February 26, 2024

Speaker 1: I don’t blame you for getting confused with all the different types of wireless earbuds out there because there is a lot to choose from. Hi, I’m Alex, your resident earbud enthusiast here to help you out with what you need to know when it comes to buying a pair of wireless earbuds.

Speaker 1: Alright, before we go any further, you’ve got to show me the money under $50, under $150 or money is no object. Fortunately, there is more choice than ever these days, and [00:00:30] even if your budget is on the lower end of the spectrum, you can still find really good sounding buds with a lot of features. As an example, the ear fund, air Pro three gets CNET audio expert David Carnoy stamp of approval with a wireless charging case and good sound quality. They’re $80 but usually have an instant coupon, so they’re about $60. One of my favorite budget pairs are the Sound, Pete’s Air three Deluxe hss, a mouthful of a name. I know they’re only $50 comfortable to wear and they support high resolution audio on Android. [00:01:00] The second most important factor you’ll want to consider is how they fit. You could have the best sounding earbuds in the world, but if they don’t fit your ears properly, what’s the point?

Speaker 1: Here’s where it really helps. If you can try before you buy, maybe you have a friend with the same pair or a retailer with a generous return or exchange policy. Just remember, please clean them before you send them back because don’t be gross. If you’re looking at a model with ear tips, check out what sizes come in the box. Most offer a range from extra small to extra large, but [00:01:30] all ear canals are different, so just like Goldilocks, it may take some trial and error to find the right fit. A lot of the higher end earbuds with tips like the AirPods Pro two and Sony XM fives have an ear fit test on your phone as well. Without a tight seal noise canceling and sound quality is going to be affected and you do not want that, especially if you’re spending a hundreds of dollars, but if you still can’t get a good fit with the included tips, consider third party foam tips that can mold to your ear shape.

Speaker 1: Just know that they might fit a little bit differently [00:02:00] in the charging case, I had to use these ones from comply with the first generation AirPods Pro because they didn’t have an extra small ear tip size ear tips, not your jam. You’ll probably want a pair of open earbuds. These just sit in your ears rather than inside your ear canal, something like these Sony Link Budds or regular AirPods. Also, if you are exercising, you’ll probably also want to look for a pair that’s lightweight and fits securely. Maybe it could be a model with wing tips that tuck in your ears or they have hooks that can go around your ear to keep [00:02:30] them in place. I can run with most earbuds as long as they’re not too bulky, but my absolute favorite pair for working out are the Powerbeats Pro. Even though they are a couple of years old now, they still work and sound great for what I need.

Speaker 1: Water resistance of some degree is also helpful if you’re sweating or working out in the rain. Sound quality is obviously incredibly important, but it is somewhat personal and the genres of music you listen to will also influence your opinion here. Maybe you like a more base heavy response or you’re into something that voices for podcasts, [00:03:00] but I like a good balance with well-defined bass, even myths, which is where the vocals sit, and a detailed treble without sounding too tinny or washed out. That usually serves me well when I’m jumping around between different genres of music. Higher end earbuds are generally going to offer a wider sound stage with more depth and definition. You’ll probably be able to hear the difference between them and less expensive earbuds. ldac a c Appdex, now it’s time to swim in the acronym Soup of Codex. That’s a compression technique that sends audio over the [00:03:30] air from your device to your earbuds.

Speaker 1: Without getting too into the weeds here, because that is another video for another time, iOS devices support a C or the standard SBC codec. Depending on the earbuds, Android has some additional options depending on your phone. You might also be able to choose which specific codec to use if the earbuds also support it, including Sony’s ldac for high resolution audio. There’s also the newer Bluetooth LE Audio and lc three codec Codex also play a part in latency, so if you’re playing [00:04:00] games or watching movies, you’ll want to make sure your earbuds aren’t running behind what’s on screen. That can be an issue with some cheaper earbuds, but some also let you toggle on a low latency mode, which can help. Noise canceling does exactly what it says on the tin and offers a way to block out sounds at certain frequencies like the rumble of a train, a general hell in an office, or even sometimes a crying baby if you pick the right ones.

Speaker 1: Most parts with noise canceling also have a mode where they can pipe in some sounds of the outside world so you stay aware [00:04:30] of your surroundings. Confusingly, all the brands like to call this something different. Apple uses transparency mode. Sony calls it ambient sound, and Bose is aware mode, for example. Some sound more natural than others, so it’s always a good idea to read the reviews. If you’re constantly switching your earbuds between phone and computer, you’ll probably want multi-point connectivity, which is a way to have multiple devices connected at the same time. In the case of the AirPods, they support quick switching, so as long as you’re signed into the same apple ID across your devices, it should [00:05:00] automatically detect what source you’re listening to and switch the audio. Then there’s the microphone and call quality, and that’s not just for phone calls either. Also, consider if you’re going to be on Zoom or teams calls a lot of the time reviews are going to be the best way to assess this before you buy, and with CNET reviews, we always give you a sample of the call quality so you can hear it for yourself.

Speaker 1: I’m

Speaker 2: Talking again just so people get a sense of how my voice sounds.

Speaker 1: You’ll also want to listen out for background noise reduction. Not only do you want earbuds that make your voice [00:05:30] sound clear, but you’ll also want ’em to help block out some noisy environments, especially if you’re doing things like taking calls on the commute. I’ve

Speaker 2: Got a bunch of traffic going by. Let me know how I sound.

Speaker 1: Some earbuds come with a companion app that lets you change settings like adjusting the volume or playback controls to your liking. You can also get an equalizer to tune the sound to just how you want. Conversational awareness is nice to have, so when you start talking, the earbuds can pause or lower the volume of your music so you can have a quick chat. [00:06:00] It’s been on many Sony earbuds for a while now, but the AirPods just gotted with the iOS 17 update. You might also want to use one earbud independently while the other one charges in the case. Now, most higher end earbuds let you do this, but some less expensive ones only let you use a specific side, and don’t forget which team you are on iPhone or Android. Some earbuds will have exclusive features that only work on one platform, but generally speaking, you can connect any earbuds to any device.

Speaker 1: Apple’s AirPods work pretty well with Android. You just lose access to the voice assistant and [00:06:30] spatial audio. Similarly with the pixel buds paired to the iPhone, you won’t get a hands-free Google Assistant or spatial audio. Wireless ebus can vary a lot when it comes to battery life and the manufacturer’s rating that says something like up to eight hours usually only takes into account using them with the bare minimum features and moderate volume. Make sure to also check how long they last with noise canceling turned on and if applicable, streaming high resolution audio, but most should last at least four and a half to five hours on a single charge and offer [00:07:00] a quick charge feature so you drop the buds in the case for 15 or 20 minutes and get an hour or more of listening time. I’m always happy to help Sue if you have a question about which earbud is right for you. Chances are I’ve probably worn it and tested it. Drop me a comment down below or you can find me on your favorite social media network. I’ll catch you later.