Half a year with different wireless headphones: what did I choose
I once put on a truly wireless headphones, and the cables after that, even if it was a flexible headband on a wireless headset, became annoying. Therefore, I perceive all new ears like Apple AirPods with enthusiasm and try to drive for a while. In 2018, in addition to AirPods, I managed to blame Jabra Elite 65+, Samsung IconX 2018 and Sony WF-1000X. The result was a comparative tablet under the cut - it contains objective data. And everything else is my subjective observations and a topic for discussion.
We have to admit that Apple and Samsung did their best: almost all of my friends believe that the first wireless gags appeared in one of these brands. In fact, several companies showed such “ears” at once, in January 2015 at CES: FreeWavz, Bragi and HearNotes. All these headphones pioneers are not expected to take off. The following year, on July 15, they tried to roll out their “true wireless headphones” Samsung - Gear Icon X also didn’t really become mass. And then in 2016, an Apple marketing car went on the road and rushed: AirPods became popular on their own and dragged a whole segment along with them. Now, on my way to the office (in Moscow), I manage to notice 10 people with recognizable white plugs. And a few more - with something alternative.
In 2018 there was plenty to choose from. In addition to the four, there are options in different price categories: B & O (E8 ~ 20 000 ₽), JBL (Free ~ 9 000 ₽), crowdfunding TicPods (~ 9 000 ₽, still not for sale). More Onkyo (W800BT ~ 30 000 ₽) and Bose (SoundSport Free ~ 15 000 ₽) have such. And Meizu does not cease to dump (Pop TW50 ~ 7 000 ₽). And Huawei showed its variation on the topic (FreeBuds ~ 8 000 ₽). And at Sony, while I was chasing the previous one, even another suitable model came out (WF-SP900 ~ 20 000 ₽). In general, if it is interesting, the experiments can be continued, and the label expanded. In the meantime, let's deal with what is.
|~ 30 hours||15 h.||8 h.||~ 24 h|
|From one charge||~ 5.5 hours||5 hours||2 hours||6 hours|
|Charging from the cover||4.5||2||3||3|
|10 min. → ~ 1 hour job||not||10 min. → |
~ 1 hour job
|Interface||Lightning||USB Type-C||micro usb||micro usb|
|there is||no (only buttons)|
|Gesture management||not||there is||not|
|Water protection||not||n / a||n / a||IP-55|
|Headphone weight |
|four||eight||6.8||6.5 - left, |
5.8 - right
|Case weight |
|n / a||20 Hz - 20 kHz|
I don’t even want to describe the sound. All four models sound normal . Good. Not bad. In short, whatever one may say, but it is still Bluetooth with all the consequences. That is, not audiophile devices, not Hi-Res.
Another thing - insulation, about her there is something to tell. Jabra, Samsung and Sony are classic “gags”, and Apple has “earbuds”. With them in transport more difficult. They do not fit snugly, and the roar from the outside still makes its way. Even if you unscrew the volume to the maximum, sometimes with AirPods in the subway you have to turn on the subtitles on YouTube: it seems like you can hear it, but you can't make out all the words of Dudi.
Jabra has active noise cancellation, the sounds of the street barely make their way through. Plus, in the Sound + application, you can turn on the HearThrough mode, and then the sound outside will vice versa. The volume is enough for the eyes.
Sony has a very cool passive soundproofing, thanks to foam cushions. The WF-1000X is inserted deep into the ear, and there the plug is cracked. But with the declared active noise cancellation, it is supposedly not very much - that “On”, that “Off” - the difference is minimal. So I preferred to turn off this chip completely - and so everything is loud and clear.
In Samsung, IconX sound insulation is OK, and I never twisted the volume to maximum. Like the Jabra Elite 65t, they have the function of passing external noise through microphones. But it only works if the headphones are connected to an Android phone, because only there is a Samsung Wearables application with such settings.
Fall out or not
I did not fall out of any of the four: that liners, that plugs. I went to them for training in the gym, I rode a bike, I specifically shook my head - everyone was sitting tight. Another thing is that so cool, it turns out, not all people. He gave these models to friends and did not reveal any dependence as a result: some fall out, while others do not. Jabra and Apple sit like a glove for some, and the rest strive to fall. Someone did not fall out only Sony, someone Samsung. At the same time, Samsung and Sony have protruding parts on the headphones, which rest against the ears for reliability, while the similar design of the Jabra does not. But, in short, my advice to you is: before you buy any such headphones, try them alive.
There is still a moment of comfort when you wear headphones for several hours in a row. Personally, I start to get tired of the plugs: my ears start to itch, I want them, forgive, “air out.” But the trick is obviously not that they are wireless. With wire plugs, I usually have the same story.
Apple tried to make life as easy as possible for the user. If you have an iPhone, the AirPods connection will take a couple of seconds: open the cover of the case, the iPhone immediately asks you to hold the button on the case, a couple of seconds - and you're done.
And with Android, this number will not work: first you need to hold the button on the case, then the AirPods will go into pairing mode and they can be found among Bluetooth devices, as usual.
In Samsung, it seems, they wanted to implement the connection of IconX to Galaxy smartphones in the same way, but apparently, this concerns other devices. And about IconX 2018 in the Galaxy Wearable application, this is exactly what it says: press and hold the Bluetooth button on the case. After that, the headphone icon appears on the screen, click it, and then pairing occurs.
For Sony and Jabra, for the first connection, you need to switch the headphones to the detection mode. To do this, on the case of both, there are mechanical buttons that need to hold down for a few seconds and wait for the blue diode to flash.
In general, if you want to continue to use branded software with headphones, for the first time it is better to connect through native applications, and not just look for BT devices in the standard menu. Otherwise, they will then be asked to carry out the procedure again, and for this you will need to first break the pair.
The two models control only touch - it's AirPods and IconX. Apple doesn’t make much headway: a double tap for one earphone is Play / Pause. Otherwise, the next track or Siri call, depending on how you set it up. No other options.
Samsung has a lot of gestures, and it doesn’t matter which headphone you touch. On the one hand, it was difficult for me to remember all this, but on the other - it’s cool that, for example, you can control the volume without getting a smartphone.
Sony implemented all controls on small buttons, not sensors. On the right earpiece, you can press the button one, two or three times in a row. Accordingly, the track will pause, switch to the next or jump to the previous one. On the left earpiece, the same button is responsible for turning on and off the Ambient Sound mode, when microphones capture sounds from the outside and bring them to the speakers. By the way, these are the only headphones of all four that do not have auto pause, if one of them is pulled from the ear.
Jabra also has mechanical buttons, but they are not located at the bottom, like Sony, but at the side - perpendicular to the ear. At the same time, the buttons are quite hard, therefore, every time you need to switch the track or change the volume, the earpiece is pushed a little deeper into the ear. Not very nice.
The design of the covers, it seems to me, is quite recognizable. Guess where someone is on a photo with a logo?
And now - with the logo
The essence of all cases is the same - to charge and store headphones when they are not used. And although they are arranged differently, there is one problem with all of them - you constantly confuse headphones and their seats when you send to charge. It would seem to take them out and insert them sequentially: first from one ear, and then from the other, but for some reason in real life it is not so.
Apple has the smallest and lightest case - 38 grams. No problem fits in the "watch" pocket of jeans. The magnetized lid opens smoothly and closes easily, and the headphones also hold on to magnets. When you return them to the place - to recharge - as if they are sucked into the nest.
Samsung cover is not much larger in size, so it fits in the same pocket. The difference in weight is not particularly noticeable - 54.5 grams - this is also not at all a lot. But this thing opens only by pressing a mechanical button. On the one hand, it annoys every time to do it, and on the other, if you drop the case, the lid will not open and the “ears” will not fly apart. Plus, the headphones in the sockets hold the magnets. To charge the “gag” you just need to put the contacts on the response pins in the shallow recesses in the case.
Jabra's case is also quite compact, but a little more weighty, 67 grams. The lid closes tightly, without magnets, but on the latch. Headphones are placed in deeper than Samsung's credits, but they are also not specifically fixed there. Sometimes you have to open the case again to shift the headphones, if the contacts for charging do not match.
Sony has the largest case and is not very comfortable to carry in your pocket (however, in the next version they have already fixed this point by making the case smaller). 100 grams, secure lid on powerful hinges. And in order to make sure that the headphones will not fly out, they should be pushed into the sockets until they click - only then they start charging.
The operation time of such headphones depends not only on the capacity of their own batteries, but also on the capacity of the battery in the case. As long as the ears are in the case, they are charged, and when you take them out again, they are almost certainly 100% charged. Everyone except Sony has 10–15 minutes in the case to work for an hour.
Surprisingly, the smallest device has the most powerful battery. Case Apple is able to fully charge the headphones at least 4 times. The amount is about 30 hours of work. Next comes Jabra - Elite 65t can work for a total of 24 hours. The Samsung IconX 2018 gives out 15 hours. And the worst thing from the standpoint of autonomy was Sony - the WF-1000X only worked for 8 hours. At the same time they will need to be charged every two hours.
Ideal did not work for anyone. If the wind blows, it blows all the microphones, no matter how many, and whatever software algorithms the manufacturers use. You can immediately pull out the phone and talk on it, otherwise "at the other end of the line" you will not be heard.
When it’s quiet around, the person on the phone hears you well. But when it’s noisy, not everyone does well. As an example, keep a record from the iPhone's built-in microphone and in turn - all the headphones that I had, with the hair dryer in front of me.
What did i choose
My main phone is the iPhone. Therefore, the main headphones, despite not the very top sound, I made AirPods. They are corny most conveniently: opened the case, put the "ears" in the ears, and everything is already working. With other models, the connection does not always happen instantly, and sometimes one of a pair of headphones “falls off” from Bleutooth.
But as a spare, I still carry the Jabra Elite 65t with me. Subjectively, they have the most intense sound, and isolation from the outside world is better, because these are plugs, not liners. Yes, and by the time they work in second place.
I put the rest on the shelf - for history and in case the main ones are lost. And I must say that for half a year living with such headphones, I am still afraid of losing them.