Since Apple abolished the headphone output terminal from the “iPhone” series, Bluetooth wireless headphones and earphones have rapidly spread. In fact, in the last few years, companies have launched new products that are several times as many as in the past. It is now the mainstream of headphones and earphones.
Among them, the one that boasts high popularity is the left and right separate earphones called complete wireless earphones . This type is called variously, such as “true wireless earphones (TWS)” , “full wireless earphones” , “earplug earphones” , and “left and right separated earphones” . While a general Bluetooth earphone is wireless with the player, the left and right bodies are connected by a cable, but the completely wireless earphone is also wirelessly connected between the left and right, and no cables are used. As the name suggests, it is a “complete” and “perfect” wireless earphone. A typical example of this is Apple’s AirPods, which have been attracting a lot of attention since their release, and are now lined up with a large number of products from various manufacturers/brands.
In this special feature, we will explain how to choose such a hot wireless earphone in four easy-to-understand ways, and we will deliver a review of all 40 models, from the latest popular models to popular standard models. In the review, I will introduce usability, such as the trouble of connecting, while focusing on sound quality, so I hope you can use it as a reference to select the best one for yourself.
How to choose true wireless earphones
1. Comfort (choose a model that fits your ears and does not fall out)
As mentioned at the beginning of the special feature, the biggest advantage of completely wireless earphones is that they are very easy to handle outdoors because there are no cables. General Bluetooth earphones are connected between the left and right with a cable, so there is a possibility that the same problems as wired earphones may occur, such as getting caught on something when moving, tangling when storing, and sometimes disconnection. Of course, the length of the cable is overwhelmingly short, and the use of internet bands has greatly reduced the number of problems related to cables, but there is still a small possibility. Also, this is a matter of taste, but some users may find the left and right connected to be annoying. On the other hand, completely wireless earphones have independent left and right, completely free from troubles and stress related to cables. This alone is attractive enough.
At the same time, this is also a disadvantage of completely wireless earphones. It’s easy to drop and easy to lose. In fact, we often come across people whose completely wireless earphones fall out of their ears while commuting. I once met a person who fell between a train and a platform and looked desperate. And it’s not just one or two people.
Completely wireless earphones have to complete all configurations within the main body, so the main body tends to be larger than wired type earphones, and it tends to fall off easily. Therefore, people with small ear canals, such as women, tend to fall out of their ears frequently, increasing the possibility of losing or breaking them. Also, because the main unit is small, there is an unexpected pitfall that it is harder to find indoors than you think. As a countermeasure against such situations, manufacturers are devising various ideas such as optimizing the shape of the main unit and attaching a case for storage. However, what really matters is the actual fit. If you have the opportunity to actually touch the product, you should check whether it fits your ears properly.
By the way, as a countermeasure against the loss of the earphone itself, some manufacturers’ products have models with a paid service in case one is lost / broken. It is very useful in case of emergency, so it would be nice to add it as a check item when choosing a product.
2. Wireless connectivity (choose one that is hard to disconnect and one that recovers smoothly)
Another disadvantage of completely wireless earphones is the connection status. In addition to the wireless connection between the player and the left and right main body, the human being between the left and right tends to make it difficult for radio waves to pass through, so sound breaks are likely to occur. Each company has devised the shape of the antenna, devised the connection method between the left and right, and various other methods to avoid sound interruptions, but it is impossible to achieve a perfectly stable connection like a wired connection. Some sound cutouts must be accepted.
Rather than that, I would like to be concerned about the frequency of sound interruptions and the smoothness of recovery. Models equipped with the latest chip have a more stable connection, but the most important point is the design of the built-in antenna, and the manufacturer with excellent wireless technology is reliable. However, it is frustrating that you can’t know whether the communication stability is good or bad unless you actually try it. Therefore, the technical specifications should be used as a reference only.
3.Playback time (check quick charge function and total playback time)
The next important point is battery life. Completely wireless earphones with a compact body size cannot be equipped with a large battery, and the playback time is considerably shorter than that of general Bluetooth earphones. Looking at the products currently on sale, there are many models that claim a battery life of 5 to 8 hours. For that reason, the storage case is used as a charging case as it is, and it has been devised so that it can be used for more than 10 hours in total, but it is also true that there is a possibility that the battery will run out when you want to listen.