On the hunt for some true wireless earbuds? You’ve come to the right place — we found hefty discounts on some of the best in the business: The Apple AirPods and Samsung Galaxy Buds. Their nimble size makes them the perfect match for people looking to immerse themselves in an online course, conference call, or possibly even the latest Netflix Original.
– $110, was $130
The most affordable options in this roundup are the Samsung Galaxy Buds. Our Digital Trends review team highly recommends them for their nice, ergonomic design, amazing sound performance, and versatile functionality.
The Galaxy Buds sit gently on the ears while ensuring an impressive seal. This means you’ll get to experience the full force of their awesome sound quality. No matter the genre, you can expect them to sound great, with warm bass and impressive highs. Our reviewer even concluded that they perform just the same or even better than the more expensive models from Apple and Jabra.
For design, Samsung gave this pair a lightweight and compact profile complete with soft runner ear tips and rubber ear fins that promise a secure and comfortable fit. They are also IPX2-rated which makes them tough enough for sweaty workouts. Other attractive features include app-based customization for assigning a function on the earbuds’ touch-sensitive surfaces and sound personalization through equalizer mode adjustments.
Apple AirPods (1st Gen) – $129, was $159
Apple packed the first-ever AirPods with just enough features to make them interesting yet easy to use. Tapping the outside of either AirPod gives you access to Siri, and she will then be at your service. You can ask her to place a call to someone on your contacts list, set an alarm, or adjust the volume of your music; she can also announce if you have a call. However, Siri can’t help you with skipping the song on your Spotify playlist or other third-party music apps. If you want Siri to pull up your favorite tunes or do any song navigation, it must be through Apple Music.
Inside are accelerometers and other sensors that can identify when the buds are inserted or removed from the ears. Let’s say you’re listening to music and remove one AirPod, the music will be paused until that AirPod is reinserted. The same is true when both AirPods are removed, the music will stop, and the buds will essentially shut down. This allows for energy-efficient measures that will save precious battery life. Apple claims that the AirPods can provide five hours of power for listening and two hours for talk time on a single full charge. They also juice up fairly quickly, giving you three hours of listening time and one hour of talk time after just 15 minutes of charging.
These AirPods have nearly the same sound quality as the EarPods. Bass is not Beats-level, but it’s satisfying and pleasantly tuneful. Treble is not overly aggressive and midrange performance is good. These features may not sweep audiophiles off their feet, but those who find the sound EarPods acceptable will be happy with the first-gen AirPods.
– $140, was $160
The second-generation of AirPods carry the new H1 chip, which ushers in a series of enhancements compared to the first generation. These upgrades include lower gaming lag, faster connection for calls, and the “Hey, Siri” feature. Their stable wireless connection and range are also impressive and beat most of the competition.
These AirPods deliver similar sound quality to the original AirPods and even to the wired EarPods. Audio is nice, complete with instrumentals that are smoothed over for soft and pleasant warmth. Bass is also powerful and both the treble and midrange are clear. And since they sit well on the ears, you can expect minimal intrusion from unwanted background noise.
When it comes to battery, these AirPods are estimated to last for up to five hours on a single charge. Combined with the reserve power of the included charging case, they can provide more than 24 hours of battery life.
Apple AirPods 2 with Wireless Charging Case (2nd Gen) – $170, was $200
One of the major reasons you’re going to want to stick to these AirPods is the wireless charging case. The case can simply be slapped onto a Qi-compatible charging mat to juice up, and you can also charge it traditionally with a lightning cable. The case is said to offer the same amount of 24-hour reserve battery power as the older model, which still knocks down most competitors.
The AirPods 2 have the H1 chip inside, which enables faster wireless connection to devices. This chip also brings in other significant improvements, including 50% more talk time than the first-gen AirPods, quick access to Siri, and beefier battery life. Additionally, the chip promises better call quality even in windy environments by eliminating distortions.
For sound performance, these AirPods are capable of producing plenty of power even at a medium level. Bass is full and powerful, accompanied by smooth and pleasant instrumentals as well as clear midrange and treble.
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