Apple’s decision to ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack for the iPhone 7 in 2016 was probably the best thing to happen to Bluetooth earbuds category. The AirPods were trolled back then, but today there's no way you can ignore the earbuds: From the gym to the metro station, and your bedroom and more, these listening devices are now an extension of our personality. And since size is a measure of convenience, it's the tiny Bluetooth earbuds, a.k.a. True Wireless Earbuds, that are fast becoming ubiquitous. With Samsung’s Galaxy Buds and the second-generation Apple AirPods hitting the market, we put the spotlight on a bunch of ultra-light buds that punch way above their weight.
Apple AirPods 2
We’ll admit it, it took us a while to get used to the AirPods’ unique shape. Over time it went from quirky to normal. The dental-floss type charging case is a fine example of Apple’s standout design while the AirPods don’t fall off easily even if you’re pushing yourself at the gym. In March, Apple unveiled the second generation AirPods with the same design that we now love and a whole host of changes under the hood. It’s the same charging case with a killer 24-hour battery life that has a huge edge over the competition. Apple sweetens the deal with wireless charging. You’ll need an additional accessory though.
The AirPods deliver decent sound, but Bose’s SoundSport Free has the edge in this department. The new version gets a shot in the arm with the new Apple-designed H1 chip, developed exclusively for headphones that promises faster connect times and more talk time. This new chip delivers performance efficiencies and the new AirPods have some cool new touches — you can now adjust the volume with a simple ‘Hey Siri’ command.
Rs 14,900 or Rs 18,900 with a wireless charging case
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless
In terms of sheer sound quality, these are probably the earbuds to beat. The premium experience stretches to the design — the carrying case is refined yet compact. Sennheiser promises 12 hours of battery life while the company’s intuitive multi-touch fingertip control allows you to perform a host of functions without pulling your phone out of your pocket.
Sony’s wireless headphones ace Noise cancellation irrespective of their size or form. These buds allow you to insulate yourself from all external sounds and immerse yourself in the music. You can alter the settings based on your activity (like travelling, walking or waiting). Your beats get an extra boost with Sony’s ExtraBass solution.
Jabra Elite 65T
Probably the buds that fit most snugly. Jabra’s newest buds don’t just fit right, they sound right too, especially for all those high-energy tracks that are probably on your gym or run playlist. The 15-hour battery life (including the case) makes a strong case while the customisable equaliser allows you to tweak the music.
Samsung Galaxy Buds
Debuted along with Samsung’s trio of S10 flagship phones. Samsung follows a different design path from the Apple AirPods but it ends up at the same ‘compact form factor’ destination. These Buds are incredibly light and fit very snugly in your ears – you will barely feel them. The carrying case (that doubles up as the charging case, like most other competitors) is ultra-compact and will easily slip into your skinny jeans. These buds work best with a Samsung Galaxy device or an Android smartphone with its companion App that lets you tweak sound controls. You will find that handy to boost the bass thump and yet it’s not quite in the same league in the sound department as some of its pricier competitors.
The Galaxy Buds do a good job of shutting out external sounds but they’re not up there with headphones that offer true noise cancellation like Sony’s WF-1000X. The buds can pair with your iPhone and offer a decent 5-hour battery life (in addition to 6 hours for the case). Our favourite feature is wireless charging — you can power up these headphones with the Wireless Power share option on the Samsung Galaxy S10 or any compatible wireless charger.
Sport Free packed with Bose’s legendary sound credentials in a tiny package (just 10gm apiece). Bose’s StayHear+ sports tip solution ensures they stick to your ears while their new, proprietary antennae system that makes sure your devices make a strong connection with these earbuds.