Having considered some of the best wireless earbuds around, we have purposed to nurture your knowledge further by coming up with the relevant guidelines to make sure you choose just what is best for you. It is not enough in itself to know the best earbuds around with stellar specifications and advanced technologies. You need to go beyond the technology and blend it with your personal preferences to find the best fit. This review will discuss the relevant factors that influence the best earbud buying practices under earbud types, special features and lifestyle. We will also attempt to provide the frequently asked questions to save your time and simplify your efforts in the end. Guild up the loins of your mind, join the ride and let’s get started.
- 0.1 Wireless Earbuds Types
- 0.2 Sound Quality
- 0.3 The Battery Life
- 0.4 Consider Your Comfort And Earbuds Stability
- 0.5 Does It Support Fitness Tracking?
- 0.6 Consider The Penny
- 0.7 Consider The Software And User-Friendliness
- 0.8 Lifestyle
- 0.9 The Form Of The Earbuds
- 0.10 Consider The Call-Handling Performance
- 0.11 Conclusion
- 1 FAQ
Wireless Earbuds Types
Earbuds occur in two main types, that is when the term is used to apply to both in-ear phones and earphones. There are those that do not involve any wires for signal or data transmission called wireless earbuds and then there are those that rely on methods which involve wires or cords for data or signal transmission. It is crystal clear that the never-ending advancement of technology is driving the world towards wireless methods as far as data transmission is concerned. Wireless headphones exist in 3 main types. The first type is the gold standard and probably the best of them all, Bluetooth headphones. They might be the newest on the stage but they offer a lot of advantages which are making other wireless methods obsolete. These are exceptional for use with mobile devices and the advent of the Smartphone has given them rock star status among other wireless headphones. This makes them your natural choice if all you need is the connection with your mobile device.
The second type is the infrared headphones. Infrared headphones are used for older TVs and other gadgets that do not house any inbuilt wireless capabilities other than infrared. In this cadre, there is usually a receiver which is plugged into a headphone plug which then wirelessly connects to the headset. This is great for old TVs in principle but it makes for a poor option to use in music players and other more sophisticated sounds. They are definitely not the ideal choice in today world. Simply let the bygones be bygones.
The last type worthy of our appreciation is the UHF headphone. These are basically an upgrade of the infrared headphones as they provide a boosted range in terms of coverage. This can be a handy solution if there is the need for using older technology devices that do not hold any Bluetooth or other wireless capabilities.
The additional wireless methods have been described in case you are looking for something other than Bluetooth devices otherwise this review will place its focus on Bluetooth earbuds.
Perhaps sound quality is the most obvious of the special features that you need to think of before splashing any cash for an earbud. One of the worst things in the sound world is being determined to buy an earbud with the hard earned cash only to find out that it can only produce nothing but mediocre sounds that wreck havoc on that carefully selected playlist to power your workout. To much disappointment, we discovered most earbuds are designed with sound quality at the back of the designers head rather than the forehead. Compare them with wired headphones and to your disappointment, you will realize that you don’t have to be an audiologist to notice the wired headphones are much better than the wireless earbud.
Sound quality is influenced by a number of factors and one of the most prevalent is the type of codec that your Bluetooth wireless device supports. To get into a little more detail, codecs are simply algorithms that help to compress data to enable it to be transferred faster and easier. There are various codecs of which some are average and some are better based on their efficiency to transfer the data. Better codecs transfer data with fewer losses than others. Examples of codecs are the Standard Bluetooth codec, AAC, and aptX. The SBC is the codec that comes as a default for stereo Bluetooth headphones and is capable of providing good audio quality without a lot of processing power to transfer data. The downside is that this codec is vulnerable to inconsistencies sometimes leading to compromised audio quality which is a usual observation in cheap Bluetooth devices. The AAC and aptX provide more advanced codecs which provide better quality transmission of data and thus better sounds. The aptX also has more advanced variants in aptX (LL) and aptX HD that offer better transmissions. The only downside of the more advanced codecs is that some devices may not be able to support them which raise the need to crosscheck with your phone before any purchase. If you are up for sound quality, it is surely time well spent to check if your device supports the better codecs and then choose accordingly.
The Battery Life
You surely wouldn’t fancy an earbud that won’t last the early morning 30 minutes jog on your treadmill or the outdoors. Battery life matters for the obvious reason that it is, of course, the very life of the wireless earbud itself. Whether it’s the sophisticated Bluetooth algorithm that powers it or the fitness tracking software, everything dies along with the battery as it dies in the course of time. In general terms, it will serve you well if you make the prudent choice of checking how far in time your battery can go to make sure you are not interrupted.
There are three main important aspects relating to battery life that you need to consider. There is what is known as the play time which is the amount of time the earbud can stay alive playing something after a single charge. Standby time refers to the amount of time the earbud can stay alive without anything playing after a single charge and then there is what is known as the battery charge time which is the amount of time it takes the battery to be fully charged. Most earbuds have a playtime of over 7 hours which is good enough to sustain you through the day but there seem to be additional factors that matter as well. In addition to normal stuff like music and calls, some earbuds support extra features like the fitness tracker which may also take a fair share of the power thus reducing the battery life. Most wireless earbuds come along with a charging case that can hold some extra gas thus extending your earbuds life by considerable amounts, that is, given that the charging case is portable enough to carry around. Having considered this, it is more than prudent to check the battery life specifications and see if it really fits into your routine be it exercise or other activities that you feel may need sound from the earbuds to give you a push.
Consider Your Comfort And Earbuds Stability
No one wants his or her work out to be disturbed by a pair of earbuds that keep falling off when it should be serving the noble purpose of powering them through the regimen. In addition, no one will also give a positive appreciation to a pair of earbuds that keep on irritating the ears while they are supposed to keep you focused. This is why you seriously need to consider the ability of the headphones to stay on board depending on your routine. Some earphones are designed to fit in the natural lines of the ear to enhance comfort and stability while others are designed with wings to hold on to the ear pinna to make sure they stay in place. Earbuds with ear wings are generally more secure and are an ideal choice for runners or others involved in more intense activities.
Does It Support Fitness Tracking?
This is an amazing feature especially for those who value physical fitness and would like a pair of earbuds that won’t only provide some music but has the guts to help them work smart. The fitness tracking feature helps you to track your heart rate throughout the workout and it also includes accelerometers. Knowing how your heart is responding to exercise is golden to having a well-planned exercise routine. In fact, most tests for fitness status and progress rely on your heart rate, therefore, having a pair of buds that can provide this kind of information means having buds that go the extra mile enriching your health-seeking experience.
Consider The Penny
The amount of coin is, of course, one factor that can’t be ignored by anyone trying to help you buy the best earbuds for your needs. The pocket is usually the starting point as it is what determines which range of devices to consider. Just like most gadgets driving our ever-changing technological landscape, there is the low end, the middle and the high end. It is a hard fact that the cheaper it gets, the lower the quality and the more expensive it gets the higher the quality and fanciness. It all comes down to your taste and how fat your pocket is. If money is not really an issue and you have the tendency for things which offer a little more, you can settle for more premium earbuds that usually get up to 250 Euros or higher. Just make sure that what you are getting on the market provides the value for your money according to our review and others. For those who are on the budget side of things, it comes down to identifying the balance between cost and value. Just avoid the gadgets which are unbelievably cheap because you may end up buying some earbuds which you would rather keep at home than having them harass your workout routine. Always settle for that which makes every penny count, there are a lot of fakes around!
Consider The Software And User-Friendliness
Earbuds take varying forms when it comes to software. A good number of them are as easy as just a simple step of pairing them with your mobile device and then get on your feet to face the outdoors. Others get a little smarter and may need special applications which you may need to run to get them to function. Some applications require a lot of getting used to while some are a pure breeze. Some are a joyful experience in terms of quality while others make you wonder why the designers spent a lot of their valuable time designing them. Whichever the case, your choice will come down to which setup or application suits you best, of course with the rest of the factors in mind.
Before looking at a pair of earbuds for the much needed sound, it is never less than a wise thing to do to start by looking at yourself first. Ask yourself why you need the headphone and how you will be using it otherwise you will find yourself in a position where you have what you fancied dearly but it’s more of a relic that you can’t use because it is impractical. Have a clear picture of your lifestyle and then start looking for what fits in. Portable Bluetooth earbuds are great for the typical busy body which will need the earbud to brave the physicality of workout routines and physically intensive jobs. The bigger buds are a good fit for the more reserved type of lifestyles like that of self-acclaimed couch potatoes or the executive who just needs something enough to shield off the outside noise while listening to a favorite playlist. In short, the more active and physical you are, the more you have to worry about the stability of your earbuds and the less active and physical you are, the less you will have to worry about earbud stability.
The Form Of The Earbuds
Another factor you need to consider before plunging headfirst into the shopping spree in the form of the earbuds. Some earbuds are truly wireless, that is, they don’t involve any cords or wires in any way whereas others are considered a little less because they include some form of wiring which is commonly a pair of wires that connect to a small remote control. Each of these has their goods or evils, in other words, termed advantages and disadvantages. True wireless earbuds are great and make you feel alive and moving with the times but they may not necessarily be a good fit for some types of people. If you are someone who keeps losing small things, need a lot of playtimes through the day and on a budget, they may not be the best choice. Wireless earbuds have the following shortfalls:
- The small size makes them vulnerable to get lost if you don’t have a fair obsession with order.
- The battery life can be limited.
- They usually hold a higher price tag when compared with their older cousins.
Consider The Call-Handling Performance
Earbuds are not just about music and radios, they are also about making your calls as convenient as possible. If your intentions include using the headsets for calls, then it’s important to find out how a particular set handles calls. Reviews can be handy with this as they give you a good outlook on what current users experiences are like. Some earbuds are hardwired to produce superior music performance while sacrificing the call performance and others handle calls very well while providing an average performance with other kinds of uses. Bearing this in mind, your predicted call usage will definitely influence your choice.
To put things in a nutshell, these are the crucial factors that you need to look at before taking the plunge into the earbud store or shop. Put this into practice and you are bound to have a satisfactory experience in both choosing your best fit and the actual workout or home routine.
- Is there any difference between earbuds and earphones?
The difference is that earbuds are limited to the outer concha ridge of the ear which is located at the center of the ear whereas in-ear headphones are simply placed inside the ear canal.
- Are SBC Bluetooth devices superior to aptX?
In principle, aptX Bluetooth should be superior to standard sub coding. Lab experiments have demonstrated the difference in terms of latency and sound quality.
- What are the best earbuds in terms of stability and comfort for sports and workouts?
Those with ear wings are the most stable when it comes to vigorous activity.
- Are aptX HD Bluetooth enabled earbuds superior to aptX earbuds?
In a theoretical sense, the aptX HD seems to have an advantage over the aptX as it is basically an improved version. However, it is yet to be established through objective lab or practical tests.
- Are Bluetooth wireless earbuds the only wireless options around?
There are other wireless options available and these include UHF and Infrared but there seem to be a few devices around which can support them.