Thursday, January 20, 2022

In-ear headphones put to the test These models keep up with the larger headphones

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Headphones without cables are trendy. The small in-ear models in particular are becoming increasingly popular. Manufacturers have made great strides in terms of sound and comfort. Stiftung Warentest has added new models to its in-ear Bluetooth headphone test. We present the test results.

In-ear headphones have grown in popularity significantly since Apple’s AirPods. All manufacturers from Bose and JBL to Jabra to Sennheiser now offer these small earplugs, which are also known as true wireless earbuds. In addition, the Bluetooth headphones are now also available with active noise reduction. So you have peace and quiet while listening to music. In your Check Stiftung Warentest regularly examines new models. We present the test results and recommend headphones.

Stiftung Warentest has tested over 200 Bluetooth headphones since 2018. After the last major investigation for the 11/2021 issue of “test”, additional models have now been added. The test candidates were tested in the assessment categories of sound, active noise reduction, comfort and handling, battery and durability.

In addition, product components such as ear and head pads were examined for harmful substances. It was positive that every wireless in-ear model received a “very good” rating in the pollutant category.

The test winners among the wireless headphones are Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro with the “test” quality rating “good (1.9)”. The WF-1000XM4 from Sony excellent, which also landed in first place.

The headphones are on par with the test winner from Samsung in the most important category of sound Jabra Elite 85twho came in second overall with “good (2.0)”. They are new in the test and in third place Tone Free DFP8 from LG with the grade “good (2.1)”.

Interesting: For the first time, earbuds from Teufel, Google and Sennheiser were able to achieve “good” overall ratings without active noise suppression. At the forefront, however, are still ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) headphones, which block out ambient noise even when you are not listening to music.

The test result: rich sound and “good” active noise cancellation. With the “test” quality rating of “good (1.9)”, the headphones from Samsung are right at the front. Only this model and the third-placed model from Jabra were able to achieve the top grade “good (1.6)” in the most important category of sound.

Product details: The wireless Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro not only inspire with their futuristic design, but also with their active, intelligent noise suppression. You decide whether you want to hide up to 99 percent of the background noise or choose the ambient mode, which can be set in stages. So you only get what is important to you.

The two-way speaker ensures high sound quality and rich sound for up to five hours of uninterrupted playback. If the ACN and Bixby Voice wake-up functions are deactivated, the fully charged smart headphones provide up to eight hours of continuous power.

The test result: In the Stiftung Warentest test, the Sony headphones, like the Samsung Earbuds, are test winners with the “test” quality rating of “good (1.9)”. Above all, they can convince with their “very good” battery. The model received the top rating “very good (1.3)” for this category.

Product details: The wireless headphones impress with “good” noise suppression, high sound quality and water resistance. There are also intelligent audio functions and powerful dual noise sensor microphones (two per ear). According to the manufacturer, the maximum battery life is 24 hours. So you can enjoy your favorite music all day long.

With an average online price of 270 euros, the in-ears from Sony are not only around 100 euros more expensive than the test winner from Samsung, but also generally the most expensive in-ear Bluetooth headphones in the Stiftung Warentest test.

The test results: With the “test” quality rating of “good (2.0)”, the wireless headphones from Jabra landed in second place. The in-ear headphones are particularly impressive in terms of sound and, like the test winner from Samsung, received the best rating for this category. As far as comfort and handling are concerned, the Jabra model scored “good (2.4)” even better than the first place.

Product details: compact design and maximum control. The inconspicuous Bluetooth headphones from Jabra inspire with the active-noise cancellation, which is fully customizable. According to the manufacturer, six microphones and windscreens have been integrated into the earbuds, which should ensure precise and clear voice quality when making calls.

The headphones are compatible with Siri and Google Assistant and have a maximum battery life of five hours. The headphones are fully charged after about an hour.

The test result: With an overall rating of “good (2.1)”, LG’s in-ears are in third place in the Stiftung Warentest classification. They score “good” in all categories, and even “very good” for the battery, durability and pollutants.

Product details: The modern and chic earbuds from LG also score with great sound with customizable sound modes and active Noice Canceling (ANC), which suppresses annoying outside noise. They can be operated by touch, via app and with the help of voice control.

Their battery life is a maximum of ten hours. The battery can be quickly recharged in the practical case. Thanks to IPX4 splash protection, the headphones can withstand rain showers and are suitable for sweaty fitness sessions.

With the tested wireless in-ear headphones, the range from “good” to “sufficient” is relatively large. Which headphones are ultimately right for you depends on which criteria are most important to you. Just like the Stiftung Warentest, we recommend them Samsung Galaxy Buds Probecause they provide “good” sound and “good” active noise suppression, which can also be set in stages. Also with the second test winner, the Sony headphones, make good choices, especially if battery life is important to you. The second and third placed by Jabra and LG.

As the name suggests, true wireless headphones completely do without cables and rely on the Bluetooth wireless standard. In contrast to conventional Bluetooth headphones, the two earphones also wirelessly communicate with each other.

In cheaper models, the smartphone usually transmits the soundtrack to an earphone, which then sends it to the other. Sometimes users therefore perceive a slightly asynchronous playback. If, on the other hand, both earplugs connect to the playback device, such problems occur much less frequently.

In-ear Bluetooth headphones are particularly notable for their convenience when listening to music. Whether in the office or on the way to work – they are ideal for usage times of a few hours. Thanks to the quick start-up without the hassle of untangling cables, you will soon no longer want to do without the headphones.

Wireless in-ear headphones come in very different price ranges. While Apple AirPods are the most comfortable, they are clearly inferior to the Powerbeats Pro and the Sony counterpart in terms of sound. Inexpensive variants for less than 100 euros fully meet the basic requirements. Once used, users will appreciate the convenience of listening to music without the hassle of cables.

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