Best True Wireless Earphones for 2021
True Wireless headphones, earphones, earbuds, in-ear monitors - whatever terminology you prefer, this category has been the big mover this year. We revisit some of the best offerings so far for 2021.
Devialet Gemini True Wireless Earbuds ($499)
Although not beyond criticism, the new Gemini is a capable contender at the price. It's a bulky design with a powerful, rousing sound and plenty of deep-reaching sub-bass to boot. It packs some very neat tech, and that cool slide-top case is a highly welcome addition to an otherwise safe design. Devialet has taken some big swings here, and punches hard for its weight class. So if you're looking for something a little different, this may be the contender for you.
Klipsch T5 II True Wireless ANC Earphones ($429)
So is this new product worthy of Klipsch drawing a line in the sand and calling it a day? Well, if it were a few hundred bucks more, I would probably poke holes in the noise-cancelling ability, which isn't quite on par with the AirPods Pro or Sony offerings. But for its pricing, the Klipsch T5 ii ANC is one of the best you can get. Excellent sound, great features, and remarkable build – all the above make for an impressive product for the price.
Sennheiser CX400BT True Wireless Earbuds ($299)
The CX400 is a well-rounded release, with no bells and whistles, that gets plenty of the fundamentals right. What we are witnessing here is a bold strategy from Sennheiser – take a brilliant flagship product, trim down the build, remove some of the fancy features and extras, whittle it down to a cheaper product, but retain the same drivers and sound signature.
I'm thankful that Sennheiser has done this. After all, I'm the “headphone guy” within my friends and family, and so when someone now asks me for a recommendation in the midrange price point, I know exactly which direction to point them in. This one is an easy recommendation to make.
Technics EAH-AZ70W Wireless In-ear Headphones ($449)
With this new product, Technics isn't exactly reinventing the wheel when it comes to True Wireless releases. Still, it's a solid first attempt from the company. With a bright and vivid signature, massive battery life and excellent ergonomics, there's a lot to like here. While it would be great to see less background hiss and better codec support next time, the EAH-AZ70W certainly has a few clever tricks up its sleeve. Well worth an audition, if you're in the market for this sort of thing.
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC300TW True Wireless Earphones ($349)
The sound offered up by this brand new true wireless release is a well-balanced dish, which happily satisfy a range of palettes. If you're looking for more bass, perhaps look towards the Sennheiser flagship offerings, but if neutrality is your game, then here's your next true-wireless option. Featuring a natural, smooth sound and plenty of features, with excellent noise-cancelling abilities and characteristics, Audio-technica's new ATH-ANC300TW comes highly recommended.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 Earphones ($499.95)
Sennheiser's True Wireless 2 has a few usability quirks that may potentially be addressed with future firmware updates. Still, in terms of sheer audio quality, this is the star of the show. With its enormous battery life, equaliser settings and epic sound, this is an encore performance that will have audiences raving for years to come. If sheer audio quality is what you're after, then this is the wireless IEM to have right now.
Apple AirPods Pro Noise Cancelling Earphones ($399)
So, one of the most successful companies on the planet sets out to create an upgraded model of its flagship – which was one of the most popular headphones on the planet. In this reviewer's opinion, it has succeeded. This newer, smaller and sleeker AirPods Pro package is impressive even to a headphone snob like me. Despite not having aptX compatibility or colossal battery life, the pure sound quality and usability are difficult to deny for a true wireless IEM. I hate how much I love these things!
Bowers & Wilkins PI7 True Wireless In-Ear Headphones ($599.95)
We get to play with many True Wireless earphones, and none of them come close to this level of technical power. That's without even talking about the touch controls, ambient noise features or noise cancelling. They look and feel the part too. Everything has been well designed and manufactured within seemingly impossibly tight tolerances, from the way the lid snaps shut on the wireless charging case to the clean air vents on the units themselves. It's a state-of-the-art release with enough tech to satisfy even the hardest of hardcore headphone nerds like us. The PI7 is an excellent sounding package, proudly wearing the Bowers & Wilkins logo - we're sold on them!
The True Wireless Earphones category is certainly hotting up with some solid technology improvements this year. With better technology coming to market and new features such as Dirac and other tech, we look forward to the best true wireless earphones releases promised for 2022.
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