right sound mode, the Sesh Evo does what they are supposed to.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2

Our new favorite

Review: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 - Sennheiser reaches the top with its latest edition of Momentum True Wireless.

Our verdict

Excellent sound quality, improved operation, great fit and - finally - long playing time! Active noise reduction comes in handy in some situations.
Outgoing call sound is a bit more confined than with its predecessor. Sound delay a bit big for action games and movies.
  • Type: completely wireless earplugs
  • Bluetooth: 5.1
  • Waterproof: IPX4
  • Coder: aptX, AAC, SBC
  • Battery: 7 h + 21 h from case
  • Weight: 12 g
  • Charging cable: USB C
  • Web: sennheiser.com
show more
show less

Price 319 £

The new Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 is almost identical to the previous model, but now active noise cancellation is finally in place. In addition, the battery life is greatly improved, up from 4 to 7 hours in the plugs themselves, and with an additional 21 hours from the case. A total of 28 hours of playing time more than doubles the total capacity of its predecessor.

With active noise reduction, more microphones are required on the inside than its predecessor. This also benefits the speech quality, when you are in noisy environments. Like a cafe. The actual noise reduction works in the low-frequency register, while the ear pads effectively dampen the harmonic range. The noise reduction here is moderate, not deleted as efficiently as with the Panasonic RZ-S500W or Technics EAH-AZ70W, but it helps a bit.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 lifestyle
Photo: Sennheiser

The earplugs can be operated directly with finger tapping if desired. You have various functions on the right and left, for example, the left finger controls songs back and forth, as well as pause and answer calls.

An audio delay of 2-300 ms is unfortunately very common, and also applies to Sennheiser. With movies, things are generally going well, since most movie and TV apps can lip-sync-correct. But with games, it’s worse. Every shot in war games and gear changes in car games comes with delayed sound compared to picture. Here, Powerbeats Pro is significantly better.

The Smart Control app works fine, but I do not understand the EQ function. It’s not very intuitive, and when the sound changes differently for the left and right ear if you go to the right and left, I just get confused.

The sound of Sennheiser True Wireless 2

Fortunately, it sounds great in neutral mode. The sound is actually identical to its predecessor, so if you already have it, it may not be particularly tempting to buy the new one. If you then are not sold on battery life.

The bass is full and cash, which makes it fun to listen to both pop and hip hop. However, it is not dominant, as it tends to be in several others. Singing voices sound beautiful, there is plenty of air and nice body size in guitar and piano. It has a better resolution than the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H8 3rd Gen, and also more pronounced dynamics and fun than with the Technics AZ70. The midrange reproduction is full and natural with Sennheiser, while female vowels have the necessary air, at the same time as there is a good grip on the power from the chest sound.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 product shot
Photo: Sennheiser

Conclusion

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 is just as good as its predecessors both in terms of sound and fit. Both are excellent, and we fully understand that they have not changed a winning recipe!

Instead, one has improved on other things. The most important thing is the battery life, which has increased from 4 to 7 hours in the plugs themselves, and from 8 to 21 hours extra in the travel case! With a total of 28 hours, you can safely leave the charger at home when you go on holiday.

Another improvement is active noise reduction, which attenuates the low frequencies that the plugs themselves cannot handle. It is not super efficient, but works that way fit.

After finally testing Momentum True Wireless 2 directly against other competitors in a group test, it is even clearer that Sennheiser has found the winning recipe!

Still among our favorites

Top-class wireless range, fully-fitted fit - Beats Powerbeats Pro delivers a very engaging sound.

Our verdict

Very engaging sound, and a fit that never falls off. Seamless integration with Siri. Class-leading wireless range.
There are earplugs with better resolution at the very top. Missing some of the features of AirPods Pro.
  • Type: completely wireless earplugs
  • Bluetooth: 5.0
  • Waterproof: IPX4
  • Code: AAC, SBC
  • Battery: 9 h + 15 h from case
  • App: No.
  • Weight: 2 x 20.3 g (weight of case not specified)
  • Charging cable: Lightning
  • Number of ear cushions in the box: 4
  • Web: beatsbydre.com
show more
show less

Price 259 £

If you would like to have AirPods Pro, but think the protruding microphones are a deal breaker, or you think the sound is too loud at the top, then Apple-owned Beats Powerbeats Pro has virtually the same functionality.

Powerbeats Pro has the same fantastic wireless range as the AirPods Pro (around 50 meters according to my own experience), is water and sweat repellent, and easily connects to the iPhone by leading them up. And they charge through the Lightning plug. Powerbeats Pro will also be able to appeal to Android users, because the only features reserved for Apple users are the aforementioned connection method, and that Google Assistant can not be called.

Powerbeats Pro
Photo: Geir Nordby

The beats do not have Apple’s noise reduction function, and you can not use the “Where Is” app on the iPhone to find them if you have put them in a slightly too clever place. And since the microphones do not protrude, the other party will not hear you quite so clearly during a mobile call.

Powerbeats Pro has a long battery life; a full nine hours in the plugs and an extra 15 hours in the case. The case is admittedly a bit large for the trouser pocket, to make room for the ear hoops. We have to endure that.

The ear hoops that go all the way around the ear make it impossible for the plugs to fall out. It also means that the pillows stay in place very well, so there is very little squeaking noise against the ear canal. Also when you exercise! Which in turn makes it much more comfortable to listen to these than many others.

The sound of Powerbeats Pro

Powerbeats Pro is an energy bomb of dimensions in the midrange range, and has the bass to follow up. Pop music engages thousands, and rock is reproduced with rock-hard guitars. This is the sound Klipsch should aim for, with its T5 True Wireless.

There is also great touch and speed in grand piano and piano. There is a lack of air and a feeling of space in relation to the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless and Technics AZ70, and also the Bang & Olufsen plugs have more sound structures than Beats. But compared to the Jaybird Vista training plugs, Beats is far more energetic and engaging. The Jabra Elite Active 75t also sounds more woolly than the Beats straight out of the box, although those with a swipe through the EQ function can be adjusted to actually sound better.

It is still clear that Powerbeats Pro has real gaming fun, and never gets boring to listen to. Still among those I would rather spend my own money on.

Conclusion

The earloop is not for everyone, but it means that the plugs never fall out, and they make almost no squeaking sounds in the ears at all. Thumbs up from here!

The sound is well balanced and very rhythmic and engaging. The only thing missing is a little more air at the top, but this is a damn good overall package.

It is also no minus that the connection is super stable, wireless range is superb, and the battery life as well.

Audio Technica ATH-CK3TW
Audio-Technica ATH-CK3TW

Affordable and good from Audio-Technica

Audio-Technica has finally come up with some completely wireless plugs that fit well in the ears.

Our verdict

Full bass, clear overtones, good call quality. Better fit than previous plugs from the same manufacturer.
The midrange range is too restrained, instruments and vocals lack emphasis here.
  • Type: completely wireless earplugs
  • Bluetooth: 0
  • Waterproof: IPX5
  • Codecs: AptX, SBC (not AAC)
  • Battery: 6 h + 24 h from case
  • App: No.
  • Weight: 2 x 4.7 g + 49.7 g
  • Charging cable: USB C
  • Number of ear cushions in the box: 4
  • Web: audio-technica.com
show more
show less

Price 139 £

The most affordable completely wireless earbuds from Audio-Technica are also the most modern. For example, the ATH-CK3TW is the first to charge with USB C instead of micro-USB, and the extra playing time from the charging case has increased from 9 to 24 hours, compared to other plugs from the same manufacturer.

Where the ATH-CKR7TW protrudes well from the ears, and weighs down when walking with them, the CK3TW is far more streamlined. They are not small either, and there are other plugs with a more discreet fit. But it is definitely a place in the right direction, and they are also far more intuitive to put right in the ear.

The music is controlled back and forth with tapping on the right earplug, volume by tapping on the left: one tap for up, two for down. A long press on any plug activates the voice assistant. Audio-Technica has an app, but it does not support CK3TW. This means, among other things, that you can not tune the sound, but accept what you get.

The earbuds better support Bluetooth audio with aptX codec, but note that AAC is unfortunately not supported, which means that iPhone users have to settle for the low-resolution SBC (Sub Band Codec) codec integrated with Bluetooth technology.

The sound of Audio-Technica ATH-CK3TW

ATH-CK3TW has a better and more natural bass reproduction than both Creative Outlier and Skullcandy Sesh Evo. The harmonics are also more airy and more resolved, which makes both the bottom and top register in the piano under the hands of the young unique Eric Lu sound more natural with Audio-Technica. It is also softer and more comfortable to listen to than with their own top model CKR7TW.

But again, the midrange is missing. In the eagerness to turn up the bass, one pulls down too much in the important midrange register, which means that the sound image does not sound balanced enough. There is a lack of touch in the keys, and female voices such as that of Fiona Apple also lack the necessary impact in the middle register. When I in the Spotify app pull up a bit at around 1 kHz, it all gets much better, but there is no good solution when YouTube is back to the original setting with lost midrange.

I would still argue that the sound quality is solid enough, it does not take much. And considering the price, this is good. And when you raise the volume, it feels more balanced. Eminem’s Godzilla is entertaining listening.

The call quality on CK3TW is good, the other party will hear you clearly and distinctly with these. You also hear your own voice, but a little delayed which can be annoying.

Conclusion

Although the Audio-Technica ATH-CK3TW is not perfect, the sound is more comfortable than with several in its price range. There is a bit missing in the midrange range, and we miss the opportunity to tune the sound to your liking. But overall quite engaging, especially when playing loud.

The fit is better than from the previous completely wireless from Audio-Technica, and finally the battery life – especially in the case – is where it should be.

Call quality is good, even if you hear a delayed version of your own voice in both ears. All in all, no stupid purchase is deleted.

Jaybird Vista case
Jaybird Vista

Sports earbuds with an impact

Jaybird Vista is stable, and with lots of bass energy! But here, too, some weird choices have been made.

Our verdict

Wireless connection is very stable. The user can customize sound and features.
Dark tone, bass-focused and a fairly sharp midrange reproduction. Only the Sub Band Codec (SBC) limits the sound quality.
  • Type: completely wireless earplugs
  • Bluetooth: 5.0
  • Waterproof: IPX7
  • Coder: SBC
  • Battery: 6 h + 10 h from case
  • App: Jaybird MySound
  • Weight: 2 x 6 g (case not specified)
  • Charging cable: USB C
  • Number of ear cushions in the box: 3
  • Web: jaybirdsport.com
show more
show less

Price 189 £

The Jaybird Vista sports earbuds are special in that the wings that attach the earplugs to the inside of the front helix are attached to the pads themselves. Three sizes included: Medium-sized pillows without wings, medium-sized pillows with medium-sized wings, and large pillows with large wings. My ears should probably have had medium-sized pillows with large wings, but the largest fit still sat well, without anything coming loose during use.

Jaybird has stated a range of 10 meters, but out in the open I measured just over 50 meters, before the sound dropped out. This is very good, but also quite typical of the latest 5.0 version of Bluetooth, which is what is used here.

The big advantage of Vista, besides being IPX7 certified which means completely waterproof down to 1 meter, is that they can be customized with the app. On each plug is a button, which allows you to scroll through playlists, set sound level, activate voice assistant and answer calls, depending on which button and how many times it is pressed.

New is that the buttons can now be programmed individually for the right and left earplugs.

There is also a personal EQ feature, where Vista adjusts the sound after a quick hearing test. I ran the test a couple of times, and the result was almost the same every time: Too much bass and treble, and all in all just a very strange sound image.

Jaybird Vista case
Photo: Jaybird

The sound of Jaybird Vista

Right out of the box, the sound has a dark sound balance. There is a swelling in the bass, and also a very midrange-focused reproduction. There are few details and air at the top, which makes acoustic music not the favorite food here. Kacey Musgraves has too sharp a voice on the country ballad Slow Burn, and the box guitar sounds quite loud.

When other journalists have written that there is too little bass, I have wondered a bit what they mean. I have been equally questioning that people prefer Signature sound balance, which you can put in the app. Gradually it has dawned on me that there is too much of the upper bass register, and not as much power down in the deep and middle bass. This makes the earplugs sound dark, but still with a flat sound and tame sound. With Signature, the bass also becomes fuller at the bottom, and the treble also gets a long-awaited lift. But I insist that it is better to pull down in the upper bass register, and up in the treble, if the goal is a balanced soundscape. Though, when you train I can understand that the Signature sound works well, as you get more focus on the rhythms.

Rhythmic music works well for the purpose, Sam Feldt’s Post Malone comes out well, with quickly delivered rhythms that make it easy to keep up with the rhythms when you are out running.

There is a general lack of resolution and dynamics in Vista, which also does not support either aptX or at least AAC, which one should be able to expect from a pair of earbuds for almost 2,000 kroner.

As music plugs, there are definitely better choices. As a training plug, Vista must also be beaten by the Jabra Elite Active 75t.

Conclusion

Jaybird Vista is a pair of very reliable, completely wireless earplugs for training. First and foremost, they sit well, the battery life is very good, and they can withstand everything you can pull on them from water and sweat. The wireless connection is very stable, outdoors you can be very far away from the mobile phone and still hear the music.

The weakness of Vista lies in the sound quality. Even with its heavy bass and harsh rhythms, the earplugs suffer from a lack of air and openness, and it sometimes sounds sharp. This can be partially fixed in the app, but you can not do anything with coarse-grained sound. It works for training, but there are other training plugs that sound at least as good at a lower price.

Creative Outlier Gold

Good idea, poorly executed

Creative Outlier Gold has some smart stuff in it, but the sound can not be approved.

Our verdict

Full-bodied and rhythmic bass, interesting Super X-Fi function for holographic sound. Fantastic battery life!
Sharp treble, too little midrange. Very "hammock" sound! EQ function does not work outside the app.
  • Type: completely wireless earplugs
  • Bluetooth: 5.0
  • Waterproof: IPX5
  • Coder: AptX, AAC, SBC
  • Battery: 14 h + 25 h from case
  • App: SXFI
  • Weight: 2 x 5 g + 54 g
  • Charging cable: USB C
  • Number of ear cushions in the box: 4
  • Web: creative.com
show more
show less

Price 1300 £

Among the two completely wireless earplug models in Creative’s arsenal, Outlier Gold is the most expensive, with a speaker element clad in graphene. The earplugs are still not expensive, with a price tag of only 1300 kroner.

Creative Outlier Gold is water-repellent with IPX5 certification, which means that they can withstand both sweat and heavy rain, even though they are not primarily marketed as training plugs.

The biggest selling point for Creative is the battery capacity, which is an impressive 14 hours in the plugs, while the charging case provides an additional 25 hours. You hardly need to think about the charging cable, unless you are going to be more than a long weekend away from home.

The other thing that sets Outlier Gold apart from other earplugs is Creative’s Super X-Fi technology. This is a holographic way to reproduce music so that it is outside and around you instead of living inside your head as with other earplugs. For it to work extra well, the app uses the mobile camera to scan your ear, to make more correct manipulation of the audio signal based on your unique ear shape.

Creative Outlier Gold

Photo: CreativeIt works quite well, the music gets a bigger room to frolic in. But it is not without artifacts, and I do not feel it is a very natural way to listen to music. But the worst thing is that the function does not work outside the app. This means that the app will be your future music player, where you can play music that is both already there, and you will also have access to the music stored on your phone. But no power services.

You cannot plant the sound inside the DSP of the earplugs, and the same applies to the sound settings (EQ). Where others use the app as a remote control for the plugins, where you can make settings that are also remembered when the plugins are connected to another player, Creative does not allow you to do anything outside the app. In other words, you can forget to mute the sound when listening to Spotify, Tidal or other streaming services. Tabbe.

The sound of Creative Outlier Gold

And here comes the problem. The Creative plugs do not sound particularly good. Lady Gaga’s voice cuts into the ears of Sour Candy, it does not help much that Outlier Gold supports the aptX codec, because the sound is no less sharp on Android phones than on the iPhone.

The Röyksopp song Oblique Thrills (Lost Tapes) will hit the bass, and you will feel like playing loud. And there are things that speak in Outlier Gold’s favor, such as the energetic bass and the crisp details of synth and percussion. But the midrange register is jam-thin, so bass and treble do not bind together very well. And again, these would mean that you have to spend for these processes. Dolly Parton’s cover version of Brandi Carlile’s The Story sounds too thin, with sharp ss, and the snare drum is the thinnest I’ve heard in a while.

The call quality is quite decent, but it sounds a bit hollow dropouts can occur. But Creative sounds better than Skullcandy here.

Conclusion

Fantastic battery life and an interesting sound effect with Super X-Fi notwithstanding, Creative Outlier Gold does not meet our sonic requirements. The bass is full enough, but the midrange is too thin and the treble too sharp. Even though it is crisp and clear enough in the top register, it sounds unnatural.

If Creative had an EQ function that could adjust the earplugs themselves and not just when using the app, it could save a lot. But until that happens, there are many other models we would rather recommend.

Jabra Elite Active 75t

Superior training earbuds

The Jabra Elite Active 75t is perhaps the best wireless training earbuds you can buy.

Our verdict

Effective "passive" noise cancellation, excellent and solid sound and excellent battery life. They are waterproof and firmly attached to the ears, and are therefore also perfect for training.
The effective noise cancellation can create a kind of cheese bell feeling. Operation directly via the plugs is a bit difficult.
  • Type: completely wireless earplugs
  • Bluetooth: 5.0
  • Waterproof: IP57
  • Code: AAC, SBC
  • Battery: 7.5 h + 20.5 h from the case
  • App: Jabra Sound +
  • Weight: 2 x 7 g + case 35 g
  • Charging cable: USB C
  • Number of ear cushions in the box: 3
  • Web: jabra.com
show more
show less

Price 239 £

This winter we tested the wireless earbuds Jabra Elite 75t, which we praised in the clouds for a very effective passive noise reduction, excellent fit and excellent sound quality with a lot of depth.

Now it’s the successor Jabra Elite Active 75t that has landed on the test bench, and you must apologize to us if reading this test provokes a faint feeling of deja-vu.

There is almost no difference between the two products, especially when it comes to sound quality.

In short, the changes can be summarized as follows: Compared to its predecessor, the Jabra Elite Active 75t has received IP57 certification, which means that the plugs are now completely waterproof for up to 30 minutes at a depth of one meter. The predecessor with IP55 certification was only splashproof.

For that pleasure you have to pay a couple of hundred kroner extra. Otherwise, the two products are identical.

The sound of the Jabra Elite Active 75t

But even if it is in itself a minor change, the new IP certification makes the Jabra plugs particularly suitable for training. You can sweat and run in rain as much as you want, which you did well to be careful with if you had predecessors in your ears. In fact, you can swim with the Jabra Elite Active 75t without any problems. Something we have documented, among other things, with OnePlus 8 Pro, which has also been waterproof!

The Jabra Elite Active 75t is also treated with a special rubber surface, which together with a tight fit holds them in the ear during running and training.

Just like the Elite 75t, the Elite Active 75t also comes with three different EarGels, so you can adapt them to every ear. This makes the earplugs so snug that they shut out all outside noise. Even though the Jabra Elite 75t does not have active noise reduction.

Instead, Jabra calls the technology passive noise reduction, but for my sake they have to call it what they want. It works so well that you really need the built-in ability to set the so-called HearThrough function, which uses the plugs’ built-in microphones to let the user hear their surroundings over the music.

A subwoofer in your ears

The same can be done when using the earbuds for mobile calls. This function is called Sidetone, and allows the user to hear their own voice, which otherwise easily resounds hollow in the head due to the cheese bell effect (occlusion).

Otherwise, the speech quality is also of the best nature. And that applies to both oneself and the conversation partner.

The Jabra Elite Active 75t has the same special sound as the Jabra Elite 75t, and the included app offers an equalizer function that allows you to adjust the sound so that the overall sound image is strong and harmonious with lots of bass, powerful midrange and plenty of air in the top.

Out of the box, the bass is way too prominent. It rumbles at the bottom, almost as if the bass drum creates feedback through the microphone it is recorded with. And voices may sound a little sharp. With the Smooth EQ function, the sharpness of the voices is removed, but not the hump in the bass. Fortunately, you can fine-tune each setting yourself, and just lower the bass frequencies a bit in the 5-band equalizer. Then it sits.

With the right sound settings, the Jabra Elite Active 75t can sound very balanced and nice – or become so bass heavy that it feels like walking around with a subwoofer in your ears! Choose for yourself.

A small challenge is the operation of the plugs. You can of course use the self-explanatory app, but all functions can also be operated via two buttons on the left and right earplugs, respectively. The only problem is that there are legally many different functions and combination possibilities on such plugs, and Jabra is no exception. Give yourself time to get to know them.

Conclusion

It is not so careful that the Jabra Elite Active 75t does not come with active noise reduction. Instead, an almost perfect fit ensures the so-called passive noise reduction, which is so effective that you can fortunately use the earbuds’ four microphones to lock in sound from the surroundings.

The sound quality is excellent, and with IP57 certification, which makes the plugs completely waterproof, as well as the almost perfect fit, the Jabra Elite Active 75t is also more than suitable for its actual purpose, namely to listen to music or to talk during fitness and training.

If we are to find anything to criticize, it must be the somewhat complicated operation. And that some of us think they’ll get too bass heavy right out of the box – but luckily that can be adjusted.

Panasonic S500W black
Panasonic RZ-S500W

Packed with technology

Panasonic RZ-S500W serves the best noise cancellation found in a pair of earbuds is combined with good speech sound and a neutral music reproduction. Why is it not enough?

Our verdict

Good noise cancellation, neutral sound
Lacks dynamics, sounds flat and tame.
  • Type: completely wireless earplugs
  • Bluetooth: 5.0
  • Waterproof: IPX4
  • Code: AAC, SBC
  • Battery: 4 h + 8 h from case
  • App: Panasonic Audio Connect
  • Weight: 2 x 7 g + 45 g
  • Charging cable: USB C
  • Number of ear cushions in the box: 4
  • Web: panasonic.com
show more
show less

Price 199 £

With the Panasonic RZ-S500W, Panasonic really means business. First, they place themselves in a price segment with tough competition. Secondly, the S500W is packed with technology. Extra large Bluetooth antennas improve stability, and Panasonic believes they have some of the best call quality on the market. Thanks to microphones with beam characteristics. These should be able to catch the voice clearly, even if the ears are located behind the mouth. Which is a bad starting point for good conversational sound. The same technology goes hand in hand with noise cancellation, and Panasonic claims superior noise suppression thanks to both analog and digital noise processing.

In the app you can select different EQ settings or create your own. Here you can also choose whether you want noise cancellation and how much with a stepless lever. Alternatively, you can select Ambient mode, which does the opposite: namely, lets ambient sound through, so you hear when you are talking to. You can also find lost earplugs with the same app.

Panasonic can also call up the Alexa, Assistant and Siri voice assistants at the touch of a button.

Panasonic S500W white
Photo: Panasonic

The sound of the Panasonic RZ-S500W

Finally a wireless earplug with neutral sound! Bass, midrange and treble are exceptionally well balanced, which makes acoustic music sound right, and vocals are allowed to stand out as they should, with minimal echo from the earplugs. The overtones are just not quite as fine-meshed and airy as I would like. It could probably have been better with aptX, at the same time I have heard several wireless headphones with more air than this on my iPhone. And as you know, the iPhone does not support aptX. I guess it therefore has more to do with the sound processing in the earplugs themselves.

Anyway, a box guitar sounds like just that, instead of a Fender electric guitar played “clean” through an amplifier. Eric Lu’s piano has a good tone structure. The bass tones are not too prominent, but it is clear that they are there. At the same time, it sounds good upwards.

But there is something going on. It sounds a bit… flat. There is not enough dynamism here. The worst is when noise cancellation is activated, the music sounds tighter and more dynamic with it turned off. But there is still a little too little life here.

You notice it especially on pop music and other music where the rhythm section gets a lot of attention. Then you can advantageously pull up the bass, and Panasonic’s “Bass boost” function is handy. But it does not become anything more dynamic for that reason, even if you get more fullness. And this despite the fact that Panasonic uses large 8 mm speaker elements in the earplugs.

It only gets flatter the higher you play, and although I like that Panasonic has focused on natural and linear sound, it is important that this is also followed up with enough resolution and thus dynamics. It has to pull a little. It does not here.

When it comes to call quality, there is nothing to complain about. Definitely among the better from such earplugs. The Bluetooth connection is also stable and fine.

Conclusion

The Panasonic RZ-S500W has lots of technology inside, to provide the best noise cancellation they can, combined with the best call sound. And a very stable Bluetooth connection, due to extra large antennas on the inside.

A neutral sound has been sought, and we believe they have succeeded. Instruments and voices sound balanced, no frequencies spoil for others. There is only a little lack of resolution, but it is unproblematic. It still becomes clear that the earplugs lack dynamics. It gets a little anemic, with no kicks anywhere. Not even when amplifying the bass. It’s getting a little too weak. Everything is fine, but we never fall completely in love.

Alternatives to Best true wireless earbuds right now

Philips Fidelio X3

Philips is back

For the price of a pair of noise-canceling headphones, the Philips Fidelio X3 delivers infinitely better sound.

Beoplay H95 spread

B&Os' best headphones

We have been wondering when the high-end class would get their first noise-canceling headphones. It is of course Bang & Olufsen who is first, and Beoplay H95 gives more taste!

Shure Aonic 50 lifestyle

Silencers with proper sound

Shure Aonic 50 has perhaps the best sound we have heard from noise-canceling headphones.

Takstar HF 580

Chinese luxury on a budget

Planar headphones are usually very expensive. But Takstar HF 580 manages to bring high-end technology into something everyone can afford.

Affordable Noise-Canceling Headphones

Peace and quiet at the home office

Affordable noise-canceling headphones filter out unwanted interference and allow you to enjoy the silence.

Ikko OH10 Obsidian

Chinese precision tools at a low price

The special edition of ikko's earplugs Ikko OH10 Obsidian gives you monitor sound directly in the ear canal - without emptying your wallet.

Marshall Monitor II ANC

Marshall's travel headphones

Marshall's best wireless headphones Marshall Monitor II ANC have been equipped for long-haul flights.