True wireless headphones are some of the hottest tech purchases right now. Originally a premium product segment, true wireless headphones are available today in all shapes and sizes. Many good true wireless headphones are also available now at an affordable price.
However, with so many truly wireless audio options, choosing the right one for you can be difficult or overwhelming for some. If you’re in the market for a new pair of true wireless headphones, here are some tips to keep in mind to make sure you’re buying the right pair.
Brands and prices
Probably the most important point to consider is which brands you are considering. While casual listeners don’t need to shell out extra money to buy an audiophile-grade product, getting TWS headphones from a good brand you trust is still crucial. Brands that have a great product line and have been making audio products for years are likely to produce good quality headphones that will last longer, offer better sound, and more.
On the other hand, it is also more important to spend the right amount of money. If you buy a product that is too cheap and then find that it does not offer the kind of sound quality you expected, you end up wasting that amount and also your time. Try to find the right balance between a well-known brand and an affordable price. Don’t forget to look for sales and sales.
Design is the most important thing when buying new true wireless headphones. When it comes to a product that is going to continually hang from your ears for presumably a great deal of time at a stretch, it is crucial that you get a design that you are comfortable with and that fits you well.
If the buds are too big, you may find them painful to use. If they are too small, they may fall off. This is especially important with plastic earbuds like Apple AirPods or OnePlus Buds, which don’t have silicone tips. If you’re unsure of your fit, it’s best to look for options that come with multiple sizes of replaceable ear pads.
If you plan to use your headphones to the gym or during runs, you will also be better with headphones that have additional mechanisms to keep you comfortable. See options like Amazfit PowerBuds, which have optional ear hooks.
Features and gestures
Almost every product that you come across when purchasing a new pair of TWS earbuds will have some standout features. However, it is best to stick to the features that are relevant to you. For example, if you don’t intend to wear your headphones in the shower, don’t go for a product with the best water resistance and go for something that sounds better at that price.
Some key and must-have features to look out for are the ability to control music playback and calls, activate voice assistants, fast pairing, and reliable connectivity. If you’re going to buy a pair in 2021, it should have at least Bluetooth 5.0 and gestures.
Speaking of which, it’s not like touch gestures aren’t for everyone. If you plan to use your buttons while in bed, during sports, or near water, touch gestures may occasionally not activate or, worse, activate without your intention. Headphones with physical buttons that you can click to activate have more control, but can lose water resistance as a result.
Sound quality, call quality, and audio codec support
Good TWS headphones should have a rich, balanced sound that is not lacking in bass or too bass. To make sure your music doesn’t sound hollow, take a look at the size of the drivers used in the headphones. 6mm drivers are known to be decent, but if things like instrument isolation and richer sound matter to you, look for at least 10mm drivers on each end of the headphones.
So, look at the reception quality of the microphone. Your TWS headphones may sound really good, but their quality deteriorates when you make a call. For us, that’s a bad pair of TWS buds. If you plan to use your headphones a lot for calls and multiplayer games, look for products that have multiple microphones or a good ANC (active noise cancellation).
If you’re willing to spend more money on high-end products, also look at the audio codec support you get in the headphones. Mid-range quality headphones will generally support the SBC codec, but if you want better, higher resolution audio, you should look for products that support AAC, AptX, or LDAC codecs.
Battery life (case and headphones)
Battery life is crucial and there are no two ways to do it. The more battery capacity your headphones have, the longer they will run on a single charge. The more capacity your case has, the more times you can load your buds. Also, keep in mind that most brands that advertise a number when they talk about battery life are generally referring to music playback time. For calls, that number usually drops a bit.
An ideal pair of TWS earbuds should have a minimum of 4-5 hours of battery life in the earbuds and a case that can fully charge them at least three times. Anything below that is acceptable too, but if you’re a power user you may find yourself searching for a charger too often.