It’s no secret that the sound quality of even very expensive completely wireless Bluetooth headphones is inferior to that of wired in-ear models. In addition, a lot of very inexpensive TWS headphones have entered the market recently, which have most of the functions necessary for the average user.
So is it worth overpaying for top models, and if so, for what exactly? Let’s take a look at the most expensive earbuds on the market and understand who they are for.
Price – 299 euros
The first fully wireless headphones in the history of the company with an active noise cancellation system, inside which are installed dynamic drivers with a 10 mm diaphragm and a long travel distance. The case is made using the Pressure Balanced Architecture technology, which is a series of sequential acoustic chambers designed to smoothly absorb the return radiation of the speaker. The original Ear Active Matching function can analyze the incoming signal at a frequency of 10,000 times per second and adapt it to the acoustic characteristics of the ear canal. Each headphone has two microphones, they provide not only the hybrid noise reduction system, but also the Internal Delay Compensation algorithm. It compensates for the internal signal delay, which is especially important for correct reproduction of frequencies above 1 kHz.
Verdict – for those who want to get all of Devialet’s proprietary technologies in headphone format
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds
Price – 279 euros
This is the first Bose TWS headphone to feature the proprietary QuietComfort technology, previously only used in the company’s on-ear headphones. The noise reduction system uses several microphones that analyze the surrounding noise, after which a compensating signal is generated using a special algorithm and a proprietary processor. Eleven levels of noise reduction are available to the user, including the “transparent” mode. Weighing just 8.5 grams each, the headphones come with new StayHear Max silicone ear cushions for exceptional ear canal isolation. On a single charge, the earbuds will work for 6 hours, while using the charging case will add another 18 hours to the total battery life. The model has received protection according to the IPX4 standard,
Verdict – the choice for those looking for a proven noise cancellation system
Bowers & Wilkins’ first ever fully wireless headphones promise true audiophile sound with aptX Adaptive, capable of delivering 24-bit uncompressed signals. The connection between the two headphones is not carried out via Bluetooth, but due to the principle of magnetic induction. Each headphone has two drivers – 9.2 mm dynamic for bass and reinforcing for HF, while each of them is driven by a separate amplifier. The headphones have an adaptive noise canceling system that automatically adjusts in real time to the environment. And the Smartcase charging case can not only wirelessly charge your headphones while you’re on the go, but also offers a unique wireless audio relay function. Simply connect your case to the in-flight entertainment system and it streams audio directly to your headphones. The battery life on a single charge is 4 hours, the total time when using the charging case is 20 hours.
Verdict – for audiophiles who demand the highest possible sound quality even from wireless headphones
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
Despite the fact that this model has been on the market for the second year, it is still one of the best TWS headphones. The model is equipped with dynamic drivers with a diameter of 7 mm and an active noise reduction system. The built-in rechargeable batteries provide up to 7 hours of battery life, and with the backup battery in the carrying case, this time increases to 28 hours. Charging case finished in dark gray fabric. The functions are controlled by clicking on the touch areas on the outer part of the case, and you can adjust the sound signature and noise canceling modes through the Sennheiser Control proprietary application. The main advantage of the model is its excellently tuned sound in the best traditions of the German company.
Verdict – These headphones are for listeners who don’t want to compromise
Klipsch T5 II True Wireless ANC
The new generation of in-ear headphones from the American company is distinguished by the presence of an effective active noise cancellation system and, most importantly, the use of the Dirac Sound Optimization system, which optimizes sound through the use of artificial intelligence algorithms. In addition, the system allows you to configure other headphone functions, for example, the ability to answer an incoming call with a nod of the head or other methods of gesture control. The headphones are equipped with broadband dynamic emitters with thin cellulose diaphragms with a diameter of 5.8 mm. The headphones are supplied with six pairs of soft oval ear pads of different sizes. A single charge of the batteries located in the headphones is enough to play music for 7 hours without noise canceling and 5 hours with active ANC. The back-up battery in the storage and carrying case allows you to charge the headphones three more times. It should also be noted support for the aptX HD codec and protection according to the IPX4 standard.
Verdict – headphones for listeners who like to tune the sound to their taste
B&O Beoplay E8
Price – 350 euros
The premium earbuds from the Danish company feature a stylish carrying case with genuine leather trim, as well as the ability to wirelessly charge using a special optional platform with support for Qi technology. By optimizing power consumption, the total battery life of the earbuds using the charging case has increased to 35 hours. The shape of the earbuds is very ergonomic, due to which each earbud weighs only 5.8 grams. Thanks to the four built-in microphones, speech intelligibility during communication is excellent, however, there is no active noise cancellation system in the Beoplay E8 arsenal.
Verdict – headphones for fans of the Danish brand who prefer design in everything
Price – 299 euros
The Brooklyn-based company, famous for its open-design over-ear headphones, launched the first fully wireless in-ear monitor. They work over Bluetooth 5.0 and provide support for the aptX codec. Inside, proprietary dynamic Grado drivers are installed, the characteristics of which the company does not disclose. A charge of the built-in battery lasts for 6 hours of continuous operation, the use of a case that supports wireless induction charging technology allows you to stay out of the outlet for 36 hours. Music playback and calls are controlled through the touch areas on the outside of the right and left earbuds.
Verdict – a model for lovers of Grado’s sonic handwriting – comfortable and intimate
Apple AirPods Pro
Price – 279 euros
The top version of Apple’s completely wireless headphones have silicone ear pads and an active noise cancellation system (the module is very tricky – it uses two microphones, the first of which analyzes street noise, the second – the sound of the headphones themselves inside the auricle). The model uses an “innovative ventilation system”, there is also protection against sweat and water according to the IPX4 standard. The digital part is based on the H1 chip, the kit includes a larger carrying case with support for wireless charging. The dynamic driver with a long stroke is a proprietary development of the company. The manufacturer guarantees 24 hours of listening to music (the headphones themselves work up to 4.5 hours in active noise canceling mode, and 5 minutes in the charging case provide an additional hour of work).
Verdict – the choice of Apple fans who prefer convenience over absolute sound quality
Price – 279 euros
The ultimate sports headphone from Sony. Their protection meets the IPX8 standard, which means they can be immersed in water to a depth of 2 meters. True, for this you need to use the special fixing wings included in the delivery set. But that’s not all – the headphones have a built-in audio player with 4 GB of memory, so you can go on a swim without a smartphone. Moreover, when using the built-in player, the battery life on a single charge doubles – from 3 to 6 hours. The charging case, by the way, also protected from moisture according to the IPX5 standard, adds three additional charging cycles. Each earpiece weighs 7.3 grams.
Verdict is the perfect model for serious athletes
Ultimate Ears UE Fits
Price – $ 250
An interesting wireless model that uses incredible ear cushions that fit the user’s ear. They are made of a transparent material, into which a special gel is injected, which hardens under the influence of light of a certain frequency, emitted by the LEDs installed in the headphones. The headphones lack an active noise cancellation system, although support for the aptX codec is declared. Monitor cases are protected from moisture according to the IPX3 standard. The operating time on a single charge is stated at 8 hours, another 12 hours is added by the carrying case. The acoustic part is built on dynamic radiators with a diameter of 10 mm, which guarantees powerful bass and high overload capacity.