While the audiophiles out there may scoff at the mere existence of a small, highly mobile, wireless ear bud that requires a special case just to charge it, there is no denying that truly wireless ear buds are becoming more and more popular with each passing month. No, Apple wasn’t the first to do it, not even the first to do it well, but man oh man did they do it well. And, we’ve seen the typical post-Apple-success market spike with truly wireless earbuds over the last several months, with more and more players coming into the space.
As you may have read on this site before—I have a relatively basic approach for categorizing headphones into one of three groups. If you missed it, check it out here, or here, or even here. Those categories are as follows:
- Basic ear buds with inline mic – for every day use, generally less expensive, comfortable to the point you forget about them, and usable in most places.
- Studio headphones – for musical or cinematic (or both) adventures; they are your lounging headphones for when you want to zone out in your media.
- Wireless – for the gym, yard work, house work, etc.
For those of you familiar with my reviews, and specifically, my speaker reviews—you may already be aware of my rule of 3 when it comes to speakers: The Budget speaker, the Go-To speaker, and the Beast. And, while I’m not necessarily a proponent of spoilers, I may have just stumbled across my “Beast” replacement. But, I’ll Tarantino it back for you and break it down bit by bit.
When I write-up any sort of documentation at work—perhaps some technical project documentation or a Powerpoint slide deck—I think often about my boss who insists on a “rule of 3” when it comes to lists. 3 is his go-to number when trying to come up with any sort of explanations or examples of something; a list of 3 is not too long, not too short, and easy to complete (see what I did there)?
I’ve reviewed a handful of bluetooth speakers and headphones—and I tend to rate them all against one another, as it is difficult to be consistent about audio without some sort of reference point. For example—if the only audio devices you’ve ever listened to are Bose products, then listening to something of objectively lower quality will tend to disappoint; likewise, if you live in the budget audio market for both speakers and headphones, then with a slight bump to the quality (even if the device you’re listening to is not objectively higher quality), you will think it the best product out there.