Wireless in-ear headsets have undergone rapid development in recent years. The audio quality has improved by leaps and bounds, as has the quality of the noise cancellation. The supply has also increased explosively; almost every manufacturer of audio products has now launched a series of wireless in-ears. This does not make things any clearer. To regain some overview, we have extensively compared eleven fully wireless in-ears. These are all luxurious in-ears; prices start above 100 euros and range up to almost 350 euros. The basic principle is that they all at least offer good sound quality for your music and other media, and that they have modes for noise cancellation and transparency.
Subjective and objective
Behind the scenes we are busy expanding and professionalizing our audio testing procedure and for this round-up we draw on a mix of subjective judgments, supplemented with a limited number of objective measurements. For example, we measured the noise cancellation in our test lab, but also tested it experimentally while vacuuming. And to assess call quality, we not only listened carefully during phone calls, but also recorded a simulated test situation with a lot of ambient noise, so you can decide for yourself what you think of the microphone’s noise cancellation.
On the coming pages we will first discuss the appearance of the in-ears and charging boxes per product, and we will look at the possibilities of the associated apps. We then zoom in on the ease of use and wearing comfort, and we discuss the differences in quality of the audio played, telephone and chat conversations, the noise cancellation and the transparency mode. Battery life and Bluetooth latency are also discussed.
Update November 8: By popular request, we purchased the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds and added them to the test. We have expanded this round-up with a page about this product and updated our conclusion.