Earbuds differ from vacuum headphones in their design: they do not have silicone ear cushions that are inserted deep into the ear. The body of the earbuds is held in the auricle due to its shape, which can no longer be changed. Therefore, before buying, consider the size of the headphones: they may be too big or small for your ears.
Also, the earbuds do not provide the same good passive noise reduction as the “plugs” – because they do not fit close to the ear. Due to the same feature, they are less dangerous to hearing and help to better control the surrounding sounds.
Apple AirPods 3
Perhaps the most popular earbuds that come to mind when talking about this category of headphones are Apple’s AirPods. Today, the third generation of this model is already available on the market – in Russia, AirPods 3 cost 16,500 rubles. Given the prices of competitors, this “apple” accessory no longer seems as expensive as the first airpods at one time.
The novelty has received a more powerful battery and can now work without recharging up to 6 hours, as well as 30 hours when charging from the case. Five minutes is enough for an hour of playback. Also in the third generation, the headphones use spatial audio technology, delivering truly surround sound. You can customize the sound using the adaptive equalizer – it collects data from inward-facing microphones to find out the characteristics of the sound that the user hears.
The body of the earbuds is protected from splashes and sweat according to IPX4, and all built-in microphones are covered with a special acoustic mesh to cut off ambient noise during telephone conversations. Note that AirPods 3 are only compatible with Apple gadgets – iPhones, iPads, smart watches, laptops, Apple TV, etc. It makes no sense to buy them for a smartphone on Android.
HUAWEI FreeBuds 4
The current model from HUAWEI is one of the few in-ear headphones that support active noise cancellation. Of course, they do not protect against external noise as effectively as vacuum models, but much better than earbuds without ANC at all.
Headphones work without recharging up to 4 hours without noise reduction or about 2-3 hours with noise reduction turned on. From the case they can be charged 4 more times. Supports fast charging: 15 minutes in the case is enough for 2.5 hours of use. FreeBuds 4 can be connected to any smartphone, but the AI Life app from HUAWEI is only available in the App Gallery branded app store.
We talked about headphones in more detail in the review.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live
Samsung’s iconic bean-shaped headphones. They are in-ear design, although they have small silicone inserts for a better fit in the ear. The model is presented in five colors: bronze, black, blue, white and red.
The headphones are compatible with Android, iOS and can connect to a Windows PC. They support active noise cancellation and wireless charging, as well as excellent sound quality. It uses AKG 12mm drivers and a triple microphone system with a bone conduction sensor to accurately capture voice during phone calls.
The headset will work up to 6 hours when playing music, and when powered by a case, this time can be extended up to 21 hours. At the same time, only 5 minutes of charging is enough for an hour of work. We talked about the pros and cons of the model in more detail in the review.
Edifier TWS200 Plus
Edifier’s wireless in-ear headphones are a great option for those looking for a budget headset with long battery life. On a single charge, it will last about 6 hours – at the level of top competitors. If you charge the headphones from the case, they will work for another 18 hours.
The model interfaces with a smartphone via Bluetooth 5.2, supports aptX and a frequency range of 20 Hz – 20 kHz. The headset has a compact case, made in gray – it looks strict and does not look like other gadgets like AirPods.
You can control the headphones using the touch buttons on the case. Users note the good quality of noise reduction at the microphone, which means that the Edifier TWS200 Plus is suitable for talking on the phone even on a noisy street.
Xiaomi AirDots Pro 2S CN
The top wireless in-ear headphones cannot be imagined without the Xiaomi model. One of the most relevant at the moment is Xiaomi AirDots Pro 2S CN. Outwardly, they are similar to AirPods, but are not their replica clones.
The model works on Bluetooth 5.0 and is compatible with Android and iOS smartphones. The headset will last up to 5 hours without recharging, and from the case it will work for another 24 hours. Users praise the headphones for good sound, support for wireless charging and an affordable price – about 3,500 rubles.
Apple AirPods 2
The previous model of AirPods bluetooth headphones can also be recommended for purchase, although it is inferior in performance to the third generation. But it costs less – you can find options from 10,000 rubles. The second version already supports Siri, there is wireless and fast charging: 15 minutes in the case is enough for 3 hours of music playback. The total autonomy is 5 hours of continuous operation, and the case provides another 4-5 charge cycles.
Like other models of Apple accessories, AirPods 2 are recommended to be bought only to connect to gadgets of their own brand.
JBL Tune 225 TWS
JBL Tune 225 TWS pleases buyers with a large selection of colors: there is a blue, black, beige, gray, pink and white option. The model will work 5 hours without recharging and 4 more times will be charged from the case. With Dual Connect technology, you can only use one JBL earbud, handy if you’re constantly talking to someone nearby or want to save battery on a second earbud.
The headset from JBL is distinguished by high-quality sound: the bass is powerful, and all frequencies sound rich and clear (20 – 20,000 Hz). You can buy the JBL Tune 225 TWS model for an average of 4,500 rubles – much cheaper than competitors.
Razer Hammerhead True Wireless X
We also included a model from gaming equipment manufacturer Razer in our 2021 wireless in-ear headphones ranking. The Hammerhead True Wireless X headset features an interesting gaming design with brand logo and backlight. The company also advertises this model as a gaming model – thanks to the low latency in sound output and Bluetooth 5.2 connection, the headphones are great for mobile gaming.
We also note good autonomy: 7 hours without recharging and up to 28 hours when charging from a branded case.
Usams LC Bluetooth
According to the reviews of those who bought these headphones specifically to replace the first AirPods, it is difficult to distinguish them from the real ones – neither in appearance nor in weight. The Usams wireless gadget even weighs the same as AirPods, which have 4 grams per earbud. But you can buy these “ears” for about one-sixth of the cost of Apple headphones. It is not surprising that buyers are quite actively buying them and trying to understand: is there still a difference or not?
With periodic recharging from the battery case, the headphones will work as much as 25 hours. And if you believe the reviews, they provide good sound – decent, given the price of the headset.
Another “twin” of AirPods, which repeats the design of Apple headphones: from the battery case to the location of the LEDs. In addition, the model has native support for the iPhone with the headphone battery level displayed on the smartphone display. The headset supports fresh Bluetooth 5.0 and for managing incoming calls.
The only thing you have to put up with is not the best battery life. It is no more than 2 hours in the mode of listening to music. The battery capacity of the case is enough for about five recharges.
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