Xiaomi’s sub-brand Redmi has always focused on the budget segment, and its latest true wireless earbuds double down on that approach. The Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro have a lot of tricks up their sleeves, earning them their Pro moniker and a higher price tag compared to last year's model. But these sub-$50 TWEs still leave quite a bit of room for improvement in some key areas.
Unless you own an iPhone, you probably haven't thought about Beats much in a few years. Apple bought the company for three billion-with-a-B dollars in 2014, and its more recent products have been increasingly Apple-focused, Lightning charging ports and all.
But the new Beats Studio Buds break with that tradition. Like newer iPads and MacBooks, they charge with the correct cable (USB-C, that is) and support Fast Pair, meaning they're equally at home on Android as on iOS — and at $150, they look like a bargain next to the $250 AirPods Pro. But while I've certainly enjoyed using them, some missing features stop the Beats Studio Buds from being an unqualified home run.
There has never been a better time to shop for earbuds. No matter what your budget is, you can find fantastic true wireless buds to keep you entertained at the gym or on your commute. The mid-range category, in particular, has seen some real competition, with heavyweights like Amazon and Google throwing down with budget-conscious brands like Anker and Tribit. You'd be forgiven for not counting TCL among the bunch — it's stuck mainly to affordable neckbuds in the personal audio category. With the MoveAudio S600, however, the company is looking to bring some premium features to a price point that won't break the bank.
OnePlus is quickly becoming a veteran in the true wireless earbud market. With last year's release of the original Buds, followed shortly thereafter by the budget-oriented Buds Z, it's safe to say that OnePlus has had opportunities to work out some of the bugs. And so enters the OnePlus Buds Pro, a set of ANC-enabled true wireless buds that features plenty of high-end capabilities and a similarly higher price tag.
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Samsung got into the true wireless earbud game early on, but its Icon-branded buds were unreliable and had terrible battery life. The Galaxy Buds line has been far superior, and Samsung has only beefed up its true wireless credentials over time. Almost every Unpacked event has featured a new pair of Samsung earbuds, and the most recent one was no exception. Alongside the new foldables, Samsung unveiled the $150 Galaxy Buds2.
If you’re numb to the OnePlus-style hype train that precedes every major product launch — as we are — you may not have been following the incessant attention-seeking from Nothing ahead of its hardware debut. Rather than buy into all that, we’ve been waiting to see what they actually come up with, and well, I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised.
Sony makes numerous headphones and earbuds across a range of prices, but the 1000X line is its flagship family with top dogs like the WH-1000XM4 over-ear headphones and the aging but still capable WF-1000XM3 earbuds. The latter were top-of-the-line when they launched almost two years ago, but newer options like the ANC-equipped Galaxy Buds Pro and AirPods Pro have overshadowed Sony's old buds. The updated WF-1000XM4 puts Sony right back in the thick of things with phenomenal noise canceling and premium features. The XM4s are without a doubt my favorite earbuds right now, but they don't come cheap at $279.99, and some of the competition is only a little worse for a lot less money.
The true wireless earbud market is on fire at the moment, at just about every budget level. But according to the reviewers (including our own), Sony's the king of the ultra-premium hill. A smaller audiophile brand, Bowers & Wilkins, is aiming to usurp the throne with its very first set of TWEs, the PI7.
This month, Google is releasing its third pair of wireless Pixel Buds. They've been a pretty poorly kept secret. After all the leaks (some from the companyitself), you might already know what to expect here: 2020's Pixel Buds with some features removed and a new, lower price tag.
And these new earbuds are exactly that. Like the Pixel a phones that inspired their name, the Pixel Buds A-Series take what works about Google's flagship earbuds, strip out some higher-end features, and cost way less. If I were buying a pair of Google's earbuds today, it'd be these — and it's not just because they're $80 cheaper than last year's.
As most phones have left the headphone jack behind for good, true wireless earbuds have gone from optional accessories to must-haves for on-the-go listening. While Samsung, Apple, and Jabra fight it out in the premium space, there's still plenty of competition available for low and mid-range options. Amazon is no stranger to providing quality alternatives at lower prices — it's kept the budget Android tablet alive single-handedly with its Fire tablets. Whether it can do the same with earbuds is another question altogether.