Pioneer embraces Bluetooth, launches true wireless C8, tethered C7 headphones

Electronics giant Pioneer is throwing its hat into the true wireless headphone ring with a new pair of wireless earbuds called the C8. The headphones take aim at a market currently dominated by Apple and Jabra, offering listeners similar portability and convenience but at a lower price point.

Small black earbuds with a golf ball-like finish, the C8 are ergonomically designed to stay in your ears — and be comfortable while doing so. They feature built-in controls for playing and pausing music, taking calls, and adjusting volume, and will also function with the company’s Pioneer Notification app.

We can’t comment on how they sound, but there is one reason the headphones might be a bit cheaper than the industry leaders: The new C8 headphones don’t offer the same five-hour battery life as higher-end options, instead allowing listeners to jam out for a total of three hours. They do, however, come with a charging case that offers two full charges and is designed to charge the headphones in an hour. While they may not end up on the top of our review list due to shorter battery life, those with tighter budgets may still want to consider the C8, which retail for $120. We look forward to comparing them to other affordable true wireless in-ears, such as the Rowkin Bit Charge Touch and Monoprice True Wireless — decent options that we’ve already spent time with.

The company also announced an affordable set of tethered wireless in-ears called the C7. The C7 are simple-looking banded Bluetooth earbuds that come in four colors — black, white, yellow, and red — and will appeal to those who don’t see the need for as ultra-compact an option as the C8. Made of solid aluminum and with a total battery life of over 7 hours — plus a quick charge feature that will allow them to juice up in just an hour and a half — the headphones should be a fairly competitive option in the sub-$100 headphone space. And they’ll be easy to use too: They even feature near-field communication (NFC) for hyper-easy pairing with cell phones.

Interested in copping a pair of either the C7 or C8? Both pairs of headphones are available at Pioneer’s website.

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