Well Apple introduced it, the last analog remnant in the digital world is going away and with it the emergence of Bluetooth headsets to listen to music. Now don’t get wrong I love the current analog headsets and I have a slew of them:
- Shure headphones. I’ve actually forgotten the model numbers, but they are fifty years old and work super well, open back and the Consumer Reports winners the time.
- Etymotic Research ER4 and ER6. I’ve had and lost a slew of these, they were one of the first in-ear monitors (you just jam them in and your get quiet) and they fit me great and sounded just awesome. Plus they are perfect on airplanes for those 10 hour flights where you want to listen to music as opposed to rumble.
- A zillion off-brand IEMs thanks to review sites like head-fi.org where you get really great headphones for $130.
- A wonderful headphone amplifier that you plugged into the USB of your computer or the analog jack and then you got really pure sound. Super bulky but wonderful sound quality.
- Then there is the $10 Panasonics that seem to beat the pants off many other headphones that cost 10x more.
But now with a 3.5mm adapter, you can still use all that stuff, but it made me realize I wanted to see how Bluetooth had really moved forward because let’s face it the wire still sucks. My previous experiments had all kind of problems. The biggest being battery life, ugly headsets and let’s face it losing the darn things.
9to5mac.com had a good review of what their staff is using and the Wirecutter of course has their own but only for bulky headphones that I wouldn’t carry around and also for exercise wireless buds
- Apple AirPods. These are brand new and use a proprietary bluetooth technology. I actually couldn’t stand wearing their old pods as they weren’t in the ear and kept falling out, but these look pretty cool.
- AfterScokz Trekz. These are bone conducting headphones. Pretty interesting idea.
- Jaybird Freedom In Ear.
- J-lab Epic2 Bluetooth. Both 9to5mac and Wirecutter likes these but they are over the ear. The X2 are in the ear plug ins but otherwise the same although they will be hard to fit when exercising. Personally, the over the ear ones feel uncomfortable for me.