by firstname.lastname@example.org July 10 2019
Deciding whichof the many sets of truly wireless earbuds to buy can feel like a dauntingtask. Unless you’re one of those people who believes the AirPods hype, in whichcase the decision might seem very easy. Don’t be that person.
Truly wirelessearbuds are a marvel of engineering, and a handful of companies have builtincredible products. You’ve got the dangly types, like the $160 Apple AirPods,that promise an effortless wireless earbud experience. You’ve got the hookkind, like the $250 Powerbeats Pro from Beats, that offer a super secure fitfor active lifestyles. You’ve got popcorn design, like the $170 Jabra Elite65t, that pump sound straight into your head. And you’ve got the pretty ones,like the $300 Master & Dynamic MW07, that bring elegance into the equation.
To find outwhich futuristic buds would be the best for most people at the best price, wepitted these four sets against each other. We looked closely at their design,connectivity, and sound quality, which are easily the three most importantfeatures of any wireless headphone. All of these received positive reviews fromGizmodo, so there weren’t really any losers in the bunch. There was one clearwinner, however.
Plenty of peoplethink that fit is the most important element of earbud design, and in manyrespects, it is. Once you find a set of buds that settle nicely into your ear,however, you’ll start to notice other things you love and hate: the way thebuttons work, the size of the case, the way they look in a mirror. Earbuds canbe, after all, a bit of a fashion decision.
In our designbattle, we started with fit and then considered these other factors. As notedabove, our four competitors also represent four fairly different approaches toearbud design. The AirPods are essentially teardrop-shaped pieces of plasticthat sit on the bottom of your ear, and for some people, they fall right out.The Powerbeats Pro represent the opposite approach with a super secure (andsomewhat bulky) ear hook design and silicone ear tips that rest on your earcanal. The Jabra and the Master & Dynamic models also use silicone eartips, but they create a more of seal in your ear that not only keeps themfeeling snug but also keeps some outside noise from interfering with yourblissful listening experience.
Based on fitalone, we had to eliminate the AirPods. Since there’s no way to adjust thedesign to fit different types of ears, they’re either going to fit, or they’regoing to fall into the gutter when you turn your head quickly. The AirPods alsolack any waterproofing, so a trip into the gutter could zap them for good. Andat the opposite end of the spectrum, we had to eliminate the Powerbeats Probecause, even though they were super secure, the ear hook design makes them abit tricky to put on and does not feel great if you wear glasses. They arewaterproof and sweatproof, which makes them great for the gym. But for dailylistening, the maximal design can be annoying. The Powerbeats charging case isalso hilariously huge and will not fit in most pockets.
That brings usto the Master & Dynamic MW07 earbuds. The Master & Dynamic come in anarray of colors and finishings, including an extremely overpriced Louis Vuittonedition, and so it’s clear that the company is leaning into the fashion angle.They look great, too! But frankly, they don’t fit snugly enough and aren’t aswaterproof as some of the other earbuds tested—the MW07 are IPX4 rated which meansthey’re just moderately splash proof—so you can’t wear them while exercising.The buttons on the top and bottom of the buds are also kind of hard to presswhich might seem like a small gripe until you find yourself taking out yourphone every time you want to adjust the volume.