The 8 best wireless earplugs of the moment

The 8 best wireless earplugs of the moment

You like to buy the best logical product. “Best” is of course an opinion, and in this case our opinion. With Bright Stuff, base that view on a few things. In addition to sounding good, you also want the earplugs to be comfortable, have a long battery life, and be easy to use. And if they have noise reduction, it must be effective. Based on these requirements, we can warmly recommend these earplugs:

Soundcore Liberty 4

Soundcore is a sub-brand of the Chinese company Anker, which has been ravishing in recent years with high-quality but affordable power banks and fast chargers. The affiliated Soundcore brand is really taking the same path with these Liberty 4 earplugs, because we were positively surprised by all the possibilities in these $150 earplugs.

We summarize: Liberty 4 offers excellent active noise reduction and AirPods-Like the push-button controls on the stems work well, as does the box with the slide-in lid. This box can be charged wirelessly, and the caps support multipoint connection: automatic switching between your laptop and phone, for example. There is also support for the high fidelity LDAC codec.

The earplugs sure sound nice and full for the price, and they can be easily adjusted with the equalizer. The microphones are also good. There’s also a spatial audio function that should make the audio spatial, but we’re not fans. Another trick works well: a built-in heart rate monitor. Good for sports, but unfortunately the data is only in Soundcore’s own app.

The Soundcore Liberty 4 earplugs are available in black and white for €149.99.

Bose QuietComfort II headphones

With these earplugs, Bose has achieved the best results in noise reduction in our opinion. It performs more powerfully than the Sony WF-1000XM4 neck and neck covers considerably with the AirPods Pro 2 — as far as we’re concerned, Bose managed to block out a little more noise. The covers themselves are discreet and comfortable and the shipping box is nice and easy to use. ALSO CUTE: An included rubber ring in three sizes ensures the caps stay in your ears better.

The sound is excellent and neutral with full bass that is not overdone at the same time. True reproduction of music, thus suitable for all styles of music. The service is surprisingly complete. The earplugs’ flat exterior acts as a mini touchpad. Tap to pause, and swipe to access volume. With this, Bose, along with some competitors like Apple, are ahead of the competition, where volume control from the caps is usually not yet possible.

Unfortunately, the QuietComfort Earbuds II still don’t come with multiple Bluetooth hotspots, for quickly switching between devices. This is also still very rare with earphones – AirPods only support it with Apple devices.

The starting price of the Bose QuietComfort II is 299.95 euros.

ear (1) / ear (stick)

The design of both hats is as eye catching as it is unobtrusive. In terms of shape, the Nothing earplugs are very similar to the Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro, with their white silicone tips and short earbuds. However, it’s these stems that are the distinguishing factor: You can see inside through the clear plastic. This distinctive design is the work of Teenage Engineering, the Swedish brand responsible for the now iconic OP-1 synthesizer. Teenage Engineering was also involved in audio, and it shows. The earplugs sound good and fit most types by default and can be customized to taste with the app. The AirPods Pro sound a little better on ear (1) and the regular AirPods sound better than on ear (stick), but neither are twice as good.

The same applies to active noise reduction. It is better to use expensive earplugs such as AirPods Pro, but not much better. Earplugs (1) of nothing more than adequate for basic function. The Nothing Ear (1) and the ear (the stick) are major challenges. The earbuds do nearly everything competitors like the AirPods and AirPods Pro do, for half the price. They do it less well, and they don’t have such functionality as spatial sound and smooth switching between devices. You have to love the quirky look, but one thing is clear: For this price, these are two of the most complete wireless earbuds out there right now.

Nothing Ear (stick) is available in one black and white version, Nothing Ear (1) is available in black and white. The introductory price of the ear (stick) is 119 euros, the price of the ear (1) is 149 euros.

AirPods 3 / AirPods Pro 2

Apple pretty much entered the wireless earbuds market with the first AirPods. Apple earplugs have occasionally been outdone over the years, but the current range is once again very strong. Especially for people who have other Apple products, AirPods are virtually unbeatable due to their seamless integration: Pairing and switching between devices is completely automatic.

But it also looks excellent. Regular AirPods deliver surprisingly full sound for a non-earbud. This property is also an advantage for many users, who don’t want to stuff rubber into their ear canals at all. AirPods Pro 2 sound better due to the in-ear design, with more bass. The Pros are also more comfortable than any other earplugs we’ve tried before, because they barely fit into the ear canal, but mostly seal it off.

AirPods Pro 2 also have one of the best active noise cancellation features on the market. An amazing amount of noise is retained. And the transparency mode is even more impressive. The environment and even your voice are faithfully conveyed – if there’s a noise like road sweeping, that part will only be muted temporarily. Simple push-button operation in the stems and charging cases with a manual search function complete the AirPods. They’re not cheap, but they are probably the best all-around earplugs out there.

The Apple AirPods 3 is available at €209, while the AirPods Pro 2 costs €299, and both are only available in white.

Sony WF-1000XM4

The earplugs feature a design without a stem, patch, or other protruding part. Thanks to their rounded shape, they fit well in the ear and stay in place well thanks to the foam earcups. You have to love it: unlike, say, the AirPods Pro, these Sonys fit a bit into your ear canal.

This benefits noise reduction, which is excellent with the Sony WF-1000XM4. And smart: When you start talking, both music and noise reduction are completely reduced. Noise cancellation can also be adjusted in the companion app. You can adjust the strength based on the location: a little noise reduction on the street so you can hear the traffic, a lot of noise reduction on the train for noise. Operation is done by taps on the side, and this works well.

The sound of these Sonys is also excellent, above average for wireless earplugs. Different instruments and tones can be clearly distinguished. Those who wish can adjust the sound via the equalizer in the app. In addition, these features provide Sony support for high-quality music via the LDAC codec. This only works on Android via, say, the music service Tidal.

The Sony WF-1000XM4 is available in black and champagne and has an introductory price of €280.

Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro

Where the AirPods have an advantage for Apple users is the same for Samsung users as for the Galaxy Buds. Just a little tighter integration and easier connectivity. The Buds2 Pro are skillfully designed and, like the AirPods and many similar devices, don’t have stems that protrude visibly from your ears. They are comfortable and also stay in place during your workout. And it’s so water-resistant that you can even rinse it off under the tap.

The caps look excellent and come close to the AirPods Pro, at a much cheaper price. And the microphones are good too. This also applies to active noise reduction, which is very good: it is close to Bose and Apple. But here’s a trick: voice detection noise reduction. Once you start speaking, you’ll be switched from noise reduction to ambient sound within a second or two: hands-free, and then back again after a while.

Automatic switching between devices is also possible, but it is especially smooth when it comes to Samsung devices. If you use another Android device, you give up some features and installation requires more work via the Galaxy Wearable app. These earplugs work on iOS, but there’s no such app: These earplugs would rather stay close to your Galaxy device.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro was initially priced at €229, but has now been lowered by Samsung to an attractive €169. Hats are available in black, white and purple.

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