The year begins as usual with the CES fair in Las Vegas which allows us to discover the trends of the coming months in the world of technologies. For the moment, our ranking of the best True Wireless does not change but we invite you to consult in order to discover the novelties, in particular True Wireless, which will punctuate 2022. Finally, we also invite you to go to the end of the article if you wish to obtain advice on choosing your headphones correctly.
1. Sony WF-1000XM4, the best True Wireless headphones on the market
It is a great success for Sony who once again presents an excellent pair of True Wireless headphones. The brand has corrected the few faults of the previous model one by one, with the exception of the absence of a multipoint which remains on the agenda. The 1000XM4 are simply excellent at all levels, be it sound, now high definition (a rare thing for headphones), RBA, many advanced functions or design. It should be noted all the same that the ergonomics of WF-1000XM4 may not be suitable for everyone (especially small ears) and that their price is very high. But if you are looking for Bluetooth headphones with exceptional sound, with a very efficient noise reduction system, solid services during calls and autonomy above the competition (8h + 16 in the box), the Sony check all these boxes.
2. Sony WF-1000XM3, the ex-best True Wireless, always top
Sony strikes very hard with his WF-1000XM3. Indeed, Japanese simply signs the best true-wireless of the year. These headphones have everything for them: an elegant design offering good comfort, a reliable Bluetooth 5.0 connection, low latency, refined audio quality with powerful but mastered bass, a range of 6 hours above average, a fast USB-C load and above all, an impressive reduction in active noise. We do not have much to blame them for, their main faults are the lack of resistance to sweat (to be avoided for sport therefore), the absence of volume adjustments via the headsets and their high price. However, if you have the necessary budget, there is no hesitation, the WF-1000XM3 are now our benchmark for true-wireless headphones.
3. Apple AirPods Pro, the most comfortable True Wireless headphones
This “Pro” version of the AirPods has been radically overhauled, and for the best, because we believe these are the best headphones on the market. On the menu, a sweat-proof intra-auricular design (advice to athletes) offering excellent comfort by avoiding the intrusive side of this format, high-flying sound rendering, much richer especially in bass, but also a very efficient active noise reduction and a wireless connection that is always as reliable. More compact than the Sony WF-1000XM3, they nevertheless offer an audio quality slightly lower than our meaning, somewhat less practical commands and average autonomy. They are more easily recharged, however, thanks to their housing supporting the charge by induction, which compensates for the absence of a USB-C port. Although their price is very high, AirPods Pro will appeal to those who do not support intra-auricular well, and both iOS and Android users.
4. Oppo Enco X, the best alternative to AirPods Pro
5. Jabra Elite Active 75T, the best True Wireless headphones for sport
6. Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro, the best headphones within € 100
7. Jabra Elite 3, the best little prize
For many, the future is wireless on the audio side. If the first helmets and headphones of the genre degraded sound a lot and suffered regularly from interference, the advances of the Bluetooth protocol today make it possible to reach very satisfactory levels of quality and reliability. Some codecs like LDAC even allow you to get a Hi-Res audio stream from now on. After losing their jack cable, a source of space but also of more or less premature death of the devices (it is often he who gives up his soul first), the headphones finally lose their last thread, the one that connects the two headsets .
Indeed, almost all the major brands offer so-called headphones “True wireless” (or “True wireless”) these days. The latter have the advantage of offering a very good quality / size ratio and greater freedom of movement, so they are posing as alternatives to good old audio helmets and traditional headphones. In addition, they are always equipped with a storage AND charge box which allows, if you do it right, never to run out of battery. However, there are some details to know about this type of device, and the very many models on the market are far from all worthwhile.
Our advice for choosing well
For what use ?
True-Wireless wire headphones offer greater freedom of movement than traditional headphones or audio helmets, they are very versatile and therefore very interesting. In the office, in the gym or in public transport, they adapt to any type of environment. Be aware, however, that headphones for sport have some specificities, they must in particular be tested by sweating.
What an audio signature ?
Just like a helmet, a pair of headphones diffuses its own sound with its audio signature, its color. Thus, one model will be able to insist much more on bass or treble than another, while some headphones diffuse a more balanced sound. The style of music you are listening to will condition your purchase. Prefer powerful bass for Hip-Hop or Electro for example, and more balanced signatures for classical music.
What format to choose ?
The most common headphones adopt an intra-atrial format. In other words, they enter the ear canal. If you are not used to using this type of headphone, we advise you to try the model that interests you if possible before buying it, to verify that it is suitable for your morphology. If the headphones are too big for your ears, they will hurt you and will not hold well. If they are too small, ditto concerning the hold in the ears, but in addition you will lose the low frequencies of the sound and will be less well isolated. In addition, some do not support this type of headphone, we advise you if this is your case to opt for a model with a different format.
What are the essential commands ?
Another point, the controls. At a minimum, True-Wireless headphones should allow you to put music on play / break, and change the volume, or the song to listen. But the best allow all three at once ! Some also offer other functions, settings or activation of a voice assistant for example. Finally, be aware that due to their format (microphone further away from the mouth), these headphones are generally less efficient in free hand kit and controls may be less practical than with conventional headphones, equipped with a remote control on the cable.
What kind of wireless connection ?
Before the arrival of Bluetooth 5.0, the connection with Bluetooth 4.xx confronted us either with a lack of stability, or with a significant latency. This is why other manufacturers have used NFMI for the connection between the two headphones, which gives a more stable connection and low latency. However, this system prevents sharing music with a friend. But the arrival of Bluetooth 5.0 and the first headphones that really benefit from it (some have Bluetooth 5.0 only the name) have really changed the game, offering the advantages of Bluetooth 4 and NFMI without their respective drawbacks.
Reduction of passive or active noise ?
Good insulation is an important criterion when taking public transport for example. Some headphones will offer you very efficient active noise reduction systems (microphones record the surrounding noise to send an identical signal to your ears but in phase opposition) but they are generally expensive. Beware of low-cost models with such characteristics, in most cases the system will not be effective and could even alter the sound. You might as well opt for a passive noise reduction model at that time. The latter rely on the seal produced by their design to isolate noise. Generally, this term is used to speak of intra-auricular headphones, which completely plug the ear canal with their tips, because supra-auricular, that is to say traditional headphones, have rather an open design, little or not at all insulating.
What autonomy to expect ?
True-Wireless headphones always have a storage or load housing that allows, if you do it right, never to run out of battery. Nowadays, you can expect your headphones to last at least 5 hours and integrate 2 or more loads into their housing. There is less, there is more, but for us, it is in any case the minimum.