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The 5 Best True Wireless In-Ear Earphones

best true wireless in-ear earphones

We tested dozens of True Wireless in-ear headphones. The best are the RHA TrueConnect 2. Only a few true wireless in-ear sets combine good sound with both listening to music and making calls. At the same time, the many adapters supplied ensure a perfect, secure fit in the ear. Thanks to its waterproof construction, the TrueConnect can also be used during sports – sweat, rain and even the shower have no chance of penetrating the sensitive electronics.

Bluetooth headphones offer a significant plus in convenience compared to their wired colleagues, because you save the cable from the smartphone to the headphones. To accommodate the electronics and batteries required for reception, conventional Bluetooth in-ear headphones still have either a neckband or a cable connection between the two earplugs.

More and more manufacturers are trying to get rid of this last cable too. So-called True Wireless In-Ears, which manage completely without cables, are not only a dream for athletes, but also for anyone who has often torn the plug out of their ears by getting stuck on the cable.

What are the best True Wireless In-Ears?

1. RHA 602035 Trueconnect

Sale
RHA 602035 Trueconnect
  • 5hrs playback from a single charge + 20hr charging case with…
  • Sweat proof and water resistant to IPX5 certification for…
  • Bluetooth 5 and stem design for exceptional connectivity,…
  • Secure fit with comply foam & silicone ear tips designed…
  • 3 year included, when purchased from RHA or directly.

The RHA TrueConnect 2 replaces its predecessor on the winner’s podium. The manufacturer has taken some points of criticism to heart and, above all, has significantly extended the criticized short battery life of the first version. The sound is still very good, this applies to both listening to music and making calls.

2. Technics True Wireless Earbuds

Sale
Technics True Wireless Earbuds
  • MUSIC AS IT’S MEANT TO BE HEARD: Large 10mm drivers and…
  • ADVANCED NOISE CANCELLING: The EAH-AZ70W combines…
  • RELIABLE CONNECTIVITY AND CALL QUALITY: Stable left-right…
  • EASY TOUCH SENSOR CONTROLS: Dual touch sensor controls allow…
  • ELEGANT TECHNICS DESIGN: Highest-grade materials, clean…

Technics belongs to the Panasonic group, but is the brand for very special devices within the company. The EAH-AZ70W is one of the highest quality true wireless in-ears that we had in the test. This applies to both the workmanship and the sound, and especially to the ease of use. The EAH-AZ70W can be operated extensively via app and also has very good active noise canceling.

3. Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, True Wireless Earbuds

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, True Wireless Earbuds
  • Hear every sound come alive. 12mm speakers with sound by AKG…
  • Made for your ears. Galaxy Buds Live sit softly inside the…
  • Active Noise Cancellation. The first Active Noise…

Samsung is introducing a completely new design for True Wireless In-Ears with the Galaxy Buds Live. The Buds Live are shaped like beans, fit unexpectedly well into the ears and barely protrude from them. In terms of sound, they are among the best; in addition to the touch surfaces, there is also an app for operation with which, among other things, the active noise canceling can be adjusted, which they also master.

4. Apple AirPod Pro

Sale
Apple AirPod Pro
  • Active noise cancellation for immersive sound
  • Transparency mode for hearing and connecting with the world…
  • Three sizes of soft, tapered silicone tips for a…
  • Sweat and water resistant
  • Adaptive EQ automatically tunes music to the shape of your…

With the Airpod Pro, Apple topped up again shortly after the introduction of the Airpods 2 – but the pros now also have active noise canceling skills. For this purpose, the actual in-ears have been completely redesigned, they are now pushed into the auditory canal like real in-ears with silicone adapters and thus seal perfectly. This literally leaves noises outside, the whole also offers the best conditions for a significant sound improvement.

5. 1MORE Stylish True Wireless Earbuds

1MORE Stylish True Wireless Earbuds
  • Premium Sound Dynamic driver with a titanium composite…
  • 24-Hour Playtime with Fast Charge Enjoy an uninterrupted…
  • Fast and Stable Connection An optimized Qualcomm chip with…
  • Snug and Secure Fit Ergonomically designed earbuds with…
  • Expert sound Tuning Luca Bignardi 1more’s in-house Grammy…

The ColorBuds from 1More look very nice, which is not only because they are available in four different colors. The surface is also more reminiscent of jewelry than in-ears. Since they don’t burn anything in terms of sound and comfort and offer everything at a moderate price, they are our new price recommendation.

True Wireless In-Ears: Pros and Cons

Cables are a major annoyance when listening to music, not only when doing sports, but also when you’re out and about. They are constantly in the way and tend to get hopelessly knotted while storing. True Wireless In-Ears put an end to that.

But wireless freedom comes with a disadvantage: Completely wireless headphones have a very limited battery life, after all they are so tiny that there is hardly any space for batteries. Usually, after three to four hours of listening to music, it is over, some True Wireless In-Ears only last two hours.

Almost all true wireless headphones therefore come with a storage case that is equipped with its own battery. So you can charge the earphones on the go – usually up to three times, provided the battery in the case is fully charged.

In addition to the battery, all kinds of electronics have to be built into the wireless in-ears. Because not only does the signal from the smartphone have to be transmitted to one of the two in-ears via Bluetooth, the communication between the two earplugs also has to be wireless.

Manufacturers have meanwhile managed to keep electronics small and light, but batteries cannot be made smaller. The size of the earplugs available today is therefore mainly determined by the size and capacity of the batteries installed in them.

In the case of listeners with integrated fitness sensors (mostly movement and pulse), even more technology must be accommodated in the earplugs. In addition, they should at least be sealed against sweat, but often also against penetrating water, for example when showering, which results in more complex and larger housings or limits the size of the built-in batteries even more.

Delivering good sound quality with all this is like squaring the circle. So far, Bluetooth in-ears, whose earplugs are at least connected to a cable or neckband, have been ahead of the game in terms of sound. In addition, their ear pieces are often made smaller, as the electronics and battery can be accommodated in the neck strap. This increases the wearing comfort in the ear – but you just have to deal with an annoying cable.

In order to give the electronics more space and the listeners more support, traditional manufacturers such as Shure and Fostex are picking up on the ear hooks or ear clips, they can do both and still get by without cables. In order to do this, the charging case has to be larger so that the headphones with the bracket fit in there.

Handling & Operation

Since there is not much space for controls on in-ear headphones, you usually have to be content with the multifunctional button that is available in each of our test subjects to switch on / off and to activate pairing. In addition, the buttons are also responsible for making calls and zapping through the tracks during operation, using Morse code, so to speak. But modern touch-based operating concepts are also being used more and more frequently here, with the Momentum True Wireless 2 from Sennheiser setting the bar particularly high here, because the touch operation can be individually adapted via app.

Some manufacturers also come up with tricks: Apple’s AirPods have the pairing button on the compact charging and storage box and the earplugs connect to the smartphone when the box is opened. The in-ears from Bragi can be controlled not only with gestures, but also with head movements, which looks a bit strange to the observer and is not only followed by any other manufacturer.

With most wireless in-ears, you get feedback through voice output, but sometimes acoustic signals also have to suffice, and the connection to the smartphone and the coupling of the two channels with each other are becoming more and more uncomplicated and reliable.

Microphone & battery life

In addition to musical skills, which depend heavily on the fit in the ear, the earplugs should also be able to be used for making calls. To do this, at least one of the earplugs must have a microphone.

With in-ears with a cable, the microphone is usually integrated into the cable and can be moved towards the mouth in order to achieve better speech intelligibility. With true wireless in-ears, the microphones are further away from the mouth and must have an appropriate directional characteristic. Here, too, we listened carefully and were able to determine some dramatic differences. As of 2019, a lot has happened and developed positively here apart from the AirPods, so we have adapted our test procedure accordingly: We now record the recording of the microphones on the True Wireless at the remote station and can then make a direct comparison.

We also stopped the battery life, only that of the earplugs. All test participants – with the exception of one – have a combined charging and storage box that is equipped with a larger battery, but of course you cannot use the in-ears during the charging process. During the test, music is played at the highest volume and the listeners are one meter away from the smartphone, so they have to bridge the same radio link. In this way, we also learn a lot about the more or less stable radio connection.

How did we test the True Wireless In-Ear Earphones?

In addition to extensive listening tests, we tested speech intelligibility when making calls and measured the battery life when listening to music at full volume. Of course, the setup and operation and how well the in-ears fit into the ear were also decisive. Above all, it was important to us to equip with as many different fittings as possible.

Because, as with all in-ear headphones, the sound quality of the wireless colleagues also depends on the best possible seal and thus fit in the ear. It not only determines the wearing comfort, but is also a prerequisite for a rich and contoured bass reproduction. Therefore, we put the test candidates in different ears – and listened carefully.

Test winner: RHA 602035 Trueconnect​

Our new favorites are the RHA TrueConnect 2, the successor to the former test winner. They work equally well for Apple and Android, deliver the well-known good sound and are also easy to understand when making calls. In addition, the TrueConnect 2 has an exorbitantly high endurance, which ultimately led to the replacement of its predecessor at the top.

Sale
RHA 602035 Trueconnect
  • 5hrs playback from a single charge + 20hr charging case with…
  • Sweat proof and water resistant to IPX5 certification for…
  • Bluetooth 5 and stem design for exceptional connectivity,…
  • Secure fit with comply foam & silicone ear tips designed…
  • 3 year included, when purchased from RHA or directly.

The RHA TrueConnect 2 are housed in the same, elegant case as the first generation. It can be swiveled open so that the two earplugs can be removed. Like the in-ears, the slots are color-coded to the right and left so that there is no confusion. However, the in-ears only fit into the respective recess.

Even if the adapters are used a little more sparingly with the TrueConnect 2, seven pairs are still a lavish feature, so that there are hardly any ears into which the listener cannot fit. Two pairs each in sizes S and L and three in M are on the in-ears or in the metal display. The three pairs in Comply foam design are missing, which is annoying, but not really bad.

As befits its standing, the charging dock is again equipped with a USB-C socket and a matching charging cable is included. The charging dock has not changed, apart from the fact that it does not allow four, but only three complete charges of the in-ears. However, this is due to the presumably larger batteries in the in-ears. RHA specifies the playing time of the in-ears as a full nine hours, in our endurance test they lasted even longer – and that with music at full volume.

Hearing test

In the listening test, the RHA TrueConnect 2 had to compete against the sound celebrities, like the EAH-AZ70W from Technics and the Momentum True Wireless 2 from Sennheiser. The RHA naturally sounds warmer and rounder than the Sennheiser. However, he also lacks its liveliness and thus in some pieces the last bit of joy in playing. However, this is complaining at a very high level, after all, the Sennheiser costs about twice as much. Allegedly, the manufacturer has also worked on the level stability, so that the TrueConnect 2 can now reproduce higher volumes without reaching its limits. However, you had to push the predecessor almost to your own pain threshold in order to make distortions audible.

Its strength lies clearly in its long-term suitability, which is certainly not a disadvantage in view of the battery life. The lower mid-high resolution and the less lively performance are only noticeable in a direct comparison. If you don’t have any of the sound specialists to compare, you usually don’t miss anything here.

The arrangement of the microphones for making calls has probably also been left unchanged on the RHA TrueConnect 2. The calls come in on both channels and the other person at the other end can understand me very well, comparable to the AirPods.

Operation

All functions are controlled via the touch surfaces, which have replaced the buttons of the predecessor. On and off switches are no longer there. As soon as a receiver is put into the case, it simply switches itself off. Accordingly, you can also make phone calls with just one earphone. Starting and stopping music as well as accepting phone calls can now be implemented with the appropriate touch codes. The installed voice assistant can also be called up by touch – this can then be both Siri and the Google assistant.

Operation has become much more convenient because the touch surfaces react to touch and not just to pressure. The sealing of the in-ears according to protection class IP55 against sweat and water jets could be realized more easily with the touch surfaces.

However, you have to do without the convenience of using the app. There is simply no app that is optimized for RHA listeners. All that remains is to use various apps from third-party manufacturers or to do without. The normal battery indicator in the smartphone’s Bluetooth menu works of course.

Battery Life

The runtime of nine hours specified by the manufacturer is already considerable, but what is more remarkable is that we can even certify the listener a much longer runtime. As usual, we measured it at full volume and with a distance of 50 centimeters between the in-ears and smartphone, so that a realistic distance has to be overcome via Bluetooth transmission. So we came to almost 15 hours of continuous operation until the small batteries run out.

In addition, the RHA in the charging dock are recharged enough after a short time so that a fifteen-minute break in music allows a good hour of music enjoyment – and at a moderate volume, even more is possible.

Any disadvantages?

Despite some improvements, the RHA TrueConnect 2 are not perfect either. An app for operating True Wireless In-Ears is now a good thing, especially in this price range. Finally, RHA also makes other headphones that would also benefit from such an app.

The aptX codec for low-loss transmission via Bluetooth is still not supported. Although the RHA sound very good, they fall short of their potential, after all, Bluetooth transmission is the bottleneck.

Sale
RHA 602035 Trueconnect
  • 5hrs playback from a single charge + 20hr charging case with…
  • Sweat proof and water resistant to IPX5 certification for…
  • Bluetooth 5 and stem design for exceptional connectivity,…
  • Secure fit with comply foam & silicone ear tips designed…
  • 3 year included, when purchased from RHA or directly.

Alternative True Wireless In-Ear Earphones

The bottom line is that for us, RHA has the edge with the RHA TrueConnect 2. In terms of sound and equipment, however, it is also better – if you are willing to spend more money. But there are also models that are much cheaper and represent a good alternative, provided that you accept some restrictions.

Technics True Wireless Earbuds

Sale
Technics True Wireless Earbuds
  • MUSIC AS IT’S MEANT TO BE HEARD: Large 10mm drivers and…
  • ADVANCED NOISE CANCELLING: The EAH-AZ70W combines…
  • RELIABLE CONNECTIVITY AND CALL QUALITY: Stable left-right…
  • EASY TOUCH SENSOR CONTROLS: Dual touch sensor controls allow…
  • ELEGANT TECHNICS DESIGN: Highest-grade materials, clean…

With the Technics EAH-AZ70W, another manufacturer of true wireless in-ears is entering the scene, but Technics is the brand under which Panasonic markets high-quality hi-fi products. The EAH-AZ70W fits exactly into this category. The in-ears then appear to be of high quality, but they are also quite large. Fortunately, that doesn’t have a negative impact on comfort.

Because of their size, the EAH-AZ70W protrude quite far out of the ears, but on the other hand, it makes it easier to use the touch surfaces, which are also quite large. And you can show what you have.

The Technics EAH-AZ70W also have active noise canceling, which can also be operated by touch, but it is more differentiated with the associated app. The Technics Audio Connect app is very similar to the Panasonic app, but the respective listener is only recognized within the brand. That means: the Panasonic app neither recognizes the Technics listener nor the other way around. Within the app there is of course the usual battery level indicator, separately for each listener, a stepless adjustment of the noise canceling or the outside noise passage and of course the possibility to provide the listeners with an update.

A find function for misplaced in-ears is almost standard, the Technics app also offers an automatic switch-off in which the in-ears, similar to the smartphone, simply switch off after the desired time without a signal in order to save power.

Various tone control options are also possible with the app. You can choose between two presets or make individual sound settings with an equalizer – with full depth, where it belongs. Wherever it should be quick and lively, the listeners also do everything right and convey the corresponding joy in playing. It is also noticeable that the spatial representation is not neglected.

In direct comparison with the Momentum True Wireless 2 from Sennheiser, they deliver a slightly warmer sound with a similar spatiality, but with a more defined fundamental tone. The Technics are a bit more subtle and sound a bit more open and not so compact, but these are only nuances and is also a matter of taste.

With the Technics EAH-AZ70W, the manufacturer has really drawn on the full, and on the software side there is even room for improvement. The price is more than reasonable for that.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, True Wireless Earbuds

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, True Wireless Earbuds
  • Hear every sound come alive. 12mm speakers with sound by AKG…
  • Made for your ears. Galaxy Buds Live sit softly inside the…
  • Active Noise Cancellation. The first Active Noise…

The shape of the Galaxy Buds Live from Samsung is very reminiscent of beans. Therefore it is not clear from the start how they should be inserted into the ears. Those who do not want to rely on their intuition will be supported by the instructions. It’s very easy if the Wear app with the corresponding plug-in is installed on the smartphone – a nice animation helps here.

The Galaxy Buds Live are inserted so that the sound openings point into the ear canal. Interestingly, the fitting pieces do not sit above the sound openings, but around the contacts, thus sealing the ear canal against the so-called concha, i.e. the inside of the auricle. This is not only important for the sound, but also for the active noise canceling that the Galaxys can also do. Corresponding adapters are also included in three sizes and, as usual, you should take a moment to achieve the best fit.

The surfaces of the in-ears are designed as touch surfaces that react to a certain touch code, but can also be reprogrammed in the app according to your own ideas. The sensitivity of the noise canceling can also be adjusted. Incidentally, the sound remains unaffected when the ANC is active. In addition, the in-ears can be programmed to read notifications or text messages. The equalizer for tone control has (so far) six presets, but it is certainly possible to define your own settings there via software update.

The sound of the Galaxy Buds Live is at the same high level as the Technics and the Momentum True Wireless 2 from Sennheiser. They sound more sophisticated than most of the cheaper listeners and provide the full bandwidth of the listening spectrum, in the case of the Galaxy with a moderate increase in the low frequency range. The mid-high range dissolves very finely and allows the necessary liveliness to shine through with appropriate food.

The Galaxy Buds Live are actually worth experimenting with. They fit much better and more comfortably than the in-ears in one-fits-all design, which, like the first AirPods, do without adapters. They can also be easily operated using touch surfaces and an app.

Apple AirPod Pro

Sale
Apple AirPod Pro
  • Active noise cancellation for immersive sound
  • Transparency mode for hearing and connecting with the world…
  • Three sizes of soft, tapered silicone tips for a…
  • Sweat and water resistant
  • Adaptive EQ automatically tunes music to the shape of your…

With the Airpod Pro, Apple has introduced the first headphones with active noise canceling. The design of the in-ears is fundamentally different from that of the other AirPods, for a better hold and seal, Apple uses the conventional design with so-called ear tips, i.e. adapters, for the pros. The distinctive stems have remained.

Three pairs of these adapters are included with the Airpods Pro, the case for storage and charging corresponds to that of the Airpods 2 introduced a few months ago. It can be charged either with the Lightning cable from the scope of delivery or wirelessly if you have the appropriate charging device.

The Airpods Pro are operated via a button on each of the rods, which seemed to the developers possibly more reliable than the touch surfaces of the other AirPods. If the button is pressed briefly, regardless of which side, the music starts or stops. If you press twice briefly, it jumps forward one track, with three times it goes back. A longer press activates the ANC or the transparency mode or, alternatively, calling up Apple’s voice assistant Siri on one side. The operating status is confirmed by various tones, not by announcement.

For individual adjustments, such as the reassignment of the buttons or the automatic ear detection as well as the test of the correct fit, at least iOS 13.2 is required. These functions are stored directly in the Bluetooth menu and not in a separate app – bad times for older operating systems and for androids anyway.

Active noise canceling works well, especially since it has almost no audible influence on volume or sound.

In terms of sound, the Airpods Pro are audibly superior to their colleagues – especially when it comes to the transmission of bass tones, they even manage to help a little below, just enough to produce a nice, full basic tone. This may be due to the better fit of the in-ears in the ear canal, but also to the dedicated bass driver that Apple allegedly also installed.

For Apple users, the Airpods Pro are always an asset, even if noise canceling is rarely used, but they are quite expensive.

1MORE Stylish True Wireless Earbuds

1MORE Stylish True Wireless Earbuds
  • Premium Sound Dynamic driver with a titanium composite…
  • 24-Hour Playtime with Fast Charge Enjoy an uninterrupted…
  • Fast and Stable Connection An optimized Qualcomm chip with…
  • Snug and Secure Fit Ergonomically designed earbuds with…
  • Expert sound Tuning Luca Bignardi 1more’s in-house Grammy…

With the ColorBuds, 1More plays the design card at first glance. The beautiful, organic design with the fine surface, which is available in four color variants, is easily accepted by the in-ears as earrings. The fact that they are also very easy to use and then remain comfortable in the ears for a long time is not a nice side effect, but one of the main concerns of the manufacturer.

The ColorBuds can be connected very quickly and, as mentioned, sit correctly in place due to their shape. There is also a built-in sensor that detects whether the earphones are in the ear or outside. In the second case, they immediately switch to standby to save electricity.

As usual, the operation takes place via touch-sensitive surfaces. There is also an app, but it is still quite rudimentary. The 1More Music app is of course responsible for firmware updates. It also shows the battery level and allows you to customize the touch controls. There is no way to influence the sound or other features. It’s also completely in English, but that could be changed with an update.

In terms of sound, there is little to complain about with the ColorBuds . The presence area is sometimes a bit too pronounced, the fundamental tone and bass could use a little more emphasis.

Given the price, the ColorBuds have a lot more to offer than just a beautiful case. At least there is an app that explains the operation and, if necessary, individualizes it, and the sound is slightly above the class level, both when listening to music and making calls.

Last update on 2020-10-19 | Source: Amazon Affiliate