Technology
Logo

Top 5 Wireless earphones with great value for money today

Filed on April 11, 2021 | Last updated on April 11, 2021 at 04.22 pm

The market for wireless earphones is booming, and there are mitigating factors for it. The world is going wireless, and communication for those working remotely has become paramount. Yet, smartphones and tablets are going slimmer and sleek, taking out the headphone audio jack in the process.

Filling in the gap are the earbuds or wireless earphones to enable more multi-tasking and freedom to get more out of your time constraints.

Top Five Popular Wireless Earphones

When it comes to earphones, the best ones stand out in aspects of sound quality, battery life and noise-cancellation features. It is a segment just like smartphones where the options can occupy a significantly wide price range and equally difficult to shortlist even on different budgets. So we reviewed some of the best-selling top brands available in the Middle East region, and here is what we think of each of them :

1. Huawei Freebuds 4i

Dh299 - Buy from huawei.com

With the HUAWEI FreeBuds 4i, you can expect some high-quality sound with sharp details and noise cancellation. This is made possible mainly through a large 10mm dynamic driver for a wider range, stronger bass and a rear chamber design for better consistency in sound effects. It's specially designed for the ultimate experience of listening to pop songs.

Huawei Freebuds 4i

Unlike other brands listed below, HUAWEI FreeBuds 4i delivers more battery life than the standard range listed on the manual. It can provide up to 10 hours of continuous music playback or 6.5 hours of voice calls, with Active Noise Cancellation turned off. Keeping ANC on still gives 7.5 hours of music playback. Then there is a strong case for its fast-charging capabilities. A simple 10 minutes of charge on the HUAWEI FreeBuds 4i can give up to 4 hours of use.

The microphones detect the ambient noise around the user and then adopting active noise cancellation algorithms to create inverted acoustic waves to cancel it out. You can easily switch between ANC and Awareness Mode with one tap. The ANC performance is on par with two pricier alternatives we tested over the past year - the JLab Epic Air and Urbanista London. It is IPX4-certified to withstand strong sprays of water and sweat. All of this is topped off with a stylish and glossy design, unique colorways, intuitive gestures and easy pairing - at an affordable price point.


2. Apple Airpods 2, Airpods Pro

Buy from Amazon.ae

Airpods 2

Apple AirPods 2 comes with a 14.3mm driver, which does deliver a decent sound quality but is no change from the previous version. Battery life is an improvement, however, from its predecessor and wireless charging capabilities are welcome as well. In terms of battery life, the Apple AirPods 2 delivers up to 24 hours of use on a single charge when used with the case and takes up to 15 minutes of charge for 3 hours of use. That is still well short of the HUAWEI FreeBuds 4i, but better than the Sansung Buds. The Apple AirPods 2 also do not come with ANC, though, which is a dampener. For that, you will have to consider the pricier AirPods Pro (Dh719, on Amazon).

Airpods Pro


3. Samsung Galaxy Buds, Buds+

Buy from Amazon.ae

Galaxy Buds

In terms of sound quality, these options from Samsung do deliver, even with its smaller driver, sized at 9mm on the Galaxy Buds. However, the Buds+ variant comes with decent sound quality and AKG tuning with various Equalizer presets, just like the HUAWEI FreeBuds 4i. Similar to Apple however, there are no ANC features, which does mean longer battery life of 13 hours and 22 hours on the Samsung Galaxy Buds and Buds+ respectively. Both falter when it comes to fast charging in competition with the rest, giving up to just 1.67 and 2 hours of use with 15 minutes and 10 minutes respectively. Since there is a lack of ANC features, it is hard to judge on these criteria. The surrounding sound that seeps in can be troublesome during commutes or when you want to zone out entirely. However, Samsung has limited this feature to its Pro variant which is again priced higher.

Galaxy Buds+


4. Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2

Buy from Amazon.ae

 Anker Liberty Air 2

There is much to like about the affordable Liberty Air 2, but it lacks Bluetooth multipoint connectivity. When you see the price and the plastic build, it can be a red herring in perception. The sound quality of the microphone is among the best in the class and even above. The Liberty Air 2 blocks out lot of sounds but it does not have noise cancellation. The Bluetooth 5.0 firmware optimises power consumption although the range is only 10 metres. However, multipoint connectivity is not as straightforward as it should be, so switching between devices is very cumbersome. Even if you connected to your laptop and want to connect to the phone while the laptop is switched off, you need to switch it back on to proceed.

Anker liberty air 2


5. Sony Wf-Xb700

Buy from Amazon.ae

Sony wf-xb700

It has never been about easy names for the early industry leaders in this segment. The XB in these earbuds stands for Extra Bass. While it is cost-conscious, the styling is humble. The WF-XB700 are comfortable to wear. It may look bulky with it's comfortable for many ears, and makes it ideal in the gym for workout situations. Noise cancellation is not available. The casing is normal in build. Yet, most of the cases for other brands have magnets to shut it tight, but the WF-XB700 uses tension and resistance which can wear down with prolonged use. The manual says nine hours of usage, but in average testing conditions at 75dB, the WF-XB700 lasted just over six hours when the charge ran out. Unless you are an athlete who cares little for looks and needs them only for your gym sessions, there are other options available.

sony wf-xb700

Making the final choice boils down to the end-user and preferences, however, there are a few deciding factors that we suggest. Sound quality, battery life and active noise cancellation are key when it comes to choosing the right earphones. Brand recognition may help sell the pricier alternatives even if they lack key features such as ANC. And there are others who may have all the features but price themselves out. All things considered, the affordable HUAWEI FreeBuds 4i checks all the boxes and is more value for money. You can get the best deal here for the HUAWEI FreeBuds 4i.