Group Test of Truly Wireless Earphones

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by Picapau21, Feb 22, 2018.

  1. Picapau21 macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2015
    Hi All,

    I thought I would post my views after going through a whole range of earbuds. Personally I have settled on the Jabra Elite 65T. For me they don't seem to have any fatal flaws with regards to the microphone, connection and noise isolation. They also happen to be the cheapest but because they are relatively new they wont be discounted for a while.

    I've outlined my scores for categories that were important to me with some comments below. All were tested with a MacBook 2016 and iPhone X.

    0 - Fail/Deal breaker
    1 - Acceptable
    2 - Good
    3 - Amazing


    Connection 2 - Solid, but sometime take ages to connect and I need to go into the settings.
    Audio 1 - Surprisingly good in a quiet environment when the fit into the ear is good
    Isolation 0 - Rubbish, can hear everything
    Video 3 - Perfect on all devices
    Voice 3 - Best hands free kit money can buy. Only product to get a 3 in this category.
    Controls 1 - Tap gestures are limited and don't always work
    Fit 1 - Not perfect, with quite a loose fit. Very comfortable though because of it.

    Total = 11

    B&O E8

    Connection 2 - I had no major issues, solid enough connection.
    Audio 1-2 - Personally, these were not the best. Much better after using their equaliser.
    Isolation 2 - As for any IEM
    Video 2-3 - No real issues
    Voice 0 - Awful microphone for phone calls and unusable outside. Picks up huge background noise.
    Controls 1 - Touch controls did not always work
    Fit 2 - Very slightly bulky but fit well with multiple supplied earbuds

    Total = 11

    Sony WF1000X

    Connection 1 - Frequent jumps and skips, not very annoying; possibly related to noise cancellation
    Audio 2 - One of the best for sound. Equal to the Bose.
    Isolation 3 - Best noise isolation/cancellation of all
    Video 0 - Out of sync with audio lag
    Voice 1 - Acceptable microphone
    Controls 1 - No way to control the volume from the headset
    Fit 2 - Very light, easy to wear IEM's. Stick out quite a bit though and have silly flashing blue lights

    Total = 10

    Bose Soundsport Wireless Free

    Connection 2 - Giving it a two but the left ear bud did occasionally cut out or switch off by it self
    Audio 2 - Open sound due to the design, very good bass
    Isolation 0 - Awful; Used these in noisy environments and could hear everything around me
    Video 2-3 - Despite all the negative reviews, with the latest firmware I had no issues
    Voice 2 - One of the best microphones I tested
    Controls 1 - Hard to press the physical buttons but otherwise pretty good
    Fit 2 - Very bulky, stick out a long way but actually stay in very well

    Total = 11.5

    Samsung ICONX 2018

    Connection 1-2 - I think this is stable enough but right bd had connection issues (see "Fit" comment)
    Audio 1-2 - Good balanced audio with decent bass
    Isolation 2 - as for any IEM
    Video 0 - Video lag on Mac and iPhone X on all apps - unusable
    Voice 1 - Good in a quiet environment but very bad when noisy
    Controls 2 - The most reliable touch controls I used
    Fit 0 - Left was perfect; Right kept getting dislodged regardless of tips/wings; there is proximity sensor which kept activating/deactivating.

    Total = 8

    Jabra Elite 65T

    Connection 2-3 - Bluetooth 5, Solid with no major issues. Can connect to 2 devices at the same time.
    Audio 1-2 - Not the best out of the box but much better after using the equaliser to adjust the sound
    Isolation 2 - As for any IEM
    Video 1-2 - Largely no great audio lag - usable
    Voice 2 - Best microphone but can be argued it is a bit too loud for the other person listening.
    Controls 1 - A bit fiddly and earbuds get pressed into ear due to the physical buttons.
    Fit 2 - Go deep and stay in my ear perfectly. Feel comfortable enough for long periods.

    Total = 12.5
  2. mickeydean macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2011
    Thanks for this.

    Will you be checking out the Active version of the Jabras?

    My ideal true wireless would be Sony with an Apple connection with waterproof (ipx67)
  3. Picapau21 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2015
    The active’s don't get released for a couple of months and not being a big gym goer I may not actually end up testing them. The current 65T are IP55 rated so should still be adequate for gym use.

    Sony should be releasing a newer waterproof version later this year. If they’ve managed to sort some of their issues then they may be your perfect headset: or
  4. sigomez macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2009
    Houston, TX
  5. Ipadlover29 macrumors 6502a


    May 28, 2011
    In my experience the Bose are horrible in terms of keeping a connection. The left or both earbuds tend to drop a connection on a regular basis. This is a well documented issue on the Bose support forums. So I wouldn’t even think of giving them a 2 which is good rating. They should be given a 0.

    The AirPods on the other hand are flawless in terms of holding a connnection so they should be given a 3 - amazing not a 2 which is what you gave the Bose also.
  6. EDH667 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2009
    Northern California
    Most of the connection issues with the Bose SoundSport Free that I experienced have been corrected with firmware updates. My set are pretty rock solid after the latest updates.
  7. Ipadlover29 macrumors 6502a


    May 28, 2011
    I updated to the new firmware when it came out a few days ago and I still have drops and so do many more people on the Bose support forums. The new firmware has reduced the number of drops but the issue is still present.
  8. mickeydean macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2011
    Good to know.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 23, 2018 ---
    I have seen these. Any ETA? I couldn't find any info on an ETA googling. Most audiophile forums don't bother with true wireless buds.
  9. Picapau21 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2015
    Personally I had no issues with the Bose. The right bud is the master and left the slave and so if I covered up the left bud I could cut the signal to it.

    I take your point about he AirPods having a solid connection. I could raise it to a 2.5 as for me they haven’t been perfect. Sometimes they take ages to connect, sometimes only one ear bud connects and not the other, and on occasions I’ve had to manually connect from the settings menu. These problems don’t happen often but do show that even the AirPods have some connection issues. Once they are connected though the signal is rock solid.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 24, 2018 ---
    11th June I think although I did hear somewhere that it may end up being sooner than that.
  10. MrXiro macrumors 68040


    Nov 2, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Great Thread!

    I’ve tested most of these and I’m favoring the Bose, followed by the Airpods. Maybe my Jabra 65t is a lemon cause I get frequent cut outs and for some reason I can’t get a comfortable fit in my right ear 1/2 the time. It feels like a suction in that ear and the audio doesn’t feel as “open” as the left ear like maybe my ear canal is pinching the silicon tip.

    Bose are the most comfortable despite always feeling like they might fall out but they have a tight lock in there and the Airpods are a little loose, so I put some silicone skins on them and they work better. Not nearly the same SQ as the Bose though.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 4, 2018 ---
    I’ve had virtually no drops with my pair. Maybe a bad batch went out? As I said in my last post my Jabra 65t drop like crazy and I can’t find a single complaint online that mirrors mine.
  11. Ipadlover29 macrumors 6502a


    May 28, 2011
    I purchased a new pair from the apple store and updated to the latest firmware 1.4.5, now I don’t have any issues with the left earbud getting disconnected. I do have 2 other issues. Both earbuds get disconnected when I pause the music. Also the music sometimes alternates between the left and right earbuds. Both of these issues only happen about once a day. Bose ones are still the best sounding, the most comfortable, the best fit and have the best controls on the market.

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10 February 22, 2018