Android Police

Audio Reviews

1

NuForce BE Free6 truly wireless earbuds sound good and don't break the bank, but fit is a concern

The selection of "truly wireless" earbuds is truly staggering these days. They've gone from being crazy expensive status symbols to the norm, with surprisingly cheap models available. But even at $100, mid-range options like the Optoma NuForce BE Free6 still need to make some compromises to hit that price. You get good sound, decent battery life, and USB Type-C charging, but I had some serious problems when it came to fit, and there's no app for updates or other functionality.

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86

Sony WF-1000XM3 review: The current king of true wireless earbuds

Sony's WH-1000XM3 over-ear headphones have been lauded for their audio fidelity and noise cancellation since they launched, but not everyone wants to devote so much space in their bag to headphones. Enter, the WF-1000XM3, a set of true wireless earbuds that promise a high-quality audio experience with active noise cancelation. The WF-1000XM3s are bulkier than most other true wireless earbuds, but you get something for that extra mass. These earbuds offer superb sound and effective noise cancellation almost on par with Sony's full-sized headphones. They're spendy at $230, but this is one of those times you get what you pay for.

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28

The Klipsch T5 true wireless earbuds offer superb sound, few frills

Klipsch has been making high-end audio gear for more than 70 years. With the better part of a century's worth of audio expertise informing their design, the company's T5 true wireless earbuds have a lot to live up to — and while they lack some of the frills I've come to expect in premium earbuds, they absolutely nail the fundamentals.

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13

Sony’s $250 Extra Bass headphones can’t compete with the 1000XM3 — even on price

Most ANC headphones on the market, Sony's own WH-1000XM3 included, are fairly neutral-sounding. But given how popular Beats headphones are, it was only a matter of time before a bass-focused ANC offering popped up in the market. The WH-XB900N Extra Bass caters to that specific audience, and at $250, it undercuts the 1000XM3's MSRP by $100.

However, the XB900N feels like it's lost a lot more than that $100 in value when compared to the 1000XM3. It's worse in every measurable metric, and not just by a little. Consider the recent discounts that have brought the 1000XM3 to sub-$250 prices, and you can quickly see that it doesn't make much sense to recommend the XB900N at all.

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9

Review: Audio-Technica's $300 noise-cancelling headphones offer great sound quality and not much else

The ~$300 active noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphone market is heating up. Bose was arguably the pioneer of the segment, but many other audio companies have since thrown their hats into the ring. One of the latest entrants is Audio-Technica, a company with plenty of reputation to uphold.

Having spent several weeks with the ATH-ANC900BT, I've found that it's deserving of the Audio-Technica logos on it in terms of sound quality, but it falls short in other arenas. It reminds me a lot of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II in many ways, both good and bad. Ultimately, I don't think it's worth the $299 asking price given all of the issues.

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7

Aipower Wearbuds review: Halfway to a good product

True wireless Bluetooth earbuds were introduced in 2014 by the likes of the Bragi Dash and later popularized by the Apple Airpods. Since then, we've seen incremental developments like fitness tracking on the Jabra Elite Active 65T and wireless charging on the Samsung Galaxy Buds, but the form factor has essentially remained the same — a pair of earbuds stored inside a charging case that goes in your pocket. Aipower, a sub-brand of Aukey, is looking to shake things up with the Aipower Wearbuds (that recently went live on Kickstarter) by combining true wireless earbuds with a wrist-based fitness tracker.

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46

Huawei makes the best $99 wireless earbuds you can’t buy in the US

Say you’re in the market for some wireless earbuds and you have a Benjamin to spend. You don’t need noise cancellation, but want good sound quality. What do you buy? There are several choices out there, including OnePlus’ much hyped $99 Bullets Wireless 2. But I’m here to tell you that there’s one unassuming product that stands out—a better device than the Bullets Wireless 2—and it’s not officially available in the US. It’s the $99 Huawei FreeLace.

I didn’t set out to review the FreeLace. I was given a pair at Huawei’s launch event in Paris last March alongside my P30 Pro and P30 review units, just like I received Bullets Wireless 2 as part of my OnePlus 7 Pro media kit.

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32

The Soundcore Liberty Neo finally bring decent audio to cheap true wireless earbuds

Only two months have passed since we reviewed the Soundcore Liberty Air true wireless earbuds and now we’re taking a look at — or listen to — the Liberty Neo. Neither set is to be confused with the Liberty earbud range from another Anker sub-brand called Zolo. Why Soundcore needs two distinct but similarly priced models is the first question I pondered. The Liberty Neo (MSRP $60/£58) and Liberty Air (MSRP $80/£80) both feature graphene-coated drivers, Bluetooth 5, and IPX5 sweat resistance, but there are also a few key differences to justify the separate SKUs and price variance.

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4

Moshi's Avanti C hybrid 3.5mm/Type-C headphones are worth the steep asking price

For those of us that prefer wired headphones, or who merely can't tolerate the bugginess of Bluetooth on many Android phones, there aren't a lot of USB Type-C choices out there — especially if you don't want noise canceling. Moshi's new Avanti C checks the right boxes, though. There's no charging, no Bluetooth, and no ANC. What you do get is good audio, nice build quality, and dongle-free wired compatibility with 3.5mm and USB Type-C sources. Moshi thinks that's worth $200, and I agree.

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130

Samsung's excellent Galaxy Buds hit all the right notes at the right price

True wireless earbuds are big business these days, and they’re especially popular since Apple released its to-be-seen-with AirPods. Samsung's first attempt at this product category in 2016 was a little disappointing, but the updated Gear IconX that came out the following year offered improved battery life, a redesigned case, and better connectivity. The $200 price tag was too high for what you got, but frequent discounts made them a slightly more viable prospect.

Fast-forward to 2019 and Samsung is back with its latest iteration. Galaxy Buds is already a far more appealing and marketable name. They also cost much less than their predecessors at $130, even undercutting the AirPods by a full $30.

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