When you think about earphones the iconic wired pair is the first thing that comes to mind. However, with time, things have progressed a lot and the number of ways we can listen to music has expanded dramatically. Yes, if you want the best of the best sound experience, you have to buy a high-end headset with an amplifier. However, that is not what the sporting community is looking for at all. When it comes to earbuds for athletes and sports enthusiasts, the primary requirement is mobility. And this is exactly what wireless earbuds are all about.
As soon as Apple announced the Airpods, the world of audio exploded, and a new dimension came along called TWS. TWS stands for ‘totally wireless stereo’. This is a product that is slowly eradicating all other types of earphones and headsets in the sporting community. Naturally, with any product that becomes globally popular, alternatives start appearing everywhere. Once innovators realized this was the new direction for audio, they started bringing out all kinds of wireless earbuds.
Currently, there is a crazy amount of wireless earbud designs that you can choose from. However, not all of them work that great. Being a sports person, you need something that proves to be an indispensable companion for your daily workouts. To help you find the best possible option, we have come up with the most popular types of wireless earbuds. These have proven their salt and are currently at the top of their game. All that you need to do is figure out which one of these earbuds fit your requirements. But before we get into each type of earbuds, let us take a look at the factors that you need to consider. These will help you decide which type of wireless earbuds suit you the best.
8 Key Factors to Consider When Buying Wireless Sports Earbuds
Wireless sports earbuds come in all shapes and sizes. However, finding something that is specifically for use in sports activities means you must narrow things down quite a bit. To make sure that the product you buy is capable of meeting your needs, you should consider some factors. The list below provides the key factors that you need to keep in mind when making your decision.
#1 Types of Wireless Sports Earbuds
There are quite a few different designs that you can consider as your product of choice for workouts. We have provided the pros and cons of each product type below to make it easy for you to decide.
In-ear earbuds: These are the most basic design that includes small monitors that fit inside your ears almost completely. The good thing about these is that they are very light, provide good sound quality, and can also have different functions on their buttons. Being small in size means you may lose them easily if you drop them somewhere and they also have the smallest battery life.
Ear clip style: These earbuds are a bit larger than normal in-ear earbuds as they have a clip that goes around each ear. For workouts, these come with the best possible fit that you can get and are very secure. The larger size means they can pack bigger batteries and run for a longer time. Some of them also have bigger drivers with much better sound quality. On the flip side, they do have a clunky feel to them and can feel a bit heavier. The cases for these are also much bigger as compared to in-ear earbuds.
On-ear headphones: While this style is not exactly a TWS design, it is still a demanded design for people who do workouts. Wireless headphones come with the largest drivers and can produce the best sound quality. They are also much stronger and can withstand a lot of beating that may come from intense workouts. Being large also means they pack the biggest batteries of all. However, it is certainly an acquired taste and the cheap options do not provide breathability which means your ears can get quite hot.
Bone Conduction: It has been quite some time since bone conduction earphones started making the news. However, it is still a relatively new technology and is therefore not perfect. The biggest advantage of bone conduction is that your ears are not packed, and you are aware of your surroundings. Another big benefit is that your ears do not feel the strain that a lot of people can start to feel after wearing any pair of earphones for a long time. However, what you lose against that is the volume of the sound you hear as there is no noise isolation and external noise can significantly reduce the audio that you can hear.
#2 Sound Quality
Before going to any other factor, you need to make sure that the product you buy can produce good sound. Having bad sounding earbuds can completely ruin the experience for you and leave you frustrated. This means you should try and avoid going for anything ultra-cheap and stick to something a little well made. The simple fact is, if it comes with a cheap price, the quality will almost definitely match it too.
#3 Grippy Fit
Working out in most cases means your body will be moving around vigorously. This means you have to get a pair of earbuds that can take all that shaking action and stay put. There are many ways that companies try to meet this requirement by making the product adjustable or with different sized tips for different ears. However, the design also makes a difference here so having something that has a heavy external portion may be prone to falling out frequently. This can be very disruptive during a workout and throw you out of sync almost immediately.
#4 Battery Life
The biggest sacrifice that you have to make when getting wireless earbuds is the indefinite battery life. As long as your phone is running, a conventional set of earphones will keep on busting out tunes for you. Wireless earbuds do not rely on external power, so they need built-in batteries. While initial wireless earbuds were essentially terrible at battery life, things have become much better now. We highly recommend getting a pair that can provide at least 5 hours of rated battery life per charge. This would then translate to 2-3 hours of real usage time considering battery efficiency and intensity of usage.
#5 Battery Case
By now people assume that all wireless earbuds come with a battery case but that is not the case. A lot of earbuds only carry battery within the units and the case is just providing a connection for them to charge through. Having a battery case is pretty much essential at this point, especially when you want to continue your workout without having to find a charging station. A lot of cases can provide sufficient charge to complete your workout while you take a short break during your workout. Good earbuds have decent battery cases that are compact and pack enough power to take you through the week without needing a charger.
While most people want their wireless earbuds to be trusty workout companions, staying connected with the world is still necessary. This means having some additional features like calling and being able to interact with smart assistants is a huge plus. Most good quality wireless sport earbuds now come with full support for both Google Assistant and Siri. This can help you do many things without having to reach for your phone like making calls, setting reminders, asking for information, and so much more. Having a good quality mic is also important here to make sure you can talk to your assistant or anyone you want to call with ease.
The list of things above, when combined into a single package, can create a huge bill. Therefore, it is important to stay level-headed and not get too excited when buying wireless earbuds. If you do not have any budget restrictions, then you can go ahead and buy whichever product suits you the best. But if you do have a limited budget then it is best to keep that a priority to some extent. With wireless sports earbuds becoming a whole phenomenon, there are plenty of budget options available now and many are quite good. You can easily find good wireless earbuds that can be great for workouts without even crossing $100.
#8 Water Resistance
This feature could be higher on the list, but water resistance is present in almost all wireless sports earbuds nowadays. Most products, however, come with a water resistance rating that makes them suitable for sweating or light rain showers. However, some products come with top-notch ratings and do not get any damage even if they fall in the water.
Should You Buy Wireless Earbuds or Stick to Wired?
A while back, answering this question would be incredibly hard, considering that the wireless sport earbuds market was still developing. However, now we are very much clear about the pros and cons of the products we are getting. If you are not bothered by wires and having even the smallest disconnection can completely throw your workout into chaos, you may consider staying old school. However, if you are willing to withstand the occasional disconnection and charge your earbuds, wireless earbuds are surely for you.
The benefits that companies are packing into wireless sport earbuds nowadays far outweigh the almost negligible drawbacks that they carry. And we expect that they will soon figure out those small issues as well.