Cords are annoying, but with these four Bluetooth-powered wireless earbuds, your listening experience is about to get an upgrade
Don’t make any sudden moves – your earbud cord might get caught on something. Anything, really. Taking off your jacket: snag. Putting it back on: yank. Go out for a run: snag, yank, yoink. Dangling cords from headphones have gotten in our way since time immemorial, but it doesn’t have to be that way anymore.
True wireless earbuds are entirely cord-free, with two distinct pieces fitting into your ears to play your favourite tunes and audio programs. When they’re connected to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, you can move freely without worrying about getting tangled. While battery life on many Bluetooth earbuds still leaves much to be desired, sound quality has come a long way. Check out these four picks.
Apple AirPods | $219
The AirPods are essentially EarPods – the earbuds that come with the iPhone and iPad, except without the cord. They’re really simple to pair with your device, and if you’re an iCloud user, they’ll automatically pair with all your iOS devices on the same account. The included special carrying case doubles as a charger – a 15-minute quick charge can get you three hours of audio playback or one hour of talk time. Tapping the outside of either wireless earbud twice activates Siri for voice commands.
Jabra Sport Elite | US$350
Built to be more rigid and rugged, the Sport Elite are waterproof with an IP67 rating, meaning they can endure up to 30 minutes submerged beneath three feet of water (no saltwater though). The right bud has a built-in heart-rate monitor, so you can track both your heart rate and workouts using Jabra’s free Sport Life app for iOS and Android. With three sets each of gels and foam tips, plus three sizes of ear wings, it’s easy to find the right fit – and to keep the music in and ambient noise out.
Bragi Dash | US$300
Tastefully designed and filled with features, The Dash smart wireless earbuds – or “Hearables” as the company calls them – are waterproof when submerged up to a metre and have built-in biometric sensors for activity tracking. The app for iOS, Android and Windows 10 is pretty detailed, offering plenty of options. You can even set them up to accept an incoming call just by nodding your head or reject one by shaking your head. Four GB of internal storage lets you store and listen to MP3 and AAC music files without needing a phone.
Sol Republic Amps Air | US$180
Bass lovers will like how much of the lower end of the audio spectrum comes through with the Amps Air. An unfortunate drawback is the limited physical controls on the buds themselves, however, so skipping tracks or toggling volume levels means reaching for your phone. Sweat and rain resistant, they’re great for your workouts, and the included 2200mAh charging battery case can recharge the buds up to 15 times.