The iPhone is an incredible device for audio – from listening to podcasts, to both consuming and making music. But despite its range of great apps for these purposes, the output sounds only as good as what you’re using to play it through. Headphones are big business, and getting the right set can depend on a number of parameters. Over-ear, bluetooth, price-points. It all matters.
We’ll be taking a very focused look at just one subset of headphone in this roundup – we’ll be showing you the very best in in-ear, wireless or Bluetooth headphone technology. Wireless headphones often opt for a band that sits around the neck, which houses a charging unit and some controls or a mic, but with not long wires that need to be plugged into the device. These types of buds have been growing in popularity due to their focus on the health market. Many wireless in-ear buds focus on their portability, lightweight nature as perfect for runners, and those that go to the gym.
However, even for iPad users that won’t be taking their new 12.9-inch iPad Pro out running, these types of headphones can prove useful. Many people simply prefer the in-ear design over the over-ear headset and may find these types of headphones useful if they’ve moving about while the iPad plays something in the corner of the room. Wireless headphones are extremely multi-functional. So, let’s take a look at the best set at various price-points to help you make a decision based on your budget.
Note: all prices are accurate at the time of publishing, but may be subject to change – so make sure to double check before buying!
Best on a budget
Mpow Swift Bluetooth Earbuds ($21.69)
Like regular wired headphones, it’s easy to find budget sets, but unlike wired headphones, it’s harder to find budget bluetooth sets that are actually half-decent. The Mpow Swift Bluetooth’s are a notable exception – they’ve a fairly good six-hour battery life and a variety of different buds to ensure a good fit for everyone. The sound is also good at this price-point. While they don’t include a mic, or buttons for controlling audio, a big jump for those used to wired headphones comes in the usability rather than additional accessories, so if you’re looking to make the jump to Bluetooth headphones, these are a great gateway to the technology without blowing all your money on a high-end pair.
Best mid-range earphones
Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 Wireless Earbuds ($64.80)
The sound on the BackBeat Go 2 is great – the highs are crisp, the mid-tones natural, and the bass rich. They’re also sweat and moisture resistance and offer multiple fit options. What sets these apart is that they come with their own charging case, so while the buds will give you 4.5 hours listening or talk time (they come with a built in mic and music controls), they also come with a charging pack which can provide an additional 10 hours if you’re on the go. These earphones are a great next step on the Bluetooth headphone journey.
Best high-end earphones
Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless ($99.00)
Not only do the Jabra Sport Pulse earbuds come with all the usual bells and whistles – it has a built in microphone, and a play and pause button to control music, but it also comes with a compatible app. This can provide personalized audio coaching and the option to create fitness goals. These headset also contains a feature few others have, which is an in-ear heart rate monitor designed to provide precise feedback as you train. The Jabra’s are right at the top end in terms of quality for in-ear headphones, but, as the name suggests, they’re purely focused on sport. However, due to the in-ear wireless headphones popularity in the fitness market, it’s no surprise that earbuds at this price-point really drive home their health compatibility.