Poinserting a small earpiece and enjoying music on the move is an attractive proposition. Until recently, however, wireless headphones were ill-fitting, relatively bulky, offered poor sound quality, and even worse battery life.
You can still buy dismal designs, but technology has moved on so quickly that you can now enjoy superb audio quality (for Bluetooth headphones), lightweight and barely noticeable designs and active noise cancellation (ANC). to eliminate background noise. Some, like the Nuratrue (Â£ 199), intelligently tailor the sound to your own hearing profile.
I’ve tested dozens of pairs this year, and the most important thing to consider is their fit. No two pairs of ears are the same, so look for models that offer multiple ear tips. Also study models with silicone “wing tips” that nestle in the folds of the ear, holding them securely in place. Annoyingly enough, true wireless designs are easier to lose than any other headset, so fit is fundamental.
Are wireless headphones really worth it?
Battery life is still a weak spot, but things are improving, with most offering 5-8 hours of battery life, supplemented several times by the carrying case full of battery. Master & Dynamic MW08 Premium noise canceling (Â£ 279) is a notable exception, offering up to 12 hours of playtime and the ability to recharge up to 50% in 15 minutes.
But what about the sound quality? If you consume your music from the comfort of a favorite armchair, wearing a fantastic pair of wired headphones, prepare to be disappointed. Brands have to cram a huge amount into a tiny space, and sometimes quality succumbs to convenience. In short, real cheap wireless headphones usually sound awful and should be avoided. There are exceptions, and if you have less than Â£ 100 to spend, take a look Soundcore and Lypertek.
While there are a lot of new brands that are making good, true wireless headphones, if you want good ones – just like hi-fi in general – I highly recommend established brands such as Sony, Bowers & Wilkins, Grado and Sennheiser. And if you are an Apple user, you won’t find better than the Apple AirPods Pro (Â£ 249).
However, great audio quality comes at a premium, and as a general rule, the more you spend, the better they will sound; but you’ll be amazed at the performance, with a pretty amazing level of nuance and detail considering it comes from something so small.
Best wireless headphones of 2021
Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0 wireless headphones
Lypertek makes headphones that are great value for money, and this updated version (above) offers excellent active noise cancellation, Bluetooth 5.2 – which ensures longer range and a more stable connection – and battery life. seven o’clock. Plus, they fit like a glove and sound great.
Grado GT220 wireless earphones
There’s no noise reduction here, and they don’t feel particularly upscale. These are, however, the most musical true wireless earbuds I’ve found, with dynamic, engaging performance that’s hard to fault and a level of detail that falls far short of the competition. grado.fr
Sony WF-1000XM4 wireless earphones
Easily the best true wireless headset currently available, Sony’s flagship design may be pricey, but it has phenomenal noise cancellation, excellent 12-hour battery life, a comfortable fit, excellent call quality, and exceptional sound quality. , with even low-res music files scaled to sound better.