Wireless earbuds have become an essential for anyone who isn't fond of untangling headphone wires on the regular. This year, Bluetooth buds have grown in demand even more, now that we have face mask straps to grapple with, too.
The rising popularity of wireless earbuds also has lockdown's 'runaissance' to thank, as much of the world's population has picked up running in place of, well, a long list of things we can no longer do. For running, wireless earbuds offer a whole new world of practicality and performance.
However, with the weather taking a dark turn in Berlin, we retired our running sneakers and stayed put indoors at Highsnobiety HQ, putting four of the market's leading wireless earbuds through their paces. Four of our team members rated each product on style, comfort, price, sound, and ease-of-use. Check out what we thought.
Scroll on for our wireless earbuds review and where to shop them.
Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus
Anders Schans, Project Manager: From the cheeky marble coating on the earbuds to the metallic case, this is a sexy pair. They sit tightly in your ear and don’t have that clumsy feeling that headphones sometimes give. Retailing at $300, the MW07 Plus is on the slightly heavier side of the scale. If you’re an active music listener I’d say the price tag is very much justified. The strongest features are the noise-cancellation and full sound.
Sophia Parisel, Production Assistant: The case has a nice shape, although the marble design I tried out was a little bit much for me personally. The headphones are comfortable and the noise-canceling feature is strong — once the music plays you can barely hear any sound from the outside.
Robbie Russell, Brand Manager: The design isn't for me, but I'm sure some people would be into it. Easy enough to connect and the sound is decent.
Gabrielle Dumas, Junior Manager, Digital Planning & Activation: The design could be a lot simpler in terms of look, but these fit perfectly in the ear. It's a good quality price, though I expected the sound to be a little clearer.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 3rd Generation
Anders: This is a super elegant design. The packaging, tumbled leather case, and the murdered-out earbuds add on to a certain minimal experience only my Danish people can do right. I’m in favor of putting budget into securing that audio experience, so I’m not too angry at the price.
Robbie: These are good looking, with a quality feel. Rubber buds are just not as good as more ergonomic solid earbuds for me, and the price is a little too high. Connecting is a bit of a process, but easy once you get the hang of it.
Sophia: I had to research how to connect them before using but I got there eventually. I'm mostly into Hip Hop, R’n’B, and Soul, and they work nicely with those genres.
Gabrielle: Beautiful case, very chic, and the headphones fit perfectly. A little pricey considering AirPods are almost half the price, though.
RHA Trueconnect 2
Gabrielle: I'm a big fan of the box and how it opens! The price is very fair for the quality of the headphones, which is easy to connect.
Robbie: I prefer this minimalist approach over anything techy or tacky, so was into the design. They're pretty comfortable but it's tricky to find the right buds for you. The sound is surprisingly good in terms of depth.
Sophia: The design reminds me of the apple AirPods, a lot. For me, the price is totally fair and affordable and the price-performance ratio is worth it. The sound is warm and crisp and the noise-canceling feature allows the listener to completely get lost within the music. Would use these on a daily basis.
Anders: The price is on the lower end of the earbud market average, but the product itself ranks higher than that. What I like about the RHA is that it’s a versatile pair of earbuds and works across genres. They do sometimes feel a little flat, and I wouldn’t recommend them if you want to experience some real depth, but for the daily commute, it's perfect.
Sophia: Super intuitive and easy to set up, and way cheaper than a lot of options out there. The white and grey leather case is a nice detail.
Robbie: These looked and felt pretty cheap, but that's expected at this affordable price. However, connecting is super simple.
Gabrielle: For the 30 hours of playtime, easy connectivity, and good sound, the price is great.
Anders: I like the vibe here. While flirting with the idea of being an AirPod, the JLABs feels a bit less big-corporation-taking-over-the-world-esque. It’s tough to be really angry at a pair of earbuds retailing for under half of the AirPods. They’ll probably last longer too.
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