The (Real) Best True Wireless Headphones of January 2023 –

Update from 12/16/2022. The excellent Freebuds Pro 2 earphones from Huawei have joined our selection of the best wireless earbuds at the end of the year. They provide rich and accurate sound with HiRes (LDAC) compatibility, Bluetooth 5.2 connection with low latency mode, multipoint connection for connecting multiple devices at the same time, and good active noise cancellation.

NOWe invite you, as usual, to the end of the article if you want advice on choosing the right headphones.

1. Sony WF1000XM4: The best True Wireless headphones on the market

It’s a big achievement for Sony to once again introduce a great pair of True Wireless headphones. The brand has corrected, one by one, several shortcomings of the previous model, with the exception of the lack of Multipoint, which remains on the agenda. The 1000XM4 are simply excellent on every level, be it sound, now high resolution (a rarity in headphones), RBA, numerous advanced features or design. However, it should be noted that the ergonomics of the WF1000XM4 may not suit everyone (especially for small ears) and that their price is very high. But if you’re looking for greatsounding Bluetooth headphones with highperformance noisecanceling, consistent call performance with new bone conduction sensors, and battery life that outperforms the competition (8 hours + 16 hours in case), Sony has you covered. those boxes.

2. Apple AirPods Pro 2: The most comfortable True Wireless headphones

This 2022 version of the AirPods Pro is a relatively light upgrade from the first generation, but still features a new antisweat coating, new lowdistortion speakers for better sound quality, active noise cancellation is 2x more important, according to Apple, the headphone volume control. longer battery life extended to 6 hours, a personalized version of Apple’s Spatial Audio (3D audio), and finally a new case that can accommodate a wrist strap and features a speaker to quickly find it among other features. .

3. Huawei Freebuds Pro 2: The best alternative to Sony and Apple headphones

Aside from some friction in use and rather limited battery life, the Huawei Freebuds Pro 2 fits the bill to compete with the best models on the market.

4. Jabra Elite 7 Active: The best headphones for sports

For their latest sports headphones, Jabra has taken the recipe that made the Elite Active 75T so successful and perfected it. Thus, the Jabra Elite 7 Active is a great success and is a great companion for sports, but not only. They are equipped with efficient microphones, a fully waterproof antisweat (IP57) coating, excellent comfort levels, noticeable physical controls, quality sound reproduction and full customizability through a variety of very practical tools and applications that are always at the top of what is currently being done on the market. market. It is a pity that the too light RBA and a slightly perceptible delay in the video spoil the picture a little. However, despite the slightly lower call quality, they offer better value for money than the Pro version in our opinion, and even ended up being our favorite sports earbuds.

5. Nothing Ear (1): the best headphones under 100 euros

Started by Carl Pei, cofounder of OnePlus, the fledgling Nothing is making a good entry into the True Wireless market with its Ear(1). Apart from their stylized design with transparent parts revealing certain components, these headphones offer very good performance, excellent comfort and a number of features usually found in more expensive models, such as effective active noise cancellation, Qi wireless charging and full touch controls. The sound can’t be beat: while a bit aggressive at times, it remains satisfying, and the fairly balanced sound signature benefits us in a world dominated by hypertrophied basses. On the other hand, the headphones lack multipoint, latency is a bit high (without interfering with video playback), and battery life is disappointing. We’ll have to be content with 4 hours of headphones. Fortunately, the case will allow you to charge them 4 to 5 times.

6. Jabra Elite 3: The best headphones under 50 euros

Jabra’s first true wireless earbuds to be launched under €100, the Elite 3 once again demonstrates the Danish manufacturer’s prowess in this market segment where it is a pioneer. While they don’t have active noise cancellation (RBA), they don’t have multipoint connectivity, and their app is devoid of many features, these headphones offer just great value for money. Their sound quality delivered by Qualcomm’s high quality aptX codec is very satisfactory, their Bluetooth 5.2 connection is reliable and allows you to use any headphones independently, their physical controls are simple and effective, and their satisfactory battery life reaches 6 hours and 30 minutes on a single charge. 25 hours thanks to the case. So for the asking price, Jabra offers very good services.

For many, wireless audio is the future. While the first headphones and headphones of this kind degraded the sound quite a lot and suffered from interference regularly, advances in the Bluetooth protocol now allow a quite satisfactory level of quality and reliability to be achieved. Some codecs, such as LDAC, now even allow you to receive a HiRes audio stream. After losing the detachable cable, which is a source of clutter, but also the more or less premature death of devices (often the one that breathes out first), the headphones finally lose their last wire, the one that connects the two headphones. .

Indeed, almost every major brand these days offers what they call “true wireless” (or “truly wireless”) headphones. The advantage of the latter is that they offer a very good qualitytosize ratio and great freedom of movement, so they are an alternative to the good old headphones and traditional headphones. In addition, they always have a storage and charging box, which, if you do everything right, will never run out of power. However, there are certain details to be aware of about this type of device and so many of the models on the market are not all the same.

Our selection tips

For what?

TrueWireless headphones offer more freedom of movement than traditional headphones or earphones, they are very versatile and therefore very interesting. In the office, in the gym or on public transport, they adapt to any environment. However, keep in mind that sports headphones have some features, in particular, they must be protected from sweat.

What is the audio signature?

Just like headphones, a pair of headphones broadcasts its own sound with its own sound signature, its own color. Thus, one model may push bass or treble more than another, and some headphones provide a more balanced sound. The style of music you listen to will determine your purchase. For example, powerful basses for hiphop or electro and more balanced signatures for classical music.

What format to choose?

The most popular headphones are inear format. That is, they enter the ear canal. If you are not used to using this type of headphones, we advise you to try on the model you are interested in before buying to make sure that it fits you in terms of morphology. If the headphones are too big for your ears, they will hurt and won’t fit. If they are too small, the same goes for inear retention, but in addition, you will lose low sound frequencies and be less isolated. In addition, some do not support this type of headphones, we advise you to choose a model with a different format if this is your case.

What are the main commands?

One more thing, orders. At a minimum, TrueWireless headphones should allow you to play/pause music and change the volume or the song you’re listening to. But best of all allow all three at once! Some also offer other features, settings, or voice assistant activation, for example. Finally, be aware that due to their format (microphone further away from the mouth), these headphones tend to be less effective as a handsfree kit, and the controls may be less practical than with regular headphones equipped with a remote control on cable. .

What type of wireless connection?

Prior to the advent of Bluetooth 5.0, Bluetooth 4.xx connections experienced either lack of stability or significant latency. That’s why other manufacturers have used NFMI for the connection between the two earbuds, which results in a more stable connection and low latency. However, this system does not allow you to share your music with a friend. But the advent of Bluetooth 5.0 and the first headphones to really take advantage of it (some only have Bluetooth 5.0 in their name) really changed the game, offering the benefits of Bluetooth 4 and NFMI without the corresponding downsides.

Passive or active noise cancellation?

Good insulation is an important criterion, for example, when traveling by public transport. Some headphones offer very effective active noise cancellation systems (microphones record ambient noise to send an identical signal back to your ears, but out of phase), but they tend to be expensive. Beware of inexpensive models with such features, in most cases the system will not be effective and may even distort the sound. At that time, one could also opt for a model with passive noise cancellation. The latter rely on the seal created by their design to isolate noise. We usually use this term to talk about inear headphones that completely cover the ear canal with their tips, because inear headphones, that is, traditionally shaped headphones, have a rather open design, little or no isolation. .

What autonomy can you expect?

TrueWireless headphones always come with a storage and charging case, so if you do it right, the battery will never run out. Currently, we can expect our headphones to last at least 5 hours and charge 2 or more times in their case. There is less, there is more, but for us it is in any case the minimum.

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