The 3.5mm headphone jack is fast disappearing from smartphones, and suddenly, wires are passé. Bluetooth headphones are gradually becoming ubiquitous, with fitness fanatics and frequent commuters ditching wires for in-ear Bluetooth headphones that complement their lifestyle. Here are our picks, across price points:
Louis Vuitton Horizon
Louis Vuitton enters the audio market, with these stylish earphones. You can buy them in black, white and red monogram or yellow and blue LV stripes. A single charge will give you 3.5 hours of listening time, and the volume can be adjusted directly on one of the earphones. LV claims they have the best audio qualities ever achieved in the field, using a system developed by Master & Dynamic, the renowned audio experts. The earphones work with all Bluetooth devices, as well as with the Tambour smart watch.
THE HIGH END
Beoplay H3 By Bang And Olufsen
Form and function combine to create a premium user experience – this is Scandinavian design at its very best. Multiple earbuds in different sizes are bundled in the box, to ensure an excellent fit and no sound leakage. A miniature bass port in the internal cabinet ensures powerful bass performance, while the tangle-free cord is a practical solution – you don’t have to worry even if they’re stuffed in your pocket.
These are ultra-light, yet deliver sound that packs a punch. The SoundSport is a ‘go to’ headset for active lifestyles, thanks to a host of clever touches. The tips’ unique shape creates a gentle seal that heightens audio performance, while the extended, flexible wings lend them improved stability – they won’t fall off easily. Bose’s unique partnership with Tile (the world’s largest lost-and-found community) makes it easy to find your headphones, in case you misplace them.
Sennheiser CX Sport
Designed for the sportily inclined, these are super flexible – you can wear them around your neck or in front, and the headphones are splash and water resistant. The CX Sport is equipped with a proprietary speaker system that delivers clear sound with a deep bass. It offers multi-connection capability – you can hook up two devices simultaneously. Its three-button remote lets you manage calls and your playlist effortlessly.
THE MID RANGE
These come with open-type drivers, which allow you to hear ambient sound along with your music, which is handy if you’re outdoors or running in an urban setting, where you need to stay alert. A discreet carrying holder allows you to store your headphones safely. Eight hours of battery life should cover you for a week at the gym, while the IPX4 certified resistance keeps sweat and splashes away.
Samsung Level Active
These are crafted for an active lifestyle, with a water-resistant form factor – just perfect for those runs in the rain. They offer extra connectivity options on select Samsung wearables, and work well when you break into a sweat during an intense workout. A variety of ergonomic soft-gel ear tips combine with a flexible ear hook, to keep them in place even as you push the limits on your daily run.
1MORE iBFree Sport
This American-designed headset, with eight hours of battery life and great water resistance, is ideal for the gym and other sports, like running and walking. A Bluetooth range of 10 metres and excellent sound quality ensure that you can use them at home for music and videos as well. The aluminium alloy construction and snug-fit design make them easy on the ear. The charge stays for 90 days in the power off mode, which is an added bonus.
OnePlus Bullets Wireless
These look cool and are extremely functional. The Bullets’ weighted aluminium alloy construction ensures they stay in place, whether you’re working out or at your desk at work – a stretch-resistant cable connects the earphones. The Magnetic Control feature is one of the many intuitive touches – you don’t have to hunt for the pause button, just clip the bullets together and the music pauses. Then there’s the fast charge capability, which gives you five hours of music with a 10-minute charge.
Jabra Elite 25E
These address one of the biggest deal-breakers for wireless headsets, with their promise of an 18-hour battery life. That’s not their only calling card – with 10mm speakers designed for immersive audio, these headphones deliver fullspectrum music quality. The neckband design allows more comfort for all-day use, and Jabra’s proprietary EarGels give you better sound for calls and music.
These are light, trendy and come in a choice of funky colours. There’s also a handy neck clip, which keeps the headphones in place, and also multiple-size ear tips, for the perfect fit. They bring JBL’s signature sound to a compact pair of headphones. You’re good to go with eight hours of battery life, and a convenient carrying pouch.
Boat Rockerz 255 Sports
Developed for gym use, these light-in-the ears units need just 10 minutes to charge, while the playtime itself is around 45 minutes. The ergonomically designed inline control system makes toggling between the various functions very easy. It can also be used to activate voice assistants, like Siri and Google Now. HD sound quality makes them great value for money.
Skull Candy Jib Wireless
These are trendy headphones at an affordable price, with all the convenience of Bluetooth connectivity. An in-line microphone and built-in remote make it remarkably simple to skip tracks and answer calls when you’re on the go. Skull Candy’s unique ear gels, bundled in the box, ensure you create a seal between the music and the noise around you. These headphones deliver 6 hours of battery life.
Leaf Sport Wireless
The sporty ear-hooks set these inexpensive headphones apart. Other useful features include a tangle-free cable and ultrasoft earbuds. The ergonomic design is perfect for intense action, while the lithium battery provides 6 hours of talk time or music playback. They pair instantly with Android and Apple devices, while an invisible nanocoating technology protects the earbuds against sweat during workouts.